Playtesting proposal for Game7's Community

Summary

  • Playtesting is a vital yet underrated part of game development.
  • Proposing a structure for a playtesting initiative at Game7.
  • Seeking community feedback on how to evaluate the initiative.

Web3 game developers need help finding playtesters who can provide actionable, constructive feedback, and Game7 has the community and talent capable of doing so. I propose we explore ways for Game7 to kickstart a group to playtest Web3 games to help the developers in our community to build better and more sustainable games.

I’m Konstantinos, I’ve worked as a community lead in Web3 gaming for the past year. My personal work is public. Check it out:

Introduction

Building in the open with your community is a key proposition of Web3 gaming. A big part of game development is testing and adjusting to feedback, hence why games have soft launches. Communities will play a significant role in shaping the future of Web3 games, and there is no better community to provide constructive feedback than Game7.

So far, Game7 has planned to advance the space by:

  • Funding games and gaming-related projects.
  • Funding public goods infrastructure Web3 gaming requires building more collaboratively.
  • Providing educational resources such as the Game Developer Report 2022.
  • Building a community of Web3 developers to support one another in this ever-changing landscape.

Why playtesting?

A playtesting initiative can give more than data to developing teams. It provides constructive qualitative feedback from an outside perspective, either a player or a developer, from someone deeply immersed in the industry. For example, it often uncovers issues like a single optimum strategy which means that other strategies may need to be more varied, reducing the appeal of a game.

Playtestcloud is an example of a company that has helped dozens of mobile games pre- and post-launch. Some of the biggest game studios like Ubisoft, Jam City, and Innogames have used Playtestcloud’s services.

Initial proposal

We would organize a small team of 5-10 members that would do regular playtests on games, providing feedback on their gameplay, game loop, etc. Of course, the number of participants can open up depending on the community’s interest in participating.

The tests would cover games in an alpha/beta or earlier phase. Every builder from the Game7 community would be welcome to subject their project to testing. The playtests could be expanded in the future in projects outside of Game7 and possibly to Web2 games too. Over time, we could suggest how Web3 could enhance a Web2 game’s gameplay. Keep in mind the aim is to provide objective feedback on gameplay aside from genres, chains, and monetization models.

Proposed Process

  1. Interest form: We could start by posting an interest form to collect interest from playtesters in the community.

  2. Game selection: We could host a weekly meeting to discuss a list of games to test the following week – Collective consensus and delegation.

  3. Trial period: We could start with a 6-12 weeks trial period.

  4. There would be two mandatory and two optional steps for every playtest.

1. Mandatory steps

  1. Playtesters would have to fill out a form with pre-defined questions (a form created either by the developer, if possible, or by the playtest community).
  2. The developer should provide feedback on our playtest evaluation. They should indicate whether they like us to re-test their game in its next phase.

2. Optional steps

  1. Schedule a call between the playtesters and the developing team to discuss our feedback.
  2. The developer could fill up a form to rate our playtest analysis. You can view this step as our Customer Success process to help us improve the process.

Benefits to the Game7 community

  • A playtesting initiative will strengthen Game7’s vision to advance the Web3 gaming space by serving as a conduit to spur collaboration for the entire web3 gaming space.
  • The initiative will serve our gaming partners by giving them thoughtful analysis and evaluation to consider as they build their games and communities.
  • A playtesting initiative will act not only as a way to help Game7’s community members with their work but also welcome new teams, growing the community continuously.
  • We could use the analysis as content to share key insights and best practices learned from other developers with our developer community.

Benefits to Playtesters

  • Access to closed early-stage games.
  • Building out your personal brand.
  • Well, it’s fun!

Seeking feedback from the community:

  • How do we qualify the initial group playtesters? What experience, qualities, or skills are we seeking from this group?
  • What is essential to include in the application form? For example, should we ask applicants to complete a playtest report and submit it as part of the application?
  • How do we prioritize the types of games we playtest?

