10 Video Game Developer Roles You Didn't Know Exist

9. User Lab Researcher

Batman arkham city
Ninja Theory

"Ugh, lucky! My best mate got to go visit Rad Dude Studios to try out a prototype build of the new Star Curd: Spread Wars, and they even paid him! But he said he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, so he can't tell me if Marmalord dies in the Toastron..."

Sound familiar?

If you said yes, why are you answering an internet article's rhetorical questions out loud like a maniac... and secondly, who the hell is your mate?!

User research labs are run by most large publishers as a way to both gauge real-world interest in their games by hiring regular gaming enthusiasts to try out games currently in development. Often done at significant milestones of a game's development, the user research lab might have in up to fifty different individuals to play the game behind closed doors, and give feedback based on their experiences.

These people are compensated, obviously, but the labs also have to be managed, and that's by researchers who collate and present the data internally to the designers who may decide to change certain mechanics ad-hoc.

That means this entry could either refer to the researchers themselves, or the researchees. What? Researchees is a word.



Hiya, you lot! I'm Tommy, a 38-year-old game developer from Scotland - I live in a caravan on the beach. I've worked on Need for Speed, Cake Bash, Tom Clancy's The Division, Driver San Francisco, Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise, Kameo 2 and much more. I enjoy a pun and, of course, suffer fools gladly! Join me on Twitter at @TotoMimoTweets for more opinion diarrhoea.