April 15, 2018
#15: Do You Design in Private or Public?
More often than not, when people playtest, they are under the assumption that I'm looking for advice on how to make it better. What they don't realize is I'm more looking to see if they grasped certain things, or if they felt a certain way towards certain design choices I made. I'm not asking for people to co-write the game. I'm asking for people to share what they felt or experienced while trying it, and from there, discern what I need to fix to better hit what I would have preferred.
And that's why I don't open design choices too early. I don't like shooting other people's ideas down, but at the same time a playtest is not about asking for fixes. It is about identifying problem areas. If I anted a brainstorm, I could have asked for that instead directly.
They say good designers know when to edit. When to cut off something they love to make the design work better. I say, in addition to that good designers know also when to edit who gets to respond to their work. Not everyone's input is useful at the time it is given. But the reasons behind their input are always worth investigating.