Editor’s Note: You’ve heard of beta tests for software, but how about for games? Join us every Tuesday as local game designers test out their board game prototypes, and volunteer Game Masters polish up an adventure!
Each month, in conjunction with Ultimate Team-Up, we will be featuring a specific local designer’s creation. Here’s Gerald from Ultimate Team-Up to introduce October’s featured game: Children’s Crusade, from local designer Josh Fosberry.
September was awesome! We had a bunch of talented designers come out to share their games and we had some wonderful playtesters who showed up to help us make those games better. Now Fall is upon us, presenting us with the perfect conditions to hunker down, prepare for the cold and play some games!
One of the designers I have had the pleasure of working with these past few months is Josh Fosberry. Josh’s game designs work very hard to find the game lover in everyone. From the playful art and themes of his games to the way they induce the sense of “we’re all in this together”, even if that’s not actually the case! The games Josh has playtested have the kind of fun that reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons, the kind of goofy fun that filled our minds and inspired us to be the creative people we are today.
October’s featured Test Run is one of Josh’s games: Children’s Crusade, a cooperative tower defense, deck building board game that puts the player in the shoes of a child as they battle wave after wave of demonic toys. Level your character up to prevent the toys from escaping your room, but remember to work together because the enemies will be getting stronger as well!!
To understand how playtesting helps his vision completely take shape, I recently asked Josh a few questions:
Ultimate Team-Up – What are some of the challenges you have had interpreting feedback from playtesters?
Josh Fosberry – Sometimes it’s tough not acting on a whole bunch all at once. Make small iterations, otherwise you don’t know if a change is good, bad, or neutral. Also trying to figure out if feedback is from someone who you think should enjoy your game, or if your game is not really _FOR_ that particular player. I’ll try and let designers know if my feedback is for a particular type of game I generally don’t enjoy for this reason.
UT – What advice would you give to game designers who are ready to start playtesting their games?
JF – Do it. When it comes to getting feedback get a poker face and don’t be defensive. Remember not every game is for everybody, and finding people willing to play something untested are pretty sweet friends. Try not to argue with their feedback, and don’t close your mind to them, but also know that you probably won’t implement everything. But don’t argue with your playtesters. It’s important they feel welcome to give open feedback.
UT – Your games have a very light fun vibe to them, causing players to smile and chuckle at the game a lot. How do you use this non-verbal feedback to shape your game?
JF – First off, thanks! Secondly non verbal feedback is so important. Pay attention to what players do when it’s not their turn, or how they handle game pieces. Was something too frustrating? Too fiddly? Trying to pick up on what players are feeling before they have a chance to filter it is great. Sometimes you can figure out a problem that nobody else realizes is a problem, they just accept.
Editor’s Note: For a complete list of all the scheduled Test Run Tuesday activities this month, check out our Calendar of Events and sign up for our Meetup Group. And be sure to join us Tuesday October 6th and October 20th for a chance to test October’s featured game prototype: The Children’s Crusade!
Are you a Game Designer looking for play testers, or a Game Master preparing a scenario? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know! We’d love to schedule you to run your own Test Run Tuesday!