Dec 21, 2009

Game Design Assistant - Part 1

Game Design Assistant is a tool I created to help me manage my playtests. It started as a reservation system as has slowly been evolving into a more comprehensive aide to my game design efforts.

If you've read my playtesting series, you know that scheduling a playtest can be a chore. My normal process when I am ready to test a game is to first decide on whom to invite. If a game can take four players, I compile a list of four testers. I ask these people when they will be available.

Based on their responses, I choose a date/time and send out a formal invite. Generally half say "yes" immediately, one says no, and the rest don't respond for awhile. I call around until I can find a replacement for the one and pester the unresponsive once every couple of days. On the day of the test one person will cancel and then I have to scramble for a replacement, which I generally cannot find on short notice.

After the playtest I also will occasionally get a complaint from someone about not being on the list of invites for that session. The person isn't really serious about it but I want to keep a large, diverse group of testers. That means I need to avoid alienating them and I take all complaints seriously.

It was seeing this pattern repeat many times that I decided I needed a new way. Thus, I did what I always do when I need to make my life easier: I began coding.

More to come . . .


  1. just to save your time, try


  2. or maybe could be better


  3. I did look at various registration services like those you mentioned. A problem I found was that you could not limit the number allowed to register. This is a problem as a playtest can obviously have only so many slots.