Cycle 3 – Reflection – Vincent Bornaghi

Over the course of this semester I have developed my previously non-existent Unity and coding skills to a level that I can quite happily say that I am proud of. As a programmer I can now code relatively basic tasks without aid and am able to complete more complex ones with far less trouble than I did in the first weeks of the semester. The internet is a wealth of knowledge for such things as coding and I was able to teach myself fairly successfully. My group members both had previous programming knowledge and were able to assist me when I had questions as well, which was really useful and much appreciated. In terms of game design and the artistic aspect of game development I have development my skills in this field in regards to Unity but otherwise I haven’t improved a great deal. I was already quite proficient, which meant I could focus on my weaker programming skills.

On top of the development of my technical skills I also grew as a team member and a person. There were times were it was easy to become frustrated at the group but knowing that we were all stuck together regardless but things into perspective. I know that in the workforce, you can be thrown into teams you do not enjoy being in, that’s part and parcel of life, so make the most of it. However these were just moments and overall we worked really well as a team. I for one, heartily dislike group work but I can admit that I enjoyed working with Dylan and Joseph. Our ideas were often so different that it allowed us to do a broad range of things with prototyping and aid each other quite considerably.

The most effective strategy for us as a group was our solid communication. Without it we wouldn’t have achieved even half of what we’ve done together and individually. Mutual respect meant that all ideas were discussed and opinions provided and listened to. Everyone would reply promptly to Facebook messages and blog posts were often posted ahead of time in order to peer review them. As a group we really kept on top of communication and I feel like this has really aided us in the long run. As an individual, managing my workload has been key to consistent, and consistently good results. As I saw in Cycle 2, with personal issues and a lack of motivation, my game was poor compared to the first and my result suffered for it. However this gave me the kick that I needed in order to better organise myself for uni. In future I’ll be sure to properly plan my assessments and dedicate the time necessary o complete them to a standard I am happy with.

When working in groups, it’s important that everyone respects each other and to not think your opinion or idea is above anyone else’s. I feel like we all did this quite well and this has contributed to our relatively positive results this semester. I hope that this last game is a good reflection of my, and our, progress and that you enjoy playing it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Vincent Bornaghi – N9463020

Advertisements

Cycle 3 – Playtest Report – Vincent Bornaghi

How enjoyable was the experience?

The game was well received across the board. Playtesters noted that the game was easy to get into and the controls were easily learnt. Objectives were clear and the players were able to complete them. Some playtesters remarked that the initial prototype level was more easy than enjoyable and recommended that changes be made to enemies. These changes were implemented for the second round of playtesters who did not express the same concerns as a result. The environment design and animations were praised, despite some small animation flaws. Body language while playing was positive, no boredom was observed and several verbal comments signalled positive experiences during testing.

How well do the mechanics work?

The movement mechanics were found to be quite rough by the majority of initial playtesters, Dylan in particular said in post-playthrough interviews that it felt ‘like the player was gliding across the ground rather than walking, and didn’t come to a stop when the key was depressed’. Other playtesters made similar remarks, prompting me to overhaul the movement system. This overhaul resulted in positive feedback from the previous playtesters and good remarks from the new ones. The jumping mechanic also worked well, stair movement could be improved however; currently requiring the player to jump up the stairs, a cause for negative feedback from the majority of playtesters. The fighting mechanics were fluid and verbal feedback was shown to be positive, however a few playtester; Steven the most vocal, suggested increasing the difficulty of the enemy. Health pickups worked well, and the main/pause menus were well implemented. No further bugs were found during testing.

How frustrating are the levels?

The initial test level was found to be at a more ‘tutorial’-level of difficulty than anything else, and was therefore assessed to be quite easy by all the playtesters. The relatively small amount of health of the player did prove to be surprising to playtesters however, causing Joseph, for example, to actually die in the first playthrough as he was not paying attention to his health. However these game aspects made the game more difficult but still far from frustrating overall, an opinion expressed by all playtesters in post-playthrough interviews.

How does the game challenge you?

