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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Beyond Test Servers: How 'For Honor' Made Testing a Celebrated Player Experience

Laurent Chouinard  (Project Lead Programming, Ubisoft)

Audrey Laurent-André  (Associate UX Director, Ubisoft)

Date: Friday, July 23

Time: 3:40pm - 4:10pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

In this session, Audrey and Laurent share their learnings on For Honor about trying to use Test Servers to iterate content and balancing changes with players.
While a solid industry standard, they explain why Test Servers didn't work for For Honor. They were counterproductive to the dev team as managing integrations between branches quickly became quite complex. On top of that, low player participation made meaningful iterations almost impossible due to poor quality of data.
They explain why the assumption that shipped and in-development content should be kept separated was a barrier to a more efficient solution: testing beta content directly in the main game. They show how developing the Testing Grounds gave them a better tool to engage their community, maximize players attendance and drastically increase the quality of feedback.

Takeaway

Attendees will learn the steps the For Honor team took to replace Test Servers with a solution embedded in the main game and how it restructured the way they work. They will also get insights on how this new way of testing has improved the overall iteration quality.

Intended Audience

This session is aimed at producers and leads working on live games, before or after their launch. The tech and pipeline discussed is relevant for technical leads as well as pipeline and build specialists. Additionally, the UX and design crowd should benefit from the notions presented about live feedback and iterations.