Hey guys, it’s been a while – your friendly neighbourhood game designer here. It has been an exciting few weeks with our team, as we’ve been getting ready to open the caves to the public! A demo version of Cave Digger 2 is playable right now as part of the current Steam Next Fest catalogue! Go check it out here!



My checklist for finishing the demo was completed late last week, but everyone else has been super busy exorcising bugs and implementing features up until Wednesday morning, so this week’s storytime fell squarely on my shoulders. I was going to talk about the quick and dirty prototype methods we use as part of early designwork and communication, but perhaps I’ll save that topic for a later date.

Instead, I think I’ll talk about what having actual players poke at our project feels like. Of course, this isn’t the first time people outside of the production team have tried out the game, but everything so far has been a “soft contact” – the marketing team, people from inside MeKiwi or their family. Essentially, users who have a vested interest in the project, who know bits and pieces about it beforehand, and who are likely to pull their punches with their feedback. This demo launch is the first time people from outside of our circle get the chance to try out the game and to give feedback, and that is, in a word, exciting!


Actual feedback and testing is worth its weight in gold when working on something as large and complicated as a virtual reality game project, and this is the first time we’re almost sure to get some. Does that tutorial bit work? Will the users comprehend this mechanic? Are those monsters too tough? All that and more will be revealed soon! It’s riveting stuff, really. We’re making the game for the players, so how they receive it is of course supremely important. 

Of course, even in the current day and age of direct communications we can’t expect to find all of the issues through comment threads and Discord chats (the Cave Digger community can be found here on Discord).


 To guarantee that we can wring out every bit of useful information from the upcoming demo testing we’ve implemented a number of metric tools, which collect information about people’s gameplay. For example, we track whether a player runs through the tutorial segment as intended, or whether they skip a section or get confused. We also track cash gains and loot collected, so that we can get a better handle on designing the game progression and upgrade economy. And, of course, we’re also testing the metrics we use to track these things: I’m sure we’ll realise that we need to improve the whole system based on the demo. Actually, the details of the analytics system we use to improve the game based on testing is probably something we’ll have a more extensive article on at a later date…


For now: go test Cave Digger 2, and give us feedback! Please, be cruel to be kind!




Random development quote: “Sehän on siinä nimessäki, AAMUPALAveri“.