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My Playtest Debrief Process

It’s Metatopia weekend, the hallowed festival of playtesting. And while I won’t be in New Jersey to enjoy it, maybe I’ll be able to gather my own playtest crew this weekend for a project.

Seems a good a time as any to share my playtest debrief process. I picked this up from Sean Nittner years ago.

Give 10 minutes for the process to happen. If you’re running at a convention, have the playtest debrief happen before the slot’s over.

  1. Thank everyone for their involvement.
  2. Have everyone go around, one at a time, and state one thing about the game that worked for them. Always end with you. Keep the comments short, and don’t let others derail or turn a comment into a longer conversions; there’s time for that later.
  3. Have everyone go around, one at a time, and state one thing about the game that didn’t work for them. Always end with you. Keep the comments short, and don’t let others derail or turn a comment into a longer conversions; there’s time for that later. In particular, have people focus on their experience and not on trying to fix or design for you. If you want that sort of conversation, have it in the next part.
  4. Have everyone go around and state any parting thoughts they want to share with you. You don’t need to include yourself. This is where any extended conversation about any points should happen.
  5. Thank everyone again for their involvement.

Do you have a process? What is it?

–Ryan

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