Haunted Manor
Conducting Video Game Playtests and Designing UI

#UXtesting #UXanalysis #UIdesign


Playtest protocols, playtest results + action items, UI concept sketches


Feb. 2021 - Current
Development paused during May 2021 - July 2021


Solo UX Designer (Spring 2021)
UX designer (Fall 2021, Spring 2022)


Ongoing Project Overview

This project is a student game design project that I joined to add my UX skills. I tackled testing for each build of the game and passed on actionable feedback. I have been guiding my own learning by seeking out mentors, game design convention talks, and trial and error with reflection.

Currently, I am developing UI concept sketches with a fellow UX design student.

What is Haunted Manor?

Haunted Manor is a 3D platformer where the player plays as Crayon, a young boy who loves to explore dilapidated areas with his best friend in hopes of finding supernatural beings. He photographs his outings to record his adventures.

Creating Playtest Protocols

Since I have experience conducting UX usability protocols, I created playtest protocols that were inspired by the protocols I am used to creating in my other projects. These playtest tasks and questions are always informed by my initial playthrough of the build. I also ask the game developers on the team about any specific interactions they want feedback on.

Each protocol has 5 main sections: introductory explanation, preliminary questions, main playtest tasks, wrap-up questions, and open floor. Before I test new testers, I ask about their familiarity with video games to understand what kind of player they are. This allows the dev team to work around the different play styles and skill levels.

Gathering Player Feedback

During the playtests, I ask testers for their thoughts and feelings while they play and complete tasks. These tasks could range from finishing a level to something simple. Here, I ask questions about their choices and observe how they play and interact with the world.

After the tasks are completed, I let them have fun and talk to me about what they were doing. While they have fun and explore, I ask more reflective questions about their experience where they can openly speak about anything that came to mind earlier.

I record their thoughts and comments on a doc which I then transcribe into Miro where the development and design team can quickly skim for information.

These tests were moderated over Discord where my tester shared their screen as they played.

Analyzing and Creating Action Items

I create action items for the issues I find and hand them to the dev team so they can determine their next course of action.

One major issue I found during testing was their switch concept. It was not accessible to two of my testers who are colorblind so I explained they could look into different colors or use different shapes or symbols to signify their interactions.

Creating Concept Sketches

The game's core UI component is the scrapbook. This scrapbook is where the player collects polaroids of the ghosts and keys they obtain as they explore the levels. The scrapbook has two major sections: ghosts and keys. They can move between these sections using the right and left bumpers.

What are my next steps?

Creating concept sketches for the pause menu, HUD, and title screen.



This was the first time I had ever done something that blended game design and UX design, so the deep dive into self-learning was terrifying. However, I do not regret that decision at all; I have learned so much about letting go and letting my testers/players explore a product on their own. Organic reactions can emerge from this approach. Additionally, I am having a great time ideating diegetic UI for a video game!