Henson's Little Testers
When I joined the Digital team at The Jim Henson Company, I had been told that the best part about making games and apps is when we get to play test with kids. On Wednesday, October 26th my friend, Kelly and her twin girls, Emerson and Dylan (who insists upon being called “Dee-dee”), arrived at The Jim Henson Company lot in Hollywood, CA ready to be our little testers. Fortunately for the Digital team, there are countless friends and family with children who are willing to play test for us! The twins’ session was led by Celine Willard, VP of Digital Development & Interactive Media, and Ashley Griffis, Director of Children’s Entertainment.
It was a blast! Our session with Emerson and Dee-dee was the first time I was part of play testing, and I can see where it is an incredibly important part of the process. Adults found Finball Friends to be fun, but during Beta testing we found that it was too fast-paced for kids and had to make tweaks to the game so it would be “easier” for our target age range of 4-7 years old.
Kelly shared with me, "My girls and I were beyond excited to get a window into the magical world of The Jim Henson Company. We were thrilled to be able to contribute to the next piece of wonder created there. The staff and work produced are one of a kind."
Later in the afternoon, Mason, son of Yannina Diaz, Director of Publicity at The Jim Henson Company, play tested Dotopedia with Celine. “Seeing months of planning and building in the hands of a kid is fun for me AND the kid,” Celine shared. “It’s always fascinating to test assumptions we make and dive back in to tweak the products before we launch them to the public.”