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    The Game Creators – GameGuru – Game Engine Expert Review

    Established in 1999 The Game Creators are a British software company with decades of experience producing game creation software. One of their current tools, the GameGuru game engine, had the tag line ‘The Easy Game Creator’ being promoted as a non-technical way for anyone to create games. However, based on user feedback this was not the case. Realising that the software required revisiting The Game Creators invited City Interaction Lab to conduct an expert review of GameGuru in order to identify any user experience (UX) issues that could be addressed in a future release in order to improve the process for new and existing users.

    What we did
    The expert review consisted of the reviewer attempting to carry out typical tasks within GameGuru in the mindset of a new user and documenting any difficulties they encountered. The reviewer then produced recommendations based on interaction design best practices and awareness of other game engines / 3D modelling software, of which our reviewer had extensive experience.
    To focus their interactions with the software the reviewer approached it with naivety and unsuccessfully attempted to create levels with he hope of including the following game mechanics (based on game ideas the reviewer had or games they had recently been playing):

    Team mechanics, realistic NPC reactions, high water levels, import of monster assets from external asset store, custom creature AI scripts, companion character, interactions with the environment (e.g. climb ladders, drag bins), versatile third person character animations.

    The reviewer intentionally chose complex scenarios without considering the software’s constraints as that’s how new users would approach it.

    The expert reveal that The Game Creators had produced a strong tool that removes a lot of the technical challenges from budding game makers. However our reviewer identified a number of user experience issues with the game engine that might impact the experience of new of existing users, thus holding the software back from wider adoption.
    Following our report The Game Creators decided to redesign GameGuru from scratch and release it as GameGuru Max with City Interaction Lab supporting the team by providing wireframes for key screens and interactions.

    What the clients said

    ‘ Stuart was kind enough to conduct a thorough review of our game making product GameGuru from a UX point of view, and particularly from the view of a new user trying to realize a series of game ideas with our present interface. His report was insightful and detailed, drawing from his experience with other similar tools to provide us with a fresh perspective. If you are looking for a professional critique of your software or system, I highly recommend Stuart. His ability to clearly identify UX issues and suggest improvements will be a value to your developments.’

    – Lee Bamber – Founder / Lead Programmer

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