Prepping for Softs and final playtests
Being only a 2 day week, week 12 was mainly focused on building a task list for the upcoming thanksgiving break, and having an aim ready for when we are back. The target was to have a complete Prototype for our virtual chill room and competitive game (prototypes 1 and 3) before the end of the week. Our collaborative prototype 2 would be a work in progress, aimed to finish by the end of week 13.
We also invited over the students of Northgate school to the ETC in week 13! We wanted them to playtest the softs version of our prototypes and give them a tour of the ETC. We had a mix of 5 middle school students and 3 high school students visit the ETC.
Prototype 1 – Virtual Chill Room
Technical Art & Playtesting
The main interactions were all in, and we began working on adding polished and extra features in the experience.
One of the polishing features Tairan added to the space was to alter the water and environment.
Other than that, an addition to the experience was to add a special easter egg when 3 players interact with each other. We wanted to add this to add a special action for when 3 players are in the space, since every interaction till now is individual. This is also inspired by one of the suggestions the students gave us while playtesting our experience.
On playtesting this version with the students, some of the favorite moments for the students were –
“Seeing the colors all come together and spin when I hovered over them”
“Making the many plants disappear”
One of the major pieces of feedback we received was relating to the audio playing in the space. We realized that the music which seemed calm for a few students did not reflect the same feeling on all the students in the space.
One final change to the prototype would be to try and alter the background music in the space.
Prototype 2 – Let it out!
Tairan got started on the added emotions in this prototype. The added mechanism was when the Sadness emotion sphere interacted with the Anger emotion sphere. It would absorb into a major ‘depression’ sphere.
On playtesting the basic mechanics of this prototype during softs with faculty members, the main piece of advice we got was regarding tying up the story. We aimed to give it context, before and after regarding what the emotions may represent and what it means to process them.
A few ideas to solve this disconnect was to attach a character to the experience, either in the tutorial or at the end to show real world consequences.
Prototype 3 – Conquer the grid
The main sole addition left for prototype 3 would be the sound effects. However, we had not yet playtested the tutorial and new functions added with the students.
On playtesting this with the students on their visit to the ETC – we found the tutorial to have communicated the major rules to the students. There was still a slight confusion in some elements of gameplay that called for better in-game feedback. We would depend on audio feedback to playtest that in the following week.
We also found that the replay ability of the game was something that appealed to the students.
There was a mix of students that developed strategies, a mix of students that just wanted to have fun in the space and a few that aimed to conquer other students’ spaces. Most importantly, we found that the level of competition in the current game was at a level where it was not too stressful and got the students to have fun, stay present and calm in the space.
On the documentation side, Valerie got started with documentation for a separate Teachers’ manual and Game design document for the grant provided to the school as well as for future teams to design and develop on the current prototypes.
- Polish and refine on prototypes, to prepare for final deliverable
- Work on post-mortem, documentation and video trailer for project
- Prepare for Final presentations