Thirty game developers have been working on a game for three years and it seems that everything is good to go for its release.
However, right before the release, it was found that there were many issues reported in the BETA version that was made available earlier.
Furthermore, it was discovered that in order to solve those issues, the whole system on which the game runs would likely have to be redesigned all over again from square one.
In the end, the game developers are left with only two choices, either restarting the project from the ground up or just canceling it altogether.
A schedule for having the development of a certain game finished within a year is created and a BETA version of the game is hastily churned out.
Results of this demo show that 80% of the players quit after just ten minutes of gameplay.
The reason for this is not immediately clear, and by the time it is discovered, it’s already too late to do anything about it.
Having realized that there were problems right from the get-go, it now seems that one year’s worth of hard work was all for nothing.
The two scenarios above are common predicaments that game developers often face.
Let alone having a successful launch, just completing the development of a game and getting it onto the market in and of itself is no easy task.
Hence the merging of Delusion Studio and PNIX Games, the result of which gave birth to RisingWings.
This action was taken to cut down on this process of trial-and-error.
RisingWings took on a new experiment in August of 2021.
Given the name “Early Test,” it was an attempt at a new process of game production.
The key elements of “Early Test” are as follows:
1) With the fewest number of people needed
2) quickly develop just the core framework of the game
3) then test it out on a service-driven platform with actual players
4) and see if everything works as intended.
Having a test run of a particular game is necessary during the development process. Indeed, providing a certain level of completion with a fair amount of content to test is expected.
This testing phase is implemented for a year or two, even for the smallest of games.
If it is the case that the results of the test are undesirable, then the project is either scrapped or the game is redeveloped using much of the content that had already been completed for it. This has become routine.
So, even if it means the contents of the game such as the characters or the artwork are lacking depth, they are created as quickly as possible and tested.
At least we can know how well the core framework of the game performs, as well as whether or not the players enjoyed their first experience with the game.
Above all, we believe that it is crucial that we allow actual players to test out the game for themselves.
Traditionally, the initial testing of a game is conducted internally by the company’s own management, and it is their feedback which determines the future of a project.
However, if management were able to predict the success or failure of games so well, then all we would be hearing is only the utmost praise and veneration for all games currently on the market, but we all know that isn’t the case.
“Instead of having management determine the viability of a game, let’s ask the players.”
This is the very reason for which we decided to implement the idea of “Early Test.”
This process can also be thought of as one of ‘learning and improvement through experimentation.’
Achieving absolute perfection the first time around is really unheard of for anybody.
This is especially true for anyone trying their hand at a new kind of game.
The faster, the more often, and the greater number of times one attempts to achieve something, the more they are able to learn.
The key values at RisingWings, ‘Market Connected,’ ‘Rapid Execution,’ and ‘Learning & Improvement,’ are not simply impressive words; they are actual values that are adhered to as evidenced by the implementation of “Early Test.”
From the writer)
Defense Derby, RisingWings’s new game which is expected to come out in the first half of 2023, is the first example of a prospective game to go through the “Early Test” process.
Since Defense Derby, there have been four other projects that have already undergone the “Early Test” phase, some of which were quickly scrapped and yet others which were given a new direction and are now currently in the thick of the production process.
We’ll be sure to set some time aside for future blog posts in which we’ll look at each individual case of those projects that went through the ‘Early Test’ phase.
“Fail early. Be wrong as fast as you can. If it’s wrong, try again. As fast as you can.”
Ed Catmull, “Creativity, Inc.”
Written by Fluke Gamer Roy