PlaytestCloud has a built-in annotations feature, allowing you to keep detailed notes on how players are interacting with your game.

What are annotations?

Annotations are notes you can attach to specific moments in a playtest video. They are a great way to keep track of how players interact with your game.

Anyone with a link to your video can view and add annotations – making it easy to collaborate with people on your team.

Note: See Sharing playtest videos with your team for more on how collaboration works on PlaytestCloud.

Where and how

You can use annotations in PlaytestCloud however you would like – there are no rules or limitations. Any annotations you add are there for your reference, and nothing more – so jot down whatever you find noteworthy!

The Annotations tab is open by default on the right-hand side of your screen when you open a playtest video:

You can add an annotation wherever you'd like to within a playtest video by clicking on the Create Annotation button and then entering your text:

Timestamps

Annotations are timestamped at the exact time of entry, allowing you to add an annotation at the precise moment it's needed. Timestamps also make it easier to find your annotations when reviewing a video.

The Create Annotation button always shows the current playback position of the video, even when it's playing.

When you click Create Annotation, with the Pause video on annotation checkbox checked, the video playback will pause, allowing you to create an annotation for the exact moment you wish to annotate.

You can also adjust the annotation time by clicking on the -5s or -15s buttons next to the Create Annotation button.

Clicking a time in the annotations list takes you to the specified time within the video player.

This connection between the annotations and the video player is especially helpful for the voracious notetakers out there.

Annotation categories

You’re able to create, add, customize and filter your teams annotation categories.

Adding new categories and customising existing ones

 In your settings page you can add new categories, or makes changes to existing ones. Please note that these will change for your whole team! If you accidentally delete a category the current annotations within that category will not be deleted.

Each category has a name and a symbol or color. You can change these by clicking them on the settings page. The green “Add category” button allows you to add new annotation categories. Don’t forget to save your changes!

Filtering annotations

In the video player you have the option to filter annotation categories. Here you can show all, some or even just one of the categories. This is particularly useful when different members of your team are looking at the videos. A blue dot beside the symbol or color means that at least one annotation of that type is present in the video.

It’s worth noting that when you have a single filter option on and use the create annotation button it will create that kind of annotation.

You can change the category of the annotation after it’s been made by clicking the color or symbol  beside it.

CSV Export (Within Video Player)

If you want annotations as a CSV file, it's possible to do so via the video player screen:

Excel & CSV Export

You can also download a CSV – or Excel – file with all your annotations on the playtest overview screen by clicking on the drop-down menu Reports -> Download annotations (Excel or CSV):

The Annotation Matrix

The Excel file has one extra feature not found in the CSV export: We call it The Annotation Matrix.

The Annotation Matrix is a worksheet found within the Excel report. It shows all of your playtest's annotations side-by-side for an easy to compare overview between each player.

You can find the Annotation Matrix by navigating to the worksheet labeled as such within your spreadsheet program:

Next steps

Questions? Reach out to us by opening the chat bubble in the lower right corner of your screen.

Happy playtesting!

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