How enjoyable was the experience?
The playtesters all came away from the playtest session having enjoyed the game but with various different suggestions on how to improve. The verbal feedback was positive, indicating that the game was fun and an attention-grabber. Post-playthrough interviews however revealed that the game had a number of improvements that could be implemented, mainly in regards to the mechanics.
How well do the mechanics work (during playthrough)?
The movement system was rough, a downfall of the ‘FPS’ style controller being used. A second trial controller was tested by some participants, and it was the far superior of the two as was discovered through playtesting. The second controller was far more realistic and allowed the players to sit into the game more easily than the first. However the game’s debris tended to swarm the player and deal massive damage and then… nothing for large amounts of time. Other minor issues were indicated with spawning positions.
How well do the mechanics work (post-playthrough)?
The movement mechanic was quite unrealistic until the second version was used. Then, nothing was said to be improved upon. The debris was overpowered when grouped together but then made the game less intensive soon after, so spawn rates could be adjusted. Player health could also be increased, as well as score system that better reflects the fast paced, intensive action of the game (ie. 100-200-300 and not 1-2-3).
How does the game challenge you?
The game’s fast-paced, brutal action proved to be somewhat difficult for players initially. Once they realised what type of game it was, they began to analyse the environment, avoiding debris and scouring the map for survivors. The general opinion of playtesters was that the game definitely tested their ability to react quickly to an ever-changing game world and punished them for slacking. The lack of any method to replenish health proved to be a success, with testers preferring to restart from 0 than be able to regenerate health. It kept them ‘on-edge’ and aware of their situation. A time counter was suggested in order to add another level of complexity to the game.
What strategy was best used for a successful playthrough?
Players began by speeding around the map, before realising that debris was both in fixed positions throughout the map AND spawning into the game to chase down the player at speed. The testers quickly adopted a strategy of using the buildings on the map as shields from the debris, while trying to find the green glow of a survivor to collect. Some players also attempted to simply avoid the debris and collect survivors when chanced upon.
- Professional-looking UI
- Good looking game
- Fast-paced action
- In-game sounds are professional
- Game doesn’t give you time to be bored
- Difficult level can drop suddenly
- Debris spawn rates are too clustered
- Initial movement controller unrealistic
- Implement a time system
- Increase the HP of the player
- Adjust spawn rates
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 time system that counts down to 0. Every survivor collected increases the available time. This tweak eliminates the players who play to avoid the enemies and not collect the survivors
- Spaced out the debris spawners and added two levels, weaker and stronger debris with varying spawn rates
- Completely changed the movement controller for a realistic vehicle controller
- Increased the player HP and tweaked enemy damage
- Increased the score increments
- High score system that saves the highest score after the end-game state
- More realistic debris movement, such as rotation etc, more indicative of a severe weather event
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