Curation

THE CURATION PROCESS

Stage 1 – Nominations:

At each meetup, members will have the opportunity to submit anonymous feedback about the games they play using paper nomination forms which will be tracked by the curation lead with help from the curation committee.

The nomination forms will include the name of the game, the name and contact information of the designer, the date of playtest, and a yes/no question regarding whether the playtester feels that the game should be nominated for the Seal of Approval.

We will encourage the designers who wish to pursue the seal to actively solicit nominations by encouraging playtesters to fill out the forms and providing their playtesters with pre-filled nominations with the name and designer added in. While the Curation Lead will make sure to inform playtesters of the curation process at each meetup, we will also ask designers who are interested in pursuing the seal to inform their playtesters of what the Seal is and why they are interested in pursuing it.

The game would need to receive at least three nominations and attend at least one regular playtest meetup. While we will not track who submits the nominations to ensure that they are not duplicates, we will request that the group to not nominate a game multiple times and for designers not to nominate themselves.

Once a game receives the three nominations, they will be notified by a member of the curation committee, who will provide them with the necessary information and forms needed to pursue the seal. As an additional requirement, the designer would have to be a member of the Game Maker’s Guild in order to move forward with this process.

 

Stage 2 – Intensive playtesting:

The first requirement is for designers to hold an “intensive playtest” wherein their game will be played multiple times in order to try to “break” the game or to determine ways that the game could be improved.

The Intensive playtest will be organized by the designer with assistance from the Curation Lead and Events Lead. The playtest will be announced to the group and, if necessary, playtesters will be recruited from GMG members or the meetup group. The playtesters will include at least one member of the curation committee, or the group of playtesters will be approved by the curation committee.

We will put together a list of possible places to hold intensive playtests in a public place.

Playtesting will involve approximately 2-4 hours of continuous playing time and as many playthroughs as possible.

Average Game Length vs. Required Time Playtesting

10 minutes or less — 10 full games (approx. 1 – 1.5 hours)

15-30 minutes — 6 full games (approx. 1 – 2.5 hours)

45-60 minutes — 4 full games (approx. 3 – 4 hours)

75-120 minutes — 2-3 full games (approx. 4 hours)

2 hours or more — 4 hours or more

After playtesting, all playtesters will fill out a standard form wherein they evaluate the quality of the game, which will be collected by the designer to be submitted to the curation committee. If a majority of playtesters answer that the game is ready to move forward to the blind playtest, then the designer will be eligible for the next stage. If a majority of the playtesters answer that the game is not ready to move forward, then the designer will have to work on refining the game in order to address the concerns of the playtesters. Once the game is refined, the designer will have to present the new game to the Curation Committee along with a summary of changes made to the game in order to receive approval to restart Stage 2.

 

Stage 3 – Blind playtesting

After passing the intensive playtest, the designer will submit their game for blind playtesting. This will be done at the GMG playtesting meetup with normal GMG playtesters. The designer will submit the game with the complete rulebook, and the game will be played by playtesters, approved by the curation committee, who have never played the game before. The designer will have no input on this process.

Again, a playtesting form will be filled out by playtester that will solicit feedback regarding the completeness of the game and the rulebook. If a majority of playtesters answer that the game should be considered for the Seal of Approval, then the designer will be eligible for the next stage. If a majority of the playtesters answer that the game is not ready to move forward, then the designer will have to work on refining the rulebook and game in order to address the concerns of the playtesters. Once the game is refined, the designer will have to present the new game to the Curation Committee along with a summary of changes made to the game in order to receive approval to restart Stage 3.

 

Stage 4 – Curation playtest

Once the designer has received sufficient approval from the intensive and blind playtesting phase, the designer will submit this information, along with a completed copy of the game, rulebook, and formal application and waiver as defined in the Privileges and Obligations document for GMG to use their game’s name and logo and the designer’s name in promotion of the guild, to the curation committee.

The curation committee will review the feedback and playtest the game, as a last chance to veto the game (via 2/3 vote). The veto will only be used in the following cases, and will not be used for editorial or personal preference purposes:

1) The game has significant design flaws that gives the curation committee sufficient reason for concern that the game in its current state would not be a good representative of the quality that the Game Maker’s Guild is striving for.

2) The game has not been sufficiently refined to address the concerns documented in the intensive and blind playtesting forms, to the extent that this is possible.

3) The game’s theme or content is such that the curation committee finds that is in violation of the Game Maker’s Guild Code of Conduct.

If the curation committee finds that the game has met all of the requirements of the Seal of Approval process and has not been vetoed, the game will move forward to receive the Seal of Approval. This specific process, and the obligations and benefits of the Seal of Approval, will be described in a separate document.

If the curation committee vetoes the game based the first criteria, the Curation Committee will provide a feedback form to the designer highlighting what issues they found with the game. The game will have to restart the process at Stage 2 after providing a summary of what changes were made to address the concerns to the Curation Committee.

If the curation committee vetoes the game based on the second criteria, the Curation Committee will provide a feedback form to the designer highlighting what concerns of playtesters were not addressed in the game. The game will have to restart the process at whichever stage the unaddressed concerns came from after providing a summary of what changes were made to address the concerns to the Curation Committee.

If the curation committee vetoes the game based on the third criteria, the Curation Committee will provide a feedback form to the designer highlighting what concerns the Curation Committee had with the content of the game. The game will not be eligible for the Seal unless the designer provides clear documentation to the Curation Committee of what changes have been made to the content of the game in order to address the concerns that were documented.