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Wrote an RPG game book... now what?

Started by wickerman, May 13, 2010, 12:57:45 AM

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I kept tinkering with RPG ideas from time to time, and my wife encouraged me to get it down in a Word file, and from there I just kept writing, and, again encouraged by my wife, it turned into a whole 178 page game book. I have no one yet to playtest it, I don't have a lot of neat art, I haven't decided if it should be published digitally or what/how. I'm hoping to find a few people to communicate with who have some experience with this sort of thing so I can get advice about what my next step should be. Anyone interested in talking about it off-thread? If so, let me know.


Seems like playtesting would be a good next step.
James R.


Quote from: Noclue on May 13, 2010, 03:15:03 AM
Seems like playtesting would be a good next step.

I don't have a group for that at this time... are you volunteering?

Simon C

Hi! Welcome to the Forge!

Probably the most valuable commodity in this hobby is time spent playtesting a game. Playtesting is hard work, is often not very fun, and is very demanding socially, in terms of organising a group of people to playtest, and taking the risk that it's not going to be fun.  There are far more games out there in need of playtesting than there are groups willing to playtest a game.

In other words, you're going to find it very difficult to find people willing to playtest your game, and you'll find it even harder if you haven't first playtested it yourself.

Here are some things you can do:

Post about the game in the First Thoughts forum. This will make people aware of your game, and maybe (if the concept is interesting) attract some people to help out with the project.

Get other people to read through your game. People are more willing to do this than they are to do a full playtest. Pay attention to what people say, especially where it shows you how to make the text communicate the game better.

Find a group to playtest with. This will be hard, but I don't see a way around it. Publishing a game without playing it yourself is not a productive approach.  If there are conventions near you, those are a good place for one-off play of your game.

Eero Tuovinen

Simon has good points. I'd like to emphasize two of them:
  • Game design is about having a healthy and functional gaming environment yourself. You can't teach what you can't practice, and you can't design a game without playing it. If you don't have good play, then you need to create it, perhaps putting the lessons learned into your game text.
  • Getting outside interest and help in the form of external playtesting, editing help, constructive strategic support, marketing help and so on is a matter of pre-publication, even pre-development marketing. Different ways work for different designers, but especially new designers benefit of discussing the project in public as early and often as possible. If the game has staying power, it'll attract interested people early, which will be useful in getting playtest, getting word of mouth and so on.
So getting your own play environment in order (because that's the basis, nothing more can happen without) and proper marketing of your project to attract the help you need to cross the finishing line, those are the two points. The rest comes when the quality of your project attracts like-minded people who can help you with the details.
Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.