Game Playtesting: the Heart of Game Design
What you'll learn
- Understand that there's a lot more to playtesting than just playing the prototype
- Recognize that playtesting is not only about fixing problems, it's about ensuring your target market enjoys the game
- Know what you can do to more efficiently arrange playtesting
- Understand what you can do to conduct playtesting more effectively
- Understand what you can do when using the results of playtesting
- And many other considerations that come into playtesting
- Basic knowledge of game design required
This is an in-depth treatment of what's important, and how to effectively conduct and benefit from, game playtesting. Translating the 6.5 hours of videos to words, it's the size of a small novel (more than 50,000 words). To my knowledge, there is nothing approaching this size on this subject in existence.
Playtesting is the heart (though not the brains) of game design. If you want to be a good game designer, not just a hack, you have to understand that heart just as you have to understand the brains, as covered in my other courses.
The major sections cover:
What is Playtesting?
Arranging the Playtesting
How to Conduct Playtesting
How to use the results of Playtesting
Other Considerations when Playtesting
There is nothing here about game programming, art, sound, etc. It is all about game design.
Who this course is for:
- Game designers, especially those who are inexperienced or just starting out
Dr. Lewis Pulsipher (Wikipedia: "Lewis Pulsipher"; "Britannia (board game)"; "Archomental" ) is the designer of approaching a dozen commercially published boardgames. His game "Britannia" is described in an Armchair General review "as one of the great titles in the world of games." Britannia was also one of the 100 games highlighted in the book "Hobby Games: the 100 Best". He has over 17,000 classroom hours of teaching experience including teaching video game design and production, and over 20 years of part-time graduate teaching experience.
His book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish" (McFarland) focuses on practical advice for beginning game designers, about how you actually create and complete game designs. He also contributed to the books "Tabletop: Analog Game Design," "Hobby Games: the 100 Best," "Family Games: the 100 Best." His game design blog has been active since 2004, and he is a contributor and "expert blogger" on Gamasutra, the #1 site for professional video game developers.
His latest published game is the 2021 reissue of Britannia along with a new game, "Duel Britannia" for two players. His Viking adventure game "Sea Kings" was published by Worthington in August 2015, along with Hastings 1066 and Stalingrad Besieged (2021) by the same publisher.
The video game "Lew Pulsipher's Doomstar" on Steam in September 2016.
Lew has a Ph.D. in military and diplomatic history from Duke University, from ancient days when degrees in media, computer networking, or game design did not exist--nor did IBM PCs. In 2012 he was a speaker at the East Coast Game Conference, PrezCon, Origins Game Fair, and World Boardgaming Championships. Long ago he was contributing editor for White Dwarf and Dragon magazines, and publisher of various game fanzines. In 2013 he was an Industry Insider Guest of Honor at GenCon.
Game design blog and teach game design blogs are on blogspot
YouTube channel "Game Design"
former contributing editor, White Dwarf, Dragon, Space Gamer, etc.
former publisher, Supernova, Blood and Iron, Sweep of History, etc.
"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest." --Mark Twain