An introduction to playtesting with Steve Bromley


We were thrilled that user researcher Steve Bromley took time out of his day to speak to our incubator cohort last week. Steve’s talk covered the basics of playtesting, its importance to the development process, and how it can be done better. 

Steve began by talking about the concept of iteration when making a game, identifying it as the secret weapon of game development. By playtesting your game throughout development you are better able to establish what works and what doesn’t. Without it, you run the risk of your game failing to meet its potential. 

By identifying issues earlier in the development cycle you give yourself more options to resolve them. But if you have a small team and limited time, is playtesting even possible? Steve’s answer is to run regular small playtests that will enable you to: 

  • Get feedback on your game.
  • Make sure players understand it. 
  • Improve the quality of the game by the time of launch.

There were loads of great insights from Steve throughout the remainder of his talk. From working out what’s important to test, to a how-to guide on finding high quality playtesters and deciding what to do with them once you have them. There was plenty for the incubator cohort to digest and carry over to their own projects.

If you’re making a game and find that you’re struggling to find the time to playtest effectively then do check out Steve’s Playtest Kit. It condenses years of experience and best practice into things that are practical for people who aren’t full time user researchers.  

If you’re interested in the field of games user research then you should take a look at Steve’s book, How to be a Games User Researcher. It’s an essential guide on how to run professional quality playtest studies and get a job in the games industry.

We’d like to thank Steve for lending us his time and expertise. The practical tips and advice will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the cohort and their games. Thanks, Steve!

Steve Bromley Pic - Larger Quality

Steve Bromley

User Researcher, Playtest Kit
Tentacle Zone Incubator Partner