Cycle 3: Reflection

How you have approached learning new things and/or finding new information during the semester?

I mostly relied on online researches whenever I found difficulties in both technical and non-technical aspects during the development. I am really eager to take an extra steps to pursue personal improvements in skills and knowledge, so I went through many online tutorials to help me with technical aspects, including basic modelling, advanced scripting and making animation in Unity. I also researched other similar games online to collect ideas regarding to environment and theme designs. For the third cycle, I also went online to research the similarities between Pokemon Go and Minecraft to analyse the preference patterns in Sam as well as to find out what game aspects that Sam would hate. Overall, I enjoy learning new things online as I can improve myself better with time flexibility.

What additional, non-technical skills you’ve developed during the semester?

Throughout the semester, I believe I have significantly developed my game design skills. The last game development cycle which required the team to develop game concept that suits the specific target audience demographic has trained me to design appropriate experience goals, relevant player stories, as well as game theme that is appealing to target audience. I developed my design thinking that enables me to learn the players’ preferences through their gaming experiences and behaviour. I also learned to document thoughts and researches through sketches and notes effectively, which can be used to develop ideas to build the main game concept. Through this skill development, I really see the significance of design stage, which motivates myself to develop my game design skills to a higher degree.

The most effective strategies you used for managing individual and team activities?

I personally found that working in a team is way more difficult compared to working individually since we need an extra skill for team management, which includes dividing tasks commensurately,  ensures everyone deliver the tasks in time, and integrating every chunks of the results into one big solution at the end. What I found most effective to manage team is developing an active communication channel to keep all the members engaged to the project. State clearly every task division, emphazise the deadlines of every tasks, inform every update we individually have progressed, appoint meetings a week in advanced, etc. For individual activities management, good time management is the ultimate answer for me. I set a deadline for every half a week for myself to accomplish my own task.

The ethical responsibilities associated with working in a team-based environment.

My studio team was really tolerant, supporting, and covering each other’s weaknesses, but we all were aware to keep the development activities as professional as possible by practicing good ethical responsibilities. Although all the members have unequal development skills and background, we did our best to give equal contributions to the prototype, e.g., member that has no experiences in Unity would focus on level designing and providing resources, member who is a programmer would focus on scripting and building mechanics, etc. We keep the communication optimum, reminding each other’s tasks, so each of the member is transparent and manage to deliver every task on time.

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Cycle 3: Playtest Report

The playtest conducted for the Cheese and Crackers game prototype was mainly based on two playtest plans posted in the Playtest Plan post. The first playtest plan aims to obtain some insights from game experts (either gamers or developers) regarding to the measure of how meaningful the crackers are, how appropriate the level of difficulties of the game, and how natural the players feel the game world flows. In the other hand, the second playtest plan aims to obtain insights from player that has similar demographic to Sam (the selected target audience) which includes finding how difficult the level is for the player, finding if the game meets the expected player experience goals, and finding if the game world is appealing to player.

Data Collection

The playtest was conducted to seven participants, which includes five expert participants and two participants that have similar demographics as Sam. Five selected participants for the first playtest plan are mostly both developers and gamers with varying gaming experiences, but they all are confidants and naïve to games. Two selected participants for the second playtest plan are Bryan and Owen which are respectively 15 and 13 years old at the moment, experienced minecraft players, and enjoy playing PokemonGo just like Sam. Both of them like to design their custom map of many games, which is considered similar to Sam who would like to create games using simple tools.

The playtest session to experts took around 10 to 15 minutes for each participant, while the playtest session for the target demographics took around 15 to 20 minutes. The session began with filling the questionnaire form to filter the player demographic. It is then followed by briefing about thinking out loud before the playtester plays the prototype. Around 10 to 15 minutes were spent for the player to play the prototype and speak out what they were thinking, while I observe and took notes any important information relating to the primary playtesting goals. After the completion of the game, the playtester were instructed to fill the survey form.

Please refer to appendix A for the complete player playtesting note, questionnaire, and survey form results.

