• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
dsm1891

Focus Groups and Play Testing

5 posts in this topic

Hello,
 
I'm not quite sure if this is the correct place, but it seems the most likely place (apologies if it isn't).
 
So I am about to embark on a project, and was wondering if anyone knows a good place, or a good way of going about, finding user based feedback on specific genre (I'm making a rogue like) i.e. from a focus group. 
How many people will be classed as accurate data?
 
hmm... I'm finding it hard to put into words, but I want to create my own survey and distributing it to as many of my target audience as possible. Does anyone know a good place, rather than spamming it all over the internet.
 
Same for play testing, I know everyone loves a free beta build, but is there any methods of getting real data from them? not just
 

this game sucks!

I understand this is looking a tad too far in the future, but no harm in asking tongue.png

 

 

I don't mind spending a little money, but as with all things in this world, free is the magic number.

 

 

Thanks for any advice you can give 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How many people will be classed as accurate data?
2. Does anyone know a good place [to publish a survey]
3. is there any methods of getting real data from [free beta builds]?

 

1. The more people, the more accurate the data.  12 people is too few.  You want at least 100.  Preferably more.

2. Yes. (Market research people know good places.  I don't know any, so my apologies.)  Basically, you need to find out where your target audience gets their online information (and that you can post information in).  If your target audience isn't game developers, then game development forums aren't the best place.

3. Yes. It's not easy.  Writing good market research questions is more an art than a science.  Market research people are better at it than most game developers are.  I attended a lecture given by a market research guy; it was very enlightening as to what kinds of specialized knowledge those guys have.

Edited by Tom Sloper
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a shame I can't remember the URL, but there's a website where you can literally purchase players. If I'm not mistaken, they even send you a video of their playthrough, so that you can pick up their comments as though you were there.

(I'm sure its something like gametester.com or something similar).

 

Anybody feel free to chime in if you know what I'm referring to?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


there's a website where you can literally purchase players. If I'm not mistaken, they even send you a video of their playthrough, so that you can pick up their comments as though you were there.
(I'm sure its something like gametester.com or something similar).

 

Sites like gametester.com promise hapless aspiring game testers "jobs" (and high-paying ones at that) where the "testers" must pay a subscription to the website's company, then provides lists of beta tests and focus group tests the testers can pick and choose from.  The testers get paid on a per-test basis or something. I don't know if the site charges devs to get their game listed, but the site probably needs income beyond subscriptions.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are simply looking for feedback, even before a game launches, you can use such services as Google Surveys, or even post to forums with a promo (ie. give feedback for a chance to win a free game!) These tend to work well with quick reaction feedback, ie. Do you like the name of the game? What type of games do you like? If which gameplay feature is more important to you? In these sort of surveys you want over 100 people (or more, depending on the margin of error you are comfortable with), and you want to factor in some sort of filter so you know the people that answer are relevant to you.

 

If you got a web based game you can use such sites like usertesting.com which provides live user testing. You can get recorded feedback along with a video of how the person went through the game experience. Other focus group testing sessions can cost you about $50 a person, at least that's about what it is around the bay area. Or you can also just ask a lot of friends to play and watch them play! It's really quite useful and I learned a lot about my own games, things that I thought were obvious ended up causing utterly game breaking experiences for others.

 

The other thing you should do is set up metrics tracking in your game. Such services like GameAnalytics does a good job. You can gather a lot of info about retention, what actions people are taking in game, and what's causing them to drop off. It doesn't quite reveal the details of what specifically cause each of these things, but metrics helps you narrow down your focus to look at the trouble spots in your game.

 

In the end, you need to do multiple things because each method tests different things, and it's that full scope that reveals what specifically you want to iterate on in your game. In other words, you always have a limited amount of time to build the next feature. You always want to be sure what you build addressing the most pressing need based on feedback and metrics. I know this sounds like a lot but you can do each thing in phases. You always want to keep in mind that with each update, you want some way to get feedback so that your next iteration is always in the right direction. Towards fun!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0