Image by kgregson via FlickrI have 10 groups in my Critical Analysis of Games class (26 students). Each group had to create a game using the Icehouse pyramid game system. They could add anything else they wanted - boards, cards, dice, spinners. The games had to be playable within 10-40 minutes. I didn't want any 1 minute throw the pyramid (like 56 card pick up) games.
We tested the games today with other students from class, volunteers from my Qualitative Research class, the chair of the TV-Radio department, and several of the administrative staff from the 3rd floor. It was kind of organized chaos - 10 tables with games spread out, people milling around - some playing, some taking notes and observing.
The goal of the play testing was to get feedback from people who hadn't seen the games before. We needed to know if the rules made sense and, maybe more importantly, was the game fun to play. A secondary goal was to let people in the class see other people's games - kind of set up a little competition to improve the games.
A full set of pictures is on flickr - I am not a photographer but you get the idea - lots of people, lots of tables, lots of games, small room - ha ha. - click here to see the set
Image by kgregson via FlickrI think we met the goals. Most groups had notes. A couple of groups discovered problems with their rules or winning conditions; they made some changes on the fly and adjusted their documentation.
We may test again on Monday if I can find some other people to come in, depending on the feedback I get Wednesday in class. They will turn the game in on the Friday before spring break. I also want them to put the rules and game documentation online and encourage others to play.