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Old 09-24-2007, 03:29 PM   #16
After a brisk nap
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Originally Posted by Lucien21 View Post
I watched a decent interview with the designers of Bioshock who talked about their initial playtesting. They stated that when asked to playtest a lot of people suddenly become critics about the design of the game. I.e I think this character looks wrong or this colour should be blue etc.
Well, that's why you can't just ask players what your game should be like. If they knew how to design games, they'd be making their own.

User testing is helpful to find current problems or areas with room for improvement. It doesn't tell you what the solutions are. Even when participants tell you what they think the solution should be, that doesn't necessarily mean they're right.

Also, asking the right questions to get at the kind of information you're interested in takes skill and training. If the Bioshock devs mainly got comments about art direction, maybe they weren't doing it right. If you ask people about the "design" of the game, for instance, I'd guess a lot of them won't realize that you're talking about how it plays, not primarily how it looks.

That said, user feedback is always going to include irrelevant information. People can get incredibly hung up on tiny details that have nothing to do with what you're investigating, like color choice. You learn to smile, nod, and gently change the subject.
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