Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 8, 2020
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Ronimo: Play Testing 'Great Tool' To Fix Game Difficulty

Ronimo: Play Testing 'Great Tool' To Fix Game Difficulty

December 31, 2009 | By Staff

December 31, 2009 | By Staff
    Post A Comment
More: Console/PC

Swords & Soldiers WiiWare developer Ronimo Games has told Gamasutra about the importance of playtesting games of every size, as part of a new postmortem published today.

In it, the Dutch independent developer -- and original creator of the student version of IGF finalist and subsequent THQ console game De Blob -- discusses what went right and wrong in creating critically acclaimed WiiWare side-scrolling console RTS.

A key point that went right during the game's development is headlined: 'Play Testing Gives More than Just Test Results', and Fabian Akker and Jasper Koning from Ronimo explain:

"One of the more important things we took away from our education was a strong emphasis on play testing as a great tool to improve your game, and we applied it to Swords & Soldiers in spades. During a few months at the end of 2008, we invited lots of people on Saturdays to come over and test our game.

We especially wanted them to check out our single player content. This was both make sure we had a proper difficulty curve, and also to verify that they understood the gameplay lessons we tried to convey to them through the game's dialog. It was also a great motivational tool, since as a developer, nothing feels better than seeing other people really enjoying your game."

However, the duo add, playtesting shouldn't be expected to fix all ills, as they noted:

"Later on, we also tried to use play testers to help us balance the game, but this was less successful. It just took them too long to reach the full strategic depth of each of the factions, making them a bit too unreliable to use as an indicator for faction strength.

But play testing gave us such an amount of eye-opening data about how players experienced our game, it wouldn't have been possible to make it this fun without them. A positive side effect was that our play testers started to post their experiences on the web, thus starting a fan community which helped with promoting the game."

The full Swords & Soldiers postmortem is now available on Gamasutra, including lots more detail into the steps the team took to deliver a critically successful title.

Related Jobs

Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States

Character Artist (Blendshapes Focused)
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States

VFX Artist
Remedy Entertainment
Remedy Entertainment — Helsinki, Finland

Technical Director
Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward — Woodland Hills, California, United States

UI Artist (Temporary)

Loading Comments

loader image