Gamescom: Shaping Shu with Player feedback

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We’re back on English soil after a great week in Cologne where we attended Gamescom. We had a large booth in the Indie Arena where we ran Shu demos, as well as attending the Unity booth and Oculus booth in the business area, as both were kind enough to host Esper and a ton of interviews.

One of the reasons we attend as many events as possible with our games is that it’s always super beneficial in terms of gathering feedback. We get to meet enthusiastic gamers, other developers and gain publicity and fresh reactions to our work. At Gamescom this year the feedback we received for Shu was exceptionally helpful and we want to talk a little about how important public playtesting can be for your games and what you can learn from (what will hopefully be) your end users.

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As an example, something that kept coming up from people playing Shu was that the collision parameters surrounding certain obstacles were frustratingly sensitive. In particular, a series of thorny bushes in the demo were causing players a lot of trouble. Naturally, much of the development team had played through the demo, but as we’re not in full ‘QA mode’ at the moment, it can be difficult to identify areas of frustration when we’re so familiar with the game. If the developer designed or coded an obstacle, he/she will understand precisely how it works and how to overcome it (unless it is something completely ridiculous, like a shark with a shotgun strapped to its head).

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Without feedback from players, where would we be? We may not have been able to gauge just how out of control the bushes were. We’re deploying our finest bush trimmer and having the thorns clipped down to a more manageable level. This kind of thing can be applied to pretty much any aspect of game development and other areas of creativity, like having someone proofread your work. Letting the public “proofread” your game at events is a godsend for any developer. So… thank you!

We’re really grateful to everyone who came along and played Shu and more so to those who provided us with feedback. The feedback helps us shape our game into a more enjoyable experience and, hopefully, a better final product.

See you at EGX with an upgraded demo!

Thanks for reading. As always you can keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook for more regular updates.

 

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