Testing anything is a challenge by itself, let alone a mobile game.
Playtesters are hard to find because they have to have many rare traits at the same time. They have to let their feelings guide them when playing your game, but at the same time, they have to base their assessment and opinion on real hard facts. They should be experienced enough to be able to scrutinize a game and find the weaknesses and potential pitfalls, but they shouldn’t be so technical that they get into unnecessary details (after all, that’s the developer’s job).
They should be able to see behind the appealing visual details and go deep into the gameplay, but they should be careful enough to avoid going off course and expecting your game to be something it’s not.
All in all, playtesting is a fine line, like walking a tightrope. You have to strike the perfect balance. So how do you find the perfect playtester?
You don’t: it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Instead, you find relatively-ideal people, and ask them the right questions.
In this post, I’ll offer you some tips on the do’s and don’ts of working with playtesters.
let THEM DO IT AT THEIR OWN PACE
One of the biggest mistakes in dealing with playtesters trying to teach them how to play and test your game based on your standards, and badgering them based on your own perceptions of the game. When you discuss the game with your playtesters and go over the mechanics again and again, you’re effectively rubbing down their sensibilities, removing the element of newness, and treating them as you would a fellow game designer.
This way they will end up giving you feedback that is good from a designer perspective, but not from a player’s point of view. You don’t teach a player how to play your game. You let them learn and get used to it at their own pace. And if they’re having trouble getting the feel of it, there’s probably something wrong with your game, not with them, so don’t try to fix them. Fix the game.