The aim of this playtest is to identify whether player is able to understand the objective and complete the game, the gameplay meets the player experience goal, and if the full mechanics can create a personal engagement to players.
The playtest was conducted to five participants, including one playtester from studio member, for around 5 to 10 minutes for each participant. All the playtests were conducted on 22nd of March 2017. The session began with filling the questionnaire form to understand the player demographic. It is then followed by briefing about thinking out loud before the playtester playing the prototype. Around five minutes were spent for the player to play the prototype and speak out what they were thinking, while I took notes. After completing the game or roughly five minutes had passed, the playtester were instructed to fill the survey form.
Below is the summary of the quantitative data collected.
|Question||Player Response||Intensity of Issue|
|The game was easy to learn how to play.||0||1||0||1||3||Moderate|
|The game was fun to play.||0||1||2||1||1||Moderate|
|The game was frustratingly difficult.||2||2||0||1||0||Major|
|The game was extremely easy.||0||1||1||2||1||Major|
|The game’s controls made it easy to do what I wanted.||0||0||0||4||1||Major|
|The game’s background and world was enjoyable to look at||0||0||2||1||2||Minor|
|The game is relaxing||1||0||0||2||2||Major|
|I always understand what I should do next to achieve my goal||0||1||0||3||1||Moderate|
|I want to find out what happens next if I were to continue playing||0||0||1||2||2||Minor|
|I find the gameplay is very entertaining||0||0||3||1||1||Major|
The playtester participants are all experienced in video games, but they are differ in terms of the number of hours they play in a week. Two participants play more than 20 hours a week, the others play less than 10 hours. All participants are familiar with keyboard controls since they are all computer gamers. Their preferences are ranging from casual players to intense players, but all of them are already familiar with the movement controls of the prototype.
Please refer to appendix A for the complete notes, questionnaire, and survey forms.
Four out of five players managed to locate the objective and complete the game. However, based on the observations, playtesters tend to understand the objective once they encounter buildings and try to shoot them. The players that see the building destroyed are more likely to get the objective faster as they realised the number of “Building Remaining” text decreases. From the quantitative surveys, there are three people ticking number four for questions “I always understand what I should do next to achieve my goal”. This indicates that they are not yet 100% confident about the objectives eventhough they managed to complete the game. Some improvements to the informative aspects are clearly needed.
Even though the game has been designed to meet the player experience goals, which is to be relaxing and entertaining, one participant still feel the game is not relaxing. This can be seen from the quantitative data questions 7. Deeper analysis showed that this single participant only plays game two hours in a week, which indicates that the difficulty is too hard for his background, and thus do not create relaxing atmosphere. Overall, the game is entertaining enough since most of the participants indicated that the game was fun too play, the gameplay was entertaining and the game was in the right level of difficulty.
The full gameplay mechanics can be said to have created a good personal engagement, but not 100%. This can be seen from participants indicating that the game’s visual is enjoyable to look, and they want to find out what happens if they continue playing the game. From the observations however, participants tend to start getting bored when they were exploring the map to locate the buildings. They also see no points on killing the enemy soldiers if the spaceship actually will still hardly die because of them.
Based on key findings and playtester feedbacks, some potential changes and improvements to the game need to be considered. These includes:
- Add mini-map to track the location of the player
- Create engagement from more varieties of challenges during the exploration of the map to locate the core buildings to avoid boredom
- Give feedbacks when player’s health running low
- Reduce the effects on enemy’s projectiles to decrease intensity and increase relaxation
- Allow players to speed up and speed down
- Design the environment to be giving clues for players to locate the core buildings
- Give GUI texts stating the current objectives
- Allow players to change the direction of the projectile
- Show the remaining health of the core building to inform players that it is the object they need to destroy
Appendix A – Playtester Notes, Questionnaires, and Surveys.