user research

"Let's just wait 'til next sprint"

The title should probably include a footer like "Part 1 of 1000000000000" but for the sake of space, I'll keep it as is for now.

After some very long hours this weekend, we have a build that is downloadable! Check out our Play page then click the free download link to get build 2.0. And as I geared up social media posts to share that information, I realized that I would also need to make sure people were aware of our feedback form. And with that, the title of this blog post crossed my mind. Maybe we could wait and put the build on the website next week . . .

We have the utmost faith in each other on the team, and I know that many of the known bugs are going to be ironed out in this sprint. Which causes me to consider, for a brief moment, not publishing this build but publishing next sprint's build. In that moment, I was inspired to write this blog post because that thought was immediately followed by a recollection of the best advice I've never gotten in regards to feedback and developing games.

The wise, talented, and ever-so-helpful Lanie Dixon put on a user research Q & A for the EAE graduate students almost a year ago. We talked about how to get the best feedback you can from people by asking questions that are actionable on the development end, and having a specific purpose for every play test session. Out of all the advice she sagely gave, what stuck with me most was the adage, "If you're not embarrassed during your play test, then you're doing it too late in development." To be really honest, I can't remember if this was originally said by Lanie, but I forever associate it to her and she's great so the attribution is going to stay.

We'll see how embarrassing the feedback we get from this build is going to be. That raises a larger point that we shouldn't necessarily be embarrassed but we should enthusiastic about the opportunity to have people besides us play our game and be invested enough in their experience to send us their thoughts back. In our team group chat, I let everyone know that the build was on the website with the message "The feedback will be harsh and we will glory in it." I beamed as the first two responses were a devil smiley face by one person and the next person said "Yes we shall."