Monday, 27 May 2013

Playtest @ UK Games Expo 2013 Debrief

This was the third year running that we have presented the Playtest Zone at the UK Games Expo and each year it gets bigger and better.

This year the Expo moved to the new plush surroundings of the Hilton Metropole, near the NEC Birmingham. The event was very well organised by Richard, Tony and their team. We were given the Arden Room, which was right next to the main entrance to the Palace Suite and provided us with a great position to benefit from the footfall of the attendees.

We set up the room on Saturday/Sunday morning, placing our new roller banners outside the door to the room. Matt came up with a great idea of having the tables around the outside with a large table in the middle to provide a path around the Zone. It allowed people to watch the games being played as well as form a queue for the next playtest.

A schedule was agreed with several designers before the event, but we also wanted to leave a drop-in facility to just turn up with their prototypes and start playtesting. It worked well with all of the tables occupied throughout the weekend. 

The games ranged from 2-player wargames set in the Middle Ages to football games and designs involving chariot-racing wizards. There really was something there for everyone and the the designers received useful feedback to help improve their games.

Our playtesters were made up of Expo attendees of all ages and background, which provided a great cross section of the gaming community. At times it got really busy and the red--shirted Playtest UK team did a brilliant job: Brett , Dave, Katarina, Lawrence, Matt and Rob.

Also there were two games launched at the Expo that were originally playtested at the Playtest UK London meetup. Rock, Paper, Scissors, BANG! is a design by Dave Cousins and is being published by North and South Games 
(Details here: 

The other game is called Steeplechase, designed by Gavin Birnbaum and published through Cubiko Games (Details here:

All in all the weekend was a great success and the feedback from the attendees and Expo organisers was very positive. We are already looking forward to the UK Games Expo 2014.

Details of the prototypes played can be found here on a BGG geeklist:

Here are some photos of the event:






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