Week 8 – Playtest Report: Joshua Crowley

Capture7

PLAYTEST SETUP

5 participants were selected to participate in individual play test sessions, each without prior knowledge of the game or development process. As the play test moderator, it is important to ensure that the results are a true representation of the player’s experiences. The play test setup is as follows:

  • Each player was set up in front of a laptop running the game, using keyboard and mouse controls.
  • Play testers were briefed on what their role was as a play tester, and were instructed to speak their thoughts out aloud.
  • Each test’s findings were recorded on a secondary device for note taking purposes, whilst observing and listening to the player’s game experience.
  • Each player was instructed to play the game just once, with no information as to what to do except the on screen instructions.
  • After the first play through, the play tester was asked to give general feedback about their experience with the game, as well as their score and completion time. Additionally, three questions were asked of the player that aim to investigate the fulfilment of our initial player experience goals. These questions are:
  1. Was the interface of the phone and main menu intuitive and easy to comprehend?
  2. Did you feel immersed whilst playing the game? What elements of the game helped contribute to your immersion?
  3. Are the challenges driving you to achieve their goals faster or more efficiently? Are you satisfied with the level of challenge?

The PX goals for our game are:

  1. Players will feel a sense of adrenaline from coordinating and balancing multiple systems.
  2. Players will need to rely on their reflexes and agility to complete tasks when traverse the game world
  3. Players will feel anxious about the obstacles that they will be presented with and the anticipation of potential threats.
  • After the set of questions, the player was then asked to play through the game with the knowledge of how to better play the game and see if they can get a higher score or attain a faster time.

PLAYTEST RESULTS

Playtester 1

General Feedback

  • UI is simple, information can be read properly but should be presented a bit better
  • Game runs fine, though cats don’t do damage and you can walk through the obstacles.
  • Seems like you just need to hold shift and look down and you’ll still win.

  • The timer needs to be moved to a different section cause you cant see it when looking down.

  • Maybe towards the end there should be a whole bunch of cats.

Q1. Was the interface of the phone and main menu intuitive and easy to comprehend?

A1. The main menu UI isn’t, the timer in-game is hidden when looking down at the phone. Try to move it elsewhere on screen.

Q2. Did you feel immersed whilst playing the game? What elements of the game helped contribute to your immersion?

A2. Yes definitely considering how small the street was and with obstacles like cars blocking your path

Q3. Are the challenges driving you to achieve their goals faster or more efficiently? Are you satisfied with the level of challenge?

A3. It made me be more cautious about how i would navigate the path.

First score: 8, out of time

Second score: 34, 10 seconds left

Playtester 2

General Feedback

  • Can go through cars and other objects
  • Why are cats dropping from the sky?
  • Game gives high score even after time out
  • Can’t click start after getting back to the main menu from reaching work
  • Used shift to sprint through level
  • Doesn’t update high score after second play through, even when getting to work on time
  • Phone doesn’t look like a phone
  • Didn’t know where work was in first play through.
  • Didn’t want to touch the cats, until I found out they are harmless. Tried to vault over cars to get away from cats.

Q1. Was the interface of the phone and main menu intuitive and easy to comprehend?

A1. UI is a bit messy both in menus and in-game, but it does what I expect it to do.

Q2. Did you feel immersed whilst playing the game? What elements of the game helped contribute to your immersion?

A2. I want to get to work late to get more points, although the timer doesn’t end the game. Even if timer was fixed, I would maximise the time to get lots of points.

Q3. Are the challenges driving you to achieve their goals faster or more efficiently? Are you satisfied with the level of challenge?

A3. Yes, the time constraint drove me to get to the goal faster.

First score: 84, out of time

Second score: 266, out of time

Playtester 3

General Feedback

  • Jumping is too high, but got the hang of controls quite well
  • Mouse is bound to the scene when finishing the game
  • Good game concept, would like to see what it would look like fully fleshed out
  • Could add jokes or plays on the game’s themes across the game environment
  • Didn’t come in contact with any cats, didn’t know the consequence of touching cats as a result
  • Jumping is a giant advantage, can jump far as well. Can avoid lots of obstacles easily. Only obstacle really is the cats, no giant walls. Can go through cars.
  • Map should be a bit small bit longer, around 10 seconds worth of game play.
  • Add cues to look down at phone

Q1. Was the interface of the phone and main menu intuitive and easy to comprehend?

