Cycle 1 – Dylan Van Beek – Play testing Report

Playtesting was completed by following the goals outlined in Activity 6: Playtesting.  From this it was decided to playtest 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

  • Easy to understand what is happening
  • Not so much reflexes used
  • Enjoyed the dazzling visual effects
  • Silly bullets he liked
  • Analysis required because of fast power up speed

Play Tester 2: Joseph Koppe

  • Was intuitive and easy to get the hang of what’s happening
  • Still had the level of difficulty
  • Liked how the explosion affected the fish
  • Wondered if the fish could have been animated to allow for a better visual effect
  • Power up speed was quick

Play Tester 3: Ty Jones

  • Liked how the explosion affected the fish
  • Found it frustrating when the power ups went astray
  • Enjoyed the aesthetic
  • Enjoyed playing thought it was fun

Play Tester 4: Sam Parer

  • Liked how the explosion affected the fish
  • Thought sometimes the power up wasn’t as beneficial as he could be more precise
  • Didn’t like the idea too much of destroying fish. Thought it wasn’t as good for the environment
  • Thought the playstyle was fun and enjoyable

Play Tester 5: Jordan Brook

  • Thought it was above the earth until the fish started appearing
  • Thought the difficulty should increase in future iterations of the game
  • Thought perhaps adding in if the fish were destroyed then add points to the score

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

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 Jordan
Controls 4 1 1 1 1
Enemies 3 3 4 2 2
Gameplay 1 2 3 5 3
Visuals 5 4 2 3 4
My Character 4 5 5 4 5

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

Cycle 1 – Joseph Koppe – Playtest Report

Our group was assigned the task of having a play testing session, where we would each play each other’s games and give any feedback on where the game could be improved.  After Dylan and Vincent had both played my game I gave them some time to think about what they liked, and what they thought could be improved:

  • “It Needs a High Score System”
  • “Gameplay is good – fun”
  • “Implementing a Powerup”
  • “Need to Adjust Theme of the game”
  • “Implementing a menu”
  • “The PX goals are more or less there”
  • “Enemies and player are well designed”
  • “Good visuals overall”

 

In the context of the session goals, I felt confident that the level of enjoyment to be had in the game was there, in addition to the player experience goals.  What I need to work on from the session goals is to adapt it into an underwater theme – something I had tried to do initially but had difficulty in correctly using the assets.

From my group’s feedback I intend to alter the theme of my game; as well as look into a high score system, as we had originally planned the obtainment of a high score to be the core challenge within the game.