Forget It’s a Playtest

The worst thing that can happen during a playtest is that you play it like a playtest.

Weird, right? The text below is the exact advice I give my playtesters. It was in the Chronicle playtest, the Echo playtest and it will no doubt be right there in the Follow playtest when it goes out.

WELCOME, PLAYTESTERS!

Yes, this is a playtest, but the best advice I can give is: don’t treat it like a playtest. Play it like you would any other game.

This game — like a lot of story games — hinges on player participation and contribution. Your creativity makes the wheels turn. But when you playtest, there’s a natural tendency to sit back and analyze the experience and look for flaws. That detachment and scrutiny prevents you from diving in and playing, which means you effectively sabotage your own game because you’re too busy analyzing instead of playing. I do it myself.

So forget it’s a playtest and just play. Then look back afterwards and think about how the rules influenced what happened.

If you’re a designer, I highly recommend telling your players exactly this. If you’re a player, do the designer a favor and just play.

    Ben Robbins | May 2nd, 2016 | game design | show 2 comments