Here at PlaytestCloud, our mission is simple: help studios make games that players love.
Every single service we’ve created and delivered has focused on this, from Multi-session Playtesting to Longitudinal Studies, from Concept Testing to Surveys. We want to give every single studio out there, from the biggest to the smallest, access to the very best playtesting tools out there (ours!), ensuring they have direct access to the opinions and insights of the people that matter the most: the players.
Author Ken Blanchard once said “Feedback is the breakfast of champions”, and we believe when it comes to making games, it’s not just breakfast – it’s lunch, dinner, and maybe even a midnight snack. Throughout every step of game development, feedback from the people you’re making your game for is the only way to ensure you’re making a game they’ll love. Unless you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, be it through a player’s answers on a survey or their recording from a single-session playtest, you’re merely assuming what players like and will enjoy playing, leaving your game’s success to chance.
And these days, with players just a few clicks away to give you all and any feedback or insights you might need, why would you?
It’s because of this, for example, that we recently launched Player Interviews, our newest service that allows you to jump on a video call with any player from our +1,000,000 global player panel (or bring your own players, too!), getting feedback and answers on anything directly from the people who will eventually play (or are already playing!) your game. It’s an important step as part of our mission, and one that we hope can help studios everywhere.
In general, we believe in the importance of bridging the gap between those who make games and those who play them, and are working hard on providing game studios everywhere the chance to do that – which is also why we’ll be launching Live Playtesting later this year, allowing you to join players live as their playtest your game.
And this bridge, the one between game creators and players, is one that should be crossed constantly. Feedback isn’t just for when your game is out, or ready to be released: it’s also for even before then, for when you want to better understand how players respond to your concepts and ideas. Making a game is hard work, and pre-launch feedback is essential for any stage of game development: be it for final tweaks before the game is launched to feedback into different game ideas so you can settle on which one to develop, pre-launch feedback is essential. And, frequently, underrated.
Make a Game That Players Will Love
It’s increasingly more and more difficult for studios everywhere to get their game seen, played, and overall given the opportunity it deserves. The mobile gaming industry has become more competitive than ever, with new games released every single day, on either the App Store or the Play Store. With this in mind, it’s important to know which game ideas or concepts you should dedicate your resources and time to. To small indie studios, in particular, it’s essential to create and develop the best possible game to the ideal audience – which is why last year we released our Indie Pass, hoping to give these studios the same access to playtesting as all other studios out there.
The best way to ensure this is, obviously, by letting players tell you exactly what they like, what they don’t, and what they react well to. Want feedback on a specific idea or mechanic? Then go ahead and do some concept testing – we’ve seen the studios we work with get great results from it, and I’m sure it could do the same for you. Want to better understand current trends among the gaming community? User research is here to help. Maybe you’re not sure if the first levels of your game are understandable or memorable? Easy: multi-session playtesting can help with that. Want to just go ahead and talk to players directly? Then just book a call, and do so.
For every single use case and every single need to help game studios ensure they’re on the right track with their game, there’s a solution – we should say so ourselves, since we created many of them. Anything can always be tested or given feedback on, long before a game is in development or an idea has been decided on. This is, however, frequently overlooked: for many, playtesting is still just a way to test existing games, pre or post-launch, and not a part of ensuring your game should even be made in the first place.
But why should you assume you know what players like and will enjoy playing, when you can just let them tell you themselves?
Want to Understand Players? Then Just Talk With Them
It’s someone’s birthday. You’re in the mall, after buying your friend a PlayStation 5 (yes, they’re available again now and, yes, he’s a very good friend), happy to be going home with the PlayStation in the backseat (and strapped on with a seatbelt) – because you know he’s going to love it.
Why? Because he told you he wanted one.
Making games doesn’t have to be a guessing game, just like buying presents isn’t. None of us can know what the other wants unless a) they tell us or b) we ask them. For game development, the same thing applies – going even deeper.
It’s important to know not just who your target audience is (who your friends are), but also what they want. The first step is easily covered: you know which market you want to go for, or which type of players you think might enjoy your game. At PlaytestCloud we know how much this varies from studio to studio, which is why we have more than 1.000.000 players on our global player panel, from all over the world, ready to help you make the best game possible.
The second step, now, is just as easy: with Player Interviews on our platform, you can just pick which kind of player you’d like to talk to, when, and then we do everything from scheduling to compensation and just send you a link for the call so you can join when the time comes. It’s this simple, and on the call you can get feedback on anything you need, by sharing your screen – and soon, with Live Playtesting, by seeing them play your game.
For this, remote playtesting is particularly useful, as it brings to you players from all around the world at the distance of a click. No more Craigslist, no more trying to find players online, no more bringing players to your office (meaning: depending on office hours, where the office is, etc) – any player can be accessible immediately, from anywhere, with just a few clicks.
So why wouldn’t you talk to players, why wouldn’t you let them play your game and see what they react strongly to, when they’re set and ready to help?
Making the Right Mobile Game
It’s frequently said that time is money – and time, like money, isn’t unlimited. Making a game takes effort and resources, and it’s something that shouldn’t be made in a bubble between you and your team – after all, in the end, you won’t be the ones playing it. If games are made for players, then it would only make sense that those who make it consult players themselves. Do you have the right idea? Do you have the right storyline? Do you have the right mechanic? Without finding the answer to this by seeing how players react and feel about it, you don’t know – and since time is money, better to find out sooner than later.
Above, we mentioned how competitive it is in the mobile gaming industry. Games are released every day, with players being given unlimited choices regarding what to play. At PlaytestCloud, we believe in helping studios make games that players love because we believe that’s the only way your game will thrive. Only by creating something that people will be interested in and will want to play (and enjoy playing!) will your team succeed and your game crack through the noise.
And how else can you do that, without players telling you exactly what they enjoy, which ideas they react well to, and ultimately what they’ll want to play?
So: are you ready to start talking to players and getting the feedback and insights you need? Sign-up here if you don’t have a PlaytestCloud account, or head here if you already have one. Players all around the world are ready to help you make a game they’ll love – you just have to go online and set up an appointment.