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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Designer & Playtester Feedback Forms updated

The feedback forms that are provided for free download have always been a popular part of the website, so I thought it was time they were updated in line with comments I have received from designers and playtesters alike.

Please find the links to the downloads below. (I have also shifted them from Google docs, which has caused some users problems in the past.)

The forms are free to download and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

The latest versions are as follows:

Designers Feedback Form version 3.4
Playtesters Feedback Form version 3.3

The link to the download folder is here.

If you have any questions about the forms or how to use them, please feel free to leave a comment.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

London Meetup Sunday 16th December


The December Meetup will be on Sunday 16th December from 1pm to 7pm at the Jugged Hare pub, Victoria.

Christmas is traditionally a time for families to play a board game after filling up on turkey. Here's hoping that we can design the games that will relegate Monopoly to a dusty forgotten shelf.

If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. Everyone is welcome.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

More details: http://www.meetup.com/Playtest/events/84335612/

We also have a guild at Boardgamegeek.com: www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/1398

Games to be playtested (TBC):



Fishy business - board game with trading (Mo Holkar)
Caterwaul - new game prototype (Mo Holkar)
Shah - new game prototype (Peter Coffey)
Movie Mogul - auction card game (Rob Harris)
Dwarf Chess - new game prototype (Dave Turner)
Brent Crude - oil industry game (Andrew Bond)
Hold the Front Page - newspaper industry game (Andrew Bond)






Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Playtest @ Dragonmeet 2012


This will be our third successive year at Dragonmeet 2012 to run the Playtest Zone. 

Check out the www.dragonmeet.co.uk website for more details and to buy tickets, which can also be purchased on the day. We will be playtesting all day on Saturday.
This will be a public playtesting event for card and board games prototypes. If you are a games designer this is a perfect opportunity to play your game with the great gaming public and receive more feedback in a day than you usually would in a month.
f you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play. If you sit down to play a game and leave some feedback then you will entered into a prize draw to win a £20 gift voucher from www.boardgameguru.co.uk 
If you would like to bring along a game design, or just help out on the stand, please contact Rob Harris or leave a message below.
More details to follow.........
You can join the Playtest @ Dragonmeet event here: www.meetup.com/Playtest 

Friday, 2 November 2012

London Meetup 18th November


The November Meetup will be on Sunday 18th November from 1pm to 7pm.

If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. Everyone is welcome.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

More details: www.meetup.com/Playtest/events/82999842/

We also have a guild at Boardgamegeek.com: www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/1398

Games to be playtested (TBC):


Meeplechase - (Gavin Birnbaum)
Yellow Jersey - (Gavin Birnbaum)
Tenure - (Adam Taylor)
Hivemind - (Adam Taylor)
Dragon Eggs - a tile based adventure game (Lawrence Davies)
Movie Mogul - an auction-based card game (Rob Harris)
Zombie Command - a base-building game (Barry)
'Tube' (WT) - a strategy game (Ben)
Scattered Fleet - an area control space combat game (Andrew Rowse)
Zombies at your Heels - apocalyptic card game (Andrew Rowse)
Tribes of the Valley - a worker placement game (Lawrence Davies)







Tuesday, 23 October 2012

October Playtest Debrief

This was the first Playtest meetup at our new venue, The Jugged Hare pub, Victoria. Many thanks to Magda and her team for their welcoming hospitality and especially the ESB beer on draught.

Despite some of our regular members heading over to Germany for the annual Essen Spiel Expo, we had 14 playtesters arrive to try out each other's games.

There was a great mix of prototypes, ranging from 'Starfighter', a miniatures-based space combat system to an immersive drag-racing sim for two players sitting side-by-side in chairs, which will be incorporated into a freeform game later this year. Other games included a whist variant with a clever twist and a family/children's game with a World travel theme and an inventive moving board. There was a light eurogame about fishing and a 6-player paranoia-filled adventure game set in the Arctic, followed by an alien combat game, an as-yet-untitled prototype and a fantasy-themed trading game. All in all the assembled group played their way through 12 different game designs and everyone who brought a prototype got it played at least once. The feedback for my own game designs was very constructive. There was an important breakthrough for the gameplay in one of my prototypes in particular, which had left me stumped for months.

