5 participants, that were considered video games expert, playtested our game. Furthermore, 1 playtester fitting our demographic, as explained in blog post 1 also tested our game. These participants played 5 minutes of gameplay, including the tutorial level and the first level. These participants were asked to speak aloud about there experience in the game, which was to be recorded by an observer taking notes. The observer further noted down any bugs with changing character control, how well the user completed the puzzles, how they went about defeating enemies, and how the tester went about moving through level. After the 5 minutes, the expert testers were asked to fill in a questionnaire relating to three player experience goal. Those goals were:
-The game must functions as intended.
-The game needs to capture the intended experience of cooperation, exploration, and puzzle solving experiences.
-The game must have a clear theme and objective
The tester was finally asked what they liked or disliked about the game and any overall improvements they had for the game. The demographic playtester’s also had to fill out a questionnaire, but this was based on different goals. These goals were:
-The game must have a good amount of cooperation mechanics.
-The game must have a good amount of puzzle solving mechanics.
-The game must have a good amount of exploration mechanics.
The full playtest plans can be found here.
Our first goal for the experts was for the game to function as intended. Firstly, through analysis of the observer notes, it was clear there were very few bugs with the game. However, there was a small lighting issue when the players first loaded up the level, but this wasn’t our fault, instead Unitys. We then asked the testers, whether the game worked, in which majority of the players stated the game did work. However, there were some issues with the lighting bug, not re-spawning when the player died and a couple had issues with the controls. We also asked the player how engaging was the play experience (on a scale of 1-5), to see whether the game was functioning as an engaging experience. Of the five participants, 40% rated the games engagement a 1, 20% rated the games engagement a 2, and 40% rated the games engagement a 3, give the games average game engagement a 2/5. We further asked the testers about the controls, whether they were intuitive and any suggestions the testers had to improve the controls. Most of the tester thought controlling the multiple characters was intuitive, and only one tester had issue with the control layout. However, many testers wished the controls were explained to them better.
Our second goal for the experts was that we wished the game to capture the intended experience of cooperation, exploration, and puzzle solving in the game. Firstly we asked the testers how difficult the game was (on as scale of 1-5), as this was important to our demographic who play games on lower difficulties. Of the five participants, 60% rated the games difficulty a 1, 20% rated the games difficulty a 2, and 20% rated the games difficulty a 3, giving an average difficulty rating a 1.6/5. We also asked the players about what they thought about changing between the two characters. Most testers said that switching between the two characters was cool, however they wished there was more of it in the game. We also asked the tester whether or not they enjoyed the fighting sections in the game. Most playtesters had too issues with the fighting sections. One issue was lack of variety in enemies, and another issue was that the enemies were too easy, however this was intended for our demographic. Finally, we asked the players what they thought on the puzzle sections of the games, and whether or not they enjoyed them. Majority of testers enjoyed the puzzle sections, but wished they were either more difficult or for there to be more puzzles in the game.
Our final goal for the experts was that the game needed to have a clear theme and objective. To test this we simply asked the players how well the game captured the intended theme based off our mood board (on a scale of 1-5). Of the five participants, 60% gave the games ability to capture the theme a 3, and 40% gave the games ability to capture the theme 4, giving the games representation of the theme 3.4/5.
Our first goal for the demographic testers was that the game needed to have a good amount of working cooperation mechanics. We first asked the tester if they enjoyed the cooperation mechanic, in which the tester said they liked solving puzzles with the two characters. However, the tester said they wished that they could get a friend to control one of the characters. We further asked the tester what the difference between Beart and elli was, in which they responded that Beart was good at destroying things and Elli was good at navigating small spaces.
Our second goal for the demographic testers was that game had to have a good amount of puzzle solving mechanics. To test this we asked the participant if the puzzles were difficult for them based on a scale of 1-5, in which they rated the puzzle difficulty a 2/5. Furthermore, we asked the tester what changes they would make to the puzzles, which they stated they wanted more of them. They also wished the puzzles to be more difficult like the spike puzzle.
