Games Are Playtested

Learning Objectives

  • Lesson objectives
    • Understand the need for playtesting
    • Practice giving and receiving feedback
  • Engineering design learning objective
    • Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions
  • Socioemotional learning objectives
    • Cooperative
    • Planful
    • Responsible
    • Welcoming


  • Campers’ games
  • Blank sheets of paper (1 for each group) with "playtester" or "game designer" at the top and the five traits below
  • Worksheet


  • Playtesting
    • Playtesting is the process of testing out your game and making adjustments. A designer can playtest a game themselves or have others help.
      When playtesting, you want to put yourself in the role of a silent observer. Try not to lead players through the game. Take notes during the playtest and try to understand how the players are experiencing the game. Think about questions such as:

      • What are the players trying to do right now?
      • What strategies are they using?
      • What do they understand? What are they confused about?
      • What emotions are they experiencing?
    • After each playtest, think through the feedback and consider how you can improve your game and better fit the game and puzzle principles.
  • As planful gamers and game designers, we think about how we want our playtests to go before we hold them. On each sheet, I have written our five traits of playful gamers. I'm going to divide you into groups and I want each group to complete what it would be mean to cooperative, creative, planful, responsible, and welcoming as a playtester or as a game designer watching a playtest
  • Ask campers to choose a partner before they start on the project worksheet. It asks campers to conduct a playtest and reflect on the feedback. Emphasize that it may not feel great to get critical feedback but that it can be helpful to listen.

Notes and Discussion