What are people doing on our playtests in the age of neuro-technologies and big data when everything you need can be done by a computer. But it’s not really true for making playtests great. All the data for analytics is collecting by people. Who are they? And how they are collecting everything we need?
Meet our interviewers' team - our superheroes who are the important power in doing research. They are specially trained for doing useful interviews. And they are in love with games :)
They make players talk
It’s not an FBI thing :)
Players need a good guide - playing under video recording and commenting is not a thing we do regularly, right? You’re playing silent, just screaming out something in the most emotional parts). So one of the main tasks for the interviewer is to make a player feel comfortable and ask them important questions the right moment.
They collect all the deep data
Can AI ask questions depending on player's answers? Yes. Can AI get to the point as good as a human? Not yet, guys, not yet. How much time will take to teach AI to do all we need? Don’t really know. That is why we need people that will listen. Listening is not a simple thing - you need to pick the next question from the answer to find necessary insights that will be enormously useful for you.
The in-depth interview will help to find the real reason, not just “I don’t like the art because I don’t”.
They control everything about the playtest scenario
Making interview is not just a talk. Interviewers have a defined plan (guide) for the playtest, they are always focused on a goal of the research. This helps interviewers to guide a talk the proper way, according to the goals you've defined. If you playtest an idea, the interviewer will focus on current experience in similar games, if you playtest an alpha-version - interview will be focused on core mechanics. If the art is not implemented - don't worry, there will be no questions touching it, and absence of art will not influence core mechanics experience.
Interviewers are responsible for the video recording quality so that we have a high-quality screencast, face capture (for emotions analysis) and hands (for game control analysis) in one video.
They know your game better than gamers
No-no, interviewers are not professional gamers in all genres - it’s impossible. Still, to be well-prepared, interviewers go through playtest scenario, including surveys, themselves before coming to playtest. This “pilot playtest” aimed to double-check the scenario and surveys, so playtest goes smoothly for the player, even if playtest team will imitate match-making system which is not implemented yet, or have to switch the player between three versions of build, or whatever else we do all the time :) Interviewers are very important to form uninfluenced UX we study.
They are just nice people that love games, other people and research
Interviewers study people - we are in love with people.
Interviewers are open to discover the truth about the game whichever it is.
Interviewers really love to talk about games.
We just train them to do it proper, scientific way. That is why we involve interviewers - it is one of the most important parts in making games just that awesome.