I have only been made aware of Gamers Plane since the start of the year back in JAN. Since SEP of last year tho, I have been slowly ironing out a concept for a game I'm currently trying to playtest (both on here and on Discord) called YOU. I attempted to get everything in order so that, after discovering Gamers Plane, I could use this wonderful resource as a means of testing my game.
I was not prepared.
After I posted about my game here, I scratched my head and wondered what I was doing wrong and why I seemed to be so unprepared. I have actually shipped a game before, got it funded on Kickstarter last year, and so maybe I came into this with expectations that "I knew what I was doing" - or at the very least knew enough to get started here.
Boy was I wrong.
First of all, I just want to apologize for cramming my way in here into this community. I can easily say that folks have been nothing but supportive and kind. Its been a real treat talking to you all and getting feedback (which I can't say for some, if not mostly all, other TTRPG communities). Most other communities are "mostly" full of nice people, but always sprinkled with folks who make an art out of criticizing others, and not in a responsible way.
When you ask someone to take time out of their day or out of their week to help you playtest, what I've learned on Gamers Plane is YOU GOTTA BE PREPARED. The game I got funded on Kickstarter was developed almost entirely in-house. Even when I approached groups of players irl I didn't know for help, I quickly became good friends with them as the weeks went on. The thing about testing with friends, or with testing with friendly people, is that they are always willing to help, and irl, you can back people into a corner more easily and not even realize you're doing it.
You always hear that "games should be playtested asap and as often as possible". Games that aren't playtested properly fail. We all know that. We've all experienced that. With this in mind, I think it's easy (at least it is for me) to jump the gun a bit and expect people to help testing something that has no legs yet.
However, there is that tricky dynamic of designing vs testing.
For me, there is only so much you can design without testing, and so the question becomes: How much is enough? I honestly still don't know the answer, even after spending the last month or so fixing up YOU to become "test ready". I've looked all over the place, both here and other places, asked folks on here and other places, and nobody really has a definite way of going about all this. As a designer, I'm expecting my game to fall apart when it's tested, but I almost never think about if my PITCH OF THE GAME will fall apart.
I think in a way, the pitch is as much a "test" as the actual playtesting itself. What I've taken away from my experience here on Gamers Plane is that, before you ask for testers, you better ask for feedback on your system first. If people still aren't engaged by your premise and by your mechanics, it's back to the drawing board. So now my expectations have changed. Even before the testing starts, I'm going to expect my first couple of pitch's to go just like my first couple of tests (a bit of a mess).
I don't know if it was just ignorance of this fact, or if I had a big head, or maybe a little of both, but I totally underestimated the importance of the pitch. In the past, irl, all I had to tell friends was that I was working on a new game and needed help. That was enough, they're my friends, they want to help me because they love me. You guys don't know me! lol
For whatever messed up reason, I think I just got used to people saying "yes" when I asked for help.
So what's the point of this ramble? Idk, I guess I just wanted to spill my guts to no one in particular, but I also wanted to say sorry. More and more, I find that making assumptions is a terrible way to go about living your life. People get hurt when you assume you know best, including yourself. In the process of designing a game, things can get very one-dimensional. All you ever think about is your game. That's all I ever think about anyways. If you ask other people to be involved with what you got going on, you better have something for them in return. You better have something significant to offer and at least be prepared.
Idk who's gonna read all this junk, but if you did, thanks for indulging me. If we have a discussion about this, idk what it's gonna be about! lol
Just wanted to clear the air I guess.