Welcome to our blog post about PlayTesting and how to get good feedback for your game! As a game developer, you know that creating a game is just the first step. The next important step is to ensure that the game is engaging and enjoyable for your target audience. That’s where PlayTesting comes in. PlayTesting is the process of testing your game with real players to get feedback on gameplay mechanics, user experience, and overall fun factor.
The feedback you receive from PlayTesting can help you improve your game and make it more appealing to your target audience. However, not all feedback is created equal. To get the most out of your PlayTesting, you need to know how to get good feedback that is actionable and relevant to your game development goals.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what PlayTesting is, why it’s important, and how you can get good feedback for your game. We’ll discuss different types of play testing, the benefits of play testing, and tips on how to conduct effective play testing sessions. Whether you’re a seasoned game developer or just starting out, this post will provide you with valuable insights and practical advice on how to improve your game through PlayTesting. So, let’s get started!
Types of Playtesting and When to Use Them
Playtesting is a crucial step in the game design process that ensures the game is enjoyable, functional, and user-friendly. There are four types of playtesting, each with a specific purpose:
During Gross Playtesting, the game’s design team tests the most basic running model of the game. This type of testing looks for basic faults in gameplay and ensures that the game’s core mechanics are working correctly.
In-House Playtesting is conducted by contracted play testers or individuals from the company. This type of testing is carried out to find more glitches in gameplay and prepare the game for broader testing.
Blind Testing involves a group of testers who have no prior experience with the game. This type of testing is crucial as it allows end-users to detect faults that are often missed by professionals. Blind testing helps ensure that the game is easy to learn and play.
The Final Playtesting phase is the last step in the playtesting process, conducted just before the game launch. This type of testing uses a version of the game that is close to the final version to ensure that any last-minute glitches are detected and fixed before the game is released.
How Playtesting Ensures A Great Gaming Experience
Playtesting is a crucial step in the development of video games. During this process, the game is presented to the audience to collect feedback and identify design flaws. This feedback is then used to refine the game and ensure that it is commercially feasible upon release. It is essential to note that playtesting is distinct from Quality Assurance (QA) testing, which focuses on finding software bugs rather than evaluating commercial viability.
In role-playing games, the focus is on the game’s mechanics and flow. The feedback received from players is used to adjust and alter the game’s mechanics to meet the final audience’s expectations. This step is essential in ensuring that the final game provides an enjoyable experience for the players.
Playtesting is vital in all other types of games as well. It helps developers in deciding on the mechanism, game flow, content, and visual appearance of the game. Playtesting ensures that the game is delivered as per user expectations and is commercially viable when launched. This step is crucial in ensuring that the game is not just a flop but provides an engaging experience for the players.
Traditional and Automated Playtesting:
Playtesting can be carried out using traditional methods or using automated techniques. Regardless of the method used, playtesting is an integral part of the game development process. The insights gained through playtesting help game developers create games that provide an immersive and enjoyable experience for players.
The Traditional Way of Playtesting
Have you ever wondered about the traditional way of playtesting? It’s a process that game developers have been using for years to improve the quality of their games. In this method, a group of testers is invited to play a game before its release, and their feedback is collected and analyzed to make necessary improvements. It’s a crucial step in the development process as it helps ensure that the game is enjoyable, engaging, and free of any major glitches or bugs. So if you’re a gamer, you can rest assured that your feedback plays an important role in shaping the final product you’ll get to play.
The traditional way of playtesting involves a few steps:
- Recruitment: The first step is to recruit a group of playtesters. These can be people who have volunteered to test the game, or they can be paid testers who are hired specifically for this purpose.
- Testing: The playtesters are given access to the game and asked to play through it while providing feedback on their experience. This feedback can be gathered through surveys, interviews, or observation.
- Analysis: The feedback gathered from the playtesters is then analyzed by the development team. This involves looking for patterns and trends in the feedback to identify areas of the game that need improvement.
- Implementation: Based on the analysis, the development team makes changes to the game to address the issues that were identified during playtesting.
- Repeat: The game is then retested to see if the changes have had the desired effect. This process is repeated until the game is deemed to be ready for release.
Playtesting is an iterative process that can take several rounds of testing and analysis to get the game to a polished state. The traditional way of playtesting can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is a crucial step in ensuring that the final product is of high quality and well-received by players.
