Gamecrastinate had the privilege of attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new UX testing lab at Full Sail University. Located on the main campus of Full Sail University in beautiful Winter Park, Florida, the Full Sail User Experience Lab is supported by Wargaming.net, makers of the wildly popular World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, and the upcoming World of Warships. The event, which also streamed live over the internet, was jam-packed. Press, students, and faculty filled the room literally from floor to ceiling, with many choosing to watch the event from the 2nd floor of the building.
This beautiful facility is expected to bring state-of-the-art UX testing to over 5,000 playtesters annually, including both internal and external members of the community. The Full Sail User Experience Lab will also address and execute 100+ research projects per year for companies from multiple industries, as well as provide a project-based teaching environment.
The lab itself is located in a large wing inside one of Full Sail’s main campus buildings. Much like the rest of the university, the Full Sail User Experience Lab is beautifully decorated in a sleek and modern style. Inside this facility, playtesters, developers, and researchers alike will work together in an effort to build the video games that gamers around the world will experience in years to come. In addition to their traditional technology driven classes, Full Sail students will now have the opportunity to participate in shaping the future of Wargaming.net’s collection of games.
But it won’t just be Wargaming.net games that are tested in the Full Sail User Experience Lab. Full Sail will also be reaching out to the gaming industry, from indie devs to major studios, to bring their testing projects to the brand new lab. With 2 rooms of 12 gaming-ready workstations at their disposal, up to 24 playtesters can work on different projects throughout the facility.
Multiple rooms encompass this lab, each with their own unique function. An executive office located in the corner of the lab allows admins to work while on location, while a dedicated console testing room with a couch and a large LCD tv allows for a more casual testing environment. A main control center room, complete with 1-way glass, allows researchers to conduct usability studies while playtesters play in the adjacent rooms. Finally, the lab also includes a 1 on 1 room where a single playtester will be able to go through a game while speaking aloud everything about the experience that comes to mind.
The entire lab is configured to allow feeds from specific testing stations to be broadcast throughout the facility. From the executive office, the main research control center, to even the playtesting rooms themselves, any feed can be watched at any time while inside the lab. Additionally, the lab is ready to broadcast to streaming services such as Twitch.tv, should that need arise.
After spending some time in the Full Sail User Experience Lab, it’s clear that the facility will bring tremendous value to the undergraduate and graduate students of the university, while also creating a valuable resource for developers and publishers like Wargaming.net. It’s rare to have such a state-of-the-art game testing lab located on a university campus, but what makes Full Sails lab so special is the fact that game design is one of the core degree programs at the University. A lab located in the heart of their campus will offer these students invaluable experience in their chosen field.
To learn more about Wargaming.net’s collection of games, including World of Tanks, visit www.wargaming.com.
To learn more about Full Sail University, named in 2014 as one of the “Top 25 Graduate Schools to Study Game Design” by The Princeton Review, visit www.FullSail.edu.