Activity 7: Playtesting
Play testing key finding and recommendations
Goal 1: Level of engagement and joy (PX)
Players found the game engaging and enjoy playing it. This was only for a short period of time. Game replay ability was very low. Play testers advised that the game became very predictable and was less fun overtime as there was no variety in the game play. The enemy pattern is the same the whole time playing. Spawn points do not vary etc. Once the player understands the enemy pattern and how to keep them neutralised, there is no further challenge to the player’s skills.
Play testers liked the colours in the game and found it pleasing. Animations such as explosions added to this feeling. Players found the game’s idea concept interesting, as shooting kittens in a dream like atmosphere was very strange.
Goal 2: Check that mechanics feel balanced
Players found the mechanics mostly balanced, although the initial start of the game was a not implemented well as enemy’s spawn straight away, causing issues for players. The players found they had to move and shoot as soon as the game started. They did not have a small period to get orientated before combat began. Several players were frustrated by this. Players found the game difficult to start with but soon learned the game play and some found it easy after the first few tries.
Players found the game action very predictable so felt it was not balanced as it did not get harder or change at any point.
Goal 3: Check that mechanics function
Players advised there were a few animation bugs. The explosions were making it hard to see the kittens sometimes. If the player was moving the ship fast enough when strafing the ship left or right, the bullets appear to be delayed so it looked as if they fired from mid-air and not the ship.
The findings showed several areas for improvement which could be implemented in future builds.
- More variety in gameplay such as enemy spawn points, patterns such as waves, variety of enemies.
- Enemies could have weapons and weapons could provide different challenges to the player. I.e.: beam weapon, homing missile, drop mines, gas clouds.
- Enemy speed variety, some enemies could be a kamikaze style attack where they rush the player, others could group together to make shields that are harder to take down by the player.
- Player could utilise different weapons. I.e: missiles, machine gun lasers, cluster bombs.
- Player could have shields.
- Explosions could come in different styles and create a various patterns and colours.
- Use of health, health drops and power ups.
- Mechanics of the weapon to be overhauled so it is more in sync with the ship.
- Enemy A.I. to be tweaked so they act in a variety of ways.
- Explosion graphic to be cleared up so sharp lines are removed and kittens are not hidden.
- Starting sequence to be added so players have time to fly around and orientate themselves.
- Restart to be added.
- Scoring/timer system to be added.
- Death screen to be added.
Due to the simplicity of the first build, many recommendations are obvious. Moving forward the game should be developed in 3 key categories.
Variety: Gameplay needs to retain the player’s attention and keep them challenged and thinking about the game.
Structure: Player needs to feel they are moving towards something (goal/direction). Implementation of level systems, enemy wave systems, bosses etc.
Clarity: Visuals need to be fine-tuned in order cut distractions for the player such as bad explosion or gun animations, enemies disappearing in clouds.
completed by Justin Johnstone. N9428127. darknstormy777.