Automated playtesting is the process of using software and algorithms to test video games automatically. This approach is becoming increasingly popular among game developers and publishers, as it can save time and resources compared to traditional manual playtesting methods.
Automated playtesting typically involves creating a set of rules or heuristics that define the expected behavior of the game. The software then plays the game repeatedly, running through different scenarios and checking that the game behaves as expected. This can include checking for bugs, glitches, or other issues that could impact the player’s experience.
One advantage of automated playtesting is that it can be more efficient than manual playtesting, as the software can test the game much more quickly and consistently than human testers. Additionally, automated playtesting can be used to test games in ways that might be difficult or impractical for human testers, such as running through thousands of different scenarios to check for edge cases or unexpected behavior.
However, there are also some limitations to automated playtesting. For example, the software may not be able to detect certain types of issues that human testers would notice, such as issues related to user experience or game balance. Additionally, automated playtesting may not be effective for testing certain types of games, such as those with highly randomized or procedurally generated content.
Overall, automated playtesting can be a useful tool for game developers and publishers, but it is not a replacement for manual playtesting and other forms of quality assurance.
Benefits of Automated Playtesting
- Efficiency: Automated playtesting can analyze a large number of scenarios in a relatively short amount of time, making the process much more efficient than manual playtesting.
- Consistency: Automated playtesting can ensure that each scenario is tested in exactly the same way every time, leading to more consistent results.
- Accuracy: Automated playtesting can provide more accurate data than manual playtesting, as it is less prone to human error and bias.
- Speed: Automated playtesting can quickly identify bugs and issues, allowing developers to fix them more quickly.
- Scalability: Automated playtesting can be easily scaled up or down to accommodate changes in the game or testing requirements.
- Objectivity: Automated playtesting provides an objective analysis of the game, without the influence of personal opinions or preferences.
- Coverage: Automated playtesting can cover a wider range of scenarios and situations than manual playtesting, ensuring that all aspects of the game are thoroughly tested.
- Reproducibility: Automated playtesting can reproduce bugs and issues consistently, making it easier for developers to identify and fix them.
- Cost-effectiveness: Automated playtesting can be more cost-effective than manual playtesting, as it requires less manpower and resources.
- Data analysis: Automated playtesting can generate large amounts of data that can be analyzed to provide insights into gameplay and player behavior.
- Iteration: Automated playtesting allows for quick iteration and testing of changes, enabling developers to rapidly improve the game.
- Quality assurance: Automated playtesting can provide an additional layer of quality assurance, ensuring that the game meets the desired level of quality and playability.
What are the tips for better playtesting?
Playtesting is a crucial process in game development that helps identify issues and improve gameplay. Here are some tips for better playtesting:
- Define your goals: Before conducting a playtest, define what you want to achieve. Set clear objectives that align with your development goals.
- Recruit a diverse group of players: Try to recruit a diverse group of players to test your game. This includes people of different ages, genders, and backgrounds. This will help you get a broader perspective on how your game will be received.
- Create a structured playtesting process: Develop a structured process that outlines what you want to test, how you will collect feedback, and how you will analyze the results. This will help you stay organized and focused during the playtesting phase.
- Observe and take notes: When conducting a playtest, observe how players interact with your game. Take detailed notes on their behavior, reactions, and comments. This will help you identify patterns and areas for improvement.
- Encourage honest feedback: Encourage players to provide honest feedback. Create a safe and non-judgmental environment where players feel comfortable sharing their thoughts.
- Test early and often: Don’t wait until your game is complete to conduct playtests. Test early and often to identify issues and make improvements as you go.
- Iterate based on feedback: Use the feedback you receive from playtesting to make iterative improvements to your game. Continuously iterate and refine until you achieve your desired outcome.
By following these tips, you can conduct more effective playtests and improve the quality of your game.
In conclusion, playtesting is an essential part of game development that can help developers receive valuable feedback from their target audience. By gathering feedback from playtesters, game developers can identify and fix bugs, improve gameplay mechanics, and create a better overall user experience.
To get good feedback from playtesting, developers should focus on selecting the right playtesters, creating a clear and concise test plan, and analyzing the results to make informed decisions about changes to their game.
Ultimately, prioritizing the needs and preferences of their users is key to creating successful and enjoyable games. So, if you’re a game developer, don’t forget to incorporate playtesting into your development process to create the best game possible for your players.