Prototyping – Week 2 Testing and Reflection

This week, I finished my prototype to a playable standard, and had five people test it. Quite a few of the tasks I did this week were originally planned to be extensions, and I am pleased that I managed to move on to them. Each day I completed the tasks I had assigned myself to, some I even completed a day earlier which allowed me to get ahead on other aspects of the project:

  • (05/10) – Finish the interaction, element assumption and game over features.
  • (06/10) – Bush bonus object, level file reader.
  • (07/10) – Second level design and implementation.
  • (08/10) – Testing the game and a last minute bug fix on the second level.

Before I started testing on Thursday 08/11/18, I wrote out some objectives that I wanted to achieve through testing:

  • To see if players are capable of solving the puzzles without hints.
  • To discover if players quickly understand the core mechanics of the game and how to use them.
  • To find out if players find the game frustrating in any ways.
  • To check if the controls feel natural or if they need adjusting.

From these testing aims, I derived a key set of questions that I wanted to ask of my five testers:

  1. Did you complete both levels? If not, why?
  2. If you had to sum up the core of the game, what would you say?
  3. Were the mechanics new and engaging or had you seen it before?
  4. How easy were the controls to pick up? Would an entire game with these controls be frustrating or manageable?
  5. Was the game fun? Why?
  6. Were any parts of the game frustrating? If so, how could they be improved?
  7. Any final comments?

I had an interesting range of feedback from my testers, with some varying opinions. For example, everyone agreed the control scheme was fairly easy to pickup, but two found using elements challenging and thought hit boxes should be bigger. All the testers got a good sense of what the game was about from the prototype levels, and no one had seen environment interaction puzzles combined with controlling more than one character.

The main point that was echoed throughout was that the game would benefit greatly from some form of tutorial or a dialogue box that popped up to explain the controls to the player before the game began. I agree with this sentiment, as I had to explain the controls every time a new tester sat down, as they are not quite standard WASD.

In conclusion, I found this week beneficial to extending my project beyond what I had originally thought was feasible, which allowed me to gain better feedback from my testers as they had more to play through and compare.