Playtesting is the quality insurance of its gameplay, but why do so many studios fail to use them effectively? What are the pitfalls to avoid? How to make them cost-effective?

In a nutshell, how to run them?

This MasterClass will cover the pros and cons of the different ways to playtest your game, based on the experience of a former Ubisoft playtest expert. It will focus on how to set up your own in-house playtest structure and how to run a playtest campaign while remaining affordable, even for very small studios. Using the tips in this class, you will be able to save your game from disaster!

Key takeaways include:

  • Pros and cons of the various ways to playtest your game
  • Step-by-step method to prepare and manage a playtest campaign
  • Best practices to recruit the playtesters most adapted to your needs
  • Sample documents for the preparation of a playtest session, and its debrief.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Project leaders, production directors and creative directors that need to organise or manage a playtest campaign.

Meet the Mentor

Pascal Luban is a game designer and creative director. With over 25 years of experience, he has led design teams on both triple-A console games (Splinter Cell - Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory, Alone In the Dark - The New Nightmare, Wanted - Weapons of Fate, etc.) and mobile titles (Wars and Battle, The One Hope). He set up and managed the playtest facility at the Ubisoft studio in Annecy where the multiplayer mode of Splinter Cell games was developed.

Content breakdown

Part 1: Pros and cons of the various ways to playtest your game

Part 2: How to set up your in-house playtest structure:

  • Organisation
  • Integration into the production pipeline
  • Finding the playtesters you need.

Part 3: How to manage a playtest session:

  • Typical planning for a playtest session
  • Defining relevant content for your session
  • Logistics.

Part 4: How to make playtest debriefs effective:

  • The various debrief formats
  • Using playtest debriefs to make your publisher happy.

Teaching Format

This MasterClass will give attendees the opportunity to put in practice key learnings by working on case studies. Each group will work on a different case study and will share its work, supported by Pascal, with the entire class.

Parts 1 & 2:

  • Lecture (30 minutes)
  • Case studies (group work): Finding the right playtesters (20 minutes)
  • Review and feedback (20 minutes)

Part 3:

  • Lecture (30 minutes)
  • Case studies (group work): Defining the content of a playtest session (20 minutes)
  • Review and feedback (20 minutes)

Part 4:

  • Lecture (30 minutes).

Looking for more MasterClasses in game design?

This MasterClass is part of a wider series of deep-dive workshop sessions, covering practical game design topics, brought to you by in collaboration with some of the finest minds in the games industry.

If you’re interested in attending another MasterClass, you can find more information at

Monday 13 September (10:00 - 13:00)

Lessons with a Growth Hacker: Successfully Scale a Living Game, with Oliver Kern

Tuesday 14 September (10:00 - 13:00)

Make a Change: How to Apply Game Design to Real-world Issues, with Ellis Bartholomeus

Wednesday 15 September (10:00 - 13:00)

The Right Balance: Connect Gameplay & Monetisation Effectively, with Glyn Fairweather

Wednesday 15 September (14:00 - 17:00)

Get Your Shit Together with Player Behaviour, with Kelly Vero

Thursday 16 September (14:00 - 17:00)

Game Design: How to Benchmark, Create and Measure Fun, with Javier Barnes

Friday 17 September (10:00 - 13:00)

Building an Audience: Marketing, UA, & Creative Production, with Mobile Game Doctor


Don’t forget, we have some superb multi-booking discount deals...

  • 3 for 2: book three MasterClasses for the price of two!
  • Corporate discount: bespoke offers available for large groups and/or multiple MasterClass sessions (please email to discuss discounts)

To arrange any of the bespoke packages above, please email for more information.

Please note the final ticket price is in £UK, and conference tickets can be subject to UK VAT at a rate of 20%. You will be sent a VAT receipt by email along with confirmation of your booking.

For all other questions, please contact

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Register for MasterClass: Save Your Game From Disaster: Playtesting Secrets From a Former Ubisoft Expert