Key Findings

Plan 1 – Session Goal 1

Finding out how meaningful the crackers are to the players.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2 3 4 5
I tend to collect every crackers in the game 4 3 5 5 5 88%

 

Player observation and note reviews:

Generally, all players tend to collect every crackers in each level before progressing to the next level. Most of them relatively put a lot of effort to collect every single crackers, although some gave up at some points. Some missed to collect the crackers because they did not notice the existence of the crackers. Those players added that they require the game UI to display the number of crackers they have collected or the number of crackers left to collect. A player that does not really enjoy platformer games did not see the importance of collecting the crackers and more focused on progressing through the level.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The crackers are relatively seen as important elements in the game that players have to collect.
  • Players are not clear with the number of crackers in each level
  • Players sometimes miss to collect a remaining cracker because they thought they have collected all
  • Players require a UI feedback to keep them updated with the total crackers collected

Plan 1 – Session Goal 2

Finding out whether the level of difficulties is appropriate or not.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2 3 4 5
The game was easy to learn how to play 5 5 4 4 4 88%
I find completing the game is difficult 3 5 4 5 4 40%
I find collecting the cheese is difficult 4 4 4 4 4 50%
I find collecting the crackers is difficult 4 4 4 3 3 70%

 

Player observation and note reviews:

Based on the observation to how the participants adapt to the game, it can be said that the controls and mechanics are relatively simple and easy to learn. Playtesters mostly took less than a minute to figure out the control of the character. Participants have no issues with completing level 1, but started to get frustated once they progressed to the second level onwards. Multiple jump attempts made to complete level 2 and 3, while level 4 was quite frustating to use the booster. They found it difficult to jump over platforms and walls appropriately because the friction of the game is set to be minimum, so the ball easily slides off from the platforms.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The game was relatively easy to learn how to play
  • Completing the game is found to be difficult by most players
  • Collecting the cheese is found to be difficult by most players
  • Collecting the crackers is slightly difficult but still at reasonable level
  • The platforms minimum friction makes the players feel difficult in controlling the characters to jump over platforms and walls
  • The difficulty for level 2 onwards need to be nerved

Plan 1 – Session Goal 3

Finding out if the players feel the gameplay and the game world flow naturally.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2 3 4 5
The game world is just perfect for the gameplay 4 3 4 4 4 76%
I feel the gameplay and the game world flows naturally 4 3 5 5 5 88%
The game’s concept and mechanic is interesting 4 2 4 4 4 72%

 

Player observation and note reviews:

Throughout the playtest session, most of the playtesters stated that the game mechanics’ flows is just nice and reasonable. The look and feel matches quite well with the gameplay, making it looks natural. Some ambiguity between platforms and backgrounds was a small problem. The playtesters generally asserted that the game concept and mechanic is quite common and non-innovative, but still interesting.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The game world matches with the game story and mechanics, but still can be improved
  • The gameplay and game world relatively flows natural
  • The concept of the game is common and non-innovative, but still interesting

Plan 2 – Session Goal 1

Finding out if the difficulty of the level is in the right level.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2
The game was easy to learn how to play 4 4 80%
I find completing the game is difficult 4 5 25%
I find collecting the cheese is difficult 4 5 25%
I find collecting the crackers is difficult 4 5 25%

 

Player observation and note reviews:

Two of the players basically learn the controls and mechanics of the game quite fast for their ages. Playtesters mostly took about a minute or two to figure out the control of the character and the jumping mechanics of the game. Participants seemed to be able to complete level 1 easily with two crackers, leaving the last one on the corner because feeling difficult to collect. Participants started require help with completing level 2 onwards. They were keen to collect every crackers throughout the game but due to time and skills limitation they gave up and focused on completing the game instead. Similar to the experts, they found it very difficult to jump over platforms and walls appropriately because the friction of the game is set to be minimum, so the ball easily slides off from the platforms.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The game controls suit the target audience demographic characteristics and gaming background
  • Completing the game, collecting cheese, and collecting crackers are too difficult for the target audience demographics
  • Friction on platforms need to be reduced to make the mouseball more stable
  • Crackers and cheese positioning need to be refined

