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:
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. If you need to fine-tune the timestamp, you can do that within the annotation edit box or even specify an end time in the annotation.
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.
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!
#hashtags are a great way to categorize annotations, allowing them to be grouped and filtered in a video or even across a playtest.
To create a #hashtag just type # and type out a word or a phrase with no spaces. This #hashtag will then be added to a #hashtag dropdown that you can select from the next time you add an annotation.
You can add multiple #hashtags to an annotation and place them anywhere in the text. For example: "#bug - player was able to exit #level1 without collecting #orbs."
This annotation is instantly categorized under #bug, #level1 and #orbs
Adding a #hashtag to one video in a playtest for a game, automatically makes it a suggestion when adding annotations to any other video within any playtest for that game. This lets you keep #hashtags consistent across videos and even group similar instances in playtests.
Lastly, #hashtags are summarized in both the playtest summary and the video blurbs with a count next to them. This will give you a quick way to identify what happens in each video and also know how common an occurrence is in the playtest. There is also a #Hashtags dropdown under the playtest summary to make navigation by #hashtags easier.
Read more about hashtags: Using hashtags for better annotation and faster analysis
In the video player you have the option to filter annotations by category, #hashtag, clips and if they are starred. Here you can show all, some or even just one of the annotation types using the filter. This is particularly useful when different members of your team are looking at the videos.
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.
You can also use your annotations to create video clips and video reels to share with your team. Learn more about Video clips and video reels
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:
Questions? Reach out to us by opening the chat bubble in the lower right corner of your screen.