Festival, final prototypes and Final Presentations!
We started off week 14 in anticipation of the ETC Fall festival, which was the Friday of this week. We were looking forward to showcasing our final versions of all 3 prototypes.
In the middle of the week we had a slight hiccup with the SMALLab platform, so we had to momentarily stop work to troubleshoot the hardware. Midway through the week, having resolved that, most of the work pending was related to adding assets to the prototypes and making a tutorial and introduction page for some of them.
We additionally sent over a survey for the therapists for their observations regarding all 3 prototypes. We were looking to use their observations as our proof of success in our final presentations.
Prototype 1 – Virtual Chill Room
Addressing the feedback from the previous weeks, we changed the music and immediately got a more positive response from everyone who playtested afterwards.
One of the concerns raised in the previous weeks, even after multiple iterations, was the onboarding of the user into the space. Though we did not want to be instructive to the users, we realized we would have to specify some concise amount of context for the player before the experience began. Consequently, Tanvi and Yifan worked together to make an introduction video to our experience.
Having made these changes, and with final interactions in place, we had a fully interactable prototype ready for festival.
On sending over a survey to the therapists, inquiring about their opinions and observations about this prototype, a few quotes were –
“I really love it. I was thinking it would be wonderful to have a virtual chill room even in the actual chill room, as a way for students to reset/calm down while visiting the chill room”
“The students reported feeling focused on the present moment during the activity which makes me feel that it served the desired effect of increasing mindfulness and helping students calm down and re-center”
Prototype 2 – Let it out!
At this stage, the design and effect of each emotional sphere had been finalized.
Moreover, the behavior of each sphere with one another had been implemented.
The arena design was implemented by Tairan, where the nature of the sphere exiting the arena had a direct impact on the color and mood of the space. An example of everything tying up together is below.
An important feature we added to ensure flexibility and control with the therapists is to introduce shortcut keys for each emotion to spawn in the space. Being an educational game, we wanted the control and quantity of emotions to be in the hands of the facilitator rather than randomized.
Based on the feedback from the therapists, they loved the concept of the prototype but felt that the students might be confused about the representation and purpose of certain aspects. Following that feedback, Valerie developed a tutorial that would onboard students into the experience without giving them too many details.
Prototype 3 – Conquer the grid!
Polishing and survey
In the previous weeks, we already had a near complete prototype for this experience. We made a few changes by adding sound effects and polishing interactions. Having playtested this competitive game with the students and therapists observing, we were curious to know the therapist’s response to a competitive game for students.
From the survey we sent them, they seemed to appreciate the moderately competitive aspect to this game, where students were neither getting worked up nor bored with the game. Some quotes from the therapists are –
“I noticed that everyone appeared to remain present focused, and didn’t seem stressed but as though they were having fun.”
“Focusing on the competition allowed students to take attention away from current stressors.”
There were concerns regarding competition being a trigger for some, and we acknowledged that. However our playtests were conducted amongst a diverse group of students and we did not encounter any issue from anyone.
ETC Fall Festival 2022
The ETC Fall festival held on December 9th was a huge success for us as we had the pleasure of watching people of all age groups come and play our experiences. Everyone naturally opted for the competitive prototype because of the nature of the festival, but also loved interacting with the flowers and water of our Virtual Chill room.
- Final Presentation
- Package the final deliverables and send it to Northgate