Episode 188 - Productive Playtesting

January 12, 2019

Recorded at Metatopia 2018

Presented by Isaac Shalev, Gil Hova, Jennifer Graham-Macht.

Join us for a roundtable conversation about how to get the best data from your time at the playtesting table. We'll discuss our experiences running playtests, and talk about common mistakes and how to avoid them


Episode 156 - Running Successful Playtests

June 2, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Ann Stolinsky, Darren Watts, Tim Rodriguez, Justin Rogers.

Running a successful playtest when it's your creation on the table is hard work. It goes beyond putting your game on the table and hoping for the best. Join our panelists for tips and tricks on how to get benefit from every session, including those that don't go according to script. 


Episode 137 - Don’t Shred your Game

January 20, 2018

Recorded at Metatopia 2017

Presented by Dev Purkayastha.

A workshop for designers who have playtested their game - here or elsewhere - and have gotten challenging feedback. It's easy to feel discouraged, but it's important to take the next step. The goal of this workshop is to provide encouragement towards the ongoing process, rather than workshopping specific feedback.

Note: This is a workshop rather than a panel, but there is some good advice and discussion worth your time.


Episode 127 - Giving and Receiving Feedback

November 11, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016

Presented by Darren Watts, Jeff Tidball, John Adamus.

Our panelists talk about how to be good testers. Learn how to hear the questions being asked and answer with useful feedback. We all want to give helpful criticism; learn more about how to do that.


Episode 124 - The CMU Playtesting Study

October 21, 2017

Recorded at Metatopia 2016.

Presented by Judeth Oden Choi, Jessica Hammer.

Presentation of our findings from a two-year long study of playtesting practices and education. As we build and refine our games, sometimes it's hard to hold onto those brilliant ideas and goals that first inspired us. Playtesting with a purpose is about articulating design and experience goals for your game and using playtests to help refine those goals and express them more fully in game play. We will invite participants to try out some of our methods and open up for discussion of playtesting practices.


Episode 96 – GenCon Playtesting Panel

September 29, 2016

GenCon Playtesting Panel

Recorded at Gencon 2016

Presented by Jason Pitre, Emily Care  Boss,  and Mark Richardson

Playtesting RPGs is a difficult process. In this panel, sponsored by the Indie Game Developer Network, we will teach you how to effectively test games as a designer and as a player.  Learn about types of playtests, the best kind of playtesters, and how to offer constructive feedback.

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Episode 83 – Give and Receive Critique

June 17, 2016

How to Give and Receive Critique

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by  Joshua A.C. NewmanHannah Shaffer & Rachel E.S. Walton.

Planning and running a Kickstarter campaign for your game can be like designing and playing another game. Will you hack an existing formula or take a risk on an unusual approach? Will it include lots of fiddly mechanics and rewards or will you take a more artistic direction? When you’re running the campaign, how do you play the roles of marketer, designer, publisher, business person, and artist? Join panelists as they talk about the design and management of Kickstarter campaigns themselves. In what ways have they evolved into established systems (stretch goals, etc.) and how are some creators breaking those conventions?


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Episode 79 – Agile Design and Publishing

April 30, 2016

Agile Design and Publishing

Recorded at Metatopia 2015

Presented by Rob Donoghue and Emily Dresner

Join our panelists for a discussion of how nerdy business concepts such as Agile software development to can be applied to your gaming experience. Key concepts of agile software design include rapid and flexible response to change – let’s talk about how to apply them to running games.

More about Agile from Rob over on his site, at this blog post!

Yes You Kan(ban)



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Episode 54 – Playtest Feedback

May 12, 2015

Playtest Feedback

Recorded at Metatopia 2014

Presented by Cam Banks, Tim Rodriguez & Jay Treat

We all know playtesting is vital, but how do you take the results of playtests and apply them to your game? Three industry veterans explain what works for them.


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Episode 47 – Playtesting Brutally

February 14, 2015

Playtesting Brutally

Recorded at Metatopia 2013

Presented by John Stavropoulos and Dave Chalker.

Your best friend, your spouse, and your grandma all say they like your game, so it must be ready to be published, right? WRONG. The most refined games come from an extended playtesting process, where your decisions are challenged and every mechanic is put through the burning forge of brutal playtesting. Learn how to examine games of your own design and others for ways to streamline, balance, and otherwise turn into a better game by “killing your darlings” and learning what red flags to watch out for in the playtesting process that could sink you after publication.


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