Health conservation and avoiding enemy hits/killing the enemy before they deal too much damage was found to be the biggest challenge, but not one that detracted from the overall enjoyment. The game was found to be enticing when players found the artefact in a level, pushing them to progress to the next level and a higher difficulty.

 

Pros

  • Good movement
  • Smooth combat
  • Decent difficulty level
  • Clean UI
  • Good story and progression
  • Great visuals, and game world
  • Professional sounds

Cons

  • Jumping necessary for stairs
  • Jagged animation loops
  • Level simplicity

Recommendations

  • Tweak animations
  • Tweak movement
  • Increase enemy difficulty
  • Weapon upgrades

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

  • Completely re-did the movement system, creating a more realistic player movement mechanic. As a result, enemy movement also benefited from this overhaul.
  • Animations were replaced, however some jagged looping remains at the time of writing.
  • Enemy health and damage were increased, as well as the number of enemies per level.
  • Extra environment mechanics are being developed in order to further level interest and game enjoyment

Further Recommendations

  • Day/night cycle
  • Weather conditions
  • Gameworld NPCs

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 3 – Reflection – Joseph Koppe

On reflection I felt my skills matched the task of creating this game much better than the previous week.  I felt as though as the game designer I was given the opportunity to focus more on level design and game look and feel rather than coding.  As a developer I do need to work on my coding skills, as this has been my greatest hindrance throughout the course of the semester.  I’d also like to try in future to make my own textures to use within a game, as I feel it is something I would enjoy as well as being conducive to the game design component of my degree.

Communication within my team I felt had its ups and downs.  Sometimes I have difficulty understanding why people choose certain methods when we were prototyping our game, and this caused me to either recede in my opinion or speak louder.  I wish to take it upon myself to be open-minded about different ways and perspectives for doing things.  I feel as though as a team we get along really well inside and outside of the project, and for the most part we constructed this final product efficiently and cohesively.

I feel as though my work habits got progressively better during the semester, and I’m unsure if this will be reflected in my results, but I feel as though I understand the workload of building a game a lot better because of it.  I had originally put myself under more pressure to complete the games by leaving them a little too late.  In a sense I was still behind schedule, but I gave myself a much better timeframe in the latter projects.  I realised early on in the semester that the break in between 2016 and 2017 for university was too large and that it affected my productivity when I returned to it.  So in future I will find a means to be productive in between that break so that I can maintain a solid work ethic.  I think by the end of this semester though, I had gotten to the point where I could be very productive at will.

This game of the ones I have made I am most proud of, and I genuinely believe that it is worth playing insofar as receiving entertainment from it.  I would like to think that whoever would play my game, and understand my fledgling experience in making games, and the time frame and constraints we had – would be relatively impressed with it.  But perhaps I am saying this because I feel this way, and I certainly had fun playing it myself.

Cycle 3 – Playtest Report – Joseph Koppe

In our playtest session, there were five people to make a playthrough of the game, in which each person would give verbal feedback on their overall thoughts on the game.  Our idea was to then interview the playtesters on four different questions, which would then hopefully relate back to our px goals and whether we had achieved them.

I’ll break them down to playtest response and post-playtest response, so for example:

Playtest Response:

  • (Person has the freedom to express any thoughts on the game)

Post-playtest response:

  • (How difficult/fun is the Platforming?)
  • (Did it take too long to progress?)
  • (Amount of falls?)
  • (How difficult/fun are the enemies?)

NB: Note taking was conducted by writing down notes in a word document on the group’s laptop.

I will also post some feedback I wrote down from observing the emotions and reactions of the players as they were playing the game, as seen directly below.

General Observational Feedback:

There were some core features I implemented into the game that revolved around seeing the surrounding environment and it’s objects with peripheral vision.  This was designed so that the player would have the curiosity to follow the paths, and see the keys before they could get to them.  Overall I did notice that the majority of players’ eyes were moving around the screen following and observing the level without knowing what was on the other side.  Players also frequently tried exploring different routes, and remembered what worked if and when they died.

