Player Feedback

So, playtesting.

I worked as a playtester for a while on a game company called ”Zoink!” who made the recently released game ”Fe” – and because of this I fully realize the importance of feedback from anyone who is not directly involved in the project. Being able to swallow your pride, take and process critique is something that any game developer will inevitably have to learn. Being a graphics-student, however, leaves me with less criticism than I might have wanted. Usually, most of the complaints we get are about functions in the game that might not work as intended, or things like balance that needs smoothing out. Even artists usually avoid saying stuff about the art, immediately noticing things like the cannon being too slow, or the enemies taking too many hits to kill.
I suppose it is my fault as well for not specifically asking for feedback on the sprites, but I wish more graphics-students would concentrate on that aspect when they playtest the game.

Should the sprites be bigger? Less detailed? More? Does the line-art look consistent, and does everything fit together colour-wise? Do you enjoy how gray/brown it is, or would you have enjoyed more splashes of colour?


It wasn’t after the second playtest that I noticed I was getting too little critique, so I will have to ask for it specifically in the future. Maybe people are hesitant to point out flaws in art assets because they know it would take a long time to rectify, or maybe they are because there are more glaring issues with the game as a whole. I’ll try to be more specific in my inquiries with the playtesting for the arcade project coming up shortly.

This was a short blog post, as I don’t have that much to say about the playtesting – as I did not get much feedback that was aimed directly at my specific areas. We did however listen a lot from player complaining about balance issues, control issues and general flaws that were aimed at the overall game design. The game has improved drastically mechanically since we had our last playtest, and has improved even more significantly if compared with how it was initially. No matter the issues we have had in our group, loosing a programmer early on, and then a graphical artist halfway through the project, I feel that the project is turning out alright.

Thanks to whoever reads this for taking the time to do so, and I hope your project is turning out well!


4 reaktioner till “Player Feedback

  1. Very interesting post! I like how you start by giving a quick background and thoughts about playtesting and feedback in general as it helps to understand your point of view on that matter and as a reader to figure out where you are going with your post.

    I agree with you on the fact that art is often looked over when it comes to critique as testers either don’t feel like they have the authority to comment on that topic (not graphics people) or just don’t want to hurt you. I find it interesting that you brought up that topic and that you give your personal opinion on it.

    When it comes to the theme of the blog for this week: Playtesting (how has playtesting affected your development?), I feel like your blog is a little off topic as you mainly talk about the playtesting itself and your opinion on it but actually not on how it affected your work or the way you produce assets.

    Now you said that: ”I don’t have that much to say about the playtesting – as I did not get much feedback that was aimed directly at my specific areas.”, by that I guess you mean that it did not really affect your development – which responds to my previous remark but I still feel like to some extent, even if it has nothing to see with art, playtesting has made you think again the way you work or see your game, and talking about that would have answered the problematic.

    Concerning the grammar or the structure of the text, I have nothing to say, it is very well presented: clear and organized, making the reading flow very naturally.

    All in all I will say that I found the post to be very professional and enjoyable to read. I’m looking forward to the next one!

    Great work!

    -Mikael Ferroukhi


  2. Hey Felix!
    I found this post interesting and easy to read. I like that you started of with bit of background about yourself to make the reader understand your knowledge about playtesting and what experience you already had. I do agree with you that people usually never critique the art the game, but I’ve never really thought about it to be honest. I think it is mostly because everyone have their own ”style” and skill level when it comes down to art, so people are probably afraid of hurting the artist feeling if the critique it. Which is wrong. Graphics students should get feedback on their part of the game as well!

    I think this is a great post in general and everyone should read it so they also can understand the problem.
    It’s a little off topic about how playtesting have affected your team, but its probably just because of the point your making. I Think this is probably the most valuable post I’ve read, you make a great statement about feedback to Graphics students, and its very well written!

    Awesome job!

    -Simon Ågren


  3. Hey, it is never too late to receive some feedback, so here I am!

    It is a shame that you don’t feel like you have much to say about how the play testing of your game affected your work process. I definitely know what you are talking about because our game also had way more noticable gameplay problems than graphical problems, and I agree with you that if you want feedback on graphical assets you should ask specifically about that.

    it would’ve been nice however, to hear about how your group addressed the gameplay problems your testers brought up. I think that it would be very beneficial to hear about how other teams processed and handled the critique and feedback they got, and how the team set out to fix these problems. Did you have problems addressing the problems because you assumed they would get fixed later (like your truly mistakenly did), or did you quickly sit down and come up with a plan on how to fix it?

    It is still a well written post and you motivate your thoughts well, it is a shame you didn’t have more to talk about though.



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