GDC: Day 1 Notes

Day 1 Notes include the session, “Usability Bootcamp.”  

Know the user, and you are not the user.

Just because it is your game, it does not it mean you know the most intuitive path to the expected outcome.

GUR: Game User Research.

Ease of Interaction

  • intuitive
  • efficient
  • effective

Utilizing Focus Groups

  • technique
  • gauge audience ttitudes

Play Testing

  • qa ux
  • unstructured foundation

Implementing GUR as part of dev process during:

  • pre pro
  • prodction
  • post pro



  • data colection
  • analysyis

Survey and Questionaire (quantitative)

  • questions with a range answer 1-10
  • check box, adree strongly agree etc

Player should keep a journal while playing game. for further analysis.

Player “think aloud” during game play. As the player plays the game it is encouraged that the player should express thoughts and feelings verbally.

Cognitive Walkthrough (no user required) – Layout the game level, or over arching theme verbally.

“Telemetry”: triggers in the game to record user interaction for data analysis.

In order for GUR to be effective, use must pose specific questions to be answered. “meat grinder” no question, no answer, i.e. “I want to know if the user can figure out if button A is a fire button or kick button” etc.


Testing in preproduction: use focus group. question the desireability of game concept. use “rich”descriptions. engage in discussion.. not group interview. 8 participants. great for user reception, art style, expected game mechanics.

low fi prototypes, pen paper wireframes, quick flash.

proto with users. core mechanic.

heuristics, no user required. follow best principals for ux. neilson’s usability heuristics: consistency and standards. video game specific: players should not lose hard won sessions.


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