Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Right to a Fair Trial

When designers are going over the feedback provided by playtesters, they should be wary that not all ideas have merit. Some ideas should be considered, others should be immediately thrown out. For ideas there is no "right to trial by jury," as some people delusionally think. Feedback falls into three basic categories:

1. Additions

These are new features that playtesters recommend, often a favorite feature of a similar game that they think should be in this game too. should be chucked out a second story window upon conception. If a designer begins to seriously consider adding a feature after the project has reached the playtesting stage, it isn't a good thing, its a sign that he hasn't thought the design through enough. In that case, he should go back to the drawing board and start over.

2. Improvements

These are embellishments on features already in the game. They should get a few minutes of thought, but if the designer isn't convinced after that, he should throw them out as well. Better yet, he should file them away so that later, if the game has flaws, he can go through these and see if they solve the problems.

3. Corrections

These are fixes that correct bugs or harmonize different elements of the game that have been at odds with each other. These should be embraced and immediately implemented. They require no thought whatsoever. It's that simple.

Can you think of other types of feedback that wouldn't fit into these three general categories? Click the "comments so far" link below and let the world know!

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