Insider 8/23/2010

My last two Privateer Insider blogs illustrated the difference between being a good playtester and being a great playtester. This blog article explores becoming a Privateer Press playtester.

Our various playtesters could tell you quite a variety of stories of how their own journey occurred, but there are certain commonalities throughout these stories. For one thing, all our current playtesters have demonstrated a knowledge and expertise of our games prior to being selected. We keep an eye on major events at conventions we attend as well as those we simply read about. As noted in my last blog entry, it also helps to demonstrate a breadth of knowledge as well as a depth of knowledge. A player who wins multiple events with the exact same army list may not be contacted for playtesting as often as a player who is slightly less tournament-successful but plays a much broader range of warcasters and, ideally, factions.

The player’s community also comes into play. A playtest group usually consists of 4 players. So even a great player who happens to be isolated and only plays at the occasional convention is not a great fit for the playtest program.

As implied in my past blogs, communication skills are also vital. Being able to express ideas clearly and in a positive manner is a critical skill for a playtester. Surprisingly, walking up to me, telling me that Privateer Press playtesting sucks and demanding to playtest is not very effective. (Yes, people actually try that on occasion.)

Our latest two playtest groups share a story of how they came to be a part of Privateer Press playtesting. Both took part in the Mk II Field Test. As you may remember, the Field Test website gave players the opportunity to form a playtest group and send me reports of their group’s top 5 concerns by faction. In addition to being a good way to get detailed field test feedback, this led to two new groups being added to our playtest roster.

Though we no longer have the field test for players to try their hand at presenting a potential playtest group, I’ve put together an attachment that will simulate a playtest cycle. If you think you and three friends have what it takes to become a playtest group, please download the attachment, play a few games, discuss the models, and e-mail me your playtest report ( Note that these models are not legal HORDES models and any errors, imbalances, and other issues are there intentionally to put your skills to the test.

Thanks for reading!

Play Test Test-1.pdf137.2 KB