So You Want to be a Playtester? #7 Play Games Like a Designer

In the previous post of this series, we talked about chatting with the designer and some of the benefits of having those conversations. One of the specific things you should ask a designer is how they play games.

I can’t say this applies to all designers, but all the designers I speak to when the topic of how they play games comes up, we all have two modes when playing games. Gamer mode to have fun and designer mode to dissect the game.

Listen to what designers have to say about how they dissect a published game. What parts of a game to they focus on during different plays of the same game? Do they study the reaction of other players during the game and what are they listening for when everyone is talking about the game during clean up? Maybe you want to be a designer yourself….you can ask a designer to tell you what game and what mechanic gave them inspiration to build a game of their own with that feature or theme.

Playing games like a designer will not only make you a better playtester, it will make the published games you play at game night more interesting. Learning how to deconstruct the games you play at game night will help you deconstruct the games you playtest and make playtesting games that much more fun and interesting when the feedback you give comes from this frame of mind.

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