Normally when it comes to testing out a business idea it’s more about customer discovery questions and establishing pain points and user stories. But building out a mobile game that is depend upon social interactions. Well that made some of my points seem less important.
There is a possibility I was over thinking or under thinking some of this but I left the assumptions that people want entertainment and went straight to the most complicated piece of it all.
Were people willing to play a multiplayer game that required creativity on both game sections?
If you look at most games you’ll see they are either ‘tell us what this card is’ or ‘draw out that word’ or act out the word and get people to shout it. It’s not a invent a sentence from thin air. Then write the scene out, then write a sentence out for that scene.
After paper testing some points and mocking up the game in a ‘card’ like system where I was the computer and the person I was testing was just interacting with it. I found some bumps and confusions along the way. I then mocked it up digitally and started playing around with the app by my lonesome to get a feel for it.
The challenge to alpha testing something with consumers who are not used to alpha testing things is most are confused by the lack of polish that shows up. It’s frustrating to watch the confusion and distractions that occur when you try to introduce the middle to early-middle adopters of your app. So the best thing you can do is try to lock in those early adopters so they are not as distracted with the constant poor quality or hiccups.
That can be easier said then done which is why I took it to those who would be early-middle adopters, just slightly behind the earliest of the early. The point being they could ramp up the game and I keep keep polishing it as needed.
Paper testing the mechanics helped because I had cleaned up a large portion of the free form aspects of the game when done in person. While you’re not always going to have people who are very patient testing in paper and then test it digitally do your best to keep grabbing people to get a feel for it.