Cycle 3 – Reflection

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

At the start of this semester I knew nothing about development in Unity. The best source of information for this course was the four videos on the blackboard for each Cycle. These videos held incredible information about the development of game concepts that aren’t generally taught. Apart from them the internet was my most used tool figuring things out whenever I had a problem. My team wasn’t very useful for helping with problems in development. This subject has made me very eager to finish University and start developing my own games with my own ideas. Now that I have the skills I believe it will be very possible for me to create and publish my own indie games.

Non-technical skills I have developed over the semester is the ability to brainstorm and write. This subject has a large amount of writing activities and reports. It has been a struggle to put my ideas into words for the tutors and I hope that they will take that into consideration that my coding brain is not good at structuring reports well. Brainstorming was also a huge part of this subject. I enjoyed it but it felt too forced and sometimes unnecessary. I would have much preferred it if the main focus was on the development alone rather than split evenly between development and writing. But it has helped me with these skills that I otherwise do not use that often.

The best way that we managed the activities was to just evenly distribute the load, so that each person has done each task at least once. For me it is easier to work on something by myself rather than work with someone else especially on ideas that I predominantly came up with. It was easier for me to go ahead and develop the game so that when my team had questions about implementing mechanics I could easily show them because I had already done it. It was difficult working with them but it isn’t there fault it’s just that I find working alone easier. I realise though the pitfalls of this because the mechanics or ideas you might develop may not be fun to most people. Additionally, coming up with new ideas is easier if you have someone to bounce them off. However, for this subject it was easier enough to develop the game individually.

I believe we worked together as a fair team divvying up tasks evenly and helping each other when they ask for help. I believe we all worked very hard on our respective games and our group activities.

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Cycle 3 Playtesting Report

menu

level 1

level 2

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menu

For this playtest the expert players were given the controls to present them with a smoother experience than the last two playtest reports. However the target Audience Player will not be told the controls.

Notes were taken on my laptop and condensed to fit the bullet point form.

Playtest One

Playtester: Tutor 1 – Expert

Observational Notes:

Level 1

  • Started moving
  • Was able to jump up the platforms
  • Saw red key and switch players
  • Used other player to get red key
  • Switched to P1
  • Stayed in the goal area for a bit
  • Player was too engaged to talk

Level 2

  • Quickly traversed the level
  • Switched characters frequently
  • Understood how the platforms worked
  • Was disappointed when there wasn’t more

Feedback Notes:

  • Not obvious what the goal is
  • Jumping and moving felt clunky
  • Puzzle was simple
  • Level too short

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: What did the coloured keys do?
A: As soon as I saw the coloured key I knew it opened the door beneath me but it was hard to figure out how to actually get to the other key. If I had not been told the controls I would never have known what to do.

Q: What did the coloured platforms do?
A: The coloured platform stopped me from getting further in the level until I had found the key, I guess it was teaching me that I had to do something before I could continue.

Q: How did you figure out the goal of the game
A: I just followed the design of the level which was pretty linear.

Results:

Apart from the controls the player would have figured out all elements without being told. The level design is built in such a way that the player know which way to go at all times. After playing through the first level with trial and error the player was able to traverse the second level quite quickly and efficiently. They switched characters at the prompted times correctly and conquered the puzzles.

Goals Achieved:

  • Goal 1: Partially Achieved – The goal of the game was clear once the player had found the goal
  • Goal 2: Achieved – The player quickly grasped the idea of collecting keys to unlock doors
  • Goal 3: Achieved –  The level and puzzle design was not confusing and even a bit too simple for the players liking

 Playtest Two

Playtester: Tutor 2 – Expert

Observational Notes:

Level 1

  • Switched players straight away
  • Kept switching
  • Started moving as P2
  • Found the red key
  • Kept playing as P2
  • Did not know what else to do
  • Switched to P1
  • Followed path of level and reached goal
  • Thought the game was over
  • Read the prompt text and switched to P2
  • Realised blue door was still locked
  • Switched to P1 and unlocked blue door
  • Got to the exit with both players

Level 2

  • Was confused by the platforms
  • Thought that they did not do anything
  • Got stuck with P2
  • Accidentally turned on the platform and continued up with P2
  • Found their way through the level by mistake
  • Did not grasp the feedback of the platform mechanics

Feeback Notes:

  • Not sure what I did but found my way to the exit
  • Platforms were appearing randomly maybe on a timer
  • Level was difficult to navigate

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: What did the coloured keys do?
A: Not sure but probably opened the doors

Q: What did the coloured platforms do?
A: No idea, they kept appearing randomly. Not sure what the point of them was

Q: How did you figure out the goal of the game
A: I realised I had to get to the end of the level but the tricky part was figuring out how

Results:

Unfortunately the player was unable to learn exactly how to traverse the level and instead accidentally triggered and passed the puzzle elements. I will need to design the elements better so that the effect and trigger of events is obvious and purposeful. The player developed misconceptions about the mechanics which may have lead to problems in future level design. It was helpful to see this take on my level and puzzle design and is something that I can improve upon in the future.

