QA Makes the Game Too

The official role of QA (Quality Assurance) in software projects is to assure quality — that is, the software works as designed, and the design is reasonable. They find bugs.

But in a game, they do more. QA plays the game more than anyone, and has the best sense of how it works. Is it fun? Is it too hard or too easy? Does the UI work? What’s missing?

In King of Dragon Pass, the “heroic combat” concept came about because Rob Heinsoo felt something was lacking. (He ended up writing most of these scenes, too.)

I just finished implementing a suggestion from Liana Kerr:

I feel like there’s not a lot of connection between your opening questionnaire and your clan management. I have no emotional connection to the fact that we know the secrets of [redacted], because it’s never referenced again.

Well, it now is. And while a few questions don’t get an explicit mention later, I just made sure that every answer from two questions shows up in at least one scene. (The others are at least mentioned implicitly, like your ancestral enemy, or give bonuses in scenes.)

Earlier, she suggested

Raid adviceAdvice about raiding-related promises currently shows up in the War screen, but if you go to the Raid screen, it doesn’t. As a player I’d be more likely to expect to see it in the Raid screen and would entirely miss it in the War screen.

and

One problem I’ve always had with KoDP is that someone dies and I immediately forget who they were — that is, I just see the name and I don’t necessarily connect it with the face that I’ve been looking at for several years. It may be a little different with Six Ages, since the UI is a little different with the ring members’ names underneath their pictures … Two suggestions: …

and so on. More good ideas that got implemented.

For that matter, it’s not just QA that can influence the game. Much of the current combat feedback is based on a suggestion by Jan Pospíšil.

Not every team suggestion ends up in the game. Some are still on the backlog of possible tasks. But more input makes for a higher quality game.

Author: David

Creator of Six Ages and King of Dragon Pass

9 thoughts on “QA Makes the Game Too”

  1. It’s really heartening that the direction of the game seems to match up with what I loved/would have liked to see improved about KoDP. I’m excited.

  2. “And while a few questions don’t get an explicit mention later, I just made sure that every answer from two questions shows up in at least one scene. (The others are at least mentioned implicitly, like your ancestral enemy, or give bonuses in scenes.)”
    I wouldn’t mind if you did even more with this. I know it’s a lot of work, but I do love it when a game actually does something with my early game choices, gives me some clear consequences for them later on.

    Otherwise, sounds good. I’m really looking forward to this game.

    1. Yeah, it’s probably too late in development now, but it would be great to see, later in the game, a pack with like two or three events (and a handful of choices to other events) that are based on each of those early choices. That kind of thing can really help replayability, in addition to making your clan feel more “yours”.

  3. I’m happy to see that so many of the original KoDP team have been able to reunite to work on Six Ages as well. In playing KoDP, it really seemed like the game was in some sense a labor of love that received a lot of thought and care from everyone involved, so it’s a great sign that many of the same team are similarly committed to this project 🙂

    That reminds me, a cool KoDP easter egg I think I learned about later from this blog was that the development team members actually served as inspiration for many of the clan ring portraits. IIRC think I can recognize David’s avatar from way back when.. I wonder if something similar is being planned for 6 Ages?

  4. iOS or steam release is fine for me! Playing this game in 4k on my desktop just for the art! Keep up the fine work! I’ll be getting this game day one for sure!

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