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Carbine Studios: Meeting the End Goals

Posted Aug 09, 2011 by Suzie Ford

Carbine Studios: Meeting the End Goals

A new post has cropped up on the Carbine Studios site penned by Senior Producer Eric DeMilt. DeMilt gives readers an inside look at usability testing and how Carbine utilizes it to ensure that end goals are firmly in hand and will be met as development of the as-yet unnamed MMO moves forward. Carbine and NCSoft will be revealing the game for the first time during this month's GamesCom in Germany.

All of this usability testing has been really eye opening. It has caused us to prioritize important fixes and make changes to things we simply didn't notice, or that had become dull annoyances to us. Dev teams can get used to things being broken after a while and begin to ignore them, real users don't! We believe extensive usability testing keeps us honest about the game we are making and keeps us focused on things that matter to real users. If you want a polished product you cannot get too focused on what's up next on the schedule and ignore things that need doing, right?

In addition to helping us identify important issues, these sessions also encouraged us to do more of the things that people liked. We'd sit in the conference room, agonizing as we watch a player struggle with a particularly hard puzzle, wondering if we'd just made the most frustrating piece of content ever. We'd cheer when they finally solved it, but would still wonder what we should change to make the puzzle easier. Later during the Q&A we discovered the player really enjoyed the difficulty, and felt a real sense of accomplishment when he solved it. This type of scenario played out in our testing so many times, rather than take it out or nerf it, we decided to do more.

Read the full blog post on the Carbine Studios site.

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Suzie Ford / Suzie is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. Follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom

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