Our final goal for the demographic testers was for the game to have a good amount of exploration mechanics. Firstly, we asked the tester how they would rate the games theme of travelling through a cave on a scale of 1-5, in which they rated the games a theme a 4./5 We then asked the tester what they liked/disliked about the game world. The tester listed many things they liked about the game world, including the looks of the cave, the enemies and the characters, as well as liking the puzzles, though they wished those were a little bit more difficult. Finally, the play was asked on a scale of 1-5, whether or not the game was fun, in which they rated it a 3/5.
Furthermore, both the questionnaires asked players to offer suggestions to improve the game. These suggestions have been written down as the following recommendations.
- Offer more varieties of enemies for the players to make the game more interesting.
- Further the core puzzle mechanic by offering a new variety of puzzles and more of the existing ones to help keep the player engaged in the game.
- Make it so when the player dies, they can restart at the start of the level. This will stop the players being confused when they die.
- Offer more instructions of the controls of the game. This is because many testers were confused as to what the keys were, explaining it better would make them less confused.
- Give an option of multiplayer in the game, in which the two players control one of each of the two characters.
Observer Notes On Play Session (Bugs, Puzzle Difficulty, coop mechanics, player controls)
Expert Playtester 1:
Player loads up game, clicks play. Bit of lighting issue when game loads, unity error not ours. Tutorial works very well, player breeze through it. Player enjoys tutorial, says how good it is at saying the controls. Little bit confused with WASD for Beart and arrow keys for Elli. Player gets sticky keys error, issue with control being shift gets annoyed, solving puzzles up to that point easy. Player having issues with the spike trap, almost died. Player dies, complains no replay. Surprised to hear that it is Elli who solves the spiked puzzle, not Beart. Player enjoys solving spike puzzle.
Expert Playtester 2:
*NOTE THE ATTACK KEY HAS NOW BEEN CHANGED TO F FOR THIS SESSION* Player loads up game and reads the menu. Once again the lighting issue happens. Player is taking there time reading the tutorial. Player seems surprised at the multiple characters. Player is struggling controlling the two characters. Player is spamming buttons trying to figure out how to kill the slime. Player finally kills the slim. Player eventually completes the tutorial level. Player starts first level and is breezing through these puzzles. Player reaches spike puzzle, is confused at jump. Player makes jump, tries to jump again and takes damage. Player then notices gap in spikes and solves puzzle. Player completes the level.
Expert Playtester 3:
Player loads up game and immediately clicks start. The lighting issue still happening. Player briefly looks at instructions and is already zooming through tutorial. Player struggles with killing the slime, however after pressing all the keys manages to kill it and complete the tutorial level. Player starts main level. Player is breezing through this level and quickly makes it to the spike trap. Player makes first jump, and tries to make second jump. After almost dying, player manages to glitch the game and make the second jump and completes the level.
Expert Playtester 4:
Player loads up game, click starts. Player listens to tutorial takes time and kills enemies, after taking some time to figure out controls. Player completes level. Player starts first level. Continues solving puzzles and killing enemies efficiently. Player reaches spike, jumps first spike, jumps second and takes damage. Player then works out how to solve the puzzle using Elli. Player completes level.
Expert Playtester 5:
The player loads the game and clicks start. The player doesn’t read the tutorial and is solving it by themselves. Player spends a while figuring out how to destroy the slimes, but once the kill it they quickly rush to the first level. They quickly breeze through the puzzles and kill the enemies. The player reaches the spikes and manages to jump over both puzzles and complete the level.
Player starts game. loads up level, enjoys the title screen. Player loads first level, enjoys the look of our main character Beart. Player carefully reads through the tutorial as they carefully solve the puzzles. Player is also struggling a bit with killing the enemies. Player completes tutorial and goes to the next level. The player is going surprisingly well with the puzzles, and is solving them better than expected, arriving at the spike pit quite early. Player is struggling with this puzzle, keeps taking damage and almost dies, before clicking and realising how to solve the puzzle, and completing the first level.
