For playtesting, I got each of my players to play the game and speak their feelings and thoughts out loud while they played. After they lost the game the first time, I asked them to explain what they thought went wrong and then got them to play again. I repeated this until the player fully understood the rules of the game and could play for a long period of time without dying. I then asked them what they thought of the game and if they could rank it between 1 and 10 on a scale of how fun they personally thought it was.
Most players were confused by all of the mechanics of the game at first but quickly figured out what was going on in their second attempt and said that they enjoyed how different the concept was from the standard shoot ‘em up. After the first 3 playtesters complained about not being able to shift between dimensions as soon as the game started, I decided to change it for the last 2 testers and they understood how to use it far faster than the first group. Players all said the game was difficult during their first few attempts but most of them then said the game felt slow after they’d mastered the mechanics. The fifth playtester also mentioned that it was very slow compared to your standard shoot ‘em up, but it made sense because it was it had a lot of strategic elements that players needed to plan their actions around that most shoot ‘em ups don’t have.
All of the playtesters said that the game was ‘complicated’ or ‘required concentration’ and that it was ‘stressful’ or ‘intense’. They all mentioned that they had to ‘balance’ or ‘manage’ their resources to progress into the game which was one of our PX goals
Below are the playtesters scores for how fun they thought the game was:
Tester 1: 5/10
Tester 2: 6.5/10
Tester 3: 6/10
Tester 4: 6.5/10
Tester 5: 6.5/10
Testers 2, 4 and 5 all gave the highest scores and all said that they were surprised by and really enjoyed the core game mechanics while the other 2 testers seemed fairly indifferent to the ideas.