by Brandon Raasch
After several years of Unpubs, meetups, conventions and game design events, it is clear that having a great game idea isn't enough to get players to your table. Here are some strategies to get your prototype the most play time.
Go Where Gamers and Game Designers Are
Luckily there is a growing number ways to play testing prototype board games.
Work on Your Curb Appeal
Make your prototype hard to ignore. The table is your stage, so add some color to it.
Go Get'em Tiger
I witness is game designers who sit at their table and wait for people to choose them. If players are like customers, you have to go get them. Take initiative!
No one wants a lecture, they want to play. Practice these key messages so you can say it all in 3 minutes;
Practice Your Pitch to Make It Perfect
Practice using the game setup to teach game play. If you can have your players do the setup to learn, even better. Rehearse cleaning up and resetting your game after play. This will allow you to reset your game while talking to your next players, and test how easy your game is to reset.
All Feedback is Useful
Prototype play is used to learn what to keep, what to add and what to remove from your game, based on the input. Every player is different, so listen for and avoid arguing about feedback. Try changes and new rules with the next playtest. Keep it fun and, you can often get playersthem to come back and try your latest changes.
Always end your playtest with a thanks and an invitation to follow your project. An email gained of Facebook follow is one more qualified customer for your game. If you have a survey for feedback, great! Always ask, “Would you play this game again?” to let you know if you're on the right track. Keep working on your game and watch for what audience matches your design. You never know when you are sitting with a publisher looking for their next big thing!
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