Playtesting is a critical part of game design, where someone entirely new to the game is allowed to go through it on their own, without help or hints or explanation from the designer. The idea is to watch and observe what different players do in the game space on their own, while observing and taking careful notes to allow for any adjustments to be made to the game.
To playtest your game, get everybody to play it! People who don’t play games, hardcore gamers, FPS only, artists… You want a variety of players to test out your game because not everyone plays the same way. Take notes, observe them, and ask them questions at the end. It’s a good idea to prepare a questionnaire or list of questions to ask everyone.
Some example questions can be:
- how do the controls feel
- is the jump too high
- what they think of the story
- what they think each HUD element represents
- are the enemies too hard
- is the music annoying?
If your game isn’t 100% complete you can still playtest certain areas or ideas to gauge whether or not it’s successful. It’s easy to get defensive about your game but you have to remember that your playtesters aren’t commenting on your game in a personal way; they’re merely talking about their experience. In the end, it’s to you to decide whether or not what they say is worth changing parts of your game for. But, for now, listen and try to understand how they came to that buggy area or comment.
- Better games through playtesting
- Playtesting Tips for Designers
- Production Testing and Bug Tracking
- Playtesting 101 (pdf)
A big thank you to our playtesters from today’s session:
Nick, Saleem, Brent, Stephen, Ross, Noah, Alicia, and Patrick!
Finish your game! You can continue to work on your game up until the night before the showcase but we’ll need an playable version by 11:59pm on February 19th to put together a gameplay video and promotional material. Send us a link or executable to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following along? We’d love to see and play your game! Send us a playable link or executable by February 19th, 11:59pm, and your game just might be featured in our showcase! You can contact us by twitter (@PixellesMtl), e-mail (email@example.com), or on the forums.
Time to show off your games during the Festival Montréal Joue! Invite your friends and family to come out, play games, eat snacks, have a drink, & celebrate the future of game-making!
Wednesday, February 26th
Bibliothèque du Mile End
5434 Avenue du Parc
Montreal, Quebec (map)
Festival Montréal Joue event:
We’ll be having meetups until the last Sunday of this month! So come out, work on your game (no matter what stage its in), talk about games, profit from a friendly, productive atmosphere! Feel free to bring a friend :)
Where: RPM Startup Centre (420 rue Guy)
When: Sunday, Feb 16th & Sunday, Feb 23rd from 2-5pm