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!