Why your friends are not testers?

Made a game and gave it to your friends or family to review? Awesome! They will tell you what they like in your game and what not. They will surely tell you if your game sucks or if it makes their life better.

Of course all this depends on peoples’ characters. For instance, if your mom is typical MOM, she will tell you that you’re brilliant, cos you made a real game all by yourself. She has no knowledge about any video games, but she loves it. Moms are usually the best at cheering, and even though it’s super nice to listen to the compliments, we can’t relay on such opinion.

Showing the game to your partner is also risky. If your relationship is still fresh the feedback will be all positive. Also some of your friends may not want to hurt your feelings, or may say the game is cool just to encourage you. Some people may be jealous and say your game is shit just hoping you’ll leave it. Every person is different, so you must be carefull who you ask for the opinion.

But playing a game and giving an opinion is not testing. It won’t show you where you made a mistake. It won’t find you holes in logic or physics of your game. Your friends can find some obvious bugs like crash at start or corrupted graphics, but those are the things you can easily find yourself.

Your friends will play the game the way it should be played. You say: go there and murder little baby panda, they’ll do it even though they don’t like it. If you say that little baby pandas must be murdered, bacause that’s what your game is about, they will play it without thinking why there are so many little baby pandas driving taxis on the streets of Sao Paulo. In your universe you can do whatever you want, but I saw a game in which Cuba was labeled as Hawaii. Seriously, it’ NOT a feature! Don’t fool yourself!

Only a person with any exp in testing will check if the little baby pandas driving taxis can drive through the river, order a Happy Meal at McDrive without driving into the reastaurant and killing everyone inside or if the cars’ plates are actually brazilian, not mongolian. A tester is not a person who tells you if your game is cool or not. He can, but it’s not the main part of his job.

If you want your game tested, find a person who will be able to list all your mistakes. Who will break your game into pieces and try to save all the pandas instead of murdering them. Who will try to go left instead right. Who won’t play it just to win but try to find all the possibilities to play it the other way. In the end you will have more work to do but it’s worth it. Trust me, I know how to save little pandas!