For the playtest report, 5 participants that were family, friends and fellow students were chosen to play our game, on the basis that they had prior knowledge with video games. These participants played the game for one minute, whilst speaking allowed about what they were doing in the game. Whilst this was happening observers would write down what the player was doing during the game. The observer then wrote down the players ethical score, as well as a few notes on how ethical the players acted in the game, before asking the participants a series of questions based on three player experience goals. Those goals were;
-For users to understand that the game is topically accurate and the gameplay is engaging and reflects reality.
-The player uses strategy during the gameplay, where the player is graded based on their ethical performance.
-The game has a clear objective for players to follow and the game functions as intended.
The users were further asked about anything else they liked or disliked about our game, as well as any improvements they had for the game. The raw playtesting notes, ethical scores and notes, and the player questionnaire can be found bellow. The playtest plan can be found here.
Our first goal was for users to understand that the game is topic topically accurate and the gameplay is engaging and reflects reality. We first asked the players on a scale of one to five (one being not at all, 5 being very), how engaging was the play experience? Of the five participants, 60% rated the gameplays engagement a 2, whilst the other 40% rated the gameplays engagement a 3, giving it an average engagement level of 2.4/5. Furthermore when asked how participants rated the games realism on a scale of one to five, 40% of participants gave the games realism a 1, whilst 60% of participants gave the games realism a 2, giving the games realism an average score of 1.6/5. When trying to find out why the players didn’t find the game realistic, and we asked them about how the game captures the police/drug raid/bodycam theme. Majority of the participants thought that the enemies did not look like drug dealers, and although they thought the ethical judgment system worked well to show the police theme, the game didn’t show them much else than that.
Our second goal was that we wished the player would use strategy during the gameplay, where the player is graded based on their ethical performance. To find out whether the plays would try to be ethical we took their final ethical score at the ended the game and rated it on a scale of 1-5 on how ethical they acted. Players who scored 0 or less were given a 1, players who 1-3 were given a 2, players who scored 4-6 were given a 3, players who scored 7-9 were given a 4, and players who scored 10 or more were given a 5. Out of the five participants 20% got a 1, 20% got a 2, 20% got a 3 and 40% got a 4 for an average of 2.8/5, with the lowest score being -10 and the highest being 9. All but one of the players used the strategy of shooting to arrest the armed offenders, with the majority of players also arresting unarmed offenders as well. Most players also focused on arresting the armed offenders over the unarmed offenders. The problem that let everyone’s ethical score go down is they were letting too many enemies escape, which two people blamed on the high enemy spawn rate.
Our third goal was that the game has a clear objective for players to follow and that the game also functions as intended. To see if the objective was clear, observers checked whether or not the players had read the mission brief, which all but one of the players had read the mission brief. To make sure the mission brief made sense players were asked if they understand their mission. Of the players that read the mission brief, the majority of players thought they understood the mission, with them saying the goal was to arrest the enemies rather than shoot. Only one person that read the mission brief had an issue with it, as they wanted to know how long they had to complete the mission. Players were then asked whether the game worked or functioned as intended. Majority of participants believed the game worked most of the time, part from two areas. The first was that many of the players felt that the arrest mechanic was sometimes unresponsive, and that they had to press shift multiple times to arrest the enemies. The other issue is that when players died they didn’t understand what killed them, nor could see how much health they had whilst playing the game
From the playtest questionnaire players were asked to come up with a series of improvements for the game. From these improvements a series of recommendations have been compiled:
- Turn down the spawn rate of the enemies. Through cutting the spawn rate of enemies, players will have more opportunity to arrest all the enemies and ensure they have a better ethical rating. This will also allow for players to come up with more strategies to arrest the enemies.
- Improve the arrest mechanic so it works more often and bound it to a key that is easier to use. The arrest mechanic was they players favourite thing about our game, however, it occasionally wouldn’t work due to an error in the coding. If this was fixed and bound to a better key such as left click, then players would be able to arrest more enemies and ultimately improve their ethical score.
- Make the world fit the theme, such as making the enemies look like drug dealers. The biggest issue participants had with my game was that the world did not fit the theme of a police drug raid. If I were to make enemies look like drug dealers and make the player look more police like, then the game would fit the theme and immerse and engage the players more.
- Make the armed enemies shoot less. A big problem the players had was that the armed enemies were to powerful, and if they didn’t deal with them the players would die. The problem with that is whilst the players were dealing with the armed enemies the unarmed enemies were able to escape, hurting the player’s ethical score. If the armed enemies were easier to deal with, by dealing less damage and firing less often, then the players would have better chance of dealing with them and the unarmed enemies.
Observer Notes On Play Session (does the game function as intended? Are the participants playing as expected? etc.)
Player starts up the game, reads out the mission. Player clicks starts mission and spawns in. Player immediately dies as they get shot by armed offenders, trying to arrest them. Player restarts game and starts shooting everyone. Player shoots and detains the armed offenders quite well, but kills some of the un-armed offenders and let some of the armed offenders get away.
