How to Create a Game that Fulfills All Expectations

How ARVORE tested Pixel Ripped 1978 throughout the whole development cycle to evaluate comprehension, value, replayability, and unique features.

About ARVORE and Pixel Ripped 1978

ARVORE is an award-winning Brazilian studio based in São Paulo, that creates and develops profound interactive narrative experiences using the latest immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality.

ARVORE is famous for their interactive narrative experiences and games to transport people into immersive story worlds and expand the limits of storytelling. Among their awards are Emmy Awards, Cannes XR, and many more.

PixelRipped 1978 is the newest game in the Pixel Ripped series created by the game developer Ana Ribeiro and ARVORE.


ARVORE embarked on testing Pixel Ripped 1978 from its early stages to ensure an enjoyable experience for both long-term fans of the series and newcomers. The game's narrative represents a unique aspect, making it essential to validate the story and progression through early testing. Gathering feedback from potential players was crucial to iterate on the narrative, mechanics, and overall gameplay. 

The initial test aimed to determine if the game appealed to players, whether they were entertained, and if they understood their mission within the game. Additionally, ARVORE sought to investigate specific details unique to Pixel Ripped 1978 gameplay, such as player preferences regarding in-game distractions. 

As the game progressed, the process and deliverables for subsequent test rounds were adjusted accordingly. The goal of conducting a 3-hour test before a specific deadline, with video recordings of the whole gameplay for every tester, was challenging. Various obstacles may get in the way, such as testers forgetting to start the video recording or restart it after the break, or setting the wrong settings (all of this with no option to rerecord because only the first user experience was accepted), difficulties in transferring large video files, and the potential for bugs and confusion in the early alpha stage.

Solution and outcome

ARVORE partnered with VR Oxygen to execute a series of tests for Pixel Ripped 1978.

ARVORE defined the target audience for Pixel Ripped 1978 and wanted to have a ratio of users who already played games from the Pixel Ripped franchise and new users who’ve never played a Pixel Ripped game.

The deliverables for each test round included gameplay recordings initially starting with shorter video recordings and gradually transitioning to full 3-hour recordings as the testing progressed, a post-play survey, and a test report. Each tester was required to sign an NDA before participating in the process. The flexibility and adaptability of each step allowed to meet the unique needs of the game and its development cycle.

Prior to the launch, which is highly anticipated at the time of writing this case study, ARVORE conducted tests with players who had participated in previous test rounds—to evaluate the latest improvements.

Throughout the entire development cycle, VR Oxygen enabled the following:

  1. Consistency across all deliverables.

    Each player was required to play for a total of 3 hours within a week and record their entire gameplay, starting from the designated location.

    This included managing video recordings, from the guided recording process, and reminders, to video transfers, storage, and other related logistics until the files were delivered to ARVORE, maintaining consistent video file management for every tester and test round.

    ARVORE created their own post-play survey, which was modified for each test round. 

  1. Specific Target Audience.

    Searching for requested profiles, scheduling, prompt notifications, and replacements, enabling adherence to deadlines, and ensuring all parties remained informed at every stage and process of each test round.

Receiving consistent results from every tester and every test round allowed to create detailed test reports and analyze the data to see lifetime improvements.

Image credits: ARVORE and Pixel Ripped 1978

“We thought that it was possible to create this algorithm for scaling difficulty but learned from testing that it wouldn’t be done as easily as we assumed. Then we decided to do it in a different way, and changed the main system.”
- Niel Widy