At the meetup, there was a good discussion with several members about sourcing game components and game design competitions. Some of this information will soon be posted to the website as a resources page, so that members can pool their knowledge.

Amid all the excitement I forgot to take any photos this month or put out any Playtest signs, although that might have been because of the excellent ESB!

Friday, 5 October 2012

London Playtest - New Venue


The London Playtest group has a new venue at the Jugged Hare pub, just around the corner from the Morpeth Arms and close to the Pimlico and Victoria tube stations. We will be using the gallery space on the first floor, which has plenty of table space. The pub has been awarded Cask Marque approval and is featured in the Good Food and Good Beer guide.

Link to map here.
Link to Pub website here.
Link to Pub menu here.


The first meetup at the new venue will be on Sunday 21st October.

There are more photos here: www.meetup.com/Playtest/photos/11061542/

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

New Cambridge Playtest meetup

We couldn't keep a good thing to just one city, so after taking the UK Games Expo by storm in the summer, we will now be offering weekly Playtest meetups in Cambridge, as well as the usual monthly meetup in London.

Our aim is to build a community of playtesters and offer as many opportunities to play as possible. The Cambridge Playtest meetups will be organised by Playtest members, Brett and Matt.


The venue will be the First & Last18 Melbourne Place, CB1 1EQ.

Here is a link to the venue website: www.thefirstandlastcambridge.co.uk/

There are more photos of the venue here: www.meetup.com/Playtest/photos/11068482/

If you would like to join the Cambridge Playtest meetup group follow this link: www.meetup.com/Playtest/events/84585372/

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Meetup Sunday 21st October


The October Meetup will be on Sunday 21st October from 1pm to 7pm.

While some of our members are enjoying the delights of Essen Spiel '12, we will be playtesting some possible projects for Essen '13.

If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. Everyone is welcome.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

More details: www.meetup.com/Playtest/events/82999842/

We also have a guild at Boardgamegeek.com: www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/1398

Games to be playtested (TBC):


Starships - galactic combat game (Lawrence Davies)
Fishy Business - light eurogame (Mo Holkar)
Dark Continent - exploration game (Chris)
Alea Carta - card/dice game for 4 players (Valery Mace)
Drag Racing - an immersive game for 2 players (Rob Harris)
Bug Run - alien game (Dave Turner)
Sailaway - interactive board game (Michael Carter)






Monday, 20 August 2012

Meetup Sunday 16th September


The September Meetup will be on Sunday 16th September from 1pm to 7pm.

If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. The pub has a great range of food and drink, and the 'Spying Room' has fantastic views across the Thames. Everyone is welcome.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

The venue will be the Spying Room at the Morpeth Arms, Pimlico, London. Here is a map with directions of the short walk from Pimlico tube station to the pub.

More details: http://www.meetup.com/Playtest/events/67182402/

Games to be playtested (TBC):

Divinare Dice - new companion game to 'Divinare (Brett Gilbert)
Dexicon - deck-building spelling game (Andrew Rowse)
Wandering Monk - eurogame for 2-4 players (Matt Dunstan)
Venice - light trading game (Matt Dunstan & Brett Gilbert)
Pickpocket - card game about thievery (Matt Dunstan)
Nova - domino game (Brett Gilbert)
Trirealm - fantasy card game (Lawrence Davies)
Romans vs. Barbarians (WT) - combat game (Dave)





Friday, 17 August 2012

Morpeth Arms Refurbishment

 The Spying Room above the Morpeth Arms was refurbished last month, just after the July Playtest Meetup.

The room was closed for a while and has re-opened looking even better than before. (See Pictures).

Looking forward to giving it a run-out this Sunday.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Meetup Sunday 19th August


The August Meetup will be on Sunday 19th August from 1pm to 7pm.

With the Olympics already a fading memory and the transport system back to normal, we will meet up on the third Sunday for August's Playtest session.

If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. The pub has a great range of food and drink, and the 'Spying Room' has fantastic views across the Thames.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

The venue will be the Spying Room at the Morpeth Arms, Pimlico, London. Here is a map with directions of the short walk from Pimlico tube station to the pub.

