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Playtest Best Practices Workshop

June 16, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

RSVP for this with the Game Maker’s Guild via Meetup

The workshop will have both a theoretical and a practical component and will cover the following subtopics as well:

• Processing tester feedback

• Being the best tester you can be


In this workshop, MIT Game Lab design staff Sara Verrilli and Rik Eberhardt will walk participants through best practices for getting useful data and feedback during board game playtest sessions.

Concepts covered include how to be a ‘good’ tester (as a game designer and as a ‘naive’ player), how to interact with your testers, and how to best analyze feedback received from testers.

Bring a Game

Participants are asked to bring in a game to use for exercises during the workshop and be prepared to set it up and explain it to a naive tester in 5 minutes. Each game will be tested for the first 15-30 minutes of gameplay (depending on number of games brought). Participants will be challenged to both run a playtest on their game as well as give feedback to other games using the methods discussed in the workshop.

Instructor Bios

Sara Verrilli has spent her professional career in the videogame industry, starting with the day she walked out of MIT’s Course V graduate studies and into a position as QA Lead at Looking Glass Technologies for System Shock. However, her game organizing endeavors started much earlier; she helped found a role-playing club at her high school by disguising it as a bridge group. Since then, she’s been a game designer, a product manager, a producer, and a QA manager, in no particular order. A veteran of both Looking Glass Technologies and Irrational Games, she’s worked on eight major published games, and several more that never made it out the door. As Development Director of the MIT Game Lab, she looks forward to corralling, encouraging, and exploring the creative chaos that goes into making great games, and figuring out just the right amount of order to inject into the process. And, while she still doesn’t understand bridge, she does enjoy whist.

As Studio Manager for the MIT Game Lab, Rik Eberhardt spends his days playing Tetris: with people, boxes, tasklists, equipment, money, and time. When not staring at a spreadsheet trying to fit in another computer purchase, a last minute event budget, or placing undergraduate researchers on a Game Lab project, he’s chipping away at spreadsheets on his DS, reproducing pixel-art in Picross and Picross 3D, or managing the ultimate spreadsheet, a game of Sid Meier’s Civilization. He is also an instructor for two MIT Game Lab classes on game production and has served as a mentor and director for multiple game development projects including ‘elude’, a game about depression produced in the summer of 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, is a Certified Scrum Master, a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, and is currently working towards a Serious Games MA Certificate from Michigan State University.

Location Info:

160 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116
1) You already have the address, but it’s right next to the Steinway Piano sign, above the antique shop.

2) Ring the bell for floor four. It is marked “Emerson” on a hand-written tab.

3) Walk to the back and take the elevator to the 4th floor. The elevator is old, slow, and creepy but rest assured it does work.

4) Welcome to the Engagement Game Lab space!

If you have any questions or if you have any trouble getting in, feel free to call or text us at:

Sam: 978-828-1728
Aerjen: 781-866-1237

RSVP for this with the Game Maker’s Guild via Meetup


June 16, 2014
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:
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Engagement Game Lab
160 Boylston St
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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