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.