A1. I didn’t look down at phone, didn’t read the synopsis properly.

Q2. Did you feel immersed whilst playing the game? What elements of the game helped contribute to your immersion?

A2. Was immersed in a way, likes how the play on life makes it seem realistic, but was taken out of the immersion by the cats.

Q3. Are the challenges driving you to achieve their goals faster or more efficiently? Are you satisfied with the level of challenge?

A3. Add moving cars, could have moving words like “work”, etc.

First score: 0, out of time

Second score: 200, 20 seconds left

Playtester 4

General Feedback

  • Tried to run towards cat, but gets pushed away when it comes in contact.
  • Can’t jump on cars as he passes through the object.
  • Tended to explore the environment rather than get to the goal at first.
  • Managed to jump really high when in contact with surrounding wall border. Couldn’t get back to level.
  • Score didn’t reset to 0 on second play through.

Q1. Was the interface of the phone and main menu intuitive and easy to comprehend?

A1. Forgot about looking down at phone, drawn to look around at environment. Needs a reminder to look down at your phone or some sort of cue. But overall UI is easy to understand.

Q2. Did you feel immersed whilst playing the game? What elements of the game helped contribute to your immersion?

A2. I felt immersed by exploring the environment and seeing how everything works. Immersion was broken when i realised i could pass through things.

Q3. Are the challenges driving you to achieve their goals faster or more efficiently? Are you satisfied with the level of challenge?

A3. On second play through used sprint the entire time while trying to look down at phone, was hard due to speed. This seemed to be a challenge I put upon myself which I found altered the game play experience compared to my first play through.

First score: 8, out of time

Second score: 1010, 20 seconds left

Playtester 5

General Feedback

  • Game seems solid
  • Gameplay mechanics are interesting
  • Nice visuals
  • High score didn’t seem to save

Q1. Was the interface of the phone and main menu intuitive and easy to comprehend?

A1. The UI functions as I expect, albeit a bit cluttered. I looked down at the phone when possible.

Q2. Did you feel immersed whilst playing the game? What elements of the game helped contribute to your immersion?

A2. The trees, large road, and other objects in the environment allowed me to be more immersed whilst traversing the course.

Q3. Are the challenges driving you to achieve their goals faster or more efficiently? Are you satisfied with the level of challenge?

A3. I was driven to attain a high score due to the time constraints.

First score: 50, 20 seconds left

Second score: 152, 35 seconds left

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND IMPROVEMENTS

Overall, the participants found that the game was an experience that was challenging by having them coordinate more than two system at once. The challenge of looking down at the phone whilst using their peripheral vision to move wasn’t followed exactly, with Playtester 4 in particular wanting to explore the environment around them. As a result, Playtester 4 forgot to look down at the phone after intially spawning, even after reading the synopsis on the main menu. Many of the players were able to complete the obstacle course within the given time limit, once they were aware of what and where their goals were, although Playtester 3 wanted a longer course with more oncoming enemies scattered along the path. The winding road helps guide players to their goal, along with the various environment changes seemed to help also. The PX goals set for our game have been mostly achieved, with players reporting that they felt a sense of adrenaline from challenges, are able to navigate the course whilst avoiding obstacles, although weren’t necessarily anxious as they are able to look above the phone and see what is ahead far into the distance.

Improvements to the game are primarily to be made in the immersion aspect. In a final build of this game, I would ideally like to make all objects impenetrable and not have players walk through them, so that players would have to actually dodge the obstacles and adds an incentive to move. The second improvement to be made is to add a health system where if the player comes in contact with incoming enemies, they will lose health over time, and adds additional challenge. The player would then have to divide their attention equally between looking at the phone object whilst also peeking above to check their surrounding environment. The UI would need to be managed a bit better by having UI elements more visible, where Playtester 1 in particular couldn’t see how much time was remaining at the top of the screen as it blends in with the white phone object. Adding a small square rectangular background behind the text object would fix this easily. Lastly, varied enemies would be a good addition in a final version of the game, where each would have different speed and behavioural properties which the player must take note of. Due to lack of coding experience and time constraints, some of these improvements stated above were not possible in this current prototype build.

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