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  • How To Lead Playtesting Sessions For VR Games

    [11.12.20]
    - Eleanor Wright

  • 4. Have multiple testing facilitators   

    When a tester is playing through your VR game, what should you do? Placing facilitators across multiple roles ensures all feedback is recorded and the session runs as efficiently as possible. Ideally, at least one person should be in each of the following roles:

    • Virtual Eyes: watch what the player's seeing in the headset. Where's the player looking? Are the interactions smooth? How does the environment look? Are essential elements in the player's field of view (FOV)?
    • Real Eyes: watch the player's actual movements. Is the player uncomfortable or fatigued? Are there any awkward hand or head movements? Is there excessive reaching or crouching? 
    • Technical Eyes: watch for technical difficulties. Is the equipment functioning properly? Is the headset too loose or too tight? Are there any tangled wires or other potentially hazardous obstacles? 

    5. Limit Assistance 

    VR is immersive and can be an isolating experience for some, especially first-time users. However, as tempting as it is to guide players and encourage comfort in VR, it can create a situation that breaks the immersion and places the value of the experience on the quality of the facilitator assistance instead of on the experience itself.

    You want to see how the player handles the gameplay on their own as much as possible, even if they struggle. Instead, have your testers talk through their playtesting thoughts--including any impressions, issues, surprises, etc.--throughout the experience. This narration can help ease tester anxieties and also provide you with immediate feedback. Make it a priority to solely observe and record during testing, and reserve assistance for mandatory situations.

    While in-person VR playtesting sessions may sometimes not be an option, these methods can also be applied to virtually. Ideally, these sessions would happen over a video conferencing call, with testers having their camera set up so that their physical movements can be observed. Meanwhile, testers should also stream their in-game headset view, which is a process that can vary depending on the hardware.

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