What is Playup Perth?

Playup Perth has four core goals:

Quality Act as free playtesting resource for Western Australian indie game developers to improve the quality of their games.

Visibility Act as a showcase for Perth’s new and cutting edge games.

Outreach Encourage gamers to become game developers themselves.

Advocacy Raise awareness and promote the cultural and economic importance of games in Western Australia.

Informing these goals are three core values: inclusivity, accessibility and diversity:

  • All games at any stage of development are welcome. We are platform, technology and genre agnostic. We’ve tested console games, VR games, pervasive games, mobile games and even new sport games.
  • Inclusive, diverse and accessible. We are a safe space, harassment free space and actively encourage the involvement of developers from all backgrounds, ages, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and ethnicities. We work to accommodate any special needs to ensure everyone can participate. Get in touch if you’d like to join us and are concerned about any issues that you feel might be a barrier — we’d love to have you!

What is a playtest? What is a prototype?

A playtest is an event where game designers get players to try an early, unfinished version or component of their game (also known as a prototype). Since games are interactive and designed to be played by people, playtesting is in integral part of game design. Game designers can only make educated guesses at how people will interact with their game systems and with any technology they’ve chosen to use. Often, players act in surprising and unexpected ways, which can break the game, break the technology, show that something is way more fun or way more boring than the designer thought. Through play testing, game designers get a clearer picture of what to fix, what to change and what to remove so that the final product is more polished, professional and most importantly, more fun!

Whose behind Playup Perth? Where did the idea come from?

Playup Perth was created in 2013 by Kate Raynes-Goldie with the goal of supporting new and experimental games in Perth. In 2014, FTI joined as a core partner.

The idea for Playup Perth came out of the global playful culture movement, where game designers and players meet up during the year to test and experiment with games (sometimes called sandboxes, recess or simply a playtest). Often, these meetings will culminate in a yearly festival of play, which is free and open to the public. Some of our favourites include the Fresh Air Festival (Melbourne) Come Out and Play (NYC and San Francisco) and w00t (Copenhagen). We are working towards Perth having its own festival of play in the near future.

What can I expect at a Playup Perth event?

At each event, we test at two or more games. After we play each game prototype, players are invited to give the game designer(s) constructive feedback on the prototype through a facilitated process. This feedback is invaluable to game designers who will use it to refine and adjust their game, so please don’t be afraid to share your feedback!

What is the difference between Playup Perth Saturday and Playup Perth Friday?

Playup Perth Saturday is a Saturday afternoon event focused more on physical world and experimental sport games (while not open to a  younger audience yet, we are working on it). Playup Perth Friday is an 18+ Friday night event focused on video games and tabletop games, and of course, a bar.

Why do you charge for tickets?

Please see this post on why we had to start charging a low fee for tickets.

Who can attend?

Developers: Playup Perth is open to all game developers, regardless of genre or experience. We strongly encourage new designers to participate and we’d love to help you with your first prototype. Please get in touch if you want to test your prototype!

Players: We’re open to anyone, however for insurance reasons as well as the core goal of the event to to help game designers test their games with their target audience, each event varies, with some being all ages or 13+, while our After Dark event is always 18+. Please check the event you wish to attend for the specific age requirements.

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