What are you looking for?
The materials can be provided in Catalan as well as in Spanish or English.
E1. Demonstrate knowledge of the history of video games and analyze the reference video games with arguments based on evaluation criteria contextualized in the historical and cultural framework.
E3. Identify the type of player and design the game experience according to its psychological characteristics.
E5. Write the specifications of a game and communicate them effectively to the team of artists and developers and other members involved in the creation and development of the game.
G1. Demonstrate having and understanding advanced knowledge of their area of study that includes the theoretical, practical and methodological aspects, with a level of depth that reaches the forefront of knowledge.
G5. Develop the learning skills needed to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy.
The subject of Playtesting applied to video game design seeks to delve into the theoretical concepts and practical application of video game playtesting in the framework of the subject of Game Design and Creation. It works from the scientific perspective of testing the experience of players with video games. The subject consists of theoretical sessions and team work sessions. In order to acquire the knowledge, the subject is evaluated on the one hand the realization of guided practices and the achievement of a project in group, and on the other the theoretical knowledge of individual way.
This subject has methodological and digital resources to make possible its continuity in non-contact mode in the case of being necessary for reasons related to the Covid-19. In this way, the achievement of the same knowledge and skills that are specified in this teaching plan will be ensured.
The Tecnocampus will make available to teachers and students the digital tools needed to carry out the course, as well as guides and recommendations that facilitate adaptation to the non-contact mode.
At the end of the course students must be able to:
E1.6. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a video game in a reasoned and exemplary way.
E3.1. Describe the type of player for whom the game is designed.
E5.2 Effectively communicate the project specifications to the team of artists and developers and other members
The subject uses the following work methodologies:
Master class, presentations, video capsules, debates and forums, case studies, collaborative learning, research and critical reading of articles, and small group laboratory.
Topic 0. Introduction
0.1 Introduction to Playtesting
Topic 1. Scientific method and Games User Research (GUR)
1.1 Scientific method
1.2 GUR methods
1.3 Create a GUR method
Item 2. Heuristics
2.1 What is a heuristic?
2.2 Heuristic evaluation
2.3 PLAY and GAP heuristics
Topic 3. Playtesting
4.2 Think-Aloud Playtesting
4.3 Questionnaires and interviews
With the aim of collecting evidence of the achievement of the expected learning outcomes, the following activities of an evaluative nature will be carried out (related to all the common competences):
A1. Exercise at home: The Play Matrix (Evidence of E3.1 learning outcome)
The student will have to make their own Play Matrix, both today and 10 years ago.
A2. Exercise at home: Research article (Evidence of E1.6 learning outcome)
The student will have to look for and analyze a research article related to the playtesting.
A3. Laboratory practice: Heuristics (Evidence of learning outcome E1.6 and E3.1)
This practice is done individually or in pairs and consists of performing various heuristic assessments in commercial games using different sets of heuristics.
A4. Individual work: Playtesting (Evidence of all learning outcomes)
It consists of choosing a commercial game, creating a test plan and running it with playtesters (classmates and outsiders). The test plan will be ad hoc to the commercial game and its objectives. It is mandatory to use several GUR methods from those explained in class. The number of playtesters for each work will be agreed with the teacher taking into account the objectives of the test.
General criteria of the activities:
The grade of each student will be calculated following the following percentages:
A1. Exercise at home: The Play Matrix 10%
A2. Exercise at home: Research article 10%
A3. Laboratory practice: Heuristics 40%
A4. Individual work: Playtesting 40%
Final grade = A1 0,1 + A2 0,1 + A3 0,4 + A4 0,4
Drachen, A., Mirza-Babaei, P., & Nacke, LE (Eds.). (2018). Games user research. Oxford University Press.
Schell, J. (2014). The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses. AK Peters / CRC Press.
Fullerton, T. (2018). Game design workshop: a playcentric approach to creating innovative games. AK Peters / CRC Press.