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"How Often Do You Playtest?" Topic

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09 Dec 2016 1:52 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 May 2016 3:03 p.m. PST

That is, how often do you get involved in playtesting new rulesets before they are published?

* never
* all the time
* maybe once a year

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 3:24 p.m. PST

Once every few years

Though there are times a lot more on a specific set of rules

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 3:44 p.m. PST

Every few years.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP14 May 2016 3:50 p.m. PST

All the time

Dynaman878914 May 2016 4:37 p.m. PST

Every other year

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 4:43 p.m. PST

Often…and other times!

KSmyth14 May 2016 4:45 p.m. PST

I play test for convention games, so at least a couple times a year. Play tested for Enfilade today.

Mute Bystander14 May 2016 6:01 p.m. PST

Every now and then.

Pedrobear14 May 2016 6:11 p.m. PST

I'm a big man at Osprey, I am.

Nah, I just helped Dan playtest a few of his Osprey games.

Personal logo sillypoint Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 6:29 p.m. PST

Most games I play could be described as play test. 😬 Someone is either tinkering with the rules and trying something out – even rules we have used for more than 20 years.

Yesthatphil14 May 2016 6:49 p.m. PST

Constant … usually there are several project live at any one time.


Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 6:50 p.m. PST


Wargamer Blue14 May 2016 8:01 p.m. PST

Once. And that will do.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2016 9:05 p.m. PST

Almost never.

mumbasa14 May 2016 9:48 p.m. PST


Martin Rapier14 May 2016 11:21 p.m. PST

Playtesting our own stuff? All the time.

For other people, less so, particularly these days.

Weasel15 May 2016 7:20 a.m. PST

Sometimes it seems like thats the only gaming I do :)

Who asked this joker15 May 2016 12:56 p.m. PST

once a year

The Tin Dictator15 May 2016 3:46 p.m. PST

All the time

RudyNelson15 May 2016 8:41 p.m. PST

As often as I have new concepts and systems that I am working on.

Old Contemptibles Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2016 1:29 p.m. PST

Sometimes. Mostly our clubs own rules. Would that count?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 May 2016 4:38 p.m. PST

I run tons of playtests pretty much constantly.

Loki7724 May 2016 2:21 a.m. PST

Would like to going forward.

Dasher24 May 2016 11:29 a.m. PST

All the time, whenever I can.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2016 11:31 a.m. PST

Several times per year.

Ottoathome26 Jun 2016 4:37 a.m. PST

I playtest my own games constantly. New rule sets coming out I simply can't be bothered with. They are almost completely dreck and show signs of having never been playtested.

My own games are rigorously playtested by me and the group. I don't mean a read through, I mean a rigorous playtest to destruction. That is, I don't play the rules to see if they can be made to work, any game can do that. I mean playtest them so that they can't be broken or loopholed out or wrecked by negative players.

I also playtest them by rigorous Industrial Engineer standards. They have to have a productive time of 85% or better to avoid being trashed. They aren't ready to use until that is gotten up to 95% and the playtesting is done. I use a stopwatch, or a clock hanging on the wall and I not down how much productive and unproductive time there is and that which causes the unproductive time is written out of the rules or attended to.

Productive time is when players are making decisions, moving troops, rolling dice, discussing strategies, adjudicating combats, and devising ploys. Non productive time is looking up rules, fiddling with record keeping, and most of all arguing over points of the game.

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