Join The Fire-Eaters!
Gamers from around the world test each Cumberland release before it's
made available for sale. The standards I set for playtest quality are strict
. . . and I expect my "fire-eaters" to be just as
strict with the standards they apply to my work. The result is better games
and more useful resources.
The testing team for each title is drawn from (a) the Cumberland
Games Mailing List, where I post invitations when testing is needed
and (b) from the pool of established testers who've kicked ass and taken
names on previous tests. If you're on the Mailing List and considering
stepping forward to test, here are the basics:
- Benefits: Cumberland testers are
credited explicitly for their contributions, and provided with free final
copies of any title they playtest, plus free copies of any prior titles
necessary for the test. Productive testers are usually offered extra freebies,
as well, especially if the scale of the project is large. Plus, there's
fun and satisfaction and stuff (really)!
- Methods: Cumberland's preferred
testing method is blindtest. Once a playtest begins, the material
will be alone with you and your gaming group, without "benefit"
of Q&A with the designer. Fire-Eater groups have no online discussion
forum or email list: the only way you'll know the names of your fellow
testers is by reading the credits when the work is done. This maintains
the highest standard of testing and produces varied and insightful results.
- Format: Playtest materials for
most projects will be provided in electronic form (for a few exceptional
projects, I'll send out big packets of printouts and other materials).
Playtest reports (including table notes, session descriptions, and copies
of character sheets used in play) may be submitted physically or electronically,
as you please. I try to always set testing deadlines to allow for postal
When responding to an invitation to join a fire-eating team, your email
should include the following:
- Your basic contact information: Name, email address,
- The names of those in your group who will be
participating in the test sessions.
- A description of the nature of your interest
in the project.
- A description of your group's general play-style
I'll select testers based on the above, and respond (either way) within
24 hours in most cases.