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Players Making Decisions: Game Design Essentials and the Art of Understanding Your Players by Zack Hiwiller

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6. Playtesting

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.

—JOSEPH CHILTON PEARCE

You just spent the last five weeks kicking and screaming to get your game prototype to a playable state. “Yeah,” you say, “it still needs some spit and polish, but it works, doesn’t it?” You are tempted to release it to the world. This sort of self-lie is incredibly pervasive in game development. Games don’t have an easy unit test to determine if they are “done.” Getting a game to run or be rules-complete is only the first step. You must make sure it’s fun for others. No matter how good you are at “game design,” you cannot escape your subjective ties to the state of your game. When you feel you have finished, you have only just begun. Making games ...

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