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  • How To Lead Playtesting Sessions For VR Games

    - Eleanor Wright
  •  More players than ever before have access to VR, increasing the demand to create great VR experiences. Feedback from outside testers is essential to improve VR games, and there are various ways to ensure successful playtesting sessions:

    1. Get "Kleenex" testers

    The concept of "Kleenex" testing isn't new in game development, but it's especially important when it comes to VR. To support and sustain the growth of VR, experiences need to be as compelling and intuitive as possible. "Kleenex" testers, meaning those who have never used VR before, provide fresh, untapped insights into your game's mechanics, first impression, and feel. Be sure to include some first-time VR users to diversify your feedback. 

    2. Consider the range of previous VR experiences

    As VR hardware becomes more accessible to consumers, it's a challenge to find testers who are completely new to VR. Consider the range of VR platforms available--from mall kiosk experiences, to mobile VR, to high-end headsets. Many people have had some experience with VR, and these experiences will shape their expectations for your game.

    Players who have had bad VR experiences, perhaps from motion sickness or an uncomfortable headset, already enter your experience with preconceived concerns. Similarly, players who have had awesome VR experiences also have expectations to be met. Get to know the "VR mindsets" of your testers. Include a range of testers with varying degrees of experience in VR to get the most comprehensive feedback. 

    3. Introduce the equipment

    A tester's lack of basic VR hardware knowledge should not be allowed to significantly influence your playtesting session. The first step should be to introduce your testers to the equipment and basic controls. It's a lot easier to take a few minutes and explain how to adjust the headset and use the controller at the start than to troubleshoot during the session. Even if a tester has prior VR experience, it's best to provide everyone with the same basic equipment information. 


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