Blog Post #4 – Would you kindly answer those questions? Or how to create and interpret a survey for playtesting.

Hello and welcome to this weeks all new Blog post! We are now rapidly approaching the upcoming Beta-presentation of our game Burning Hunt, which will take place next Monday. My team and I are now focusing on finishing and implementing every single remaining artefact from the Backlog. Thanks to a lot of hard work and good planning, it seems like we will be able to reach the Beta milestone quite satisfactory.

The topic I am going to talk about today is how to go about creating a survey for playtesting purposes and how to interpret the gathered data, which will assist you in improving your game. This Monday, all students of this year’s game design program gathered together and presented their games. We all played each other’s games eagerly and then answered the surveys. A playtesting survey is the perfect opportunity to find out what your fellow classmates and game designers think about your game, as well as find bugs that you didn´t even know existed. But don´t you worry, it is better finding out that they exist at this stage rather than having them appear in your final build, so it is quite a positive occurrence!

I created the survey for this playtesting session and put heavy emphasis on finding out what the player finds most enjoyable and the least enjoyable in our game. Those questions help to even further improve the elements that are good about your game, and maybe rethink some elements that aren´t endorsed by the majority. This doesn´t necessarily mean that you need to completely revamp a gameplay element though. It is very important to be able to read in between the lines. A perfect example of that, in our case, would be that many people complained about the movement of the main character. This surprised us, because last time it was received with many pleasant comments. We soon found out that the movement itself wasn´t the reason players got upset, but it was a problem with our walls in the game that negatively affected the movement. They slowed the movement of the player down way too much, and their hitbox being larger than the actual size of the sprite didn´t help either. Therefore, we found the real culprit instead of jumping to conclusions, which could have caused us to revamp the whole movement system, in the worst case.

survey-for-playtesting
The completed playtesting survey

Additionally, I included a scale for the perceived difficulty level for both levels from 1 (too easy) to 10 (too hard). I found this to be very important, especially in our game where, in the first level, you are being hunted and have pretty much no means to fight back and later on in level 2 you become the hunter chasing down the enemy. This makes it even harder to balance the difficulty of the levels, but according to the data we received from the survey we can be very satisfied with how it turned out. Especially concerning the first level, where 53,8% found it to be a 7-8 on the difficulty scale. This is exactly the level of difficulty that we aimed to achieve with that level, as it adds to the player’s feeling of being stressed and under pressure.

This concludes my blog post for this week. If you want to find out how my adventure with team Amarok continues, just revisit the blog next week!

 

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One thought on “Blog Post #4 – Would you kindly answer those questions? Or how to create and interpret a survey for playtesting.

  1. Hello Marcel.

    I would like to say that you have done an excellent job on describing the survey you did and the feedback you got on the movement. Also it appears that your survey was very well made as you managed to find out not only that there was a problem with the movement, but also the cause for it in this case the wall.

    Also the survey you showed also appeared to bring up all the different questions one could need to get a clear picture of what is needed to be fixed and what was fun with the game.

    In general I think you did a good job and I am very interested in seeing the final product for the game. I think you are doing an excellent job and should continue on the same path. I also feel that you have a good idea of what you are doing.

    Regards Oskar

    Like

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