Playtesting

Legal Stuff
About My Role in Playtesting
Products Tested
The Group
Playtesting FAQ


Legal Stuff

It is my intention that I not break any copyright laws with this page. If it is ever discovered that I have broken any, then I will immediately update this page appropriately so that I would not be infringing on anyone's rights.

Wizards of the Coast®, Deckmaster®, Garfield GamesTM, Magic: The Gathering®, MagicTM, Antiquities®, Arabian Nights ®, The DarkTM, LegendsTM, Fallen EmpiresTM, Ice AgeTM, ChroniclesTM, HomelandsTM, , , and are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Daedalus Entertainment®, ShadowFist®, and are trademarks of Daedalus Entertainment, Inc.

In particular, I believe that my use of expansion symbols is legal. The copyrighted symbols used in this page are reproduced in context because the symbol is always associated with the expansion that that symbol represents and the symbols are not being used for anything else.

This page is not published or endorsed by Wizards Of The Coast, Inc. or Daedalus Entertainment, Inc.

Sources for determining the legality of this page:


About My Role in Playtesting

The following is a list of our playtest groups and the games we've tested.I've been involved with playtesting several games. All of them so far have been CCG's. If you look in the credits, you'll find my name as well as the other people in my playtest groups. The list of games My playtest group and I have tested is growing pretty well, as you'll see in the following section. Further questions and answers can be found in the FAQ below.


Our Growing List of Tested Products

Crash Test Wizards
(Led by Julie D'Angelo)

 Ice Age (MtG Base Set)
 Homelands (MtG Expansion Set)
Quick Start Set (MtG Base Set)
 Alliances (MtG Expansion Set)
 Mirage (MtG Base Set)
 Netrunner (Netrunner Base Set)


Crash Test Ninjas
(Led by Stephen D'Angelo)

 Netherworlds (ShadowFist Expansion)
 FlashPoint (ShadowFist Expansion)


And, of course, there's more on the way that
I/we can't talk about yet...

is a placeholder for whatever symbol will be used to mark that set
MtG is short for Magic: The Gathering


Our Playtest Group(s)

Our playtest group is really 2 groups. There's a group for testing WotC games and a group for testing Daedalus games with a majority of the members crossing over between groups. Our membership consists of:

Exactly who works on what expansion varies from time to time.


Playtesting FAQ

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that I get regarding playtesting.

  1. First off, what questions am I not allowed to answer?
    My playtest group and I have signed Non-Disclosure forms with both Wizards Of The Coast, Inc. and Daedalus Entertainment, Inc. I can not answer questions about products currently being tested. I can not talk about problems encountered with a product during testing. I can not answer questions about the playtesting process itself. All of this information is propriety to both WotC and Daedalus. In addition, we do not exchange proprietary information between the two companies; i.e. everything we do for one company is kept private with that company.

  2. How long have you been playtesting?
    Since sometime around the summer of 1995. This is true for most of the group as well.

  3. How did you get started?
    Long, long ago when Magic: The Gathering was in Beta, a group of friends of mine starting playing Magic and fell in love with the game. Then one day, Julie D'Angelo (or maybe it was Stephen) saw a post on the net asking if anyone wanted to be put on WotC's playtest waiting list. So we all eagerly signed up and went on with our lives. About 6 months later, we were finally called upon to help test Ice Age. Upon completing Ice Age, WotC said they liked us enough that they wanted us to continue playtesting for them. And so we did.

    The fact that we're playtesting for Daedalus Entertainment (ShadowFist) was purely chance. Stephen & Julie D'Angelo happened to run into Daedalus' booth at a convention. It turned out that people knew each other, they knew our work with WotC, and they just happened to need a few more playtesters for their Netherworlds expansion.

  4. What do you get for doing playtesting?
    Well, you get a few things. First and foremost, you get a sneak peek at what new games, cards, rules, ideas, and such are being planned in the future regarding the product you're testing. Similarly, I get the chance to try out new games/rules/variations, which I value pretty highly being an avid gamer that I am. Typically, you don't get any monetary compensation for your hard work, but you do usually get some free product for the work you tested. Occasionally, you may also get other trinkets. Sometimes the amount of stuff you get depends on how well your group did as a whole, sometimes not. Lastly, you get to have a small taste of fame by getting your name in the acknowledgements.

  5. What is the purpose of playtesting?
    A playtesters job is not to say that a game is cool, but rather how bad a game is. A playtester's job is to find as many flaws as possible. The more flaws you find, the better. This is probably counter to what most people think about when they think of testing, but if you think about it, this should make sense. After all, if all we did was play the game a few times without hunting for problems, could we really say that it's been tested? (Your answer should be 'no'). Your purpose, as a playtester, is to make sure the quality of the product is sound by trying to punch as many holes in the product as possible to see if it still stands on its own.

  6. Is playtesting fun? Or is it work?
    Good question. Playtesting has it's ups and downs. The fun part is checking out potential new rules, cards, games. Trying to find flaws in what your testing is your whole existance during the test process. So, there's a fine line between fun and work. Playing a game once or a few times is fun, but playing the same deck many many times to find one potential flaw becomes work after a while. But that's what you have to do help make a quality product. Additionally, we often have to take a break for at least a few weeks to a month between playtesting sessions to avoid getting burned out. Playtesting requires making tons of notes and going over the entire product in gory detail. To give you an idea, it takes me about 6 hours to thoroughly read through a 300 card set. And that's just to learn the cards. If you just want to have fun, then I wouldn't recommend playtesting.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask? Remember that I can't answer specific information about products, product problems, or the testing process. Send me email at trev@sgi.com.

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