Goals Achieved:

 

  • Goal 1: Not Achieved – the player reached the goal by accident e.g. not understanding the puzzles but luckily completing them.
  • Goal 2: Not Achieved – the player did not figure out how to make the platforms appear and disappear on purpose, they believed it was a timed event
  • Goal 3: Partially Achieved – The level was simple enough to understand which way to go but the puzzles were too confusing for the player to continue.

 

Playtest Three

Playtester: Group Member – Expert

Observational Notes:

Level 1

  • Switched to P2
  • Missed the red key
  • Was stuck at the bottom
  • Found that it was not possible to get back up
  • Restarted the game
  • Stayed as P1
  • Found red door and saw red key
  • switched to P2
  • collected red key
  • switched to P1
  • fell on blue key
  • waited on goal
  • Switched to P2
  • Finished level

Level 2

  • Confused by coloured platforms
  • Thought he was stuck again
  • Kept switching between characters.
  • Did not know what the platform did
  • Gave up and asked for help
  • After being told how to use the platforms he easily made it through the rest of the level
  • Annoyed that it was confusing

Feeback Notes:

  • Seems buggy and not finished
  • Mechanics are not obvious
  • Shouldn’t have needed to ask for help

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: What did the coloured keys do?
A: Those ones open the coloured doors

Q: What did the coloured platforms do?
A: Well they make the invisible platforms appear for no good reason

Q: How did you figure out the goal of the game
A: I didn’t really just kind of winged it

Results:

This playtest was it stilted as the player got stuck in a part of the map that they cannot get out of. Additionally, the platform mechanics were not obvious to them. Then player thought that the platforms worked like the keys and once you step on the trigger it should stay on. Due to this the player treated the triggers as such and skipped over parts of the level. The player became frustrated that the mechanics were not obvious. I feel like the effects and triggers of each mechanic should be implemented so they are obvious to the player. The worst thing you can do is make a game that punishes the player for not understanding obscure mechanics.

Goals Achieved:

  • Goal 1: Not Achieved – The goal was not clear for the player as they were hindered by bugs in the design of the game
  • Goal 2: Not Achieved – The interactions were also not clear to the player as there is no feedback from actions the player takes leaving them guessing most of the time
  • Goal 3: Not Achieved – The puzzle design was too confusing/ not clear enough for the player to understand

Playtest Four

Playtester: Workshop Colleague – Expert

Observational Notes:

Level 1

  • Forgot that you could switch characters
  • Stayed as P1 and tried to jump on the door
  • Kept trying to jump into the wall or floor
  • Realised they could switch
  • Switched to P2 and jumped down
  • Tried to get through the blue door
  • Missed the red Key
  • Thought it was a bug that they couldn’t get further
  • Stopped to think
  • Switched to P1 and saw key
  • Switched to P2 and tried to get back up but couldn’t
  • Jump was too difficult for the player
  • Player could not continue after many tries

Level 2

  • N/A

Feedback Notes:

  • Puzzles were confusing
  • Jumping was hard
  • Didn’t really know what I was supposed to do
  • Wanted to see second level
  • Maybe implement a skip function

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: What did the coloured keys do?
A: Open the grill things I’m pretty sure

Q: What did the coloured platforms do?
A: I don’t know, what platforms?

Q: How did you figure out the goal of the game
A: No Idea man, I guess to finish the level but I don’t know how

Results:

It was interesting to see a playtester who understood the mechanics but could not actually grasp the character movement. They were not able to actually jump correctly from platform to platform. It was bad design on my part since I played the game alot the movement was easier for me and I placed the platforms in such a way that it was difficult but still doable. I was able to make all jumps and crosses without trouble. I wrongly assumed that other players would be able to make it to. I will have to change the size of the platforms and change how the character moves through the air.

