Oh, the joys of playtesting...
Today I had my second round of playtesters playing Forgive Me My Henchmen.
I can’t stress enough how enlightening this process has been. First of all, it has made me realize how blind I am to my own game! When playtesters play it, they twist all the rules! They try things I didn’t think a person ever would. They create opportunities for glitches! In short, playtesters are a lot like toddlers - they find creative ways to destroy things, and perhaps should never be left alone.
Watching my playtesters has been really cool - seeing what makes them react, and how they react. Seeing what they skip over, and what cues they miss.
This has been so essential because at the end of the day, I am not creating the game for me, I am creating the game for YOU and THEM, so knowing what people actually think of my game and how people actually approach and play it is so important. I have to make my game robust, so that it doesn’t fall apart when someone tries to play it in a way I didn’t intend.
This process has also taught me how tiny little things can make a huge difference. Little visual cues showing what to click on, making some objects being automatically instead of manually placed...all these little things are having a major impact on someone’s experience of the game. Lots of the things I am adding (and have to continue to add) are things that people will not even notice are there, but they WOULD notice if they weren’t there.
But yeah, despite finding glitches left, right, and centre, playtesters have really enjoyed playing the game (even with the placeholder graphics) and that makes me happy.
Slowly but surely, this game is getting closer and closer to what I envisioned it to be.