Testing is an essential part of developing a game. Today we’re taking you through the part of our game development that is directly related to testing.
Testing is always an exciting part of development. For the new developers it means that you have to overcome your fears and show off what you have made. You have to understand that there is a difference between people criticising your game, and criticising you.
At our stage in development we have been testing at our offices and at conferences. This has enabled us to closely monitor the test sessions, in addition to letting us meet our players. And we have made up some opinions about how to do this kind of testing well (- or at least, better).
- If the testers are playing the game «wrong», it’s your fault because the game is flawed. Play is about experimenting. Every solution that the player can come up with should be valid as long as the goal is accomplished.
- Try to be invisible! It’s tempting to help the players if they get stuck. Don’t. At least let them try to figure it out by themselves. Most times they will. Then you can get an understanding of why they didn’t understand at first, and also how they got it eventually.
- Don’t make excuses, but let them know if something’s not right. There will be bugs when you are testing a game. If it significantly alters or hinders play, let the players know, or else they might think it’s a feature and struggle with it for ages.
- Always listen. Two similar player comments may be about different things. Pay attention. Some will describe the problem and leave it up to you to find the solution. Others will suggest solutions straight away. Finding the solution is still up to you. But just because something sounds the same don’t blow it off as «yeah, I know, I’ve heard it before».
We try to always be grateful. When someone is taking the time to put into words how they experienced your game, they are doing you a favour. Their feedback will help you make a better game. So even if you are dead tired, your game is bugged beyone belief, be grateful and thank testers for their contribution.
So, to end this post we’d like to express a huge “Thank you” to all of you who have already tested Shadow Puppeteer. We look forward to having many more test it.