Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Dirk van Blah

The best way to get backer feedback.

What do you think about using trial versions to test backer support?  

47 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think about using trial versions to test backer support?

    • Surveys are enough - I want them to focus on the final product.
      20
    • I want playable demos - it sounds more fun than surveys!
      11
    • I trust Tim completely - I don’t need to provide input
      14
    • I’m indifferent and this is irrelevant.
      2


Recommended Posts

Suppose that Tim and the team complete their brainstorming sessions, and end up with three solid ideas for what game they'll be making. They want to get backers involved in deciding which game to make, so they decide to run a survey to test the waters. Those keen to help craft the game try to use their imagination to guess which direction would be best and provide feedback accordingly. Many months later, the backers who actively participated finally play the game, only to find it nothing like they imagined - like watching a movie after you've already read the book. In the end, it's those that participated the least that end up with the best experience, because everything is a surprise and it all feels very fresh and new - they're watching the movie without even having seen the trailer.

In a parallel universe, at the same time, another Double Fine also wants feedback from their backers. But instead of just releasing a survey, they make a small version, Toastmaster and the Conquest of Humor style, of each of their three most likely candidates, and release these to the backers. Three demos, except they're more like market testing tools, provided to the backers to play and enjoy, and some fancy usage tests determine which one the backers likes best, and maybe asks them directly, too. The trials aren't representative of the final works, but the backers already start to recognize future characters, and they get a fun opening act to enjoy while they anxiously anticipate the main attraction. And maybe one of the trials that are rejected forms a cult following, opening support for a future project. Or maybe not.

Which universe do you want to live in? Is there another universe where things are even better that I'm unaware of?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Playable does sound fun.

On the other hand, having different major paths where most of the work for each path is unique and nothing or little can be reused of the paths not taken, does seem like a waste of resources.

I want this project to get somewhere, not blow all of it's funds and time on thinking about what they possibly could have done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rather see portfolios, than any explanation whatsoever. The way the portfolio presents is a good indication of how the game would present so it is a good way to get feedback, without having to put in all the work for 3 indvidual minigames. Anyways I suppose most of the work is done in sketches, so it won't be a too far of a shot of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not qualified to say what would and what would not be fun in a game, so I would personally rather leave it the Tim and team than provide feedback on a portfolio or through a survey. If the concepts are provided in game form, however, I think I could make informed decisions.

Do games like Toastmaster cost a lot to make? I thought Tim just made that one to announce that he's hosting an awards ceremony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear demos take a lot of work, hopefully surveys will be enough....and if they need playtesting to nail something, I'm up for helping them there as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the third and ideal universe, DF doesn't ask about our opinion at all, does the stuff they're good at, and occasionally share details with us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hear demos take a lot of work, hopefully surveys will be enough....and if they need playtesting to nail something, I'm up for helping them there as well.
Exactly, time spent on making the demo is time not spent on making the actual game. And it's not as easy as you might think to put together code and data to make a playable demo that would run and wouldn't require two pages of instructions on how to put it together and launch it so it won't crash.

When they want playtesting, they'll make a test version. I think they shouldn't put in too much effort to make it easy to launch either - people that can't solve simple problems with folders, filenames etc. and don't understand first thing about testing game usually give feedback that's just a waste of developers' time anyway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_testing

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/video-game-tester.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...