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

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! 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 

Feel free to contact me for more details at

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: 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:
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.