93 Made Games' Game Design Manager, Sean Carroll, talks about the fun and games of play-testing Viewpoint.
Before a game is deemed acceptable for production, 93 Made Games (and any other game design company worth its weight in salt) conducts months of play-testing on the game. Play-testing is simply the act of testing how a game works when it is played. The elements that are tested include whether people enjoy it, if the game's mechanics are balanced and what aspects can be improved. Viewpoint went through two main stages of play-testing - design play-testing and development play-testing.
Design play-testing is where the original game concept is tested using simple prototypes to assess if the concept is suitable for refinement into a playable game. The main element of Viewpoint that changed during design play-testing was that the aim was changed from maintaining the lowest score until all cards had run out to reaching the highest score first.
Development play-testing is where the playable game design is tested against a set of criteria including that all elements work with each other, the game is fun to play and easy to understand and the game pieces, such as the cards, look right. At 93 Made Games, we have several other criteria, which are too numerous to mention here. 93 Made Games conducted as series of Viewpoint development play-test parties to test these criteria and ensure that Viewpoint provides a superior quality of gameplay.
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