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

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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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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

 

Cycle 3: Activity 5 – Interactivity and Choice

Task 1 – Key goals and Hierarchy 

Heirachy


Task 2 – 5 Goals and Player Stories 

Physical Coordination

Goal: Traverse the level and reach the cell door to escape.
Challenge: Navigating through obstacles and using the environment to avoid enemies.

Pattern Recognition

Goal: Avoid enemy/spotlight patrols.
Challenge: Recognise patrol routes and spotlight patterns of movement.

Conflict

Goal: Reduce enemy numbers.
Challenge: Sneak up on enemies to attack them.

Goal: Escape enemies if you get spotted.
Challenge: Break line of sight and hide from enemies.

Exploration

Goal: Find the key to the exit door
Challenge: Search the level to find the key and unlock the door


Task 3 – Challenges and Choice 

Avoid enemies and spotlights:

Choices available for the player are to kill the enemies or to get past them by using the glow sticks to distract them. These choices are conveyed to the player by showing them examples of this previously in gameplay. To distract the enemies the player can use glowsticks whereas they can attack enemies to kill them.

Escape Enemies when Spotted:

Choices available to the player are to either attempt to fight the enemies or to escape them. Based on these choices the player can run and hide from the enemies until they go back to patrolling the area or they can attack them. These choices can be shown to the player through UI elements and previous experience. Feedback is provide to the player by UI alerts and changes.

 


Task 4 – Storyboard 

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Cycle 3: Activity 1 – PX Goals

Task 1 – Initial PX goals:

“Players will have to coordinate themselves and plan out their actions to win.”

“Players will face enemies stronger than themselves so they have to strategize to win.”

“Players will have a limited resource they must use sparingly, however it is necessary to complete the game.”


Task 2 – Favourite Game Ideas:

Game ideas that the team felt fit the player experience goals:

  • An Artillery Strategy Game similar to “Worms” where the player has to manage a number of playable characters and resources (ammunition) to win a team fight against a similarly structured team. We believed this would satiate the desire for some level of strategy that target audience “Bob” shows in his gaming choices as well as being the kind of game he could play for a short time on his iPad.
  • Our other idea was a Stealth platformer focused around the use of light to navigate the level with the limited resource being a set of glowsticks the player character carries with them which helps them see more of the level but also draws the attention of enemies. We felt “Bob” might appreciate a game like this when he’s not playing FIFA and exploring indie games for something different. Additionally we felt that this encapsulated more of a big idea/concept that would stay relevant and consistent throughout gameplay.

Task 3 – Final PX Goal:

Our studio’s final PX goal is as following:

“Players will need to use a limited resource sparingly to strategize and outsmart stronger and deadlier enemies.”


Task 4 – Reasoning:

We decided on our PX goal and the Stealth platformer, because we believe as a team that this is the kind of game our target audience “Bob” would play when he’s not playing FIFA 16 and experimenting with indie games. It’s the kind of game that would fit his short play sessions and would possibly be an option for him to play on his iPad given its relative simplicity. We also felt this idea allowed for the implementation of the concept throughout the game and make these concepts present throughout the game without it being “drowned out” by other concepts and mechanics to deliver a fun and “easy-to-pickup” kind of game.


Task 5 – Type(s) of PX goals:

Cognitive
Cognitive processes regarding visually processing and analysing the level and enemy/hazard movements to predict where they will be next. This adds to the gameplay aspects of effectively using limited resources due to identifying situations to use these scarce items.

Physical
Physical player experiences regarding speed and agility to navigate the level as well as accuracy to throw glow sticks in the right location as defined by the player. As this adds to the second aspect of strategy by effectively executing the strategy though player skill.


Task 6 – PX Nature Importance:

A Player experience of this nature is important regarding the two game ideas as some  form of strategy and managing resources make up key mechanics of these types of games despite their different overall genres. In regards to the target audience “Bob” he has shown a favouring for games with some level of strategic gameplay of varying intensity and a PX goal like ours focuses more on this rather than just player skill.