Cycle 1 – Vincent Bornaghi – Playtest Report

How enjoyable was the experience?

Yes, all playtesters really enjoyed playing. Their verbal feedback while playing was positive and the post-playthrough interviews revealed that the game was both fun and enjoyable. This appears to be largely in part to the fast-paced nature of the game which kept them engaged.

How well do the mechanics work (during playthrough)?

The movement works well, the player is able to avoid the enemies in order to get into a better position. The enemies can easily overwhelm the player if they are not killed before long however. No issues or bugs were identified with the mechanics themselves.

How well do the mechanics work (post-playthrough)?

The shooting mechanic was well made, restrictive enough to not be overpowered but also still capable enough to destroy enemies in order to survive. The spawn rates could be adjusted, sometimes the enemies overwhelm the player but sometimes the game world is clear of enemies for seconds at a time.

How does the game challenge you?

The fast-paced nature of the game was definitely the biggest challenging factor for the players. The speed PX Goal was met with flying colours however the reflexes of players were not tested as much. The unanimous opinion is that the game tested their ability to analyse and make a strategy quickly more than it relied on their reflexes. Joseph in particular identified how he was more preoccupied with avoiding enemies to not lose health than he was with destroying them. The enemies also continued to deal damage to the player whenever in contact, playtesters did not like this and expressed their wishes for the enemies to be destroyed on contact. All playtesters remarked that a score system being implemented would benefit the game greatly.

What strategy was best used for a successful playthrough?

The generally used strategy was analysing the enemies and how they spawned into the game world. Some players noticed patterns and adjusted their position in-game accordingly. Others focused on getting out of the way and getting the enemies before they came too close.

The below image shows some of the notes taken during the playtesting session for some of the playtesters.

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Pros

  • Enjoyable
  • Fun
  • Professional-looking UI
  • Good looking game
  • Functional Pause Menu
  • Fast-paced action
  • In-game music
  • Health power ups are neccessary and useful

Cons

  • Difficult level varies rapidly
  • No restart function in Pause Menu
  • No score system or high score system
  • Have to restart game.exe in order to replay after death
  • Enemy spawn rates are sporadic
  • Enemies continue to deal damage to player on contact until destroyed by a projectile

Recommendations

  • Implement a score system
  • Functional restart function in the Pause Menu
  • Increase the HP of the player or decrease damage dealt
  • Adjust spawn rates
  • Different variations of enemies
  • Destroy enemies on contact with player

Based on these recommendations and analysing the pros and cons that each playtester mentioned I made a number of improvements to the game.

  • Implemented a score system, where smaller, weaker enemies are worth the least and the harder to kill enemies are worth more.
  • Implemented a restart function into the Pause Menu and bringing up the Pause Menu upon death without needing to restart the .exe.
  • Adjusted spawn rates and added two more variations of the enemies to make up for it. Players should rarely find themselves without something to shoot at now.
  • Changed the enemies to deal damage to the player once on contact and then self-destruct, thus eliminating the need to adjust damage or health values.

Further Recommendations

  • High score system that saves the highest score after death and when restarting the game itself
  • Weapon power-ups to increase damage or projectile numbers
  • More progressive and less random enemy difficulty

I would like to implement these recommendations should I continue to work on the game past the constraints of time place upon this assessment.

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020

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