Playtesting is a process you can’t ignore if you want to develop a game. It is only through playtesting that you can find out what your game lacks and what issues your game has. It can help you find out the bugs, performance issues, balancing problems, difficulty issues, etc., which may ruin your gameplay experience for your players.
You have to fix these before you release your game. Because if your game has a lot of issues, people won’t play it. Some online stores will even refuse to publish your game if they have issues. As a result, the dream game in your head will remain as a dream.
This is why you must have a team of playtesters. A team of top playtesters will find all the major issues your game has. Based on their reports, you can fix them before you release your game. The team will help you make sure your game is not only playable but also engaging and enjoyable. With a team like this, you can make sure the game you had in mind, has come out in the right way.
So how does one do this? To help you with this, below we list 5 tips that can help you improve your playtesting process and get the results you wish for:
The most important element in the whole playtesting process is the playtesting team. A great team will help you accomplish the goals you set for playtesting. A bad team, on the contrary, will create a burden.
To avoid the latter, you must pick the right candidates for the job. You must carefully assemble your team with candidates that have the right experience and accomplishments. You must also make sure each of them is a prolific gamer as well.
Some top game development companies make sure their playtesting team has a mix of both experienced testers and novices. Doing so helps them get both the insight that experienced people can provide, as well as the fresh perspective that novices provide. When developing a game, both are crucial.
The feedback you receive from your playtesters reveals a lot about your game. It will reveal where you have made the right choices, where you have gone wrong, where your game has balancing issues, etc. With this information, you can improve your game.
To get these benefits, however, you must get actionable feedback. Actionable feedback like ‘Level 3 has a weapon which is overpowered,’ lets you pinpoint the problem and solve it. Vague feedback like ‘Level 3 is not fun’ may not give you the same results.
You can get actionable feedback from your playtesters by asking them to answer a survey of questions. This survey must include specific questions that let you gain insight into your game and what you need to improve on or fix.
You can prepare this set of questions before your game’s playtesting process has even begun. You can create these questions based on your goals for playtesting. By doing so, you will get feedback that will help you take your game in the right direction.
During the playtesting it is also important you make sure the information regarding your game does not go into the wrong hands. This includes your game’s features, genre, and in certain cases, even the fact that you are developing a game at all. If these get leaked, it might create problems for you.
To fix this, you must take the necessary precautions to safeguard information about your game. This sometimes means making all your testers sign an NDA about your game. It also means making sure the builds of your game don’t get into the hands of those who are not authorized to have access to it.
Taking steps like these can go a long way to making sure your game stays safe in the hands of those you trust. The details of your game will only be available to the public, once you make it public.
You must not conduct playtesting hastily. Instead, you must block out sufficient time for it in the overall game development process.
One of the best ways to do this is to block out time for playtesting even before development has started, right during the planning stage itself. Based on your specific testing procedures and your game, you can reserve certain periods within the overall game development process, just for playtesting.
The time needed for the process will depend on your game though. Certain top game development companies make sure they have ample time for playtesting. You too can benefit from doing the same.
When testing, it is also important to make sure your testing team has access to all the technologies they require to test the game properly. You must provide them all the devices they need to test the game on, an internet connection if the game demands it, and other resources as the game require.
If you are releasing your game on a platform that has numerous devices with different specs, then you must find a solution for that as well. For instance, if your game is an Android game, you will want to make your game compatible with as many Android devices as you possibly can. To do this, you will have to get numerous Android phones with varying aspects and give them to your playtesters as testing devices.
Playtesting is a step within the overall game development process that you simply cannot ignore. You must complete the playtesting process carefully and productively by taking the necessary steps, like the ones listed above.
The best decision you can take, however, is outsourcing the whole game development process to a top team of game developers like Juego Studio.
At Juego Studio, in addition to a great team of testers, we have developers, designers, and artists, with years of experience in the game development sector. They will conceptualize, develop, test, and release your game on any platform you require. Sometimes a great team like us is the difference between a great game and a bad one.