The Emotional Experience

This is just a small excerpt from the story posted on Unity’s Made With Unity site. For the full article follow the link.

A Stream of Emotions

By having a prolonged closed beta, we were able to actively encourage our beta testers to stream or post their videos online through sites like Twitch and Youtube. Posting play through videos really caught on and we dedicated a forum strictly for posting these play throughs so they were easy to find and encouraged others to do the same.

Roughly half the streamers would include a live webcam feed in their playthroughs which means we could stare into their eyes the entire time and not be totally creepy. Being able to see their raw emotions as they navigated through the game was the most valuable insight into the current state of the emotional experience in For The King. Best of all, players would post their playthroughs willingly which saves us time and money.

With these play through videos we could match up a player’s expected emotional response vs. their actual emotions. In essence we were able to figure out what was working in the game and what still needed work simply by watching people play Equally as important, we were able to gauge the overall emotional experience of the player. Did they actually enjoy themselves? Would they play again?

End Game

Watching people play was the single most valuable tool for tuning all aspects of For The King’s EX. We’ve learned that even if the game is perfectly fair and balanced, if it’s not eliciting the desired emotional response, it still requires tuning. We were often surprised at what in game events triggered certain emotions as well as the intensity of said emotions. Through incremental updates and patches to our beta were able able to track those experiences over time until we saw the desired responses.

Going forward we’ll continue to use streams as our primary gauge for how well new features and updates are performing. This will be particularly valuable throughout Early Access with the added benefit that these streams also help promote the game.

Planning out the beats of your game and measuring their effectiveness is the key to making a great game. By actively supporting and encouraging players to stream your game you can gain invaluable insight into the true emotional experience of the player, which is the most valuable tool a developer has.

Read the full article at Made With Unity.

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