When we arrived, Stephen and I cracked the spine on the Book of Shame. It’s the book that records every bug, glitch, tweak, upset, crash, error, or moment of confusion that you see players experience as they play your game for the first time.
We call it the Book of Shame, but it’s actually an extremely wonderful and humbling thing to have at an event like this. My recommendation is to bring one, and don’t be shy about cracking it open in front of players to write down something they’ve broken. I mean, pretend like you’re embarrassed, like “uh oh, that’s another one for the Book of Shaaaaame”, but ham it up. Players love it. Here’s why:
(a) people expect errors when they’re playing demos, so don’t be embarrassed. In fact, unless your game is abysmally error ridden, people like to break your game. It gives them hope that they might have a job in QA one day. It also makes them more hardcore or something.
(b) when players give you feedback, ask them specifically for bad feedback. They will have some. Thank them, and then they respect you for caring enough to follow their suggestion. Now they’ve helped, and they’ve invested in your game, in a way.
(c) the game is not out yet, so isn’t it better to catch all these problems BEFORE they go out than AFTER?
After four days at EGX, our Book of Shame stands at 8 pages long. Awesome. The programmers were running out of things to do anyway.*
*No they weren’t.