Friday, May 17, 2013

Playtest results

I sent the previous build out for testing and so far I've received some SUPER useful feedback. I was looking for some all-round thoughts about the game and UI, to find out if people understood what was going on. I've sent the game to six people and so far I've had feedback from three.

These are the questions I asked:

Did the tutorial make sense?
Did you understand the light/dark change?
Did you complete the level?
Was anything in the game confusing?
The game is supposed to be pitch black in certain areas, but did you ever think it was it too dark across the entire level?
Did the game run smoothly, or was it jerky and stuttery?
Do you have any other comments?

Here's a fancy Excel sheet with the comments.

The most confusing thing seems to be the inventory, and knowing which character is using which item. For instance, people are trying to open the gate with Otis while Fawn is carrying the key... Which won't work. I've tried to clarify this by adding a coloured highlight around the active object - orange if Fawn is carrying the item, and blue if Otis is.

Other improvements include:
  • All icons have shiny new alpha channels and should appear less jaggedy.
  • Particle effects and audio on character selection.
  • The dark/light fade time is a bit longer to make it less abrupt.
  • Items in the inventory can be right-clicked for a description.
  • The candle icon has been updated; the old one looked too much like dynamite.
  • I've fixed a bug with the top most ladder, where the characters would fall through the floor and snap back... D'oh!
  • The hint visuals have been improved a bit, with a nicer font and better background.
  • I've added the new gate, which has a big, shiny padlock. Before this it was a bit confusing to know where to actually use the key.
  • More sound effects.
  • ...and of course, it's much prettier! I've added a gazillion rocks, some wooden beams/supports, more mushrooms and tweaked the lights. 
I haven't changed the help icon in the corner yet, because I can't seem to create a button-style icon that doesn't make my eyes bleed. Since none of the other icons have a "background" it just seems to clash... I'll soldier on, though.

Here's a build!

Some screenshots:

My remaining to-do list, from Hansoft:
It's getting there...! Well, I guess deleting the entire animation sprint helped. The walk-bouncies will have to do for this prototype! There's no way I can model, rig and animate the characters for Friday. I'd rather spend that time polishing the rest of the game than creating shoddy newbie-animations. But for the submission I'll include a little write-up of all the things I would have added to the game if I had also been a gifted audio designer and artist who could rig, skin and animate.

I've kept Hansoft updated throughout the project and it has really helped keep me from freaking out about the workload. It's been more of a fancy to-do list and overview than anything else... But that's all I've needed, since the game (and team, haha) is so small.

I want to sent another build out to people next week, to see if they think the game has improved. I'm very reluctant to make any major changes after this weekend so it won't be a huge test, but still useful.

Right - now to find some more sound effects...

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