When my wife and I were in the planning stages of opening our game store, one of the things I wanted to create was an environment for game designers of any level to come and share their ideas with like minds. I could think of no better place for designers to test their games. Unlike game conventions (which are great places to test out new ideas) a game store offered continuity; a regular place to take these ideas and test them as often as needed. Game Lab was born from this desire to meet that need.
Our little game store has seen quite a few games tested since we opened the doors to the local gaming community. Some have even been published. While our goal was to foster a community for game designers, to see some of these creators and inventors go on to publish games they brought to Game Lab has been the real success story of what we hoped to do.
Game Lab is and will always be free. Designers simply need to book a night they wish to present their game and we in turn put out the word through social media, e-mail, and telephone to those who have expressed interest in participating in a play test.
This blog was created to share helpful hints, play test success stories, and other information that we hope will not only help game designers but inspire them to keep working on what could be the next Spiel des Jahres or Origins Award winner!
About the Authors
Rob Stone is a published game designer who has worked in manufacturing and distribution in the hobby game industry. Rob and his wife Ludema own GameQuest, a game store in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In addition to game design, Rob’s other creative pursuit is songwriting. A game about songwriting is probably not something you will see him working on anytime soon, however you can never rule anything out when it comes to ideas for new games.
Bryce Whitacre is a published games designer living in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is currently writing a setting and sourcebook for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying which will hit shelves in early 2013. Some of his past credits include the Defeated Dead and the French and Indian War. He spends his free time appeasing Augustus and Claudius, two cats that have deemed him and his wife worthy of their time. Bryce plans a trip to Catan soon, where he will teach one group of lucky settlers the power of seize and control tactics, while he laughs at those practicing peaceful “resource management”.