Q - What is Playtest UK?
A - Playtest UK is a friendly group of board/card game designers and playtesters that meet regularly in London, Cambridge, Newcastle, Brighton, Cardiff, Leeds, Enfield, Bath, Norwich, Edinburgh & Reading.
Q - Who can join?
A - Membership is open to everyone. Some members are established games designers, others are starting out or might be working on their first design. Others just come to play games in a friendly atmosphere. We are a community, where everyone has something to gain and to offer.
Q - Where can I sign up?
A - You can find our group here: www.meetup.com/Playtest
A - It’s free to join the meetup.com group and to attend the meetups. We are a community of games designers and it works because everybody helps each other out. If someone playtests your game protoype, then you playtest someone else's game. It's a chain of generosity and quite often you will learn as much about game design from playing other people's protoypes as getting your own playtested.
Q - Do I have to bring a game prototype?
A - No, several of our members just come to try out the cool new games in a friendly atmosphere, give their input and maybe get a playtesting credit if the game is published.
Q - I've only had the chance to playtest my game with family and friends and the overall response has been very positive. Why do I need a playtest group?
A - Your friends and family love you and may try to sugarcoat their feedback. Also their only experience may only stretch to mainstream games like Monopoly and Cluedo. At our meetups you will get honest feedback from friendly strangers, who have experience of different games and game design. The feedback will be constructive, because you will be playtesting with fellow designers, who know how difficult it is to put a creative endeavour you care about in front of people for the first time.
Q - What happens at a Playtest UK meetup?
A - This depends on the various groups, but most of them are very informal. If you want to bring your game prototype along to playtest, you could contact the event host beforehand or add a comment on the relevant event page. At the meetup, players will arrange themselves to playtest each other's games. Be very clear about how many players your game needs and the expected duration. Also be available to playtest others' games as well. The group functions because of this reciprocal arrangement.
The format of the London Playtest UK weekend meetup is a little more formalised. The prototypes are scheduled into 90 minute playtesting sessions, to ensure everyone gets a fair amount of time. Members can add their prototypes to the provisional list for the meetup by mentioning it in the comments section of the meetup.
Q - I don't live near any of your current meetup groups?
A - We are adding extra meetups based on demand, so feel free to drop me a line using the website contact form. We also run events at Dragonmeet, UK Games Expo and some other festivals around the UK, so please contact us about registering your game prototype for our public playtesting events.
Q - I have another question that isn't covered here.
A - Please feel free to send me a message via the website contact form.