Playtesting is all about getting people to come play your game to see if it engenders the experience for which it was designed. This 2 year study observing ETC groups playtesting as part of their development process contributed to the development of a series of playtesting workshops.
We created support tools (worksheets, visualization tools, slides, ways to organise findings) to help game development students structure their process and develop a an understanding of their experience and game design goals.
Three playtesting workshops were developed:
- Explore: This first workshop focuses on using playtesting to explore a design space. It emphasizes problem finding, exploratory methods and interpreting qualitative data.
- Refine: This second workshop focuses on playtesting as a method to iterate and refine an existing design. It emphasizes asking important, accurate, and answerable questions; integrating playtesting into production processes; and making data-driven decisions about game design.
- Persuade: This third workshop focuses on playtesting as a way of negotiating with teammates and with other project stakeholders. It emphasizes understanding what evidence different stakeholders find persuasive, expertise versus experimental results, and communicating effectively about playtest data.