informa
2 min read
article

Ronimo: Play Testing 'Great Tool' To Fix Game Difficulty

Swords & Soldiers WiiWare dev Ronimo Games tells Gamasutra why a "strong emphasis on play testing" is vital for video games of any size, as part of an in-dept
Swords & Soldiers WiiWare developer Ronimo Games has told Gamasutra about the importance of playtesting games of every size, as part of a new postmortem published today. In it, the Dutch independent developer -- and original creator of the student version of IGF finalist and subsequent THQ console game De Blob -- discusses what went right and wrong in creating critically acclaimed WiiWare side-scrolling console RTS. A key point that went right during the game's development is headlined: 'Play Testing Gives More than Just Test Results', and Fabian Akker and Jasper Koning from Ronimo explain: "One of the more important things we took away from our education was a strong emphasis on play testing as a great tool to improve your game, and we applied it to Swords & Soldiers in spades. During a few months at the end of 2008, we invited lots of people on Saturdays to come over and test our game. We especially wanted them to check out our single player content. This was both make sure we had a proper difficulty curve, and also to verify that they understood the gameplay lessons we tried to convey to them through the game's dialog. It was also a great motivational tool, since as a developer, nothing feels better than seeing other people really enjoying your game." However, the duo add, playtesting shouldn't be expected to fix all ills, as they noted: "Later on, we also tried to use play testers to help us balance the game, but this was less successful. It just took them too long to reach the full strategic depth of each of the factions, making them a bit too unreliable to use as an indicator for faction strength. But play testing gave us such an amount of eye-opening data about how players experienced our game, it wouldn't have been possible to make it this fun without them. A positive side effect was that our play testers started to post their experiences on the web, thus starting a fan community which helped with promoting the game." The full Swords & Soldiers postmortem is now available on Gamasutra, including lots more detail into the steps the team took to deliver a critically successful title.

Latest Jobs

Disbelief

Chicago, Illinois
05.10.22
Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
05.12.22
Lead Animation Programmer

Windwalk Games

Austin, Texas
05.16.22
Game Designer

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
05.10.22
Campaign Director
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more