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Evening Reading - August 25, 2020

It's night time in America, which means it is time for Shacknews Evening Reading.


Hey Shacknews, it's time for Evening Reading. Let's officially close out our day of posting. Please take a look.

In case you missed it at Shacknews:

And now... Other Stuff From The Internet!!!

The Cuyahoga River catches on fire again

Fourteen times, and counting.

Are ya winning?

This meme format is pretty solid.


This game looks awesome.

AT&T Spokesperson Milana Vayntrub speaks out about online sexual harassment

Even the commenters during her Instagram Live stream where she discussed online harassment were out of line.

RIP, Oculus

I attended every Oculus Connect, and each year they strayed further from what made the company a beacon of light for the VR industry. Anyway, check out this VR demo I saw on the Internet today.

Eka breaks down Outerloop Games' playesting during the pandemic

Here's a full transcript of his Twitter thread:

Playtesting during a Pandemic 

A thread as long as it needs to be. We've been working on a new game for the last five+ months or so in-between a bunch of other stuff. It's a hybrid concept and needed some fresh eyes on it to make sure it was all working. We're a studio of 13 folks now spread out from Vancouver, Seattle area, Long Beach, New York, London, and Brisbane.

The general flow was to invite someone to play test remotely, send them a build, have them share their screen (with optimize for video checked) and watch them play.

The Zoom call was recorded for folks that couldn't be there for the live session. During the play test I would moderate and ask the tester to talk out aloud as they play. We wouldn’t intervene at all unless something was a showstopper. 

After the session, we did a Q and A for about 15-20 minutes to get their general thoughts and dive into specifics on particular systems or parts of the game that they wanted to expand on. During all this, we have a doc open taking notes of things that stood out or broken.

All our play test were with other dev friends starting with game designers, artists, animators, musicians, sound designers, writers, UI/UX folks, marketing/PR/biz etc for feedback in different areas of the game we wanted to improve on. For each playtest we had a goal going in.

It’s a humbling process and was also a huge morale boost for the team too. We did them daily or as often as we needed them after making changes to the build between sessions.

After the Q and A was done and the tester logged off, we would chat over what we just saw as a team and make a list of actionable items to do to improve the build before the next playtest and sometimes big design changes or overhauls.

Our demo that we were testing with is about 10-15 min long + 15-20 min for Q&A. We tried to limit our sessions for 30-45 min max to be respectful of people's time. It's taken our demo to being somewhat functional to being pretty self-contained and enjoyable with polish.

As we're building out other core parts of the game, we're going to be doing this process again focusing on those new core systems, mechanics, communication, feedback, etc. There are probably better tools out there for this kind of work and would love to know what folks are doing.

Huge thanks for the folks that playtested the game! Y'all are amazing and helped so much when we got lost in the weeds. It's always a good idea to get fresh eyes on your project form time to time!

For organization we had a dedicated Playtest Slack channel to post notes and discussion as well as schedule in Basecamp for upcoming playtests.

And now some cats from the Internet...

Let's check in on Kate's Cat Corner.

One more cat.

Fall Guys theme

Not bad.

There you have it, Shacknews. Your Evening Reading for August 25, 2020. Please consider subscribing to Shacknews Mercury to support our site for as little as $1/month. Here is a photo of Lola to brighten your night.

Lola is the best dog. She got a bath tonight.
Lola is the best dog. She got a bath tonight.

What are you up to tonight? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment thread below.


Asif Khan is the Luminary and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola