• JosieGameDev

More user testing - Weekly Update #8

This week I had Demo-or-Die sessions for both my bakery escape game and my tortoise game! I got some good feedback to analyse and take forward to influence my future sprints. It's nice to see the projects coming into their own and see how the players interact with what I've built - now on to my findings!

AINT 254 - Interactive Systems Workshop

To test my tortoise game as it stands, I asked my users a series of questions using a google form to get their opinions on gameplay, balance, and visual style of the game so far.

Below is one of the aspects I gathered information on: player opinions on the following colour palettes, and how they could be used.

Having compiled their responses and gone through them to see what changes I want to add to my production plan (here is my review sheet, if you're curious), here are the alterations I'm planning on:

- Integrated UI: recharge bars and lettuce health will be better implemented into world space to make them more eyecatching and obvious to the player.

- Colour palette changes: as levels go on, the colour palette will change to represent the increased difficulty and show that time has passed.

- Tortoise pushing: flipped tortoise will have a lower mass so the player can push them around the scene

- Faster gameplay: will decrease both recharge times and the power of actions, to make gameplay faster and more dynamic

- Consequences: the rating a player gets for a level will influence the next level; the more lettuce you let get eaten will mean that more of the tortoise are bigger and can do more damage. This adds more consequences to the gameplay and encourages player to save as much lettuce as possible, not just get enough to scrape by.

I've begun work on implementing these changes, alongside building a system to teach the players how each system works. I'm aiming to have the new improvements up and functional for next week, so I can focus on polishing the game and adding better animations in the last few weeks of term.

AINT 253: Design Process

I also had my first testing session for my escape room this week! I focused on how developed and immersive my scene was, and how intuitive interactions are.

I broke down the feedback (here) and have made the following adjustments to my plan:

- use sound more effectively to support the story and tone: have overly cartoonish sound effects to suit the cutesy setting, paired with dramatic music which rises in the background to build tension

- Use lighting to enforce mood: I'm going to use my lighting to change the visual style of the room as the game goes on; it will start with warm tones to make the situation seem novel and non-threatening, slowly shifting to cooler blue tones as the gameplay gets more tense and the timer nears 0.

- Increase the number of world-building assets such as cakes and windows to make the world feel more developed

- Use voiceover to communicate the characters thoughts, rather than just having subtitles, to help maintain immersion. This will also help escalate the tension; I'm planning on having a cutesy voice which slowly gets more shaky and crazy as the game draws on, to show the emotional journey of the character and the severity of the situation.

I've made a start on scheduling and implementing these improvements. So far, the biggest visible change is the interaction prompts; in the middle of the screen, with comments popping in when interacted with, it's a lot clearer what can be interacted with, and the comments being in mid screen rather than the bottom means users eyes are more naturally drawn to them.

Thanks for reading! Lots of work to be done as the winter holidays approach, trying to get as much done as possible in the next few weeks so I can have a chance to relax for a while. Bye! :)