Once a year, Taipei Boardgame Playtest, and the legendary Smoox Chen, host the Annual Board Game Playtest, also known locally as 桌遊測試年會 and locally translated as Playtest Taiwan. Dozens of local publishers, as well as designers, welcome the entire city to come in, sit down, and playtest some board game prototypes for free.
This year was uniquely different and packed full of tables, partially due to being canceled last year. The main comments floating about this year were generally the surprise of being maxed out on tables—this year’s 48 tables to 2019’s 30ish—as well as several surprisingly good games.
As this annual event is chock-full of prototypes at wildly different stages of development, you never know what you’ll be gaming—everything from a late-stage prototype that’s already been in development for years to a brand-new concept that’s being tested for the first time. Gamers never know what kind of game they’ll play. Designers never know what kind of gamers will come to play their games.
Playtesting is so critical to good game development. The local board game designers look forward to laying their darlings on the chopping block and letting the public hack away. It’s so easy for designers to get stuck in their own playtesting bubble, events like this expose games to gamers of all ages and mindsets.
This year was particularly frustrating for me. I always look forward to this event; however, this year, my tripod broke and my phone ran out of batteries, or should I say, I foolishly left my battery and charger at home.
After the video, if you want to see more photos of the event with commentary from your truly, head to the Cardboard East Facebook page and check out the photo gallery.
For even more photos, links, and information, check out Playtest Taiwan 21’s Facebook event page.
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