Activity 7: Play-testing.
Play testing Session Goals. Play-testing-Session-Goals
Game footage video
Play-testing key finding and recommendations.
Key goals reviewed.
Goal 1: The level of engagement that the player experiences in regard to speed.
Results from the survey and conversations had during game testing sessions showed the speed of the game is working well. This is mostly due to the run button. Walking tends to be a bit slow and you need to run to turn enough lights off. Walking is good for scanning an area for enemies. Players agreed the game is fast paced due to time restrictions, being chased by the enemies and running around to turn lights off. This showed overwhelmingly in the questionnaire results. Some players felt the play a bit fast. This mainly due to their comfort zones being pushed as result of the frantic pace. All testers agreed this was a good thing.
Players felt the controls were responsive which added to how satisfied they felt in regard to speed in the game. Players showed some unusual play styles that were not expected such as running and jumping as they as if they were skipping. This didn’t affect game play. The learning curve proved challenging for some players who found if they did not pay enough attention, they were jumped by mobs and quickly died. The game is very unforgiving, leading to a quick death if enemies are not dispatched quick enough or allowed to sneak up on the player. Testers liked this as it created a shock value as one second they were running along happily playing and then out of nowhere an enemy would creep up on them and they died. Players thought this was a good idea as enemies were easily dispatched with the gun if they were spotted quick enough. The results from the questionnaire and general consensus amongst the test group was that the current level of speed worked, but could be tweaked with some minor adjustments.
Image: Enemies sneaking up on player.
Goal 2: How well the game portrays the ethereal ambience.
Players showed they really liked the ambience with many commenting on how dark it was. When asked testers tended to agree that the game was ethereal, although most testers found (due to the dark elements and the monsters) it had more of the horror vibe, if they had to describe the game play themselves. Testers commented in different ways about the ethereal aspects they related to such as one tester saying it was like a movie such as “Friday the 13th”, and were waiting for Jason to jump of the trees with a machete. Another tester said it reminded of them of the torch version of the game Doom or playing murder in the dark as a child. Aspects such as the mist, forest and torch added to the ethereal feeling, some saying it was dreamlike. No one felt it was ethereal in a lighthearted way such as floating through clouds.
Overall results showed that testers did think the game was ethereal, testers tended to relate it more as horror due to the darkness of game-play. This showed in the questionnaire results and in many statements made by testers whilst playing.
Goal 3: Determine that all of the mechanics work how they are supposed to.
Image: Black box Issue with lights.
Play-testing showed some issues with mechanics and game-play. People felt the lights need to be white when turned on rather than the black box in the lanterns. This was due to a second light animation not being introduced to replace the original when the light was turned on. This resulted from my basic coding skills and time restraints. The monsters had no animation and float around chasing players. This was due to the asset being a static asset with no animations so was not a bug but needed addressing in later builds. Issues with the lighting of torch and street lights on the houses was noticed as testers advised they appeared washed out. I noticed this during the build but was unable to determine how to fix it in Unity due to my limited skills with the program.
Image: Street light washing out details on houses.
Testers noticed the start of the game was a bit bumpy when they came in from the start screen to the game. I think this was due to the character being slightly stuck in the ground and jumping out when starting. When the game is won by beating the timer the game does not stop, it just says you win and keeps playing, people felt this was not right and needed addressing, such as going to an end game screen or play stopping and the view going to a fly over camera position. Some of the control instructions were missing such as run = shift key. One person advised they were getting a bit lost as the terrain looks very similar and recommended a mini-map to show position. Overall testers felt the game-play at this stage was not dramatically affected by any of the issues testers raised but could be seen.
Image: Torch light washing out details of houses.
Improvements for future builds.
Game play testing feedback showed that game balance is well. Areas for improvement would be to adjust the terrain and make it have more undulation so players are forced to weave around more, together with the introduction of a greater variety of assets such as houses, old cars, lights and rocks etc.
Lights need to be fixed so the white light asset replaces the black light asset when a light is turned on.
Monsters need to be animated and come in more varieties.
Lighting needs to be adjusted to produce a better look when shining the torch on houses or placing light poles near houses.
Start position needs a slight adjustment to correct the jittery glitch on the start.
Game ending sequences need to be added for when the player wins. This could be done by adding something similar to what happens in death or adding a score screen with a restart switch to assist replay ability.
With the adjustment in terrain to make going in a straight line more difficult a mini-map would be a useful addition so players could quickly get their bearings.
Adjustment of timers by adding them into the mini-map or popping up at key intervals would prove beneficial to game play as the pace of the game often causes players to lose track of the time or the level of power. The introduction of a laser target which puts a laser beam on what you are targeting would add to the ambience as the cross hair would no longer be required.
29031502 -Link to all notes as 1 pdf.
completed by Justin Johnstone. N9428127. darknstormy777.