Playability and usability are two different things, but are closely related, here are some heuristics that could be used in creating a game survey.
- Is the player’s time wasted?
- Does the game handle interruptions
- Can the player control sound and game play depending on the environment
- Use common styles
- Help the player
- The device UI (phone) needs to be different than the Game UI
- Use terms that are familiar to the player
- Character status should be obvious
- Goals should be clear
- Make sure to design for a wide range of players
- Don’t be boring
For instance, one of my favorite games, the thumbstick is sometimes hidden by the graphics colors.
Once you run the survey, how do you fix your game? Experience helps, so don’t be afraid of doing the survey and then reacting to it. For instance in my favorite game the fix would be easy: Change the color of the thumbstick. If is software related, then you want to react to that before placing your product up on AppHub.
Source: ACM Digital Library
Playability heuristics for mobile games
Hannu Korhonen Nokia Research Center, Tampere, Finland
Elina M. I. Koivisto Nokia Research Center, Tampere, Finland