Cycle 2 – Vincent Bornaghi – Playtest Report

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.

Pros

  • Enjoyable
  • Intensive
  • Professional-looking UI
  • Good looking game
  • Fast-paced action
  • In-game sounds are professional
  • Game doesn’t give you time to be bored

Cons

  • Difficult level can drop suddenly
  • Debris spawn rates are too clustered
  • Initial movement controller unrealistic

Recommendations

  • 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

Further Recommendations

  • 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

Cycle 2 – Dylan Van Beek – Playtest Report

Play testing was completed by following the goals outlined in Activity 6: Play testing.  From this it was decided to play test the game a script would be spoken to each participant before the game was tested.  This was just to allow the play tester to understand what was expected of them.  Below is the script:

I have some test instructions to read to you. You’re one of several people who will be helping us out on this test and since it’s important that I cover all the same points with each person, I’ll read through this so I’m sure I present everything to everyone in the same way.

The test today should last about 15 minutes and you can take a break or leave at any time. If you would like to take a break, or just want to stop –just let me know.

It is important to remember that we are evaluating our game, not you. You cannot make any mistakes here today. If you have any difficulty with any part of any task, it’s very important to us and it will give us clues on how to improve future versions of the game.

Also, please be completely frank and outspoken about any opinion or problem you have.

During this evaluation, one of the most important and interesting things for me to capture is what you think about as you do the tasks we give you.

  • To do this, I’m going to ask you to THINK ALOUD as you work
  • What I mean by “think aloud” is that I want you to tell me EVERYTHING you are thinking, why you are pressing each button, and everything you are doing and thinking from the time we start the evaluation until I ask you to complete the last survey
  • I would like you to talk constantly
  • I don’t want you to plan what you’re going to say or try to explain to me what you are saying
  • Just act as if you were alone in this room speaking to yourself
  • If you are silent for a long period, I’ll prompt you to think aloud.

Since thinking aloud is often unusual for people to do, I’d like you to practice thinking aloud. I’d like you to tell me how many windows there are in the place you live, but to think aloud while you are working out this number.

Let’s have you start the test. Pretend that you are at home, and you just downloaded this game. From this point, just do what comes naturally to you, and remember to always think aloud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the script was read the players thoughts were recorded via note taking.  These notes were as follows:

Play Tester 1: Vincent Bornaghi

  • Controls of the car felt unrealistic and somewhat annoying
  • The arrow indicating where to go could have been clearer in which way was the head
  • However, it was clear what he had to do
  • Would have liked the cars controls to be more fluid and smooth to control
  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Was entertained by gameplay

Play Tester 2: Joseph Koppe

  • Enjoyed the city landscape
  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Found the game intense from the dropping debris and time constraint
  • Thought the game could have had a red flashing overlay

Play Tester 3: Ty Jones

  • Enjoyed the city landscape
  • Understood that the location was some sort of broken city which the players were trying to escape from
  • Was entertained by gameplay and enjoyed the free drive after
  • Found the game intense from the dropping debris and time constraint (if it was a full game)

 

Play Tester 4: Sam Parer

  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Enjoyed the city landscape
  • Was entertained by gameplay
  • Thought the game didn’t have an element of rush and maybe audio could assist in this

Play Tester 5: Jess Blae

  • Enjoyed the blue spray and the cubes as placeholders for debris
  • Understood that the location was some sort of broken city which the players were trying to escape from
  • Found the game intense from the dropping debris and time constraint (if it was a full game)

 

Once these notes were recorded the play testers were asked to complete a short survey which correlated to our Activity 6: Playtesting.  This would mean we could test our playtesting as well as text our goals for playtesting.  The following survey/survey results was obtained.

Thank you for testing this game. Please answer these questions as accurately as you can.

For each of the following statements, please rate 1 to 5, 1 being strongly disagree, 5 being strongly agree.

