Out of the Frying Pan

We’ve got a big announcement to make —

Breakfast of Champions has now reached the playtest phase! It’s been under development for a couple months now, so presenting the  game to our friends and family is a really exciting milestone for StrongWing Studios. Not to get sentimental on this post, but I tear up when I remember BoC as just a grey canvas with colorful circles that could barely follow my mouse.

Playtesting Breakfast of Champions

Mirroring traditional software testing phases, we decided to cut up our playtest into two subphases – the friends and family phase (alpha testing) and the open-to-everyone-oh-god-its-scary phase (beta testing). We also consulted several resources (the most influential being Playtesting: Avoiding Evil Data and the Extra Credits YouTube Channel) to help us develop our gameplan for this phase of BoC’s development.

In this post, we’re going to talk about our experience during the friends and family phase (alpha testing)

★ The Players★

During the family and friends phase of our playtest, we expect to find the really obvious bugs or design flaws. Up to this point, Nick and I have really been the only ones playing this game, so we want to squash the low-hanging fruit that this group can point out to us.

We didn’t, however, limit our friends and family testers to just gamers. BoC is meant to be easy to pick up for anyone at any age even if we do have a target audience in mind, so we asked pretty much everyone in our contacts: parents, nephews, college friends, frenemies, acquaintances, yada yada.

★ The Location★

Where your players are playing your game could be just as influential as who the players are. Since BoC is a pick-up casual game, we want our testers to play the game wherever they want.

★ Feedback mechanism★

We hate ratings because it’s hard to draw any meaningful conclusions from them — one man’s 1 star could very well be another man’s 10 stars. We are asking our testers to give feedback via e-mail. If we have questions about any feedback received, we’ll follow up with a phone call or even a FaceTime session if we need to really dig down into the problem.

★Filtering feedback (avoiding evil data)★

At all stages of the playtest, we expect some feedback to be less helpful than others, so we are being acceptingly-critical of the feedback we receive. We accept the feedback, but are critical about whether changes need to be made because of it. With a small sample size, it is even more important for us to be this critical because we do not have the luxury of understanding whether an issue is pervasive.

Some of the feedback we’ve already received include button placement issues on the tutorial, graphics performance, and inability to play the game at work.

Today is day three of our alpha test, and we’re looking forward to hearing more from our testers (who haven’t been told about this blog post).

See you on our next post when we talk about how we wrapped up alpha testing and began our beta test! If you’re interested, sign up for our newsletter to be notified immediately when Breakfast of Champions is ready for open testing!

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