Monday, October 3, 2016


Hey all,

Presented without context.

This is a picture of my notes during a playtest, it's a combination of user suggestions or my own findings. I tend to keep my notes a bit scrambled like this, and create tasks from these notes in JIRA.

Why am I presenting this to you? Well, I want to talk about playtesting, of course!

Basically, playtesting is letting people test your game, to aid you in identifying what is fun, and more importantly, what isn't. Some people misconstrue playtesting as the practice of writing down and implementing EVERYTHING the user says, this simply isn't true.

So, how do you playtest? Easy, get your game out there and make people play, your family, your friends, your enemies, your dog, and that weird drawing your cousin made you keep on the fridge: EVERYONE. When the player starts playing, try to keep the explanations to an absolute minimum, your game should speak for itself. Record what you notice, about lost messages in communication, or parts that are too easy or difficult. Try to find ways to keep the player engaged in the next iteration (i.e. Do they level up fast enough? Do the platforms move fast enough? etc.). Show your game as soon as you can, try to find that hook in your gameplay.

Also, provide your own equipment, and maybe even bring snacks for your guests.

It's really hard to get your game out there, I know, but think of it this way: this is part of making your work better, it makes you better! Your game may not seem ready, but it probably is, really. Have confidence in your work, you made it, after all!

Something that helps me when playtesting is that I tell myself: "I'll never present this product in this state ever again, it can only get better." In a way, it makes me look forward to the future. It may not work for you, but take comfort in knowing that your game will get better.

Part of being a game developer (or a creator of ANYTHING, really) is that you have to learn how to take feedback. Ultimately, the vision of the project is yours, and the feedback will help you accomplish that vision. Always listen, but know what advice to keep and what isn't necessarily helpful.

You may also have to deal with hecklers or haters, just be an adult and accept their feedback, I mean, what else CAN you do? Even the most hateful people can impart a good idea or two!

That's my talk this time. If you have questions, feel free to post a comment!

On another note, I've been working on my drawing, and I plan to draw something everyday in October. Not Inktober, I'm not good enough for that, I'm awful at art. Ironically, I wrote earlier about having confidence in your work...

I may or may not love Gurren Lagann.

Still working on it.
Also provided without context, a picture of Daigo.

That's it, go home. Oh, you are home? Then leave, go somewhere else, and then go home.


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