Goals Achieved:

 

  • Goal 1: Partially Achieved – Due to the player getting stuck with the movement mechanics they were not able to finish the level. Although, the player does understand what they have to do they were just unable to do it
  • Goal 2: Partially Achieved – The interactions for the first level were clear to the player but they did not get to play the second level so they may or may not have understood the platform mechanics
  • Goal 3: Not Achieved – The level design and platform placement was confusing for the player as it seemed like some areas were impossible to get to.

 

Playtest Five

Playtester: Friend – Expert

Observational Notes:

Level 1

  • Jumped up platforms
  • Found red key
  • Switched to P2
  • Got Red Key
  • Switched back to P1
  • Dropped down onto Blue Ket
  • Switched to P2
  • Dropped down and went through blue door
  • Moved both characters into goal

Level 2

  • Jumped up platforms
  • Saw blue platforms appear
  • Switched to P2
  • Climbed blue platforms
  • Got Orange Key
  • Stepped on Red Trigger
  • Switched to P1
  • Jumped up up to orange door
  • Moved through to purple trigger
  • Stood on purple trigger
  • Switched to P2 and moved across purple platforms
  • Moved through purple door and got red Key
  • Switched to P1 and continued right to blue key
  • Returned both characters to the goal zone

Feeback Notes:

  • Puzzles seemed very simple
  • The visual hints were good I could see what I was doing
  • I think the visuals were a bit plain and could have been clearer

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: What did the coloured keys do?
A: They open the grates in the doors

Q: What did the coloured platforms do?
A: They make the corresponding platforms appear

Q: How did you figure out the goal of the game
A: The level was fairly linear allowing me to follow the prompts to the end of the level

Results:

This playtester was very competent and instantly grasped the goals and mechanics. They inherently knew the controls of jumping and moving. Additionally after seeing the red key and the red door they were able to understand that the puzzles revolve around switching characters at certain times. From that point on when the player got to a dead end with one character they would switch and try the other one. This combination of skill and observation allowed the player to quickly finish each level.

Goals Achieved:

 

  • Goal 1: Achieved – The player quickly grasped the goal and how to get there
  • Goal 2: Achieved – The player instantly understood how to interact with the doors after seeing the key objects and how to make the platforms appear after seeing them appear while standing on the trigger zone.
  • Goal 3: Achieved – The level design was not confusing for the player as they were able to quickly traverse it

 

Playtest Six

Playtester: Friend – Target Audience

Observational Notes:

Level 1

  • Player had trouble jumping and climbing the platforms
  • The players timing was off and they couldn’t get a feel for the jump height or in air movement speed
  • Stuck at the start for a bit
  • Decided to switch to P2
  • Again could not jump the platforms
  • Switched to P1 and tried to jump up again
  • After a while they got up and saw the red door and key
  • Switched to P2 and managed to jump to the red key
  • Switched to P1 and jumped down to the blue key
  • Jumped into the goal zone
  • Switched to P2 and followed into exit

Level 2

  • Again the player had trouble with jumping
  • Got up to blue trigger
  • Saw blue platforms appear and switched to P2
  • Struggled to climb blue platforms
  • Found orange key
  • Saw purple platform gap and tried to jump the gap
  • Fell down and tried again
  • Fell down again
  • Switched to P1 and tried to get up further
  • Could not figure out how
  • Gave up

Feeback Notes:

  • Very confusing trying to jump platforms
  • Hard to control the character, Jumping was difficult
  • Maybe a hint system would help if the player gets stuck

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: What did the coloured keys do?
A: Opened the door things

Q: What did the coloured platforms do?
A: I don’t really know I guess create platforms somewhere

Q: How did you figure out the goal of the game
A: I just followed the keys and objects

Results:

This player was used as a playtest for the target audience of Sally. The playtester shared some of the likes and dislike that Sally has. This made them a perfect candidate to playtest this game. The problem that the playtester was having was the difficulty of the controls. They seemed to grasp the concepts well but not the controls. Their timing for the jumps and general method of playing showed that they were not comfortable or used to using these kinda of controls. The wasd form seemed unfamiliar to them. It is interesting to note this because thematically the game is something that Sally would love to play. However, practically its a game with a control system that she is not used to and because of this she will have trouble playing the game. She may even not like it because the controls are so abrasive. In designing this game I had Sally in mind thinking she would love the theme and puzzles but did not think of the controls.

