Playtest Like a Researcher: Basics of Observational Playtesting

There isn’t a formal term to cover the set of playtesting techniques that are about observations of play rather than post-game feedback or questionaires. I’d like to propose “Observational Playtesting”. For me, these techniques have strong parallels with observational research in a number of other disciplines, such as anthropology, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology. I […]

34 Playtesting Tips from April and May

At the end of April, I started my #PlaytestingTipOfTheDay series of Twitter posts. Each day, I post a short piece of advice on how to playtest your boardgame designs. Some are more practical, some are more philosophical, all of them should at least make you think actively about your playtesting process. Here’s a compilation post […]

Working on Multiple Games

Now obviously, a lot of great games have been made by designers who have only worked on a single game at a time, but below represents a few good reasons why you should have more than one thing going at once. I am currently actively testing 4 games (meaning I run at least 1 playtest […]

4 Myths about Playtesting:

I am fanatic about testing my games, and for the past 6 months, I’ve run 12 – 25 tests in per month (not including playing solo or with co-designers on projects). My background is in design and design research and I run user studies for a major retailer. User experience design all about analyzing behaviors […]

Great Mistakes Incorporated Reports Record First Year Results

Shit Ideas Greenhouse Brainstorming Sessions, Food Prototyping, Critique Services & Dolls for Dads Drive Record All-time Revenue Results Produce Record Annual Profit of $0.00 Billion For immediate release: NEW YORK, New York — February 6, 2016 — Great Mistakes Incorporated today announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 year ended December 31st, 2015. The Company […]

Shitty is the New Black:

I’ve written before about the brainstorming session I attend each week with the incomparable Shit Ideas Greenhouse. Thought I’d add a peek inside the crazy. Join us as we talk dolls for dads:

People Who Get Me: The Lorax

This is Part 2 in a series about my influences. See Part 1 here. The Lorax Gets Me. If you have not read “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, don’t be worried. This article is littered with quotations from the book.1 But also, you should probably read it. So why does the Lorax get me? We […]

On the Changing Positivity of Full

A classic optimist describes the glass as “half full”, a classic pessimist decribes the glass as “half empty”.1 I am a convert to a digital lifestyle, “a world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud”2 . Our lives and our memories are limited only by the containers in which we put […]

Reflections on Pittsburgh’s Last Steel Factory

A therapist I used to see once compared college to being in an open water race. All around you, people are furiously chopping through the water. It’s hard going – you can tell that they, too are spending a lot of effort to travel. You look at them and try to move your arms, your legs. […]