Playtest Report – Minigame 3

Did not have time to complete playtesting. Still made an effort to outline expectations for Game 3.

Rationale

For Game 3 two sets of playtesting was conducted. The first was to have the game tested by confidents (same as previous games). The second was to have someone appropriate to our target persona Sam playtest the game. For each of these playtesting sessions we developed distinct sets of playtesting goals, observational techniques and questions. Overall, the focus of my playtesting was to gain feedback about whether my game had succeeded with what I had set out to create – A puzzle oriented, cooperative dungeon explorer game. Player (or players) must control the two heroes with their unique abilities to traverse their way through a dungeon to riches and glory. In the spirit of good testing and reporting I also created expectations relating to these goals:

Playtest Expectations for Confidants:

Session Goal: Expectation:
  1. Game Function – Does the game function as intended?
 We spent some time as a group testing the mechanics and level design of our players. I am confident that our game will function well for the most part. If any issues do arise they will be minor/ negligible to the overall gameplay. Our main mechanics work, our levels work. I hope the testers enjoy it.
  1. Capture the intended experience – Does the game capture the experience of cooperation, exploration and puzzle solving?
Our cooperation and puzzling solving components are strong in our game. I expect testers will enjoy these. The puzzles may be a bit too simple for adult testers. But this may give assist us in determining how to better create puzzles for our target audience.
  1. Clear Theme and Objective – Does the game capture the gloomy, cave, fantasy theme?
Our game includes distinct models, animations and sounds. It also includes music. All this lends to creating an immersive game experience appropriate to the theme. I expect players will understand and appreciate the intention.

Playtest Expectations for Target Audience:

Session Goal: Expectation:
  1. Cooperation – Does the game provide meaningful cooperative gameplay?
I expect the cooperation mechanic will be somewhat enjoyed by our target audience. It would work best with two players in my opinion but we are doing one person playtesting. So it will be interesting to see how our tester interprets the mechanic. The controls for this mechanic are not very intuitive. Asking the player to use both the w,a,s,d and arrow key control schemes. I expect our tester won’t play close attention to the the tutorial and need to be directed how to utilize the cooperation mechanic.
  1. Puzzle Solving – Does the game provide meaningful puzzle solving gameplay?
Our puzzles are solid and simple I expect our playtester will find these components fun and rewarding.
  1. Exploration – Does the game provide meaningful exploration?
We ended up focusing more on the other components unfortunately. I expect our playtester won’t agree that this game has meaningful exploration. We hope to include more explorative components in future levels.

 

Participants

Five participants were acquired for confidant playtesting. These players varied in ages and background. Consisted of my friends and fellow students. Did not have strict conditions for participants other than that they must have had previous experience with video games. This experience was required to act as a baseline for them to gauge the function and quality of my game.

One twelve-year-old boy who regularly plays Minecraft on PC and has a Wii U console was acquired for target audience playtesting. I selected this person because I felt his personality and age were extremely appropriate to the Sam persona.

Method

Game was setup on a laptop. The control scheme and basic story/ theme were briefly explained to the tester. Testers were asked to talk aloud while playing, expressing any thoughts and feelings about the game. Observer watched and took notes of the testers playstyle. Tester played the tutorial level of the game first and could ask questions or be given help by observers. Then they played through Level 1 and 2 or until 5 minutes had passed, at which point the session was ended. Finally, we asked playtesters a series of questions relating to their experience with the game. See Playtest Plan for detailed explanations of our approach to playtesting each of the session goals.

Results

Did not have time to complete playtesting. Based on my other group members playtesting my expectations were mostly accurate. Cooperation and puzzle components were strong. Meaningful exploration was not achieved. The game functioned well and testers appreciated the intended theme.

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