Game Testing / Peer Review?


I was wondering whether the community here supports testing and providing feedback of each other’s projects? The reason I ask is that I am currently studying for a foundation degree in game design and development. One of the requirements for the games we create in our assessments is that they are put through several iterations of testing, by people other than ourselves, and that feedback (constructive) is collected. Ideally, demonstratable changes based on user testing are then evidenced.

Our class is fairly small, in fact, we have fewer students than the advised minimum to get feedback from, and, sadly, not everyone participates in the reviewing and feedback providing for others, which is a shame. It crossed my mind that there may be a plethora of people on the forum here who may be willing to playtest my game (when its ready for testing!) and provide feedback, but at the same time it crossed my mind that people may not want to download an executable from an unknown source and install it on their computers.

Is this something people do in the community here? I’ve not long been using Unreal and my participation on the forum is fairly small to date, so I’m not sure if this is a thing or not.

If it is, what is the best approach for sharing the build?

If it isn’t, does anyone know of other online resources/communities where people do this?

It’s probably obvious, but just in case, this is obviously a non-paid gig, but I would always be willing to reciprocate where and when required.

Any information would be appreciated and thank you for taking the time to read my message :slight_smile:

Hi, just a follow-up… is there none of this going on here on these forums? I would have thought people would be keen to share/get feedback/critique etc?

I think peer review is definitely an important part of development. Plus it is a good way to harvest different ideas/see different perspectives. Of course Epic incorporates this into their streams, showcasing different games/ideas, which I guess is sort of a peer review. I would just upload a build to google drive and share it everywhere, or pay Steam and upload a build for free to play…

Hi Cytokinetik,

Thank you for taking the time to reply and your thoughts.

It was really how it might work and whether people were already doing this kind of thing within this community I was trying to ascertain. It seems like a fairly large community so I kinda assumed this would just be happening.

My biggest concern with the approach is that I feel a lot of people would be a little untrusting of just downloading an executable with a “Please could you run this on your computer” kinda message :slight_smile:

I did consider opening up the GitHub repo so that it could be downloaded and then built locally, but that will take people more time and thus may be a turn off to giving the game a go and offering some constructive feedback.

The only other thought I had was to try and create a WebGL build, but this might not be suitable in all cases, I suspect there are some limitations with that built compared to a localised executable for example.

It’s really challenging, we are required to perform and evidence a minimum number of test sessions with an advised number of people in each session, but sadly we just don’t have a enough people here to meet those requirements, and, I have a fairly small circle (kinda like a full stop) of friends/family that I could ask. Losing marks on my course for something like this is kinda frustrating.

Not sure of the best way to move forward at the moment, admittedly I was also conscious that sharing something like this online may attract a lot of “that’s kinda ■■■■” feedback, which I don’t mind, if it also comes with a “might be better if you tried this…” kinda follow-up.

The feedback is typically captured in a form of sorts too, either on paper if its peers, or potentially digital, but I don’t know whether people would invest a few minutes of their time, for free, to download the game, play the game a few times, and then do a little write up of their thoughts…

Putting the course aside, I imagine I am not the only person in this kind of position and wonder what everyone else does…

Thanks again for taking the time to reply. :slight_smile:

Hi Rob

random question for you, where are you studying that course? I only ask as i just got an offer today from UAL for a similar course but BSC level. Just wondering if its the same place.

On topic i dont mind giving your game a go and giving some feedback. I used to be a games tester at Eidos so got some background in that area :slight_smile:

You’re late to the party dude, the forums are dead / dying… Whereas 2014-2016 things were different… Suggestion. Try posting in the Work-In-Progress section with links to gameplay clips on YouTube / Vimeo. Then offer a download link to the actual game if people are interested. But curious about something… Why aren’t your fellow devs critiquing each others work (its an online course with zero community)?

Hey @savagebeasty, I’m based in Bristol. The course is a foundation degree, I’m hoping to take the third year to turn it into a full degree.

Thanks for the offer, appreciated. I’m currently working on two different games, one for the “creative design” module and one for the “engines” module. It was deemed I was competent enough for the former to create something within Unreal as opposed to perhaps a board/card game, although, in hindsight, now doing two I should have perhaps opted for that…

Your role at Eidos sounds interesting, how long were you there for?

Aww, that’s no good… any ideas one daily engagement?

I’ll try your suggestion in due course, thank you.

Regarding the peers, no it’s not an online course, we all attend the college, full time, each week… there is however a large age disparity between myself and my peers, they are all in their late teens/early twenties… I’m 45. My previous career experience has already exposed me to software testing, so I already appreciate the value of it, alas this isn’t necessarily the case across the group I am apart of. We also, sadly, have some who are happy to have their games tested and receive feedback, but are perhaps a little less keen to be reciprocal. Some play it, but then don’t give the feedback, some do neither. It’s a real shame and sadly, despite best efforts by the lecturers to encourage participation, some just don’t seem to get it.

I have a fairly small social/family circle and as such don’t have access to the minimum of 10 people required for the *minimum *requirements outside of the group itself, which is only about 7 of us anyway… needless to say, hitting this requirement is really challenging and why I thought I’d perhaps try here too.

I need to capture the feedback through the feedback form/questionnaire, so even on somewhere like here, people might play it and even add a few comments on the post, but its the data collection which is equally as important as it will serve as the “evidence” for the course.

I’ve considered contacting my son’s previous primary school, as we had a good relationship, in the hope of perhaps having a playtesting session with the kids, after all, that is the age range one of the games is being targetted at, but of course, with the current Coronavirus situation I’m not sure how keen they would be to have a visitor to the school right now.

I hope some life will come back to the forums, I’ve always managed to get replies to my posts, for which I’m very grateful. I guess some people tend to just pop in and seek answers as and when things pop up rather than loitering and offering to help others. I’ve done that myself, on a different forum, and I had to stop in the end because of how much time it ended up consuming, I was so busy helping everyone else (which was a nice buzz) I didn’t make any progress on my own projects.

Ah cool im glad you said you were 45 as i dont feel like such an old man for going to Uni at 38 now. Good to see other people having a mid life crisis aswell :wink:

I wasnt at Eidos for long, less than a year. You get made redundant every 6 months then have to reapply for your job. Gets a bit much :slight_smile:

Plus if you get a ■■■■ game then 6 months of playing a rubbish game can become very tedious very quickly. For example i had to play the Hungarian league…in hungarian…on championship manager…

Havnt played a football management sim in 20 years since then…

Lego star wars was fun to test though.

But anyway if you need me to give your stuff a go and do some feedback im more than happy to. Now im off to uni in september i can have my evenings back instead of doing game dev :slight_smile:

I think this is my second :wink:

That doesn’t sound fun at all, not really much in the way of “security” there for a job…

Ooh, I bet… did you find a lot in the way of issues/bugs that got reported, or, generally, were things in a good shape when they got to you?

Thanks, I really appreciate that… I will perhaps create a topic and then tag you in it if thats ok?

Good luck with getting the evenings back… since I started last September I’ve only had 4 weekends where I’ve not been working and every night is usually spent working into the early hours… oh how they like their documentation and evidence! :smiley: