What is a Play Test?

By Liz Minor

What is a play test?  Have you ever wondered how this question pertains to LARPS? Well, let us share with you what it means to Winged Throne Productions (WTP).

Winged Throne Productions is comprised of IT professionals, an insurance agent, a teacher, a businesswoman and a theater production manager who have developed a mission to help new LARPs develop and grow.  

One of the actions WTP takes to help new LARPS and their directors is to engage in a Play Test which we’ve opted to term this in respect to IT terminology such as Alpha, Beta and the like.  

This play test is a “shortened” weekend event where the players and cast put the rule system of the LARP to the test. We use plots, mechanics of the rule set and deliberate attempts to test all newly developed rules/effects/mechanics as well as existing ones that one may find at any other LARP.  

Our play tests generally start on Friday night and continue through Saturday evening. Game Play will end sometime between 1-2am Sunday morning.  Then on Sunday we will reconvene around 9am for breakfast and lead into a question and answer session with the players to discuss what rules worked well or didn’t work well, what new rules surprised us or need further clarification, and so on. 

By using this process, WTP is able to provide constructive feedback to the LARP directors from a players’ point of view to help improve the rule set and assure the directors that their LARP idea can come to life.


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