In this video, Jesse Freeman walks through the process of getting people to play your game in order to get feedback. Feedback both good and bad is important during the development process so you can make sure the game you are making not only find its audience but is enjoyable to those who play it.
- [Instructor] As you continue to document your game idea and start to build it, you're going to want to get feedback. I know some people are afraid that their ideas will be stolen, but in reality, you can't develop a game in a bubble. Your are going to need the help of others, even if it's just to steer you in the right direction as to what will make the game more fun to play. Get real feedback on your ideas. The most important part of the documentation process is sharing your idea with others and getting that feedback. A lot of people want to protect their ideas, and the reality is that most people starting out making games need that feedback from others.
Also, the likelihood of someone stealing your game idea and going out and building the exact game that you wanted to build is very low. So, doesn't mean that I suggest going out and putting everything about your game out there for anyone to see, but finding the right group of people to give you that feedback will be critical, and will help you a lot in the long run of your development process. Let's talk about how to share your project. We all start out with a lofty goal of making a game that I want to play. But the reality is that you are just one person, and in order to be successful, you're going to need to appeal to larger markets.
As I was saying earlier, you'll want to find a small group of people you trust that can give you feedback on your ideas. You can collaborate with them in the docs themselves by using services like Google Docs, where others can leave notes and comments as you continue to write out your design document. It's also important to learn how to filter out what is good feedback, without increasing scope. People are always interested in giving you their idea, and telling you how you should do a particular thing. It doesn't mean you have to listen to them, though, and over time, you'll learn how to separate the signal from the noise, in order to get meaningful feedback to help with your game's development.
Getting feedback early is important. Play testing is critical to see how others play your game. It's important not to box yourself into features that only you find interesting. As the old saying goes, it's sometimes hard to see the forest through the trees. So let other people play your game, or test out your game ideas, to see how they go through it, and make sure that what you're actually building is still fun. This is why paper prototyping is so critical to the development process, because early on, you can figure out balancing and issues around the game that you couldn't if you spent months developing it, and then letting people play it.
While not every game lends itself to paper prototyping, at least as soon as you have an early enough build that you feel comfortable is stable, get it out there and get people testing it. See if you can also be there while they're playing it, so that not only can you see the feedback that they give you, but their reaction as they get to certain parts of the game. As you continue your development process, share your idea. Get feedback from online. Use things like Twitter, and Facebook, and Reddit, and other social networks, in order to get people interested in your game, and also to get their thoughts on it.
As you continue to post more things about your game and your development process, you'll not only get interest from others, but you'll build a community that's critical when you go to actually launch your game. Using things like hashtags can also help raise your visibility. On Twitter, #screenshotsaturday is a popular hashtag where people post the best screenshots of their game development process on Saturdays. These are aggregated into websites, and are also picked up by the gaming press. This can help you get visibility when your Twitter account may not have the followers you need to get a lot of feedback.
And finally, Twitch is a really great way to build a community. Some of the best feedback I've ever gotten has been from the chat itself. I've had people fix bugs, solve problems, or give me real-time feedback on a play mechanic as I showed it off. Building these communities online are critical to the success of your game when you launch it. And leverage these communities to allow them to share your game with others.
- Picking a framework
- Playing more games
- Documenting your ideas
- Getting feedback
- Prototyping a game
- Polishing and optimizing your game
- Publishing and marketing your game