Cartoon: Playing the Build

Spending time to review and analyze the project you're working on sounds like a no-brainer. Yet it's a common problem when working in game development. With stressful deadlines always just around the corner, finding time to deep-dive into the game feels like an invitation to fall far behind.

This is one major reason why project leads burn out. Charting a path through development, while attempting to stay abreast of what the team has created, is a recipe for 12-hour days, every day.

Playtest culture is one solution that can provide insight. There are nuggets of gold to be found if one is willing to take the team offline regularly. Focus Tests can also be useful, but mostly reveal surface impressions, and that players want a better version of whatever they're currently playing.

A third option can be to hire an game design consultant, expert in game deconstruction and analysis. Someone outside of company politics and who isn’t emotionally invested or numb after months/years on the project. They can provide the team with a prioritized report that identifies root cause issues, provides breakdowns of why they occur, and offers action point solutions for their elimination or mitigation.

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