On a personal note, I have been actively playing and testing Web3 games since last year. For a few months, I have been publishing my feedback and communicating it to the teams, and the activity around it has been very positive. I would love to bring my efforts into the Game7 community and grow it.

A playtesting effort from Game7 can give more than data to developing teams. It can give qualitative constructive feedback. That is why I believe the Game7 community can do more to touch the game’s core.

UPDATE: We began our first week with two very interesting participants. Tollan Worlds, a pixelated 2d sandbox MMORPG, and Blast Royale, a next-gen mobile battle royale. You can find our official updated forms here,

Playtesting - Game Submission: Game7 Playtesting - Game Submission
Playtesting - Tester: Game7 Playtesting

14 Likes

This would be a very valuable service indeed! I build in public and get playtesters, but not always qualitative constructive feedback. The result is that I keep the strong early believers and others would quietly just not come back. Removing some of the filters and tunnel vision we experience as builders would be beneficial in creating higher quality product.

8 Likes

Great idea! I’d join if you get this going.

To your questions:

  • Anyone in the game7 slack has already been “vetted” to some extent. My guess is that’s enough credentialing. Just be prepared for people who sign up but don’t show up.
  • I’d choose games being built by people in the game7 community. Perhaps even have a mechanism for builders to apply and prioritize games based on which playtest results would bring the most value to the game7 community overall.

Thanks for this proposal @Zrk, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

5 Likes

Thank you for your feedback!

To your first point, yes people have been vetted to some extent, and while they can incredible individuals that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best fit for playtesting. So a soft check should occur.
To your second point, yes, playtesting games that are being built by Game7’s community are likely to be put ahead, but after that finite number is depleted, how do we prioritize then?

5 Likes

Makes sense.

I don’t have any thoughts long-term prioritization yet. I’d suggest making such decisions after successful establishment of the group and after a few play tests have been accomplished. That will teach us a lot about our capacity, level of interest, and what types of playtests are suitable.

5 Likes

I really like this proposal Zrk! apart from the obvious. When you have that idea for a game and you have that first early prototype really there’s only a one foolproof way to make sure that your game gets better from there and that is with play-testing

Now only if there is a simple and effective way to play-test my game to make sure i get that critical feedback, now that could be priceless for my game! great proposal.

8 Likes

I’m all for it! Just like the games themselves, even the proposal is a playtest where we see if we need to improve the process.

Ideally it would be good to have playtesters initially be people who are familiar enough with playtesting to understand how to properly handle and communicate around playtesting feedback.

As far as feedback to the developers it would be ideal if they could provide a list of things they are looking for in a simple google form or something to make it easy to submit.

6 Likes

For your last point, do you mean developers informing us beforehand on what to look for OR the first step in the Mandatory steps?

  1. Playtesters would have to fill out a form with pre-defined questions (a form created either by the developer, if possible, or by the playtest community).

And if it’s the first case, perhaps they should only inform half the team, so that half know what to look for and half provide pure feedback with no predisposal.

1 Like

GM all, very interesting proposal and something I would personally be interested in.

Discord : MDP#1502
twitter : @The_ProdigyHub

I agree to start with a group that has some knowledge and can give feedback that is constructive and can add value to the developer and builders.

Will keep track of this thread and see where it leads to.

As we are building and organizing gamers and events in Africa, this could eventually be something to offer as an extra service from different academies maybe.

2 Likes

Just coming out of your live presentation over on the Discord.

We’d love to use Scribe to power a Game7 Playtester NFT which gains XP with quality feedback and levels up with some visual changes. It would resets when ownership transfers (using blockchain listener) making it soulbound effectively.

Just checking in to see if this initiative ever took off. Castle of Blackwater will soon be going into private alpha testing, and we would love to collaborate with some of our Game7 community members to organize a playtesting event, and to receive feedback from a dedicated group of gamers.

1 Like

I believe a Playtesting initiative is live and you should reach out to @kostaszrk to coordinate

2 Likes