Games User Research (GUR) for Indie Studios

Naeem Moosajee and Pejman Mirza-Babaei. 2016. Games User Research (GUR) for Indie Studios. In Proceedings of CHI 2016 Extended Abstracts. San Jose, CA. ACM. doi:10.1145/2851581.2892408


Playtesting sessions are becoming more integrated in game development cycles. However, playtests are not always feasible or a ordable for smaller independent game studios, as they require specialized equipment and expertise. Given the recent growth and prevalence of independent developers, there is a need to adapt playtesting processes for indie studios to assist in creating an optimal player experience. Therefore, our research focuses on challenges and opportunities of integrating games user research in the development cycles of independent studios. We worked with three studios conducting playtests on their upcoming titles. In line with the CHI2016 #chi4good spirit this paper contributes to the important topic of adopting user research methods for indie and small game studios. We believe that the games user research (GUR) field must advance towards demographics that will benefit from GUR but are under-represented in the community and this paper is one of the first that will contribute to this.