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[PATV] Extra Credits s.3 ep.21 - Technobabble

RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazedby the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
edited December 2011 in The Penny Arcade Hub

Posts

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    "If you think the difficulty of your game is just about right, it's probably way to hard."

    This is currently what I'm thinking happened with Terraria's latest update.

    I don't agree with the suggestion of having children test your game, that's... hrm.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • Tim-YatesTim-Yates Registered User
    edited December 2011
    It makes me sad every time I see the Chuck Norris WoW commercial... C'mon Chuck! Way to lower your stock... That has nothing to do with the episode but that commercial was at the beginning.

    As far as playtesting goes, it's definitely not easy. I've helped playtest trading card games and it's pretty tedious work doing it right.

    Tim-Yates on
    failhunter_banner2_by_timyates-d4jn83j.jpg
  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    The commentary mode in the Half Life 2 episodes talks about how playtesting dramatically influenced specific and general aspects of the games almost constantly. I strongly suspect a direct causal link between that and the games' uncanny quality. Srsly tho, how can I get that job? I don't mean Trenches playtesting, I mean the guys who apparently play these games strictly to measure fun factor. That's the dream, innit?

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Aurich wrote:
    The commentary mode in the Half Life 2 episodes talks about how playtesting dramatically influenced specific and general aspects of the games almost constantly. I strongly suspect a direct causal link between that and the games' uncanny quality. Srsly tho, how can I get that job? I don't mean Trenches playtesting, I mean the guys who apparently play these games strictly to measure fun factor. That's the dream, innit?

    Oh crap, I never got around to seeing that.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    Henroid wrote:
    Oh crap, I never got around to seeing that.

    They are great, man. If you're the kind of person who enjoys commentary tracks, I cannot recommend them highly enough.

  • RankenphileRankenphile Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood.Registered User, Moderator mod
    Aurich wrote:
    The commentary mode in the Half Life 2 episodes talks about how playtesting dramatically influenced specific and general aspects of the games almost constantly. I strongly suspect a direct causal link between that and the games' uncanny quality. Srsly tho, how can I get that job? I don't mean Trenches playtesting, I mean the guys who apparently play these games strictly to measure fun factor. That's the dream, innit?
    Those people that test for fun are usually friends and family that they bring in to play through the game. This is almost never a paid position, and these folks rarely play the game twice before launch. They're brought in for a few hours one day, sign an NDA and play through a game or a section of a game and then fill out a survey.

    QA testers are too close to the project to evaluate difficulty or fun factor, game designers are the worst sort of folks to have test your game for that stuff, as they are notorious for just picking it apart and playing looking for mechanics rather then experiencing the game as a game. Laypeople are perfect for the job, but lots of times you have to know someone at the company to get an invite.

  • MortalToasterMortalToaster Registered User regular
    Aurich wrote:
    The commentary mode in the Half Life 2 episodes talks about how playtesting dramatically influenced specific and general aspects of the games almost constantly. I strongly suspect a direct causal link between that and the games' uncanny quality. Srsly tho, how can I get that job? I don't mean Trenches playtesting, I mean the guys who apparently play these games strictly to measure fun factor. That's the dream, innit?
    Those people that test for fun are usually friends and family that they bring in to play through the game. This is almost never a paid position, and these folks rarely play the game twice before launch. They're brought in for a few hours one day, sign an NDA and play through a game or a section of a game and then fill out a survey.

    QA testers are too close to the project to evaluate difficulty or fun factor, game designers are the worst sort of folks to have test your game for that stuff, as they are notorious for just picking it apart and playing looking for mechanics rather then experiencing the game as a game. Laypeople are perfect for the job, but lots of times you have to know someone at the company to get an invite.

    I helped playtest Gears of War 2 through Microsoft's beta testing thing Connect. I had signed up saying I lived in the Seattle area and was willing to play test. They'd usually send out a survey to filter out what kind of players they wanted, and if you met the criteria they brought you out to Redmond. The playtest I did was a Saturday/Sunday of 8-9 hrs each day. We just played through an early build of the campaign, at whatever pace/difficulty we normally played, and then had to mark how many times we died in a given act/chapter. I think at the end we filled out a survey. No cash payment, but we did get pizza for lunch both days and then two or three items from the MS store (video games or Office/Windows products).

    It was definitely interesting seeing the difference between when we playtested it and the final product five months later. I just remember going through the tunnel with all the tickers and dying about 55 times in the playtest, and then in the final I only died a couple times.

  • blazah99blazah99 Registered User
    Looks like the next extra credits episode is up!
    074_thumbnail_190x107.jpg
    penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/puzzle-games
    And because next episodes thread isn't up yet here's my question to everyone connecting the two in all seriousness.
    I don't know if their is a method already or not but has it already been figured out "scientifically" how to translate player feedback accurately into valuable data/numbers like those in the next episode's "Puzzle Games" (which are attained by a designer analyzing a game), while avoiding miss reading the feedback as a problem he/she already knows about but in all actuality is an entirely different problem that should be addressed? Ah yes/no/idk answer will work for me lol.

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    I know of no/seriously doubt there exists such a system. You can arrange for basically any feedback you receive from playtesters to be converted into data that can be crunched, but how that data influences the game is always going to be a judgement call.

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