[Every day during GDC, Everybody Dies creator Jim Munroe is blogging for GameSetWatch discussing the creative process for the GDC-related text adventure he'll be building for us. Here's part two, following Monday's entry.]

I loved Petri Purho's graphs yesterday. His candid post-mortem on Crayon Physics Deluxe detailed how he used player testing to fine-tune the difficulty between the levels, after having discovered that players continued to improve on levels with similar difficulty.

I think his craftmanship is laudable because testing and refinement is underrated in not just indie games, but indie arts in general.

While "It didn't test well in focus groups" is a tool marketing uses to bludgeon things they don't like in big companies, doing thorough playtesting and responding to what you learn is not tantamount to diluting your artistic vision.

Getting feedback and doing testing -- so long as you feel like the creative control is in your hands -- can be a hugely useful part of the process. Just because you can say "fuck the audience" doesn't mean that you should: and even if your intent is to frustrate or irritate the player, it's a good idea to see if people get pissed off to the pitch you expected.

I was talking to Farbs, the creator of the great Rom Check Fail today about player experiences. He was saying that everyone talks about the first ten minutes of a game, but not the last ten minutes.

I wonder if this is because most games aren't finished, except by the hardcore that simply care that they beat it (and that it was too short/easy). I'd be interested in stats that compare completion of movies to books to games.

I also think that few game designers put a lot of thought into when a player quits, maybe because the ideal player in their head never does.

It's one last opportunity to connect with the player -- sometimes there's a little funny jab at the player, or some variant on that, but it's usually a static stock response.

I'd like to make some use of the player data that the session has collected in this GDC text game. Even if it's just letting the player know how far along they are, or some other interesting stat. Something a bit more thought out than "Are You Sure? Y/N"