Designers: How have you been holding playtests during Covid lockdowns?

This is been a major challenge. For me, gathering a bunch of people, or getting somebody else to do so, has always been hard. Since social distancing has become the universal law, it’s been even harder.

With this type of work, you can’t pay playtesters, because when the games finally come out they are either razor-thin margins or PWYW.

I have had some success running things over Discord, but it’s painful and hard to organize. I’ve sent out a dozen playtest packets for a game I’m working on currently but I have no faith the game will hit the virtual table.

The biggest reason: “I’d playtest this with my group, but with Coronavirus we can’t meet.”

How have you gone about finding testers, and do you have plans for changing how you test longterm?

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You guys are getting paid?

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On a more serious note, playing over the internet has been easier than I thought – once one gets over the few kinks it can be quite good. I’ve also found that due to the running plague there are far more people to play with online, making the player pool bigger.

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We’ve been working on a few different approaches to online testing. What I’ve found is that some people are unfamiliar/uncomfortable with using a virtual tabletop, and so we usually have the host share their screen and offer to make rolls for people who don’t know how. If I’m already teaching them a new system to play, best to offload any other learning they need to do onto myself!

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Where have you been looking for playtesters?

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