Having People Play Your Game

Posted on
gamedev list

Is actually kind of weird.

I got a couple of people to play my prototype. There were some complaints and and praises. Ultimately, I’m not sure if I can use any of the feedback actually given unless it was something that I realized was already off about the game.

The feedback seemed to be focusing on the control of the character. While, I think the input is somewhat valid, in the sense that I think there was something wrong there; I don’t think the suggested solutions would be the way to fix things.

Some things I’ve learned or some incorrect paths I’m taking.

1. When somebody has a complaint or gives some sort of input, there may be something to it.

Even if they’re wrong, if someone were to tell me something about my game, I need to try and understand why they think this way. One thing that I’m worried about in my own case is becoming too skilled at my own game that I’ve just managed to deal with something that is difficult for the wrong reason. I’m going to get a lot of complaints about difficulty going forward. Filtering out what is actually something I should change and what is something where the player just needs to Get Good will become more difficult the more I play my own game. Luckily, the feedback I’ve received has been related to things that I have already wondered whether they were too difficult or not.

2. Watching them play can be quite interesting.

This time you need to try and understand why they are doing what they are doing. I tried some things in my prototype level that would hopefully teach the player how to play the game. I failed. Players seemed to miss what I was trying to project with my visual cues. It took them a while to figure out what they meant and how they worked. I ended up giving hints since I realized that I would have to change things and I wanted them to understand the mechanics in order to be able to see them play more of the game. Don’t be the person whose instinctual assumption is that the problem isn’t their fault.

3. I’m still not sure if my game is actually fun.

I’m very thankful that the people who played my game, played my game. I realize it was mostly as a favor to me. Some issues: I think the game could be fun to play. I tend to not enjoy very many games (sometimes I wonder if I even like games.) Since people are people and people try to be nice, I’m not really sure if my game is fun. People say they like it, or they think it could be good, but do they? I’d imagine if it was fun, they would be asking me if they could play more. That hasn’t happened. I also haven’t asked people in my target audience. I don’t know anybody in it. This and more will make it hard to ever figure it out.

Conclusion

I haven’t posted in about two weeks. Not that anyone is reading, but I’m kind of letting myself down. This post was something that I forced myself to post and it seems kind of useless and all over the place. I still need to better my writing style and the things I choose to include in my posts. I’d imagine being more specific with what happened would be better. Including gifs would probably work, if I had any to include.

I tried recording some gifs for a bug I came across, but the gifs weren’t very interesting to watch. I ended up trashing it. I also need to get a better gif recording setup. I’m not very fond of the licecap countdown.

Perhaps I should put most of this under an aside than a conclusion. It really has nothing to do with the post.

I wonder when I should open the game up for more public testing or actually try to get people looking at it. My plan is to start that sort of thing once I have a visual style decided upon and some artwork done. The issue with this is that my art is extremely weak and I’m not actively working on it. I should make this a priority.