Player loads the game up, reads the mission understands what to do. Player is quite good, arrested a few of both types of enemies. Player has died once but continuing to play. Player is good at the game, dodging bullets from the armed enemies and arresting un-armed enemies. Player finishes the game with quite good ethical score.
The player starts up the game and immediately clicks start mission. The player is shooting every enemy, and then immediately dies to the armed enemies. The player continues the game and died again. The player is finally being strategic and is dodging the armed enemies, but is still shooting all the enemies.
Player starts game, reads instructions. Player is trying to arrest the enemies, player is failing to arrest them. Player is dodging the armed enemy bullets. Player is refusing to fire their gun.
Player starts up game, reads instructions. Shoots and arrests one armed enemy. Then dies to another armed enemy. Restarts game. Fires at armed enemy, then dies again. Player restarts again and is more successful, ignores unarmed enemies and just tries to arrest the armed enemies
Ethical scores and notes
How ethical overall was the players gameplay? (scale)
Ethical notes + Bodycam Score
- 1 – Arrested 3 armed offenders, they killed 2 un-armed offenders and let 3 un-armed offenders escape.
- 9 – Arrested 3 armed enemies, 3 un-armed enemies got away, arrested 3 un-armed enemies.
- -10 – Killed 2 armed enemies, killed 1 un-armed enemy and let 3 unarmed enemies get away.
- 6 – Arrested 3 unarmed enemies.
- 9 – Arrested 3 armed enemies, arrested 2 unarmed enemies, 1 unarmed enemy escaped.
Did you understand your mission?
- I sought of did, I mean the start of the game told me what to do, but I didn’t know how long I had to complete it in.
- Yes, the missions was to arrest all the enemies, rather than kill them.
- No, as I didn’t read the mission instructions and I lost even though I never died.
- Yes, don’t kill the enemies, and arrest them instead.
- Yep, I understood what to do, read the mission brief. Told me to arrest the enemies.
Did the game work? Yes, No? Explain…
- The game run well, I just couldn’t see my health so I didn’t know how I died. I also felt the arrest mechanic wasn’t working.
- Most of the time, the arrest mechanic is a bit glitchy and the armed enemies seem a bit op, killed me easily.
- I don’t know, I lost the game, and lost score through killing people.
- Sometimes the arrest mechanic didn’t work, and it never worked on the armed enemies, but other than that the game seemed to work.
- Yep, for the most part, sometimes the arrest mechanic didn’t work but other than that the game worked.
How Engaging was the play experience? (scale)
How will you rate the games realism? (scale)
How would you rate the games ability to capture the police/drug raid/bodycam topic?
- Not really well, there was no way to tell I was a cop, and the enemies looked like robots not drug dealers.
- The arrest mechanic and the judgment score capture the theme quite well, however the enemies don’t fit in with the theme.
- I didn’t know that was the theme, the game didn’t seem like that and I thought you had to kill all the enemies.
- I like the fact you are judged on your actions, however other than that it doesn’t really capture the theme.
- I kinda got the cop feel from the mission brief, I also got the bodycam thing from the rating on your performance, but other than that the game struggled to show me that.
What about the game did you like/ dislike?
- I liked the ethical score mechanic of the game and I like the variety of weapons. I didn’t like the fact the game felt rushed, I also felt there were too many enemies to deal with.
- I like the arrest mechanic, however sometimes the shift to arrest didn’t work all the time. I further think the judgment score thing was quite cool. I think the game was explained well. I would like more of the theme to look better and the world to be more interactable.
- I like the variety of the enemies and the challenge of the armed enemies. I didn’t like not knowing what to do, though that could be my fault for not reading the instructions. I also didn’t understand about the arrest mechanic and how the scoring worked.
- I liked the judgment system, I also liked the alternative ways you could complete the mission. I wished the theme was better shown, and also the arrest mechanic worked more.
- I liked the ethical rating system, I also liked the multiple ways you could complete the mission and the variety of enemies. I didn’t like that the enemy that shoot at you would shoot so often, felt they were a bit op. Furthermore, I think too many enemies spawned whilst playing the game.
Suggestions for improvement?
- Make the enemies spawn less. Give the player more time to arrest the enemies. Make the arrest mechanic work properly and make the enemies look more like drug dealers.
- The theme needs to look better, such as with the enemies. Furthermore the world was quite closed, so I wish there was more interactable thing there.
- Make the theme look better. Explain what to do more often, such as in the actual gameplay. Make the arrest mechanic more obvious and give a better incentive to use the arrest mechanic.
- The theme should be shown better. Furthermore maybe the arrest mechanic could work better than it does and possibly be bound to another key.
- Cut down the enemy spawn rate. Make the enemies shoot lest often and the bullets clearer to see. Fix the arrest mechanic so it works more and make the theme more obvious.