Vincent Bornaghi:

Playtest Response:

  • Visual style is hit and miss
  • Fun and challenge is increased at a good pace

Post-Playtest:

  • Platforming is a good balance of precision and fun, while still being challenge enough for failed attempts.
  • The game went for longer than I expected
  • The Last Level made me fall a lot, otherwise not many falls.
  • Enemies vary the game from just platforming and sometimes add to its challenge

Dylan Van Beek:

Playtest Response:

  • Love the floating jump style
  • Controls well

Post-Playtest:

  • Platforming is a little on the easy side but I love the feel of the controls
  • The game felt about the right length
  • Fell once or twice, not too many issues.
  • Enemies are fine.

Aodhan Trusselle:

Playtest Response:

  • Game needs more visual polish
  • Maybe More variety of enemies

Post-Playtest:

  • Platforming is a good level of challenge I think, and is very fun.
  • Progression took a little longer than expected.
  • I fell a few times during the game, but it wasn’t too much or too little.
  • The enemies were fun but there was only one type. Would have liked to have seen more.

Rory Charlton:

Playtest Response:

  • The game is surprisingly fun, a good level of challenge.
  • Needs more enemy Variety.

Post-Playtest:

  • Platforming is difficult but rewarding.
  • It took me a fair while to make it through the game worlds.
  • I fell a lot on the last level and once or twice in the second.
  • Enemies are quite easy to deal with

Reuben Tham:

Playtest Response:

  • I think I’d like a game with more emphasis on mastery of skills
  • I like the aesthetic of the game

Post-Playtest:

  • Platforming is slightly challenging
  • The game doesn’t take too long to beat
  • I had to play carefully in the third level to avoid falling, but only fell a couple of times.
  • Finding and killing enemies is a good incentive to explore the worlds.

 

Final Recommendations:

From the feedback given to my game it seems as though the variety in response regarding the challenge and fun of the game was fluctuating between easy or hard, which sounds like it’s a balanced game overall.  There were comments made regarding more types of enemies, which is something I will definitely look into.  There were also comments on the visual style, and I think this is regarding the stretching of textures, which I will aim to fix as well.  People are also saying that the game goes for a little longer than expected, so I might also rebalance the difficulty of the third level.  Our Px Goals of experimenting, analysing and remembering were indirectly addressed in the question, where we have assumed that remembering, analysing and experimenting successfully will assist the player in completing the game. (and observational feedback suggested that players were using peripheral vision to traverse the environment as well as experimenting by taking different routes).

Cycle 3 – Reflection – Dylan Van Beek

Throughout the semester I applied existing knowledge in unity, games design and programming and combined it with research into new areas of games design that I had not yet explored.  This allowed for me to expand upon my current knowledge in some areas, as well as learn completely new elements in others.  With any gaps in my knowledge, for example, in scene swapping, I could look at the learning resources provided throughout the semester.  If there was a problem with a specific coding or level design question I could contact my colleges and they would generally be able to help me out, otherwise I would use the vast resources of the internet to fill in the void in my knowledge.

In addition to the technical skills gained through individual research and group collaboration there was also the element of being able to work in a likeminded team, who each had their own goals and ideas that they could bring to the table, but then I designed a game that had my own spin on it, or utilise their ideas into my own game.  However, with others ideas being brought to the table there sometimes became a debate of ideologies, and made me question my own ideas in a reasonable manner, and I’m sure it allowed the other group members to do the same.  It also allowed for new connections to be made, and with good communication we stayed on top of workloads and knew where everyone was at most of the time.

During the semester, there were strategies that seemed to work, and others that didn’t in managing communication.  The main mode of communications was Facebook Messaging that enabled us to discuss ideas out of class, arrange meeting times and share concepts or express any issues we were having.  All group members had a quick response time which allowed everyone to know it’s a reliable source of communication.   Also, with previous teams, the level of communication hasn’t been as good, however, the team cohesion allowed everyone to feel part of it and their opinions mattered.  The team also didn’t just shut down ideas, but could discuss and reasonably conclude and resolve any matter which would arise.  For example, in Cycle 2, debates sparked about the topic on which we should focus on for our overriding theme and feel of the game.  Also, each of us had our own past experiences with game design subjects which was all able to be brought to the table. Debates were overcome because we had mutual respect for other member’s ideas, and each of us made us all question our own ideas and opinions.   Furthermore, most activities were completed in the workshop, and uploaded later that week for remaining group members to review and comment on.

