Fill in the blank: teaching your game to new players

Jessica Berlin Playtesting 0 Comments

You’ve signed up to playtest your game at an Unpub Mini or Protospiel event or local board game convention. Or, maybe you’re taking it to the First Exposure Playtest Hall at Gen Con. You have a limited time slot – maybe 60 or 90 minutes. You have players sit down to play your game. You start explaining the rules of the game and then 30 minutes later you realize your players still haven’t started playing yet. This is a problem. One of the hardest parts of running a playtest for your game is explaining the game in a way that is simple, easy to understand, and gets the basics across quickly. Your ultimate goal when you’re running a playtest is …

What do my playtesters’ nonverbal behaviors mean?

Jessica Berlin Playtesting 1 Comment

You’re running a playtest of your game and you look around at the players and notice a few things. One is on the edge of his seat, leaning forward, looking intently at the board. Another player is leaning back, legs crossed, arms crossed, and frowning slightly. And the other person is holding her head up with her hand and tapping her foot on the floor. What do all these different nonverbal signals mean and should you be paying attention to them? What do these players say (verbally or in writing) about the game after the playtest is over and is what they’re saying verbally matching what their nonverbal behaviors are saying? I recently read a book called “Body Language: How …