Sanity Tests

Sanity Tests are a special service of The Game Crafter that gives you professional feedback on your rules and shop page. In a nutshell, one of our professional editors will review your rules and shop page for grammar, clarity, completeness, and appeal. We know how hard it is to get good feedback on your rules, and the sanity test is designed to do just that. The service costs only $40, and if you score 70 or higher out of 100 points, your game will earn a Sanity Tested Accolade

You can learn more about sanity tests by listening to this podcast episode.

Example Tests

Here are some example test results to see the kind of feedback you'll get when you pay for a sanity test:

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I prepare for a Sanity Test? 
You must make the rules for your game available as a free downloadable file, and you should fill out all of the sections in the Sell tab for your game as completely as possible.  Your game must be published, or available for viewing while unpublished (you can set this in the Sell tab of your game, under the Shop Preferences section).
How long does it take to get my game tested?
Generally 14 days or less; usually in just a few days.
How easy is it to get 90%+ on a Sanity Test?
It is quite difficult. You must have a video, great action shots, and nearly perfect rules. Don't expect to get 90%+ first time through the test, and maybe not even a second time through the test. 
When is the right time to order a test?
Generally speaking, shortly before you are ready to publish your game to the shop.
How do I get my game tested?

You can submit a test for your game by going into your game in the Game Editor, then clicking on the "Test" tab under your game name.

On this tab, you'll see all of the available tests. You can select a specific test type by clicking on the test name at the left.  

How will I know when the test is completed?  
You will receive an e-mail notification once the test is complete.  
Can I have my game retested?
How often can I retest my game?
As often as you like; however, each test costs $40, so it could get expensive if you do it too much.
Can I request a specific tester?
If I retest will I get the same tester?
Not necessarily. It will all depend upon which tester has free time first.
Why the weird name, Sanity Test?
It is borrowed from the computer science field. Sanity testing is used to determine whether you need to bother performing more complicated tests.
Is there anything I should do before I submit my sanity test?
Yes, to get the most from your test you should read and follow the advice in these articles:

Who Are The Testers?

Everyone we hire to be a sanity tester has game design in their blood and a background in good writing and editing skills. Here is the current line-up of Sanity Testers.

Dustin Oakley

An avid gamer since childhood, Dusty has been active in the game design, prototype, and The Game Crafter communities for the last few years. He has an eclectic background, having worked as an archaeologist, software developer, and elementary school teacher. He has a master’s degree in special education and a general love of words and languages.

Ken Franklin

Ken has been designing and collecting games for 55 years, and published his first Apple 2 game in 1980. During his 40 years in military, academic and family medicine, he published 5 more titles for desktops and iPhones. He recently retired from medicine to focus on game design. His first tabletop title, “The Mansky Caper,” will be released by Calliope Games this summer.

Chris Aylott

Chris has spent the last twenty years running a game store, reviewing games, writing RPG books, and designing video games for Disney, Zynga, and others. He lives in Finland, where he is working on a Master's degree in Game Studies at Tampere University.

Courtney Falk

Courtney started playing board games in early childhood, and she has been building her collection ever since. She has been studying game design, playing prototypes, giving feedback, and helping designers improve the gameplay experience for more than five years. She has worked as an editor, an administrator, and a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband live in Wisconsin and are raising two young board game aficionados.

Alumni Testers

These folks still occasionally test a game, but they are mostly retired from Sanity Testing.

Peter Dast

Peter has been playing games and altering their rules to suit himself for as long as he can remember. He has been actively designing and developing games since 2007, participating regularly in prototype play-test sessions and conferences.  He has been in the used and rare book business since 1983, and has been a proofreader, copy editor, graphic designer, printmaker, and small publisher.

Steven Dast

When not designing games that feature housecleaning zombies and rapidly expanding spacesuits, Steven works in Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin–Madison supporting the Digital Collections Center. He has been an avid player and collector of games for over 30 years, and has been actively involved in game design and development since attending his first Protospiel conference in 2007. He currently has one design with a publisher, and half a dozen others in various stages of development.

Clayton Grey

Clayton is the co-founder of  Laboratory, a two person board game company based in Seattle, WA. As a professional developer and a graduate of Parsons School of Design, he's spent the last three years wearing many hats for his crowdfunded independent game company. When he's not making games, he enjoys playing them and sharing insight into the pleasures and pains of publishing and crowdfunding.

Teresa Jackson

Teresa has played with words all her life. She started teaching out English in South Korea and then in the U.S. before she found a home in print journalism. She spent nearly a decade reporting and editing copy. She became obsessed with modern board games when she quit work to stay home with her kids. Not content just to play, she started working on her own designs and reviewing other people’s games.

Eric Jome

Eric is a life-long game player as well as a developer and designer of several games.  He has extensive knowledge of many genres from board and card games through miniatures wargames to role playing games.  Eric is the host of Protospiel - Milwaukee and the Midwest Tabletop Game Design guild and a strong proponent of collaborative design.  He is a professional software developer with over 20 years experience, bringing attention to details and process to testing.

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