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I am targeting mass casual audience as I am developing the hyper-casual game. The problem is that I have played Helix Jump and Color Bump 3d and those games have a pretty big difference in difficulty level (well at least for me). They are both considered hyper-casual, both target mass casual audience and both have market success.

If two so similar games have such decent difference in difficulty how to determine that the difficulty of my game is just right? It's easy to say that it's subjective but when you invest so much time in your project you need to have at least some benchmark to work with. How to define this benchmark?

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Playtest, playtest, playtest.

Get testers from your target demographic, let them play the game, and see which parts of the game are so difficult they are frustrating and which parts are so easy they are boring.

Get new testers from time to time which are not yet familiar with your game ("kleenex testers") so they tell you the difficulty from the perspective of a new player.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This type of testers is often called "corridor tester". Because you open the door and ask the first person walking down the corridor to test your game. \$\endgroup\$ – lilKriT Apr 5 at 18:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks! I will use it. Also, maybe it's a silly quesiton, but is there some way to test it solo? \$\endgroup\$ – Petro Koval Apr 5 at 18:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PetroKoval You can (and should) certainly playtest it yourself, but the problem of you being too familiar with and invested in the game and your vision of it is difficult to get around (it needs to be fun for other people, which you are not). \$\endgroup\$ – Dukeling Apr 5 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PetroKoval You can, but you have biases. If I may take an anecdote from debug testing (rather than play testing), I tested a particular demo for 2 days before handing it to the customer. The customer picked it up, clicked two buttons, and it immediately crashed. He was nice about it, but I went home severely humbled. How did I not test that button? I ran myself through my testing procedure, and realized that I thought "Check buttonA, check buttonB, skip button C because I know it doesn't work, check button D...." \$\endgroup\$ – Cort Ammon Apr 6 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I had subconsciously skipped testing a button because I knew it wasn't ready for prime time. As it turns out, it was a button that my customer cared about, and was one of the first things he tried. Testers who don't know what's going on are worth a lot! \$\endgroup\$ – Cort Ammon Apr 6 at 18:04

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