University Projects: Preparing for Playtesting

Hello everyone!

This week as for the last couple of weeks I’m going to write about the game With Intent that I’ve been working on for a while now. For those who haven’t been up to snuff about it, it’s a stealth game, in top down perspective, where the player has to get through different areas by using timing and the art of not being seen.

So for this week I’ve been mostly working on 2 things, more level design (actually putting all the things into the level editor) and preparing for a bigger range of play testing. As the game will have to be completed in about 2 and a half week, reaching a bigger audience for play testing is always a good start.

So what I’ve been doing is both talking to people around town and a little bit across the webs, to see how high the interest for a top-down stealth game is. But this was not the major part of preparations, instead creating a survey that the play testers are going to answer was that.

So when designing one of these surveys we both had to think about what questions we needed to ask, to get the most amount of information. Getting information out of questions isn’t always that hard, but getting the information we need is a lot harder.

The Survey is stylistically pure to be easily approachable be everyone, this is due to the fact that we need to have play testers from all walks of life, people who are barely gamers, people who are veterans to the gaming industry, stealth enthusiasts, people who hate stealth, women and men. Everyone from all walks of life needs to be able to play test our game.

Screenshot 2014-03-13 16.41.45

The reason we need play testers from all different walks of life is because everyone can look at it differently, people will have different affinity to the controls and have different ideas, opinions and suggestions to give.

This means that we first need to profile our play testers, this is done by our first 3 questions and by asking about age, gaming experience and what kind of gamer they are we can quickly get information about how they approached our game.

Most of the other questions are about the in-game mechanics, such as our audiovisual sound ripples, the footprints made by guards, the light mechanics. There were also 2 questions asking about bugs, suggestions and crashes.

Anyway, I’m off for today so have a nice one from a Van and a Game Designer!

I hope to be able to make a Designing systems, Game Ideas or Sketches & Art Post sometimes soon, but for now I need to keep focused on the project at hand as we are approaching our deadline.

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One thought on “University Projects: Preparing for Playtesting

  1. Hello Van! I can see that you have shown what you have been working with in your blog post. A good thing to think of would be to explain more thoroughly what you did working with this artefact, How did you do it, any problems on the way? Reading this made me a bit confused as to what you were doing. You could for an example explain who you talked to in town? Where did you go to ask people on the internet, explanations like these will help the reader to understand what you have been doing for your research.

    Other than that, your explanations on the surveys were good. I like that you tell us about the different kinds of walks of life, and adapting the questions so that everyone can answer them. More pictures of the survey or just a list of some more questions would have been nice to see and read.

    Overall, this is a pretty good blog post that explains the reasoning for the survey, what kind of people they are for, this much I understand. Further explanations of what you did in the earlier stages would have been needed though.
    And that is all I have to say about that. Best of luck to you for future challenges!

    Cheers.

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