Game Design Hour: How to Find Play Testers

Posted by on April 20, 2017
'Talking on the offshore' by ePi.Longo

‘Talking on the offshore’ by ePi.Longo

This is part of a series of blog posts where I confront issues relating to tabletop RPG game design.

First off, you may be asking: Do I need play testers? Can’t I play my game with a few friends, then just post it online?

Of course, yes, you can just publish it. And if you’ve got a simple, quick game, that might be appropriate.

But the game won’t be as good as it can be. You’re not everyone. Your friends probably have similar interests to you. You need other perspectives to find holes in your design that you can’t even see.

So how do you find play testers?

There’s no magic bullet. But one way is to run games online for strangers.

Post on your favorite social media network, offering to run games. If you have a lot of followers, you might be able to ask for players for your in-development games. If not, offer to run popular games like D&D.

Then, once you’ve run a couple of sessions with these players, ask them if they’d be willing to play a session of a game you’re writing. Run a game with them.

Now, ideally, you can find a group that will run your game without you even being there. Unfortunately, very few people are willing to run a game that’s still in development. Try asking your players if one of them is willing to do so, but if they’re not, that’s just the reality of indie tabletop RPG development.

At least you’ve found playtesters and received their feedback!

How do you run a playtest and gather that feedback? I’ll be covering those topics in future posts.

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