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Games Are Not Played in Focus Group Facilities. Why Research Them There?


The B|P game research model is based on a simple idea that gamers will give much more accurate feedback when they can play individually in a relaxed, home-like, environment. Typically, gameplay testing is done with gamers playing in a single stuffy focus group room where they can see each others screens, and doesn’t represent real-world usage in the slightest. The B|P simulated native environment research division (yeah, SNERD) brings the same native environment focus to assessing gameplay experience as our other remote research methods, in an area where remote observation isn’t always technically feasible. In our model, observers and the moderator listen to gamers on individual audio channels while watching real-time metrics from a touch screen at each gamer station where the gamers give feedback live and follow the Think-Aloud Protocol. And of course, we’ve structured the method and technology to fit remote methods where follow-along multiplayer functionality exists. The result is rich, engaging data about users — a radical improvement over other forms of game research done in traditional focus group facilities, or expensive field research.

The observer room

The Method

  • Separate gaming stations replicate native gaming environments
  • Behavioral feedback
  • Allows for instant metrics generation
  • Remote viewing of metrics for stakeholders
  • Reduces analysis and data entry for the facilitator

The B|P Facility

To capture and observe player experience during testing, B|P uses individual stations for each gamer to interact on their own, in an environment that represents their real-world setup.

Each player has a private area, two computers or a console, and headphones. While playing, they can speak with the facilitator in the live observation room upstairs. They receive instructions remotely through a headset patch to the facilitator. A single pan/rotate/zoom camera is setup at each individual gaming station to capture the player’s facial expressions and body language.

One on Six Moderation

Using the gaming application TeamSpeak, B|P moderators talk with all six gamers at a time, or one individual gamer. Observers can login to Teamspeak and choose who to follow along with, or simply listen to the gamers that the moderator is interacting with. This allows the moderator and observers to easily follow along with six simultaneous gaming experiences as they are unfolding.
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