Games to be playtested (TBC):


Dexicon - Deck-building spelling game (Andrew Rowse)
Dragon Eggs - Light family game (Lawrence Davies)

Boldly Going - Light dice Game (Adam Taylor)
Siegecraft - 2-player dice game (Adam Taylor)
Cricket Game (W/T) - 2-player cricket game (Chris Taylor-Davies)
Mike Nudd Compendium ;)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Meetup Sunday 15th July


The July Meetup will be on Sunday 15th July from 1pm to 7pm.


We are back to the third Sunday for July. Get out of the rain and join us to play games and chat about game design.


If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. The pub has a great range of food and drink, and the 'Spying Room' has fantastic views across the Thames.


If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.


The venue will be the Spying Room at the Morpeth Arms, Pimlico, London. Here is a map with directions of the short walk from Pimlico tube station to the pub.


Games to be playtested (TBC):
'Starfighter' - Space conflict miniatures game.
'London Game' (WT) - family card game.
'Movies' (WT) - auction card game.


Monday, 28 May 2012

Thanks for your help.

Well, the UK Games Expo is over again for another year and somehow we managed to even surpass the success we had last year thanks to our generous playtesters, willing to sit down and give their feedback. 
There will be a proper blog post shortly, but in the meantime credit goes to the Playtest team of Matt, Brett, Chris, Katarina & Rob for running the Playtest Zone over the weekend.
Special mention also to Paul & Andrew from the London Playtest meetup group for helping out on the days and playtesting new designs.
Also a big thank you to the many designers, who chose to bring their designs to be playtested:
Matt Dunstan, Brett Gilbert, Chris Towl, Rob Harris, Paul Ripley, Andrew Rowse, Holger Hanneman, Alex Churchill, Lee Britland, Lyndon Bates & Matt Wilkins, Sir Steve, Tristan Hall (& Sam Lawton), Julian & Lawrence, David Brain, Sebastian Bleasdale, Perry & Clive and Bevan Clatworthy. Apologies if I've missed anyone.


A final thanks to Richard Denning, Tony Hymes and the Expo team for a fantastic event again this year. Looking forward to the Hilton Metropole in 2013.



Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Meetup Sunday 24th June


The June Meetup will be on Sunday 24th June from 1pm to 7pm.

We will return on the fourth Sunday of the month for a change, to avoid a clash with Father's Day the previous weekend. This should give us an extra week to implement the feedback on our designs gleaned at the UK Games Expo.

If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. The pub has a great range of food and drink, and the 'Spying Room' has fantastic views across the Thames.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

The venue will be the Spying Room at the Morpeth Arms, Pimlico, London. Here is a map with directions of the short walk from Pimlico tube station to the pub.

You can follow the group's blog at www.playtest.co.uk


Games to be playtested (TBC):

QR Code Treasure Hunt @ the UK Games Expo 2012

To celebrate our 2nd year running the Playtest Zone at the UK Games Expo, we are creating a small treasure hunt using QR codes printed on treasure maps. 

The hunt is accessible to attendees of all ages. All you will need is an adventurous spirit and a smartphone with a QR code reader installed. (An internet connection is not required.)  

The treasure maps will be dotted all over the venue and on the stands of some of Playtest's friends. I can't tell you where; you will have to find them!

When you locate a map, find the letter and then solve the puzzle. 

Come to the Playtest Zone and shout Eureka! (or see Rob Harris) and you will be entered into a special prize draw for some gaming goodies.

Look out for these signs:


Check on this example map that your QR code reader will work on the day.

See you at Expo!

Playtest @ UK Games Expo 2012


Calling all budding games designers and playtesters!

www.playtest.co.uk will be running a playtesting event 
at the UK Games Expo 2012 May 25th-27th. 


The aim of the event is to bring designers and playtesters together to play games, encourage feedback and to help create better games.

You know that boardgame idea you've had knocking about for years that could be brilliant or just might not work? Create a prototype, bring it along and have fun figuring it out. Who knows, your idea might end up in a box on a games shop's shelf! 

Do you like to play games? Do you know what makes a good game fun? Your opinions could help to develop the prototypes and perhaps lead to a playtesting credit in a published game. 