Goals Achieved:

  • Goal 1: Partially Achieved – The goal became clear to the player after trial and error
  • Goal 2: Partially Achieved – The interactions between puzzle elements were clear for the keys and doors but not for the platform triggers
  • Goal 3: Partially Achieved – The level was hard to navigate due to movement constraints

 

Improvements

The final product is definitely no more than a prototype, it is riddled with bugs, abrasive movement and unfamiliar goal and controls.

The most important problem that players are having is understanding how to finish the level and get to the end goal. This is a culmination of unclear mechanics, difficult controls and lack of prompts. Apart from the mechanics one way to make the goal more clear might be to tell the player or give them some story or bit of information. For example the castle could be on fire and they are trying to escape. Or they are rescuing someone from the top of the castle and they must solve the problems to get there. It is obvious that this alone isn’t enough to help players with understanding the controls but it will help once the mechanics are smooth and clear. It is important to think about the reason behind the players actions, why do they want to get to the end of the level. I will need to give them some reason to go on.

Another problem is with the new mechanic in the second level where the player must stand on a plate to make coloured platforms appear. This mechanic is not intuitive and I did not explain it at all during gameplay. I will need to fix this to make it obvious that the plate triggers turn on platforms for the other player. Some ways to fix this include adding animations for the platforms to show that they are moving when you stand on the trigger, along with sound to give the player an indication that something is happening. I tried to design it so that the player will see the platforms appear the first time they step on the trigger but most people do not see it in their peripheral vision which is interesting. Maybe I should direct the players attention towards the platforms, potentially by moving the camera to put the platforms in their field of view.

A problem that was not obvious to me until playtesting was the difficulty of the controls and the trouble that players were having jumping up on to platforms. They would not make it high enough and get stuck on the side of the platform. This will be difficult to fix as it is so subjective to players. I will have to make the platforms smaller and lower so that they are easier to jump up on. This will mean creating more platforms for the players which is simple enough. Another parameter to change is how much the player can move in the air and maybe allow them to move a bit more. This will help players traverse the level smoothly

Finally the most important part of this playtest was the Target audience playtest which used a playtester that matches our chosen target audience from the start of the semester. Our chosen target audience was Sally, our 21 year old gamer who likes Sims 4, Warcraft 3, Two Dots and Pocket Planes. She is a fairly casual gamer who likes management and strategy sims as well as simple puzzle games. Our game was designed to target her love for puzzles and management. The puzzles of our game along with the ability to manage two characters at once makes our game something very appealing to Sally. This playtest however has highlighted an important problem that Sally might face when playing our game. The controls are completely different to the games that she is used to. Warcraft 3 uses mainly the mouse to control unit and buildings, additionally Sims 4 is heavily mouse based to control and design the families that she creates. The mobile games she plays are also completely different control wise because they are touch screen. None of Sally’s favourite games use the keyboard like ours does. This might make her play experience less fun and more abrasive. She may feel like the controls are too hard and be turned off our game without experiencing the mechanics designed for her. An improvement for this might be to change the control scheme to using the mouse or touch screen capabilities. This would be difficult to implement as it would change the dynamic of the mechanics and possibly the target hardware that it would use. This game could possibly be moved to the mobile sector with tighter controls and smaller levels and more simpler textures/models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cycle 3 – Playtesting Plan

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

Goals of the playtesting session for Experts

Goal 1: Is the goal of the game clear?

Goal 2: Are the interactions between puzzle elements clear?

Goal 3: Is the level or puzzle design confusing?

Player stories Tested

Player Story number 5, 2 and 3.

As the player, I want the environment to change as I interact with it and open up new areas for me to explore

As the player, I want the puzzles to be engaging and interesting and allow me to coordinate my actions to complete them

As the player, I want to feel satisfied with my actions after completing the level

These playtesting stories relate to the puzzle elements of the game and how the player interacts with them which is the most important feedback that I can get from the expert player testers as they are able to get deeper into the experience than the general target audience.

ExpertExpert Playtesting Plan

Goals for playtesting target audience

Goal 1: Is the gameplay smooth and/or enjoyable?

Goal 2: Is the goal of the game clear?

Goal 3: Do the controls and mechanics feel natural?

Player stories Tested

Player Stories number 7, 8 and 10.

