Pejman Mirza-Babaei

  • Pejman Mirza-Babaei

    Pejman Mirza-Babaei

    Execution Labs

    Playtesting for small studios: lessons in playtesting your games


Iran (Islamic Republic of)




Pejman is the Games User Research Director at the Execution Labs (Montreal). He ensures that gameplay experiences meet designers’ intent, and he is responsible for UX research and playtesting for projects developed at the Labs. Before moving to Canada, Pejman worked in the UK at Vertical Slice and Player Research Ltd, where he worked on pre- and post-release evaluation of various titles. Pejman is an active member of the IGDA Games User Research SIG and has presented talks and co-organized workshops at various events such Brighton Develop Conference and Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS). He has a Ph.D. in HCI and Games User Research from the University of Sussex. Projects you've worked on: AvP - Crysis 2 - Split/Second Velocity - Pure - Fate of the World - Yoostar 2 - Fantastic Pets - Brink - Infamous 2 - WonderBook (game AR peripheral) - Diggs Nightcrawler - Walking with Dinosaurs - PS4 Orbis (controller, camera) - World War Z - Made in Chelsea - Buzz! Quiz World! - Project UV (non-game) - PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist, - Black The Fall - MorphoGoons - Outward - Earthcore: Shattered Elements - Secret Ponchos -


Talk Title:

Playtesting for small studios: lessons in playtesting your games


Talk Abstract:

Formal playtesting sessions are becoming more integrated into game development cycles. However, conducting these sessions is not always feasible or affordable for smaller independent game studios, as they often require specialised equipment and expertise. In this talk, I provide guidelines for how small studios with low budgets can benefit from playtesting their games. Using recent, real-world examples, I discuss the approaches, methods and equipment used to build an effective playtesting setup to help game developers optimise the player experience for their titles.



Game designer, producer, no prior knowledge of playtesting required