For the cycle two play-testing sessions our focus continued to be the player’s overall enjoyment of the game however due to the nature of first person games we also concerned ourselves with potential bugs that we otherwise wouldn’t have noticed as well as the success of our player experience goals. The team highly values player comments and found them to be vital to providing useful information for later analysis to improve our individual prototypes. Raw player comments can be found here.
When play-testing the cycle 2 prototype, the player experience roughly fit the original goals set at the beginning of production. Players where encouraged to think aloud and that honest feedback is greatly appreciated and vital to understand how they interacted with the game. After each 5-minute play-testing sessions some noteworthy feedback regarding the prototype included:
- Players found they weren’t sure of their objective from the very beginning of the game
- Players liked the tower defence aspect of the game and liked the freedom it gave them as well as adding a reasonable level of strategy. Some players commented that this made the game a little too easy but added this could easily be fixed by adding more enemies or tweaking enemy stats.
Regarding the Mechanics of the game some players exposed bugs that had not been noticed in earlier testing phases such as UI elements not being exposed or the mouse not being unlocked in the main/pause menu. Additionally, sometimes the placement of the turrets wasn’t as precise as the players would have liked so after these issues were solved the players expressed that they quite liked the idea of the game. More feedback included:
- They liked all the UI elements and that it gave them a lot of information to play
- After difficulty tweaks they found that the game was challenging enough to be enjoyable but not too difficult
- It was hard to tell sometimes if the player hit the enemies when using the shovel weapon
To conclude these play-testing sessions revealed key aspects of the game that needed fixing and modifications as well as reflecting how the real player experiences compared to the goals determined at the beginning of production. Play-testing such as this is essential to the production process as it provides valuable insights into the game that developers otherwise would not have noticed.