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Eurogamer.net Podcast #97: Testing Games With Science

Graham McAllister from Player Reseach explains the dark art of biometric usability testing.

Hello faithful listener! This week we are lucky enough to welcome three special guests to the podcast: Graham McAllister, founder of Player Research; superstar freelancer Christian Donlan; and Christian's new and improved beard. It's quite the thing.

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We quiz Graham about his work at Player Research, which essentially boils down to getting people to play games while hooked up to all sorts of fancy biometric equipment. This information is then fed back to the developer who will, hopefully, use it to improve their game. Graham's the reason everything now gets eight out of ten.

Graham tells us about difficulty settings and why tutorials are rubbish, and I try to trick him into saying controversial things about various well known developers and franchises. We also ask him why he doesn't gather all the info he's ever collected into a giant game design bible and then create the best game ever and become master of the universe, like some kind of deranged Heston Blumenthal.

And we talk about Christian's beard.

If you're interested in this subject, you can find Graham on Twitter at @grmcall.

The podcast goes up every week at 5pm on a day beginning with a T and occasionally some other days.

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