As the player, I want to be able to jump and move around to overcome obstacles

As the player, I want to be able to understand the goal and the controls inherently

As the player, I want to be able to plan out my solution to the puzzles presented to me using the two player characters effectively

These playtesting stories encapsulate the want of the target audience. Sally, our target audience, wants to be able to understand the game and its controls. If the game is too abrasive then she will not want to play it. These goals help figure out if she will like it.

targetTarget Audience Playtesting Plan

Playtesting Method

The method that we will be imploring is the blind playtesting method. This involves not telling the player anything about the game beforehand, not even the controls. This playtesting method is the best at gathering raw information about the flow of your game. A game designed well feels good and flows well. If the player is able to grasp the basic controls and concepts of the game then you have done a good job at designing it. This initial testing is crucial to the games development at pointing out problems early.

Data Collection

The data that will be collected will be gameplay minutes and observational notes. Gameplay minutes are a raw capture of the players actions as they occur, recording what they are doing and what buttons they are pressing. Observational notes is a more higher thinking collection of data. It involves capturing the essence of what the player is trying to do and analysing why they took these actions. Additionally, a small survey will be given at the end of the playtest to record feedback the player may have.

Resources

It will be best to take notes as text via a computer or piece of paper. If taken by paper they will be transcribed into the playtesting report. This is the easiest way to capture the playtest in its entirety.

Analysis

Analysis will be done by reviewing the gameplay minutes and observational notes then proposing conjectures about the players actions or feedback and making conclusions about the testing.

Playertest plan Experts

Playertest plan Target Audience

Week 11 – Player Stories

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

The goal of my group’s game is to reunite the two characters who are trapped on opposite sides of the castle. The player must switch control between the two characters to solve puzzles. The puzzles in the level will hinder the player to reunite the two characters. The player will have to negotiate the environment to further the characters to the goal. The game will be set in a castle. Castles are notorious for having lots of hidden paths and secret passageways. The player will need to explore the level to find the hidden pathways.

Player Stories

  1. Playing as a knight I want to attack and destroy objects and make a mark on the level in my own way
  2. As the player, I want the environment to change as I interact with it and open up new areas for me to explore
  3. As the player, I want the puzzles to be engaging and interesting and allow me to coordinate my actions to complete them
  4. As the player, I do not want the puzzles to be too difficult and give me hints or help when I need them
  5. As the player, I want to feel satisfied with my actions after completing the level
  6. Playing as a knight I want to defeat enemies and become stronger
  7. As the player, I want to be able to jump and move around to overcome obstacles
  8. As the player, I want to be able to understand the goal and the controls inherently
  9. Playing as the knight I want to avoid enemies and not let them hurt me which would lower my health
  10. As the player, I want to be able to plan out my solution to the puzzles presented to me using the two player characters effectively

 

These player stories above relate and will be interesting to our chosen target audience Sally. According to the information that we know of Sally, she has played and likes playing Warcraft 3, Two Dots and Sims 4. These games are slow strategy type games that require the player to plan out their actions. This slow strategic playing lends it self well to a puzzle type game that we are creating. These characteristics apply to Player Story number 3 as it would be something that Sally would want out of our game. She would want to be able to plan the level progression.

Additionally Warcraft 3 and Sims 4 are games where the player must spend a lot of time grinding their progression and levelling up their character, house or class. These characteristics relate to Player Story number 6 as it sees the player wanting to get stronger and grow their character, the main point of Warcraft and the Sims. Due to this similar mechanic Sally will want to play our game.

Furthermore the multiplayer aspect of Players Unknown’s BattleGrounds and the feature of controlling multiple characters in the one game of Sims 4 and Warcraft 3, Player Story  number 10 best suits the target audience of Sally. The ability to control two player characters is integral to the progression of our game and is core in Sally’s Favourite games. This overlap will be enough for Sally to enjoy our game.

 

 

 

 

Reflection Cycle 2 Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Professional Development and Practice

Having worked with unity in the first four weeks my confidence in my ability to produce a game has increased and I felt this assignment was a good opportunity to demonstrate those abilities. It was very helpful that we were provided with the FPS controller object as well as it served as a perfect tester for the prototype of our game. Developing the game was simple once we had gone through the process before. The hard part was just doing the work. The activities were the same to the last cycle and did not vary in content at all. This was good as it was familiar work. This subject and cycle has helped me realise my ability and has given me more confidence in myself. I now know what I can do.

Working in a team

Working in a team again this cycle was not a problem as everyone knew what they needed to do. We divided up the tasks and brainstormed our game. Then we worked together tweaking the final product and sorting out mechanics. I believe we worked well given the requirements. I still feel like the teams are not necessary or at least not for every cycle. I understand though that if that were so then the students would have more work to do each week regarding the activities. However, maybe then the activities could be spread throughout the semester. It was interesting working with my team on this project and helping them out when they needed it.