Furthermore, each of our responsibilities were delegated with reasonableness and we completed activates on time, most of the time, and if there was ever an issue we could just communicate online to resolve any problems.  These problems may include technical problems with our game, or studio work queries that may have been overlooked in the workshops.

Cycle 3 – Playtest Report – Dylan Van Beek

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 whilst they played the game.  These notes were as follows:

Play Tester 1: Vincent Bornaghi

  • Enjoyed the menu
  • Thought mapping F to the attack button was a bit out of reach
  • Liked the story overview
  • Seemed to find enjoyment with killing blobs
  • Enjoyment stemmed from killing blobs over the platforming
  • The tight platforming took some attempts and he fell off trying to get a run up for the next jump
  • Thought the boss battle needed some feedback when you hit them but liked the implementation of a boss

Play Tester 2: Joseph Koppe

  • Enjoyed the background and positioning of assets
  • Enjoyed how you had to walk along the roof of the houses
  • Enjoyed how it felt like an escape from the city
  • Much more of a fan of the tight platforming
  • Took time, but not as much time as Vincent to get through the platforming
  • Liked the boss battle and how it was created

Play Tester 3: Ty Jones

  • Enjoyed killing enemies
  • Found jumping onto platform challenging (Jumping didn’t feel as smooth)
  • Would have liked to swing sword and run instead of letting go of right to do so
  • Liked the character animation
  • Found the sound effects funny
  • Would have liked sound effects for big enemies and the boss battle and bouncing on spring cubes
  • Didn’t go too well in platforming, but enjoyed it and persisted through

 

Play Tester 4: Sam Parer

  • Liked the jump sound effects
  • Enjoyed the storyline
  • Played through the game well
  • Thought F for attack might be a bit clunky but got used to it
  • Enjoyed the level of difficulty in the platforming
  • Seemed to find enjoyment at the silly blob sprites and sounds
  • Enjoyed how it seemed to be an escape of the town and liked the final battle background

Play Tester 5: Jordan Brook

  • Enjoyed killing enemies
  • Found jumping onto platform challenging (Jumping didn’t feel as smooth)
  • Would have liked sound effects for big enemies and the boss battle and bouncing on spring cubes
  • Didn’t go too well in platforming
  • Liked the setting

 

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

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 5 4 6 3 6
Gameplay 1 3 2 6 2
Visuals 3 2 5 2 1
My Character 2 1 4 1 4
Audio 4 6 1 5 5
Enemies 6 5 3 4 3

Recommendations for improvement 

With the survey results being pretty spread out, main recommendations will be coming from the comments that players made while play testing the game.   The elements that play testers seemed to find frustrating was the jumping hit box where the player wouldn’t jump even though they were on the platform.  To improve this implementation of a rectangular collider box of the player would be done.  This would hopefully make it easier for the player to jump when they are on the platform.

Furthermore an in game menu would have come in handy for playtesting, just to pause the game at certain intervals, and also some background music would really have assisted with the overall feel of the game

Cycle 3 – Activity 6 – Playtest Planning

The first playtesting report is selected for play testers from the IGB100 course, and other students with various degrees of knowledge about gaming and can provide in depth data.  The main goals of the playtesting report is to assess the level of difficulty the levels provide, which in turn leads to the amount of fun the player has, as well as measure how close we are to obtaining our PX Goals.

The second playtesting report conducted is for Bob, a man who fits our target audience. Bob is a 51-year-old with a gaming background in doom, Warcraft, StarCraft, Fifa and indie games.  He is an old gamer with about 30 years’ experience under his belt.  We aim to market this game to people like Bob’s life and play style.

