A game usability review of Time of Exploration

Screenshot_2015-02-07-11-43-46Time of Exploration is a kind of text-based civilisation-like game. The player has to reach a civilisation’s top achievements, the equivalent of building a Wonder in Age of Empires, for example. In order to do this, he will need to create buildings and generate resources. Buildings cost resources to build, and can sometimes have an upkeep (aka cost resources over time). In return, they will produce other resources. The whole game is based on simple text and button interfaces.

Tested on Android / Samsung galaxy S3

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Where there is a will, there is a way : playtesting during the pre-production phase

A while ago, I was talking with one of the students in game user research from ENJMIN. He was eagerly waiting to have the first game prototype to start testing and had a lot of ideas. He was at a loss however as to what to do meanwhile.

In my experience, not having a game prototype is a non issue : that’s when everything can still be changed, it’s the perfect time for testing! Many solutions exist to be able to test concepts and gameplay mecanics even without a prototype. With little help from the developers, game designers it is possible to design a test and anticipate some or most of the major usability issues before having a game to playtest. This article proposes an overview of solutions to still be able to conduct tests early in the development process.

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Choisir le support de test le plus pertinent en pré-production

Dans un précédent article, nous avons abordé plusieurs solutions pour être en mesure de réaliser des tests utilisateurs dès la pré-production de jeux, même en l’absence de prototype, en s’appropriant des outils de conception et des méthodes créatives pour ne pas être limité par cette contrainte.

Pour certaines questions, jeux, supports, interactions, l’une des méthodes sera particulièrement adaptée. A l’inverse, d’autres offriront de piètres possibilités pour éclairer le sujet qui nous intéresse à un instant t, dans un contexte précis. Le présent article récapitule les points forts de ces méthodes, telles qu’expérimentés sur mes projets, et les limites que j’ai pu rencontrer pour vous aider à choisir la méthode que vous pourrez adapter à vos besoins.

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A game usability review of Triple town

Screenshot_2014-02-25-08-44-39Triple town

Triple town is a mobile puzzle game by Spryfox that has kept me addicted for quite a while, despite the free to play time limiting features. In this article, I will introduce the game’s strength, then walk you through some of the usability issues that would be worth fixing to make the experience even more enjoyable.

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