Normally when we test websites, we work with our clients to create a set of scenarios and tasks. The participants work through the tasks and it allows us to find insights as to what might be wrong with the usability. We watch people, we observe their behaviours and actions when using a website, app or product. By doing this we can provide useful insights to help our clients improve their usability backed up with real evidence in the form of video recordings.
Whilst our user testing works great to highlight issues with booking a hotel room, performing a transaction online with your bank or making a purchase in an e-commerce store, for game testing we needed to take a different approach. We still want to find out the answers to particular questions, however, the best insights come from watching how people actually play the games.
For their new game Temple Stacks, Yggdrasil wanted to test their new Splitz game mechanic. This was the first game that features Splitz which gives the player increased multipliers by splitting a reel up to 12 times. The objective of the testing was to, therefore, find out what players thought of this new mechanic and if it was obvious as to how it worked and the chances of winning it could create.
As usual, we tested with 5 people selected against the criteria we had been provided. They had to be regular slots players that liked to place a bet with their own money. The test itself started with questions to find out more about the participant's background and how they typically play. We then let them play and we observed what they did, how much did they wager, did they use auto spin and most importantly how they reacted to the Splits, free spins and other bonus features within the game. After watching for 15 minutes, we then followed up these insights with some more specific questions so we could get to the details.
A pain point for Yggdrasil and other gaming companies is the disconnect between the team that designs and produces the games and the players themselves. Being able to get direct feedback is crucial, seeing where players struggle can prove essential and provides untold value when making the games the best they can be.
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