There will be a prize draw for each attendee that playtests a game and for designers who bring a game prototype. The prize will be a £30 gift voucher to spend at www.boardgameguru.co.uk 




Feel free to contact me for more details at contact@playtest.co.uk

May Meetup Debrief


We returned to the Morpeth Arms for May's Playtest meetup and welcomed three new members to the group. 

After a good chat and a hearty meal we split into groups to playtest some new games. The first was a chase card game from Andrew called 'Zombies at you Heels'. He is currently funding the production through indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/zayh with all profits going to charity. It's an exciting design and the characters really mesh together well to allow some killer combos. Another group were playing 'Cash on Delivery', a strategy game from David. It elicited a great response from the playtesting team, who were impressed with how well the parts of the design fitted together.

'Lord of the Realm' by Lawrence was the next game to be playtested, which will be premiered at the UK Games Expo this weekend:http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/newgames.php#davies
with a new ruleset and graphics. The design has been honed through many iterations and the responses were very positive, with many useful suggestions being made. Next up was Paul's prototype, 'Time Crooks' which was a lot of fun to play, zipping back and forth in time making money. Opinions were split on some aspects of the gameplay, but Paul was already planning how to tweak it. I'm looking forward to seeing the next version of the design.

We finished on another game from David, 'Fantasy Railways'. An interesting take on the train game genre, that had us building a whole network and fighting over the spoils. Great to see this game back in development.

Next week we'll be at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham, running a Playtest Zone for the attendees and any budding designers that want to bring their prototypes along.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Meetup Sunday 20th May

The May Meetup will be on Sunday 20th May from 1pm to 7pm.

The following week we will be running the Playtest Zone at the UK Games Expo 2012 in Birmingham, so now is the time to give your games some last minute tweaks before they may be playtested by the gaming public.
If you've designed a game, bring it along and give it a play or just enjoy playing other people's prototypes in a friendly and constructive atmosphere. The pub has a great range of food and drink, and the 'Spying Room' has fantastic views across the Thames.

If you would like to bring along a new design, contact Rob Harris (Organiser) and we will add your game to the list.

The venue will be the Spying Room at the Morpeth Arms, Pimlico, London. Here is a map with directions of the short walk from Pimlico tube station to the pub.

You can follow the group's blog at www.playtest.co.uk


Games to be playtested (TBC):


Monday, 16 April 2012

April Meetup Debrief

April's Playtest meetup was at our new venue, the Morpeth Arms and many remarked on the good quality of the food and drink, as well as the overall friendly atmosphere.

9 game prototypes were played, with several new to the table. We also happily welcomed some new playtesters this month, mostly from our new Meetup group, and many of them brought their own game designs. Themes ranged from time travel to fantasy realms, via 2-player abstracts and mainstream cross-over games. 

Many thanks to Lawrence, Rob, Katarina, Gavin, Tak, Rosie, Paul, Chris, Mark, Gerry, Maz, Ronnie and Matt for playtesting and bringing their games.

Already looking forward to the next meetup on Sunday 20th May.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

New Venue for Playtest Meetups

Playtest has found a new home at the Morpeth Arms, Westminster, close to Pimlico tube station. We will be using the upstairs 'Spying room', which has plenty of table to play games on, as well as fantastic views over the River Thames.


Link to Pub website here.
Link to Pub menu here.


The first meetup at the new venue will be this Sunday.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Meetup Sunday 15th April

The next Playtest (London) group meetup will be on Sunday April 15th. This is the third Sunday of the month as usual. 

Since joining Meetup.com a few days ago, we may need to look into a new and bigger venue to house our playtesters this month, as the group will run out of space at the Old Star.


I'll be using this as an excuse to have a drink in a few pubs in London over the next few days ;)

Time: Sunday 15th April 12.30pm - 7pm

Venue Details (TBC)


Games to be playtested: (TBC)


Please feel free to contact me if you would like to playtest your prototype at this event.
(contact'at'playtest.co.uk: please replace 'at' with the appropriate symbol)

Playtest joins Meetup.com

Playtest Games Meetup Group Playtest has joined the website meetup.com. This should make it easier to organise meetups and encourage the Playtest members to communicate with each other and discuss new ideas. I'm hoping that we can use the site to schedule playtests more clearly. 


The group went public about 24 hours ago, which means that Meetup start to list it in searches for keywords and we have already got a lot of new members.