Working Independently

I found the whole process very enjoyable especially completing the 4 tutorial videos on blackboard. The process of actually programming a small game did not actually feel like work it felt like I was creating something for myself. This mindset made me work harder and allowed me to focus more on the important aspects of the development process. Seeing your own project come to life was very satisfying. I believe I worked very effectively, incorporating each activity into the game and designing an interesting shooting mechanic. My prior knowledge of game design and C# programming were vital in me being motivated enough to complete the tasks. If I did not know these things I feel like I would have been crushed under the amount of work.

Ethical Considerations

The personal impact that this game will have on me is it will further flesh out my portfolio, giving another example of the work I am capable of. It will serve as a reminder of where I started and how far I’ve come. I will be posting the game on my own personal portfolio wordpress where it will also be available. I’m doing this to increase the size of my portfolio and give myself an idea of what I can do in a given amount of time. It will be useful for me in the future.

Week 9 Cycle 2 – Playtesting Report

Student Number: n9066845

Student Name: Jack Hendy

This playtesting report will outline the procedure and results of playtests conducted by me, Jack Hendy. The playtesting that will be conducted will be blind playtests meaning that the player will have no intial experience with the game in question. They will not have seen it before and will not have anything about the game explained to them. This is the most raw form of playtesting as it gives you such a pure thought process on the initial thoughts that players have about the game. It can be very insightful if conducted correctly. The most important thing is to leave the player alone, and to not disturb them or help them in anyway. This way the playtesting data collected will be as accurate as possible.

Playtest Type
Blind

Number of Playtesters
Five

Playtest participants
One participant per playtest

Procedure
The general procedure that each playtest is as follows below

  • Setup with note taking device
  • Give player Controller and explain what is required of them in terms of thinking out loud
  • Press play and sit back and watch them play
  • Take minutes of their exact actions
  • Take notes of their concerns or questions but do not answer them
  • Afterwards ask questions based on the playtest goals and record answers

Playtesting Goals/Plan
(SKIP THIS IF THE PLAN DOESN’T MATTER RIGHT NOW)

Goal 1: How easy/quick is it to understand the controls

What to measure: Levels of interaction with the player character – how much the player looked down at the phone and how far they got through the level

How to test: Give no instructions before play

How to Analyse: Note how quickly the player seems to understand of controls – from their own commentary and observing their movement

Outline

This goal gauges if the player was able to grasp the controls and mechanics without much trouble or help. If a game can be picked up and played without any instruction then it will be more successful with a casual audience. People don’t wont to fight with controls or mechanics.

To measure this goal the level of interaction the player has with the player character was observed and recorded. If the player isn’t moving, or does not understand how to move then the goal of the controls being easy to understand will not be obtained. If the player moves and looks down and moves onto understanding the mechanics then the goal will be reached.

To test this goal the player will be given the game to play without any explanation of controls or mechanics. This will give the player the chance to learn the controls completely organically and will highlight issues that the game has.

To analyse this goal notes will be taken during the playtest and the game screen will be recorded for analysis

Goal 2: How easy/quick is it to understand the mechanics

What to measure: Levels of interaction with the player and the game world

How to test: Once the player has a basic understand of controls allow them to play and explore mechanics

How to analyse: Make note of the moment to moment gameplay the player is experiencing deduced from their verbal commentary and my visual observation

Outline

This goal builds on the previous goal asking “Once the player understands how to control the character will they understand how to play the game”. The biggest problem with this is that conveying game mechanics and feedback well requires high level production value. Due to this assignments time frame the production value of my presented game is quite low. It is mainly a prototype to test the base mechanics and if the player finds them fun or interesting.

To measure this goal the level of interaction the player has with the game world was observed and recorded. If the player is not avoiding the gameobjects then the purpose of the game is not obvious or does not facilitate the ability to experiment. If the player moves and looks down and up while moving and develops a pattern of play then they are understanding the mechanics.

To test this goal the player will be taught the controls and then made to play the game giving a verbal commentary.

To analyse this goal notes will be taken and the player will be observed.

Goal 3: How fun the game is

What to measure: How engaged the player

How to test: Asking the player how the felt during the playtest and giving them a list of most agree with to most disagree with questions

How to analyse: Given their experience the “fun” aspect of the game can be analysed by the results of their answers represented graphically

Outline

The most important thing when designing this game was the aspect of fun, how much fun the player would have by playing and how to increase the level of fun. Fun is a very subjective thing and due to the fidelity of the prototype the fun aspect will still be tested but it will not be analysed with a high regard for the results.

