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"Would You Pay to Playtest?" Topic

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09 May 2016 3:35 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 May 2016 3:34 p.m. PST

If a designer offered his playtest rules for a low price – say, $3 USD – would you be willing to buy them in order to help playtest them?

RavenscraftCybernetics09 May 2016 3:50 p.m. PST

probably not. there are too many free rule sets out there and I'm cheap.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP09 May 2016 3:51 p.m. PST

No. Why should I pay to do him a favor?

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2016 4:05 p.m. PST


Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2016 4:13 p.m. PST


Mute Bystander09 May 2016 4:21 p.m. PST

In Spanish and English – No.

Not paying to play.

Not sure untested rules in Beta would be worth the time and money for me.

I am happy with fantasy skirmish and mass battle rules I have.

Science Fuction ditto.

Historical rules cover most eras at the appropriate level.

I'm good.

DontFearDareaper Fezian09 May 2016 4:44 p.m. PST

Its a trend in the computer gaming industry but I don't think it will transfer to our hobby. It's hard enough to get quality playtesters for free much less get them to pay for the privilege.

Don Manser09 May 2016 4:54 p.m. PST


jeffreyw309 May 2016 5:00 p.m. PST


Winston Smith09 May 2016 5:02 p.m. PST

Offer me the rules for free, maybe. But pay for the obligation to analyze them? Are you kidding?

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2016 5:10 p.m. PST


Mako1109 May 2016 5:31 p.m. PST

No, nein, nyet……..

dsfrank09 May 2016 5:36 p.m. PST


altfritz09 May 2016 6:28 p.m. PST

Based on the loopholes in some of the rules out there, this is already common practice!

Winston Smith09 May 2016 6:52 p.m. PST

+1 altfritz.

Considering the history of some rules I have paid good money for, and which came out a week later with extensive amendments…

Buck21509 May 2016 7:47 p.m. PST

Nichst, nein, Idar-Oberstein…

gavandjosh0209 May 2016 8:10 p.m. PST

perhaps – if (in a synopsis)they were significantly different to existing sets.

21eRegt09 May 2016 8:17 p.m. PST

No. But I'd playtest for pay.

Ironwolf09 May 2016 8:34 p.m. PST

I'd playtest for a discount on the finished product when its released. But pay a game a company to test their product and help them fix or make it better? No.

Who asked this joker09 May 2016 8:41 p.m. PST

No. You are doing the author a favor by providing input.

Sergeant Paper09 May 2016 9:43 p.m. PST


Martin Rapier09 May 2016 11:14 p.m. PST


And given the grief I've had playtesting some rules, these days you'd need to pay me to do it.

John Treadaway10 May 2016 12:01 a.m. PST

Not intentionally…

John T

John Armatys10 May 2016 1:49 a.m. PST


foxweasel10 May 2016 2:42 a.m. PST

No, why do their work for them, if it's not the finished product why pay.

Weasel10 May 2016 4:20 a.m. PST

I've started putting beta versions as "pay what you want".

That way people can grab it for free or they can throw in a tip if they like the look of the game as it's shaping up.

Seems to be work very well for everyone involved.

On a personal note, I have tested plenty of things for free.
I've bought games that were in development if it was cheaper than what the final product is.

Cosmic Reset10 May 2016 4:32 a.m. PST

Probably not, but there may be exceptions.

vtsaogames10 May 2016 4:55 a.m. PST

No. Back in the day, SPI paid me to play test. Not much mind you, but some.

Although if the rules really had my interest I might. But it would have to be a mighty intense itch.

GarrisonMiniatures10 May 2016 5:13 a.m. PST


redbanner414510 May 2016 5:14 a.m. PST


B6GOBOS10 May 2016 5:43 a.m. PST


Duncan10 May 2016 5:44 a.m. PST


Blount Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2016 5:57 a.m. PST

No. Not a chance. Never. Absolutely not.

nazrat10 May 2016 6:42 a.m. PST

Playtesting, although fun and cool to be involved in is a favor to the writer and is a good bit of work, too. In a perfect world he should be paying YOU to do it!! Every time I have been involved in the process I have always walked away with at least a free copy of the finished rules, if not a bunch of other swag as well. So no.

cosmicbank10 May 2016 7:20 a.m. PST

with some of the poorly written rules I have bought over the years. I feel I already have, Every game out there is in 2nd 3rd 4th edition. The only People who seem to care was Battlefront when they offered mini rulebooks and Updates like Stepping up to Version 3 pdf.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2016 7:22 a.m. PST

No, but the designer could pay me to test his rules.

pvernon10 May 2016 8:37 a.m. PST


Captain Gamma10 May 2016 9:08 a.m. PST

When I produce a new set of rules at Killer B Games I would never dream of asking people to pay me in order to playtest them. Play testers are doing me a massive favour. I'm seriously grateful to them.

Bless all you play testers out there!

Sundance10 May 2016 9:57 a.m. PST

No. Been involved in playtesting before and nothing like having an author berate you because you disagree with him on something in his rules.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2016 11:10 a.m. PST

No. They should pay me.

Ottoathome26 Jun 2016 4:30 a.m. PST

Yeah Sure! $3 USD is nothing. I'd do it for free simply to help him out. But depends on what you mean by playtest. If it was a once through read with some critical notes on form, style, presentation and organization that's easy to do, and once it's done it's done. If by "playtesting" you mean actually put on about 10 battle with my group to try the rules on various run iterations, that's more problematic. That would be a lot of work, and I'd have to be impressed with the rules. I'm also not bothered by author dissatisfaction- after all, he asked.

Son on the whole I'd do it, at least as far as the evaluation.

However-- Playtesting is hard, and it's hardest on the author, who is enamored of his production. However playtesting should be done as the late great Wally Simonn did it. That is test to destruction. Not playteting the rules to see if you can get them to work, but playtesting them to break the game, cause them to fail, and destroy them. Find he holes, the loopholes, the gaffes, and where difficult and negative players can ruin the game.

That's a real challenge!

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2016 4:31 a.m. PST


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