Continuous VR Game Testing = 5-star Reviews
How ARVORE secured the success of YUKI: Playtesting a VR game throughout the whole development cycle and post-launch updates.
About ARVORE and YUKI
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.
YUKI is an upbeat mix of the bullet-hell and roguelike genres in VR, set in an incredible anime universe.
The Challenges of VR Game Testing
ARVORE wanted to validate their design and development assumptions and evaluate the gameplay experience. The goal was to create an engaging game with a rich narrative experience that people would keep playing again and again. To achieve this, ARVORE needed to gain a very deep understanding of their potential target audience, their preferences, expectations, and later - comprehension of the narrative and decided to focus on new users for a series of test rounds.
Identifying and verifying new players would pose challenges, especially at the later stages of development, as various criteria could easily be missed (testers may not have noticed a requirement or have forgotten that they already played YUKI, they may use more than one username, use the full name or parts of their given names, and even have different Oculus emails), leading to unintentional testing with existing users.
Solution and Outcome
To test with players of specific profiles and get honest, detailed opinions with the same consistency, ARVORE partnered with VR Oxygen to conduct multiple playtests throughout the whole cycle of developing YUKI, from its early concept stages to post-launch updates.
A typical test round consisted of video recordings accompanied by voice commentary from the testers throughout the entire test session, and a post-play survey. The playtime and video recording requirements sometimes varied between test rounds and were adjusted based on the goals of each test round. To ensure confidentiality, an NDA was required to unlock the Test Guide and any further instructions.
Having a specific profile of a potential YUKI player, ARVORE's objective was to test with new players for every session, ensuring that the participants had never played YUKI before. VR Oxygen meticulously filtered and verified the required profiles to ensure that all testers matched the profile and were genuinely new to YUKI — haven’t played it before.
“We're very happy with YUKI's launch. Both user and critic reviews are very positive in general. We feel our test rounds were super important to the development process!”
- Rebeca Traldi, Producer
Armed with detailed profiles and consistent deliverables for every test round, ARVORE was able to perform comprehensive analyses, empowering them to make informed decisions at each stage of the game's development and compare audiences (new users vs. existing community users).
Continuous testing and the ability to engage with new participants from the target audience for each test round ensured that the game resonated with players and fulfilled their expectations. As a result of this thorough approach to VR game testing, YUKI had a very successful launch with consistently positive reviews across all major platforms.