Hundreds of game developers and designers from around the world come to the Prototype/Playtest Night at the Game Developers Conference hoping to have their games torn apart.
“Getting your game playtested by other game makers is another level of brutality, compared to the feedback you would get from any other player,” said Ian Schrieber, assistant professor of interactive games and media at Rochester Institute of Technology, which created the event three years ago. “But that high-quality feedback from your peers is what helps you rebuild the game 10 times better than before.”
The third annual Prototype/Playtest night at GDC will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 28, in the Market Street room of the Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco.
The event, hosted by RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media (IGM), is open to anyone in the game development community who wants to bring a work-in-progress to receive feedback from peers and those who want to play games and give feedback. The event typically features more than 100 video games, board games and card games.
The Prototype/Playtest night was created in 2015 by RIT, as a way to give back to the game development community.
“GDC is well known for its parties and night life, but there wasn’t an event for people to bring their games and play,” Schrieber said. “At last year’s event, we couldn’t get an official headcount because so many people had arrived an hour early.”
The event draws working professionals from throughout the game industry—including designers from independent and indie studios—and game makers from as far as the Netherlands, Australia and Israel. Some student designers also attend to get feedback on their capstone projects.
“It’s nerve-racking to have your game tested by so many professionals,” said Rose Flynn, a game design and development graduate student at RIT. “But it’s great because they know what they are talking about—it’s not your grandma’s feedback.”
Three teams of RIT graduate students will playtest their games at the Feb. 28 event. The RIT games include:
For more information or to attend the GDC Prototype/Playtest night, RSVP on Facebook.