To test this goal the player will be asked a number of questions that will allow them to explain how they felt and lead them on the comment on how much they enjoyed the game.

These results will not be analysed in depth due to the fidelity of the game.

(START OF THE ACTUAL REPORT)

PLAYTEST ONE

The first playtest was conducted with a member of the course.

 Observational Notes

  • Grasped the movement controls instantly
  • Started to get confused and did not look down
  • Avoided oncoming Obstacles
  • Guessed the goal was to get to the end
  • Did not realise to look down

Feedback Notes

  • Move too slow
  • Not obvious how to get score
  • Not Obvious to look down
  • Feels like player is not having an impact on the game

Post gameplay interview

Q: Describe the effect of the “Runner” Object
A: The Runner Objects were a hazard that I had to dodge otherwise they pushed me back

Q: What was the goal of the game?
A: Not sure, I saw that there was a time limit but no idea what to do or how to do it

Q: What about the game did you enjoy?
A: I enjoyed trying to dodge the obstacles

Results from Playtest

The biggest issue that the player had during this playtest was understand the controls. Without any input from me the player used the first 1 minute of the gameplay to figure movement controls. They commented that they were not expecting it at all. This might be due to the playertester playtesting other games in the unit will very different mechanics. The main problem was the goal not being obvious and the scoring mechanic but being obvious. Perhaps a prompt should be used to engage the player and let them know that they should look down to get score.

Were the Goals Achieved? 

  • Goal 1: Not achieved –  the player took too long to understand the controls
  • Goal 2: Somewhat achieved – The player understood to dodge the oncoming obstacles but not to look down and get score
  • Goal 3: Not achieved –  the player had trouble with the controls and understanding the mechanics which led to a jarring, unenjoyable experience

PLAYTEST TWO

The second playtest was conducted by a friend.

Observational Notes

  • Started moving straight away
  • Got stuck on a Runner and fell off the edge of the map
  • Kept Getting stuck on runners
  • Did not understand goal of game

Feedback Notes

  • Didn’t understand the goal
  • Objects too big
  • Hit boxes aren’t working
  • Felt like the controls should have been explained

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: Describe the effect of the Runner Object
A: It is used to stop the player moving forward and to punish them for failing

Q: What was the goal of the game?
A: I have no idea to be honest

Q: What about the game did you enjoy?
A: Trying to avoid everything was fun

Results from Playtest

The main issue that arose from this playtest was the fact that the mechanics and the effects of the collectables were not obvious. The player did not look down thinking that the game could be finished by time rather then score. This gave me insight into how others think and how the different ways in which I can improve my game.

Were the Goals Achieved? 

  • Goal 1: Achieved –  The player instantly grasped the controls however was surprised when they did
  • Goal 2: Some what Achieved – The player understood half of the mechanics presented
  • Goal 3: Not Achieved –  The player avoided all game objects which led to stale gameplay

PLAYTEST THREE

The second playtest was conducted by the tutor of another subject

Observational Notes

  • Tried arrow keys instead of wasd for moving
  • Started moving
  • Started looking down
  • Realised that score was accumulated from looking down
  • Never looked up
  • Did not reach goal  in time

Feedback Notes

  • Didn’t really know what was going on
  • Too many obstacles
  • I don’t know what I was doing but it was enjoyable

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: Describe the effect of the Runner Object
A: Not sure it seemed like they just kept coming and pushing me back

Q: What was the goal of the game?
A: To get a high score?

Q: What about the game did you enjoy?
A: I enjoyed just looking down and getting a highscore

Results from Playtest

It was unfortunate for the player that they just kept looking down and did not form a strategy of looking up and down periodically. They did however look down and understand that’s how you accrue score. I will have to take note and potentially change some of the mechanics.

Were the Goals Achieved? 

  • Goal 1: Achieved – The player instantly started moving and looking down
  • Goal 2: somewhat Achieved – Due to the player misinterpreting the goal they grasped only the basics of the mechanics
  • Goal 3: Achieved – The player had an enjoyable time because of the highscore they got

PLAYTEST FOUR

The second playtest was conducted by a member of another group in the workshop.

