Playtesting Report & Reflection Post

Players seemed to have the most trouble getting used to how the game played and the physics involved in the game as it is focused around momentum based movement. They quickly got the hang of it but then some of them had issues with the colliders on the player getting caught on the edges of the platforms. I was aware of this bug but I didn’t think it would be as much of an issue as it was. The players didn’t know what to do initially but after exploring around in the darkness, they quickly figured it out. When asked how the game felt atmospherically, the players all mentioned that it seemed fairly creepy. All of the players died once except for one who picked the controls up very quickly and was able to complete the level without even being seen. All players said that they would enjoy playing a completed version of the game and some asked if there were more levels so they could keep playing.

I would’ve liked to develop a second level, but unfortunately I didn’t have time. All of the resources are ready to put into a second level but positioning platforms and ladders is too long of a task for the remainder of the time frame.

I learned a fair amount about using the Animator in unity and implementing audio. The animator always seemed like a daunting thing that I had no understanding of at all so I avoided it at every opportunity but I feel as though I have some basic level knowledge and it seems a lot less scary now. I also learned quite a lot about shaders and lighting as the core mechanics of the game were based around those two features. I initially had some issues with the lighting but after some googling I found out everything I needed to know and more.

In terms of the whole semester, I have improved hugely at creating things in Unity. Before this class I had only briefly touched game making software and could never have created anything that could even be considered a game. The class has been a huge confidence booster and I feel like I could go off and create more mini games easily.

Raw data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RFg9eImO9vuOKO-3AqZZNWUBeIu_SHbRLj9lln6g-KU/edit?usp=sharing

Game Look and Feel

  1. Darkness, prison, light
  2. The game will use square shapes throughout to give a sense of calmness. The enemies will be more triangular to make them seem aggressive towards the player.
  3. Look and feel images. The following images represent how we feel the game should sort of look.

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light-in-the-dark.jpg

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5. The target audience will hopefully feel a need to explore the blackness around. They will learn to find a comfort in the small amount of light produced by their glow sticks and a distrust of the light produced by the enemies.

The player will be contained inside of the physical compounds of the prison/area they are trying to escape. The area will be large enough to require the player to scale multiple ladders in order to reach the highest point. The lights that the player has access to will light only a small section of the total space, the rest will be in complete darkness. There will be no furnishings on the walls and very little in terms of decorations in the area that the player will be navigating through. Switches and ladders will be located on the walls and the walls themselves will be made of brick. The only other people in the game world are the enemies who will try to kill you on sight. They can be found patrolling the level searching for escaped players. The background music will aim to give the player a sense of sneakiness and the sound effects in the game will work to give the player a sense of what they’re doing (Eg. Jumping, throwing)

 

Objects and Rules

Search through the darkness – Players will feel a sense of exploration as they navigate through the darkness of the level and discover new things

Unlock door with key/switch – The player will feel satisfied as the open the door and proceed to the end of the level

Avoid patrolling guards – The player will feel stressed as they try to avoid enemies throughout the level

Throw glow sticks – Players will use the light of their glow sticks to see where they can jump and climb to

Collect glow sticks – Players will feel relieved collecting glow sticks as the may be close to running out

 

 

Physics Economy Progression Tactical Maneuvering Social Interaction
Movement (Walking, jumping, climbing) Number of held glow sticks Pre-defined levels Stealth n/a
Throwing/Dropping glow sticks Scenarios to provide a challenge Positioning glow sticks to see
Physics as a mechanic (Gravity, collisions) Switches to control progress
Objects Attributes Interaction Relationships Rules and events
Glow Sticks Dimly light a small area around themselves Can be picked up, thrown or dropped by the player Can be picked up by the player If a player has a glow stick in their inventory they may throw or drop it. Can be picked up off the ground
Enemies Patrol around looking for players to attack Kills the player if they catch them. Doesn’t attack unless they see the player or the player gets too close Chases and attacks the player Chases the player if it sees them. Attacks the player when in range.
Floor/walls Contains everything else in the game Stops the player from accessing areas they should be in Contains everything
Ladders Climbable surfaces for the player Can be climbed to reach areas too high to jump Can be climbed by the player Can be climbed if the player is standing on them
Switches Open doors and light a very small area Can be switched on by the player Can be used by the player. Opens doors/gates Automatically switched if the player walks past. Immediately opens the door/gate
Doors/Gates Blocks areas Stops the player from entering an area Blocks the player. Opened by a switch Opened when the switch is used

 

Playtesting Report

The playtesters for this report were not all experienced gamers and some struggled with the game being first person at first. They all gave relatively good feedback but also pointed out a few bugs and things that they had issues with. I got them to think out-loud and recorded their thought process throughout the 2-4 minute sessions. I then got them to fill out a small, anonymous google doc while I wasn’t in the room in an attempt to get their honest feedback.

On the first run through the players were a bit overwhelmed by the number of enemies coming towards them. The inexperienced players lost fairly quickly and the experienced players managed to get about a quarter of the way through the game before they got bitten and overwhelmed. On the second attempt the players all had some kind of plan of attack for eliminating the enemies. They all started with a similar plan of attacking the snake closest to the objective but soon started attacking the nearest snakes to them and letting snakes through when they knew it was a lost cause instead of chasing them and wasting time.

Each player reported that getting bitten by the red snake that changes the movement controls around was extremely difficult to deal with and often cost them the game. None of the players had much difficulty with the other two kinds of snakes and one player didn’t even notice getting bitten. They all reported that the game was difficult but not impossible and gave it an average of _/10 for fun. Most players put anxious or stressed as the feeling that they experienced while playing, which was the goal. A few players didn’t realize that there was any difference between snakes or that their effects were determined by their pattern and color.

The first player wasn’t supplied the controls and wasn’t aware that the character could sprint in their initial run but did far better in the following attempts. The players gave the game an average of _/10 for difficulty. Players all pointed out that there was a bug on the game over page that caused the mouse to be disabled and required the game to be force quit.

The playtesting was very useful in understanding the players thoughts and why the game will  need to be changed in the future. The difficulty level difference between the snake bites was considerable even though they all seemed balanced while creating them. I believe this was because as the programmer, I knew the pattern to the bites and how to work around them while the player had to figure it out on their own. The testers assisted in locating bugs and warned me that the shovel hit box was quite small. I believe that the prototype was good enough at showing where I intend to take the game.

The raw results for the survey are here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TdJwQJ2StGKUt8w0AsAhjwgpWHfixOD7PIFEF60DTQw/edit?usp=sharing