Weekly Blog

Week 9: How good are our games? TESTING!

Work Done This Week

Most of it, playtesting

The focus of the team this week has been carrying out playtesting to see if our games are fun to play and easy to understand to naive guests, in addition to satisfying client’s requirement. The team knew beforehand that there is going to be a ton of problems to address, yet many of those turn out to be surprising and a bit unexpected.

To prepare for the upcoming playtest seesion (hosted by ETC) of a larger scale, the team has been busy polishing the previous three games, as well as making playtesting questionnaire.

Lastly, a update on the production of our third mini game. Our client rThe game now is at a playable state. Mechanics is solid, bugs have been fixed, art assets have been added in. All that remains is making several “boss” levels that makes the game challenging.

During our playtest workshop, the team came up with the “experience goal” sheet:

People were so nice with their sticky note feedback…

Playtesting and feedback

The team kicked off this week by conducting playtest with students at the Cornell High School in Pittsburgh. This playtest helped the team see many areas that the games and the overall experience could improve upon. For example, more than 60% of our playtesters ended up in the green team. That means our “house sorting” questions aren’t really doing their job…

Lewis, our amazing producer!
Playtest session

Besides testing our games and overall experience with students, the team also tested them with two faculties, Mike and Ruth. It was quite a valuble lesson. The faculties asked many specific question and provided tons of feedback when they finished their playthroughs. Just to give a taste as to some issues we need to address:

  1. Ruth went first to bulletin board, instead of playing the game. This is opposite to the original design
  2. Display that you have no concept available to learn
  3. Some definitions on prgramming concepts are unclear and need improvements
  4. Throughout the experience, the visual screen felt every empty.
  5. Opinion: overall theme feels off, magic and cybersecurity does not go together well.
  6. Interface needs consistency
  7. Programming concepts need to be repeated throughtout the experience. “Make them stick!”
Ruth meticulously playing our game

Client Meeting

In terms of client meeting, Ivan showed our previous two mini games to the group back at CMU CyLab. The group felt good about the two games, which is such good news. Additionally, the folks at CyLab all think our third mini game idea and mechanics, which uses circuit fixing puzzles to teach “=” (assignment) and “==” (comparator) concepts in programming, are good. The team felt assured and encouraged. One thing however, which had also popped up during this week’s faculty meeting, was that the team needs to change “witchcraft”, a word that appeared in many places in the theming of the second mini game, to soemthing else to avoid potential backlash from some paticular audience. The team will promptly carry that out.

Plan for Next Week

In the upcoming weeks, the team will diligently carry out playtest to ensure that all the previously mentioned problems and improvement suggestions are addressed and implemented. We will spend time giving out and analyzing playtest surveys, as well as conducting interviews if possible. In the meantime, the team is going to finish the third mini, implementing all the levels to be more exact, at the start of week 10. Further more, the team managed to settle on the specific design of our forth/final mini game. Design will come up with a list of levels for programming to implement while art creates modular assets to streamline production.


Also Lewis