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The Science Of Usability Testing

Edge: From unskippable cutscenes to galvanic skin response, we investigate the world of videogame user research.

Difficulty spikes, unreliable checkpoints, context-sensitive buttons that might open a door, but might bounce a grenade into your lap instead: these things matter. “Every moment in a game, you’re bleeding players,” says John Hopson, Bungie’s user research lead. “Hopefully, you’re bleeding them as slowly as possible. The most powerful thing I ever did on Halo was make a graph showing how many players we lost each mission. We had these people: they bought the game, they wanted to play, and we failed them.”

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