Number of Testers
Each question has one answer from each of the four playtesters, with each participant’s response being in a distinct colour. There are only three replies on Question9, as participant #2 did not answer.
Session Goal 1 Level of Engagement the Player Experiences in Regard to Speed
The answers to questions 1-4 and observations made during the sessions were extremely telling in regards to players’ engagement in regards to speed. The answers to questions 1-3 show that players felt the game was fast paced, and they were constantly anxiously running around. Question 4, however, shows that most players felt that the game was difficult but achievable due to the pace of the game, with the one being the participant to discover that holding shift allows the main character to sprint. This feature was unknown to the developer and an unfortunate hindrance to the PX Goal of ‘speed’. It was also observed that although they were rushing around a few players stopped to inspect each room, which may contribute to a feeling of being rushed. Beyond the error of leaving the ability to sprint in the game, it can be seen that the goal of speed was somewhat achieved.
In the future, the sprinting ability should be removed, in order to allow for a slower pace and more speed-based gameplay experience.
Session Goal 2 How Well the Game Portrays the Ethereal Ambience
While listening to play testers speak as they played, and reviewing the answers to questions 5 and 7, it soon became evident that many felt the game was very ‘creepy’ and ‘too big to be a real house’, which lends into the nightmarish and dreamlike impossibility of the PX Goal of ‘ethereal’.
However, some players, as seen in questions 6 and 7, felt that the game lent more towards simply dark and survival-esque. According to participants’ answers to questions 7 and 10, eerie music would help the game take on a much more ethereal quality, as opposed to its current ambiance of simply ‘dark’.
Session Goal 3 Determine That Mechanics Work
Answers to player’s questions in 9 and 10 would suggest minimal glitches in terms of mechanics in the current build, however, observations and playtester #4’s notes show that some mechanics are somewhat bugged. During two playtesting sessions, a light was seen to randomly turn on in the peripheral and to turn off when the switch not associated with it was pressed, and this was recorded in participant #3’s notes. It is guessed that this is due to the box collider for two switches being too close, as the switches on both accounts were on opposite sides of a wall, so it would be a simple fix in a future build.
One answer to question 11 lists multiple glitches in regards to the map, and one in regards to the game over screen. The loss screen was always popping up, even if the player had won. This was due to the power continuing to drain even after the player won, and the game was updated to resolve this issue. The map issues are a problem, but result from my inexperience with creating maps and lack of assets/pre-made maps, so although a better map will be required for a more polished game in the future, these issues cannot be immediately resolved.
Recommendations for Improvement
In future builds, I would like to spend more time creating and populating the map, as well as thinking about light/light switch placement. Kid implementation, and a slower and more predictable light cycle should be implemented to make the game creepier and more ethereal rather than just a challange to find all the lights. The gui should also be made larger and more noticeable, as many reported not noticing it/not paying attention to it.