Observational Notes

  • Started moving
  • Tried the other buttons
  • Did not find controls for looking down
  • Got pushed off the edge
  • Kept getting pushed off the edge
  • Got frustrated from not being able to stay alive long enough

Feedback Notes

  • Quite difficult
  • Didn’t know what was going on
  • Moved really slowly
  • No feedback

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: Describe the effect of the Runner objects
A: I have no idea but it seemed like they were annoying

Q: What was the goal of the game?
A: Not sure, I didn’t survive long enough

Q: What about the game did you enjoy?
A: Not much since I kept dying

Results from Playtest

This playtest gave me a better idea of the difficulty of the game and allowed to me see the worst case scenario of someone playing it. The player could not survive for more than a minute and kept being pushed off the edge. As a result the player did not manage to experience most of the game and gave uniformative feed back on the mechanics. However, it was very helpful to see someone have trouble with the difficulty and speed of the game.

Were the Goals Achieved? 

  • Goal 1: Not Achieved – The player did not find the controls for looking down and subsequently did not figure out how to accrue score
  • Goal 2: Not Achieved – Due to the player being pushed off the edge continuously they did not experience most of the implemented mechanics
  • Goal 3: Not Achieved – The player did not end up having fun understandably

PLAYTEST FIVE

The second playtest was conducted by a member of another group in the workshop.

Observational Notes

  • Started Moving
  • Started Looking down
  • Found that looking down increases score
  • Did not know why
  • Did not move and just accrued score

Feedback Notes

  • Slow to move around
  • Not obvious why the objects do what they do
  • Hard to understand what the goal was

Post Gameplay Interview

Q: Describe the effect of the Runner Object
A: It was just annoying that they kept coming and did not give me any room to move

Q: What was the goal of the game?
A: Based on the fact that there is a score probably to get the highest score possible

Q: What about the game did you enjoy?
A: The idea was interesing

Results from Playtest

The player was very experienced in game play and picked up the controls and mechanics very quickly. However, because of this they found it less enjoyable and more of a chore than a game. It was helpful to see someone know exactly what to do and still not have fun. It was the other extreme to the other playetest beforehand. Seeing these two extremes was helpful and has given me ideas of how to improve the game.

Were the Goals Achieved?

  • Goal 1: Achieved – Player found controls pretty quickly and seemed to have no problem understanding them
  • Goal 2: Achieved – Player managed to grasp the underlying goal and effects of game objects however the player seemed to think that some of the effects are pointless
  • Goal 3: Not Achieved – Player understood the game but did not find it enjoyable

Improvements

As it stands now the game prototype is not fun, too slow, too confusing and the goal is not obvious.

The aspect of fun comes from the culmination of the mechanics the visuals and the feedback so to address this I must fix the other problems plaguing my game. The biggest one being how it isn’t obvious what the controls are. To fix this I must communicate to the player the controls through some means such as text or visuals. I could have a picture of an arrow pointing down telling the player to look down. Or I could have a line of text saying look down or both.

In terms of introducing more objects I could make objects that not only hinder the player but help them aswell. Potentially introduce the objects that I have talked about previously such as a postman, potholes, cats and dog poo. Each of these objects would have a different function. Due to the time and requirement constraints it was deemed that these extra objects were not needed for the prototype but could be added in the future.

The last problem with the game was the goal not being clear. Potentially I could have worded prompt or maybe a storyboard before the game starts to let the player know what is happening. However, if the goal and controls are explained to the player they have a lot more fun and do better in it.

Week 7 – Objects and Rules

Student Name: Jack Hendy

Student Number: n9066845

Here is a table showing each of the possible game objects that might be featured in our game. These mechanics and objects are subject to change.

Object/Mechanic Name   Purpose Player Interaction Notes
Phone   Main object that the player will be interacting with. Player must look down at the phone to accrue points to achieve a highscore. Due to workarounds the player is not allowed to look left or right.
Cat   Cat walks across the path to hinder the player If the player touches the cat the player will trip and movement slowed. Also the cat will play a growling noise Player must wait for the cat to cross and pass it when its not in the way
Runner   Runner runs towards player to slow their movement If the player is in the path of the runner and hits the runner they will be pushed back and the player will hear “Watch it” The player will be moved back small distance and the runner will disappear
Dog Poo   Placed in the players path to make them slow down If the player collides with the dog poo they will slow their movement. Play a squelch noise. The player will need to walk around the poo to continue moving.
Pothole   Placed to make the player trip and slow down If the player collides with the pot hole they will have their movement slowed The player will have to walk around the pothole to avoid it
Postman   Post man is faster than runners If the player collides with the postman they are given a game over state The player is given audio cues that a postman is coming and must look up to get out of the way