Play testing, (may it be iterative or planned with a group of your target audience) is a process more and more used by companies.
My very first contact with the concept was when I heard that Valve was play testing their games as soon as the first prototype was made. This is part of their design philosophy and we can learn a lot from them on that part. For instance, it has helped them to make the flow of Portal's learning curve as seamless as possible.
- What importance do you attribute to play testing?
- What part does it take in your design flow?
- How often do you do it?