Expert Playtesting Questionnaire
Did the game work? Yes, No? Explain…
- The game did work, the puzzles always seemed to worked. The only issue was replaying the game if the player died.
- Yep the game worked, though some controls weren’t properly explained.
- It seemed to work, the lighting was a bit off and the game didn’t tell me the controls that well.
- Yes the game worked, though I would have like the controls explained better.
- I guess, every seemed to work fine, the game run.
How Engaging was the play experience? (scale)
What did you think of the controls? Were they intuitive? Suggestions?
- The controls of controlling two characters were a bit weird at first, but once I got use to them they were intuitive.
- They weren’t explained that well, I wish they were explained more.
- They were all right, I just wished the game explained them to me better.
- I think they were intuitive, especially the multiple controlling characters
- They were weirdly layered out and not very intuitive.
How difficult was the game?
What do you think of the character coop mechanic?
- Really cool concept, would have like to seen more of it in the game.
- A bit confusing at first, but once I figured it out I enjoyed using both the characters to solve puzzles.
- It was pretty good, wished to see more of it, not just the pressure plate puzzle.
- I thought it was really cool, I like controlling both characters to solve the puzzles.
- It was alright, I rarely seemed to use it.
What did you think of Elli’s ability?
- What abilities?
- What abilities?
- What abilities. You mean the plate thing… I didn’t see any abilities.
Did you enjoy the fighting sections? explain
- They were alright, the enemies weren’t that difficult and I wished there were more varieties of enemies.
- The enemies were a bit easy, and lacked variety.
- They were pretty easy to kill, not that much challenge.
- Yep, they weren’t too hard which I think works well for the games style.
- No, the slimes were far too easy to kill
Did you enjoy the puzzle solving sections? explain
- Yes I did, I thought they were quite unique and fun. Just wish they were slightly more difficult
- Yes, I liked using both characters to solve the puzzles.
- Again pretty easy, needed more puzzles.
- I liked the puzzle solving, and solving puzzles with multiple characters. Possible add more puzzles.
- Again they were pretty easy to solve.
(Show Mood Board) How well does the game capture the intended theme?
What did you like/dislike about the game?
- I like the puzzles and the characters, I wish the puzzles were more difficult and the enemies were more difficult. Also more variety of enemies and fix sticky keys and dying error.
- I don’t like the easiness and lack of variety of enemies. I don’t like the controls not being explained to me. I liked the multiple characters using to solve the puzzles.
- I liked the models. I wished everything was more difficult. There also needs more puzzles. Also the controls need to be explained more.
- I liked the puzzle element, and the coop characters. Would have liked the controls to be explained better, and maybe more puzzles.
- The game was very easy, the controls were weirdly layered out.
Suggestions for overall improvement?
- More difficult puzzles and enemies. More variety of enemies. Change attack key to something that won’t interfere with sticky keys. Also when you die, allow for the user to restart.
- The enemies should be harder, should have more variety. Also, explain the controls better.
- Make the game more difficult, add more puzzles, explain the controls better.
- More puzzles, explained the controls better.
- Make the game more difficult, and make it longer. Also make the controls better.
Demographic Playtesting Questionnaire
Do you enjoyed the cooperation mechanic?
Yep they were cool. I liked solving puzzles with both of the people. It would be cool to have a friend control one of the characters.
What is the different between Beart and Elli?
Beart is strong and likes to destroy things, Elli is small and can go into small spaces.
Were the puzzles difficult/ easy for you? (scale 1-5)
What changes would you like to make for the puzzles? ( difficulty, types, improvement ….)
More of them. Maybe make them more difficult like that hidden spike thing.
How would you rate the game’s ability to capture the theme of travelling through a cave towards the top?
What did you like/ dislike about the game world? (environment, puzzles, enemies etc.)
I like the cave look, I like the look of the enemies, they look cool. I think the puzzles could be a little bit more difficult.
Was the game fun? Scale (1-5)
Suggestions for overall improvement?
Make the puzzles harder. Make the game longer. Make it multiplayer.