Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Playtest Blues

So I’ve been debating posting this because I think it makes me sound whiney, but I am just wondering.  I’ve written two games that I have gotten playtested and the experience for both has pretty much been:

  1. Write for a while
  2. Playest
  3. In the process of playtest, scrap everything I did.
  4. Delete everything but title page and a few main headings.
  5. Write again

Is that pretty much everyone’s experience?  Right now I’m 0/2.



September 20, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Yeah, right there with you.

    Comment by misuba | September 20, 2007 | Reply

  2. Thanks Mike. I know that post was a little “Poor me” but I thought I had a game that was pretty well put together. Oh well, I’ll keep learning.

    Comment by commondialog | September 20, 2007 | Reply

  3. Sometimes it’s kind of nice to know you’re not the only one going through this process of realizing things don’t work and having to redo everything. I know that I was feeling totally crappy when I realized that not only did my rules suck, but I had to re-write them in the little amount of time I had left before Gencon. I posted a similarly frusturated message on the boards around that time, and it helped to get some feedback on it.

    Something to keep in mind however, no game is perfect. When we think it’s perfect, all that’s happening is we’re unable to see it’s flaws. When we’re unable to see it’s flaws, we’re unable to bring out it’s potential. So technically, we should be excited because now we know what to fix. I know it never works that way, but that thinking has helped me get through the toughest parts of this extremely painful birthing process we’re all going through.

    Comment by jhimmelman | September 21, 2007 | Reply

  4. I know you’re right logically. Emotionally, it’s tough. For some reason I really thought it was a basically decent for a rough draft.

    Anyway, I’ll buck up, quit whining and starting writing again. I think I just needed to hear that others struggle as well.

    Comment by commondialog | September 21, 2007 | Reply

  5. Can you post the draft?

    Comment by jhimmelman | September 21, 2007 | Reply

  6. I can do you one better. I’ll post the draft tonight and then on Sunday, I’ll post the contest entry.

    You know, in my more lucid, less emotional moments I realize that one thing the playtest did was tie mechanics better about 2000% better.

    I think it’s also taught me that rather than write a complete draft, maybe I just put all the mechanics in my first draft. Less stuff to delete.

    Comment by commondialog | September 21, 2007 | Reply

  7. I’m on the fourth complete from the ground rewrite of Silence Keeps Me A Victim. I get it to playtest, and it doesn’t feel right. The last version was even playable and worked decently. I’m not sure if this is normal, but I share your pain man.

    Comment by iamclyde | September 21, 2007 | Reply

  8. Thanks Clyde. That sucks about Silence Keeps Me a Victim. I really want to see that do well.

    Comment by commondialog | September 23, 2007 | Reply

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