This is our page: www.meetup.com/Playtest/


I'm really looking forward to the next meetup. See you there!

Boardgameguru to sponsor Playtest at the UK Games Expo

We are proud to announce that BoardGameGuru will be again be sponsoring the Playtest prize draw at the
UK Games Expo 2012.

The winner will receive a gift voucher for £30 to spend at www.boardgameguru.co.uk on their wide range of board and card games and accessories. 

Every attendee who playtests a game at the Playtest stand will be entered into the prize draw along with every games designer that brings their prototype. 


The winner will be drawn at the Expo on Sunday 27th May.

Monday, 19 March 2012

March Meetup Debrief

March's Playtest meetup took us from the Tundra, where we were fighting aliens, to Europe as Venetian merchants and then to a fantasy realm to battle it out for supremacy. 

Three very different and new prototypes were played, enjoyed and reviewed. The first was a semi-cooperative board game with a traitor mechanic. The paranoia spread around the table as the humans finally managed to survive. The second prototype was a competitive city-building fantasy card game adapted from a board game. The next game had a variable board and some very interesting trading gameplay, as well as great wooden pieces. 

Many thanks to Brian, Brett, Chris, Lawrence, Matt and Rob for the playtest feedback. Perhaps revised versions will be available to playtest at April's Playtest meetup.

(Note: April's meetup will be on the third Sunday of the month.)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Europa Ludi 2012

This is a quick post to congratulate two members of the Playtest London group: Brett Gilbert and Matt Dunstan, for getting on to the shortlist for the Europa Ludi 2012 Prize. (www.europaludi.com

The competition is for as-yet unpublished games designs and is open to games designers worldwide. This year the prize is a partnering of two very well-regarded contests from Granollers, Spain and Boulogne-Billanncourt, France.

Matt's game is called 'Wandering Monk' and Brett's is called 'Gnomes of Hawthorn Hall'. Both games were playtested at the club and proved very popular with their playtesters. We wish them both good luck for the next round.

See you Sunday for the next meetup!



Monday, 20 February 2012

UK Games Expo Trailer

While organising the Playtest involvement in this year's UK Games Expo, I noticed that they had a trailer with footage from last year.


Check it out on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0S2NT0-Fhg

Playtest beauties Brett and Brian can be seen at 1:45. Thankfully the cameraman only risked filming the back of Rob's head in case of lens fracture.


More details of Playtest's involvement with UK Games Expo 2012 to follow shortly.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Meetup Sunday 18th March

In March, our regular Playtest (London) meetup will be on the third Sunday (18th March) in the upstairs bar.
We have welcomed lots of new playtesters since the start of 2012 and the decision to go monthly. Come along and enjoy the fun.

We will be hosted by London on Board at the Old Star pub,
opposite St. James' Park tube station. (See map)

Games to be playtested: (TBC)

Commodity(W/T): an economic card game for 2-4 players


Please feel free to contact me if you would like to playtest your prototype at this event.
(contact'at'playtest.co.uk: please replace 'at' with the appropriate symbol).

Monday, 13 February 2012

Meetup Debrief

Great turnout yesterday for the February Playtest meetup. Thanks to newcomers Chris, Rita, Julia, Jonathan and Gavin, as well as regulars Rob, Lawrence, Brian, Matt and Chris.

Lots of prototypes played:
Tri-realm, the London Game, Space Armada, Wandering Monks and Steeplechase.
It was a very diverse session: from Gavin's party game made from wood to Rob's simple card game. Matt playtested his new eurogame design and Lawrence had us engaged in epic space battles and then a fantasy-themed fight for resources.

Looking forward to seeing what the next Playtest meetup in March will include.

(Note: March's meetup will be on the third Sunday of the month.)

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Meetup Sunday 12th February

Following on from a great playtesting session in January the next Playtest (London) group's meetup will be on Sunday 12th February in the upstairs bar.

We will be hosted by Gamesforce at the Old Star pub,
opposite St. James' Park tube station. (See map)

Games to be playtested: (TBC)


Please feel free to contact me if you would like to playtest your prototype at this event.
(contact'at'playtest.co.uk: please replace 'at' with the appropriate symbol).