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Quick Note - Was that a Backhanded Slap?

I had never of GAMA until I read Deyver's post on the Dungeons & Dragons reveals that were present during the show. Being that I have never heard of it I decided to take a few minutes and research it. The first thing I found is that acronyms and Google do not always get along. However, that is not the point of the post.

After finding my way to the official website for GAMA I read up on what it was about, looked at the events calendar and generally tried to get a feel for the whole show. In all pretty interesting stuff that I hope to one day take part in.

As I was browsing through the Game Designer lectures area and reading the summaries (as a "designer" I felt it might be a good idea) when I cam across this: 

Playtest is Key - Monday 3-4pm
Hosted by Jason Bulmahn, Lead Designer at Paizo Publishing
A lecture talking about the pros and cons of a public playtest of a game. How to get the most out of it. How to deal with cheerleaders, detractors, and armchair designers. It will talk about analyzing data, playtest organization, and ensuring that your playtest is a useful tool and not just a marketing ploy
I remember in 2009 when Paizo released the playtest/beta rules for Pathfinder. I was amazed at the time because I felt that it was really stupid of a company to play their hand like that. In hindsight it was a masterstroke on Paizo's part and they did use the playtest to change and balance things up (I still use the beta versions of the rules however). What got me with this summary, however,  was the last line which I bolded for emphasis. One has to wonder if this was an intentional backhanded slap to WotC given the 2 years of very public playtesting/hype building of Next.

If not a slap than this means nothing and I'm seeing a soap opera where none exists. If it is though it could mean that Paizo is afraid it may have to fight for the crown it has worn since Pathfinder's release.


  1. I think WotC and Paizo went into their playtests with different goals and different intents.


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