Playtesting room
Posted by qwaserity

Just a quick question about the Playtesting room at GenCon. Do any of the game companies ever come through the game room to view the games? I've been in the room before but I don't recall seeing anything more than beta testing games with players and the publishing vendors around the outer edge of the room.

I'm thinking about putting my game on the tables this year but I can beta test with a variety of players at home. While the cost ($300) includes two badges ($220 value) I don't know how I feel about paying for what I can do outside of the convention (both the con weekend and con location).

Posted by rhone1

Personally, I wouldn't spend the money.  One alternative would be to camp out on a open gaming table, either in the ICC or a hotel lobby.  Make a small sign and ask people to playtest.  I've seen people do this in the past and their tables always seemed full.

Posted by derekguder

There certainly have been cases of publishers going through the room in one capacity or another, but not only is it not guaranteed in any way, that's just not the intent of the room.

It's the First Exposure Playtest Hall, not really a market to sell an unpublished game to another company.

If you want playtest feedback from a different group of folks than you might have currently been getting, it's a great place for that. Most anything beyond that is a lucky bonus, really.

There have been some events in the past that are more directly what you are looking for (specifically, speed dating for game designers & publishers, basically), so keep an eye out for the event listing when that is released to see what might be held this year that you can sign up for.

Derek Guder
Event Manager
Gen Con LLC

Posted by masashigi

Depending on the type of game, you might look at AEG pitch session they have for new games if they have it again this year.

Posted by salvius

Hi folks,

I didn't see this thread until today, so sorry for the late reply. I have two answers, expanding on what Derek already said.

1) Publishers DO come into the room. I have personally escorted them around. But they don't announce themselves - they don't want to get mobbed. They come in quietly and look around, and act like any other player. I have been involved in designer/publisher deals that came directly out of FEPH in the past 6 years. But as Derek says, this is not the actual intent of the room, nor is any interaction guaranteed.

2) Why is the FEPH a better idea than sitting in a hallway somewhere? Because of the structure. Scores of players per slot get to choose from the games that they are excited by, based on descriptions of the games being offered. So Designers know that players are actually intending to play their type of game. Designers can also ask for specific demographics for each of their slots (such as an all-female table, or experienced CCG players ONLY, etc.). In this way, we are catering to the stated needs of the Designers - in contrast to having random people show up. Sure, designers can get random people at any time. But FEPH gives them a special concentrated opportunity that is second only to METATOPIA.

Vincent Salzillo, President
Double Exposure, Inc.

Posted by papalorax

First off - I love playing in the FEPH and have had all great experiences with the games. I like to tinker with games, so the idea that someone truly wants my feedback is really cool.

If you are going to GenCon anyway seems like it only costs you $80 extra...They do a great job of getting people to your table that are exactly what you want. Do you want to know how a family of 4 would enjoy it? Just put that down and you will find about 4 women? How about cat lovers? I have seen lots of crazy requests for something specific in a player and it always gets filled.

Anyway - I highly recommend it from the players perspective.

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