  1. The game was easy to learn how to play.
    1. Vincent:3
    2. Joseph:4
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:5
    5. Jess:5
  2. The game was fun to play.
    1. Vincent:4
    2. Joseph:5
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:4
    5. Jess:3
  3. The game was frustratingly difficult.
    1. Vincent:3
    2. Joseph:2
    3. Ty:1
    4. Sam:3
    5. Jess:2
  4. The game was boringly easy.
    1. Vincent:2
    2. Joseph:3
    3. Ty:2
    4. Sam:2
    5. Jess:3
  5. The game’s controls made it easy to do what I wanted.
    1. Vincent:2
    2. Joseph:3
    3. Ty:4
    4. Sam:4
    5. Jess:5
  6. The game’s visuals were enjoyable to look at.
    1. Vincent:4
    2. Joseph:4
    3. Ty:3
    4. Sam:3
    5. Jess:3
  7. I always understood what I should do next to achieve my goal.
    1. Vincent:5
    2. Joseph:5
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:5
    5. Jess:4
  8. I would be interested in playing this game again.
    1. Vincent:4
    2. Joseph:4
    3. Ty:5
    4. Sam:5
    5. Jess:5

Finally, please rank the items in the following list. Put the number 1 next to the aspect which you consider the most well done in this game. Then put a 2 next to the aspect which you consider the next most well done aspect of the game. Continue the numbering in order of how well each aspect was done. Put the highest number next to the aspect which you consider the least well done in this game. Please use each number only once in the list.

 

Vincent Joseph Ty Sam Jess
Controls 4 3 3 2 3
Gameplay 3 1 2 1 1
Visuals 2 2 1 3 4
My Character 1 4 4 4 2

Cycle 2 – Joseph Koppe – Playtest Report

The playtest plan was formulated so that the 3 factors of entertainment, challenge and intensity were queried by the playtesters. As a preface to the comments, ratings and suggestions below, the state of my game was playable, but lacking a success/failure condition in the way of a score or time limit.  The core mechanics of how the game and looks and feels are there. Below is the recorded ratings and comments of each of these factors, as well as suggestions for where the game could develop further.

Vincent Bornaghi:

  • “The entertainment value of the game is there, and has a crude sense of charm to it that made it enjoyable” 8/10
  • “The challenge level is currently missing as the game doesn’t have a set objective yet.  I am told that it will be a high score system with an allotted time. Navigation of the world is easy.” 2/10
  • “The pacing of the game is a little but off, the world feels fractionally too big to navigate, and for that reason it is difficult to see where you need to go.  I can’t comment on intensity because of the lack of game rules.” 6/10
  • “My final recommendation is in addition to adding game rules, make the world smaller or the player faster, introduce boundaries, make the car sounds a little more smooth, maybe even add music.” 

Dylan Van Beek:

  • “The game is very enjoyable, the controls and movement feel good and the world nice to explore and look at.” 9/10
  • “As Vincent mentioned, the challenge level is un-testable at this point as game rules and parameters have not been set.  There are no unintentional challenges in control and design that hold this game back though.” 5/10
  • “The pacing and intensity of the game is consistent.  I’m visualising the high score time attack mechanic and it sounds as if pressure and speed will increase as the game goes on.” 6/10
  • “My final recommendation aside from what Vincent mentioned is consider making the player move more quickly – I think the world is too big/hidden to efficiently find passengers to pick up.”

Taking there feedback I decided to make a plan for further improvement from the game.

Additional Features:

  • Aside from the features I had told them I was putting in, I agreed with Dylan’s idea of making the car faster.
  • Making the car sounds more pleasant and realistic (they are currently both irritating, but humorous?)
  • Making a visual boundary is something I will hopefully be able to implement when I get time – but I feel as though the world is layed out so that the player has no reason to drive off of the edge (perhaps only to satiate curiosity).

Planned Features:

  • Create a score system
  • Create a time limit
  • Create spawning pedestrians
  • Create a destination to take the passengers