Entries by Jeroen Wimmers

You will fail

You can’t possibly know all the right design decisions up front. Things you thought would work, will fail miserably and you will have to change them. This will happen a lot and you should get used to it. If you’re scared of failing, you’re not going to get anywhere.

Fail faster

One from Lewis Pulsipher: “You want to find all the ways your game can fail, and eliminate or fix them. So the faster you fail, the quicker you can eliminate or fix the failures. Or start over! Get a playable prototype done as soon as possible – there is NO Substitute. If you’re doing a […]


Playtest and know what to look out for. Ideally you want to test if the focus you decided on earlier is getting through to your players. Ask them what they think your game is about. Maybe it’s something entirely else, maybe they have no idea. It can also happen your game is not fun at […]

Playtest with kids

If this makes any sense for your game, do it. It’s a great way to get some brutally honest feedback on your game. Children are super reactive, every little reaction you’d see on a regular playtest you’ll see multiplied by 10.

Playtesters won’t tell you everything

When you have a seemingly simple game and a playtester doesn’t understand something, there’s a good chance he or she won’t say it (or isn’t even aware of it). This might not always be a big problem, but it can cause issues to keep persisting without a clear explanation why. Keep asking why and try […]

Ask playtesters why

It’s often easy to assume why a playtester does something and how you could fix it. But it could be useful to take a step back and ask the playtester why. You might find some presumptions you didn’t expect. When someone would explain a circle behavior to me that wasn’t completely accurate, I asked them […]

Don’t listen to solutions from playtesters

The solutions offered by playtesters may work, but probably won’t solve your problems effectively. Try to listen to the problems that lie underneath. In early prototypes of Circles people often suggested I set circle colors based on their behavior. But this ran counter against the exploration and discovery elements the game was about. But clearly there […]