Use PickFu to A/B testing your game ideas

Michael Cowden
01 Jan 13:00

Through the last few blog articles I've talked about the benefits of collaborating with others on your game development project. This week I wanted to talk about tools for gaining feedback about your game. In particular, the A/B testing tool called "PickFu".

I had been deliberating over the name for my video game for quite some time. Picking names, be it for books, companies, bands or games, can be a royal pain in the arse. I can't tell you how many hours I've lost on namevine and dotomator searching for the perfect name that's already been taken...

While googling around for insights, I stumbled upon PickFu. It seems that Timothy Ferris had used them for workshopping book titles for the "Four Hour Workweek".

I decided to give it a try for the hardest decision I was struggling with at the moment: what to call my game. I was back and forth between Outrun the 80s and Super 80s World. The former was a working title that I had been using for the past few months. The latter was a suggestion by a marketing guru friend of mine.

I had already been heartbroken when Escape the 80s was used for a flappy bird clone a year or so ago. Now I just needed someone other than myself, other than my girlfriend, friends and family to tell me what they thought.

Enter PickFu

PickFu is an A/B testing site that allows you to pay ~ $20 to run an A/B test to their audience. The results were astounding. If you look at the numbers, only 28 of 50 responders chose Super 80s World. That's not such a decisive a victory; however, if you look at their comments you start to see WHY they chose Super 80s World. And that was way more enlightening:

I could immediately tell that Super 80s World communicated the game concept much better. The folks that liked that name got what the game was about and, more importantly, wanted to play it!

Since then I've used PickFu a half dozen times for everything from logo design choices to narrowing down the demographics of those who are interested in the game. Here's what I found in comparing two potential logo designs:

I would suggest, to anyone working on an indie game in a vacuum, give PickFu a try.

If you'd like to find out more about Super80sWorld, the retro-platformer set in the 1980s, please join our mailing list. We're looking for folks to evaluate a beta version of the game and give us honest feedback to help improve the game.