Resources for the playtesting report include: playtesters, playtesting script, game, playtesting survey and note

**If you cant view the full table, it can be downloaded here –> Playtest Plan**

Date Session Participants (number and characteristics Overall approach, including resources required Session Goals Player Story/Stories Method How to Analyse
What to measure How to test
29/5/17 1-3 pm Participants: 5

Characteristics: Confidants

The play tester will be read the playtesting script, then asked to play the game. Through the playthrough the play tester will be asked to speak aloud and important notes will be recorded.  As well other notes will be gathered.  Furthermore, after the testing, the play tester will be asked a series of questions via a survey to be analysed.

Overall we wish to test two factors:

Is the basic idea of the game enjoyable?

Does the gameplay meet our player experience goals?

Goal 1: Test the skill level of platforming and movement flow “As an owner of an artefact, I want my boots to support my jumping so I can jump over obstacles and traverse the world.”

“As a knight I will use my sword to assist me in finding the person who stole my artefact so I can recover it.”

The seeming platforming difficulty

Time taken to progress through the level

Amount of falls off platforms

Via progression through the levels

Record time taken to progress through platforms

Record of spoken communication in gameplay

Review notes and formulate ideas to address the issues.  The comments may include suggestions.   Visual responses by the play tester.
Goal 2: Test the level of enjoyment and frustration progressing through the levels “As a peasant, I want my treasure to be returned to me so I can once again own my artefact.”

“As a player I wish to explore the game world to find fragments to open the door to the next level.”

The level of frustration at the levels

Verbal or physical signs of the play tester

Self-reported communication

Gameplay observation

Survey/Interview questions

Review notes and formulate ideas to address the issues.  The comments may include suggestions.   Visual responses by the play tester.
Goal 3: Test the fighting mechanics “As a civilian of the village, I want to use my sword to defeat enemies and progress through the world.”

“As a player, I want to cut down any obstacle to find my lost items.”

Quickness of enemies defeated

Self-reported analysis of enemy battles

Reaction of enemy’s deaths/not dying

Amount of health lost

Gameplay observations

Survey/interview questions

Review notes and formulate ideas to address the issues.  The comments may include suggestions.   Visual responses by the play tester.
Date Session Participants (number and characteristics Overall approach, including resources required Session Goals Player Story/Stories Method How to Analyse
What to measure How to test
29/5/17 1-3 pm Participants: 1

Characteristics: BOB

The play tester will be read the playtesting script, then asked to play the game. Through the playthrough the play tester will be asked to speak aloud and important notes will be recorded.  As well other notes will be gathered.  Furthermore, after the testing, the play tester will be asked a series of questions via a survey to be analysed.

Overall we wish to test two factors:

Is the basic idea of the game enjoyable for bob?

Does the gameplay meet our player experience goals?

Goal 1: Test if Bob likes the skill level of platforming “As an owner of an artefact, I want my boots to support my jumping so I can jump over obstacles and traverse the world.”

“As a knight I will use my sword to assist me in finding the person who stole my artefact so I can recover it.”

The seeming platforming difficulty

Time taken to progress through the level

Amount of falls off platforms

Via progression through the levels

Record time taken to progress through platforms

Record of spoken communication in gameplay

Review notes and formulate ideas to address the issues.  The comments may include suggestions.   Visual responses by the play tester.
Goal 2: Test if the style of gameplay suits bobs style of gameplay that he enjoys “As a peasant, I want my treasure to be returned to me so I can once again own my artefact.”

“As a player I wish to explore the game world to find fragments to open the door to the next level.”

The level of frustration at the levels

Verbal or physical signs of the play tester

Self-reported communication

Gameplay observation

Survey/Interview questions

Review notes and formulate ideas to address the issues.  The comments may include suggestions.   Visual responses by the play tester.
Goal 3: Test if bobs fighting skills match or are somewhat on par with the enemies and skill cap of the game “As a civilian of the village, I want to use my sword to defeat enemies and progress through the world.”

“As a player, I want to cut down any obstacle to find my lost items.”

Quickness of enemies defeated

Self-reported analysis of enemy battles

Reaction of enemy’s deaths/not dying

Amount of health lost

Gameplay observations

Survey/interview questions

Review notes and formulate ideas to address the issues.  The comments may include suggestions.   Visual responses by the play tester.