Thomas Was Alone dev says polish is also "crucial to game development"

Bithell: Playtesting your game is essential

In his talk about indie game quality, developer Mike Bithell told GDC attendees that he believes playtesting is essential to ensuring your game is a hit.

The Thomas Was Alone creator stressed that showing your target audience the state of the game is key to finding out if its something they want, whether that’s through playtesting, videos or releasing screenshots, GamesIndustry reports.

"I have a vision and an objective with my games, and playtesting’s really useful to find out how badly I’m achieving that," he told attendees. "It’s good at pointing me in the right direction of achieving my goals as a creator. Usually I’m miles and miles off."

He acknowledged that many indies don’t like to think about polishing their game’s to improve the final quality, believing this to be mainly associated with triple-A development, but posited that devs who think they are ‘punk’ by deliberately avoiding triple-A quality and practices are actually producing games poorly.

"The person who sis down and makes a game that breaks the rules, that does something different, if they’re just doing it because they didn’t bother to check what the rules were, or to see how players reacted to what they were doing and just went for it anyway, then they’re not punks," he said.

"They’re just people who haven’t invested the time and effort in their design.

He added: "I think polish is important. It’s crucial to game development." 

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