Plan 2 – Session Goal 2

Finding out if the game meets the expected player experience goals. (Get a sense of excitement and tension)

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2
The game was exciting to play 5 5 100%
The game gives some moment of tensions 5 5 100%

 

Player observation and note reviews:

The playtesters generally gave positive response to the excitement of the game prototype. The player seems to be energetic and passionate in completing the levels. At some points where they were gonna make a big jump, they encountered a moment of tensions. They ultimately enjoy the excitement and tensions throughout the playtesting session.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The target demographic playtesters are 100% excited when playing the game
  • The participants encountered moments of tensions during navigating the characters to jump over platforms
  • The participants’ experiences meet the expected PX goal.

Plan 2 – Session Goal 3

Finding out if the players find the game world appealing.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2
The game world is enjoyable to look at 5 5 100%
The character is enjoyable to look at 5 4 90%

 

Player observation and note reviews:

The playtesters responded that the character is good looking when prompted a question during the playtest session. The participants stated that the game world, furnishes and elements look enjoyable. There are no much commends about the appearances of the interface, indicating that they perceived every objects in the game well and suitably.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The game world is enjoyable to look at from both participants’ perspective
  • The character is enjoyable to look at from both participants’ perspective
  • The target audience demographic see the game world relatively appealing enough

Recommendations

Based on key findings and playtesters’ feedbacks, some potential changes and improvements to the overall game design need to be considered. These includes:

  • Add UI that informs the number of remaining and already collected crackers in the level to avoid players missing crackers
  • Add some friction to the platforms to increase character stability
  • Increase the length of the platforms to make the players easier to jump into
  • Increase the sesitivity of wall jump
  • Place crackers in the more easily reachable spots
  • Add more lighting to the platforms and reduce the light for background to make them visually more separatable
  • Add more platforms in the top right corner of level 4
  • Widen the platform in the bottom right corner of level 5
  • Add an additional level for tutorial that slowly introduce players with the controls and mechanics of the game
  • Add arrows that points to crackers or cheese to guide players where they have to go.
  • Reposition portal in the level 2 because players are mostly confused where to go after collecting the cheese
  • The rat enemy should be redesigned more nicely instead of just using sprites

Appendix

Questionnaires, Surveys, and Notes

Cycle 3 Activity 2: Game Look and Feel

Having Sam as the primary target audience of the prototype, the game’s aesthetic will be based on his preferences and gaming background. Sticking with studio player experience goal which is stated in the quote below, and looking at Sam as the youth who is actively engaged to catch pokemons outside, the mood of the game prototype is made to be cheerful, happy, optimistic, excitement, and energetic. The style of the game will mainly be based on his favourite game PokemonGo, which appears to be cartoonish, colorful, and have many tiny characters.

Players will feel a sense of excitement and tension navigating around obstacles using their reflexes and agility

Style and Mood of the Game

Mood: Cheerful, Happy, Optimistic, Excitement, Energetic
Style: PokemonGo (Cartoonish, Colorful, Tiny Characters)

Fundamental Shape Structures

A post by Chris Solarski in Gamasutra relating to the aesthetics of game art and game design has given insights that most people grew up bringing the aesthetic concepts of the world around them by many senses. [1] Through sense of touch to the textures, people tend to automatically generate a mental to visually assess objects through their shapes to define the characteristics. In addition, people also generate that automatic visual assessment through sensing how different shapes respond differently to certain condition, for example cubes tend to stay balance in the table when it is shaken, but spheres will roll. So, people perceive the characteristics of each object based on its shape’s dynamics and attributes.

It is stated in the blog that circle represents innocence, youth, energy, and feminity. Cheese and Crackers is a game that is developed to bring excitement and some tension feeling to the studio’s selected player demographics. Sam, is a 12 years old boy that enjoy games that is friendly and less-punishing, and therefore characters that are designed from circle will psychologically satisfy his needs. The team decided to use circle shapes as the design foundation in this game to bring aesthetics feeling of non-aggressiveness and friendliness. The main character will be in a form of a ball which can only roll and jump, while the environment would be also made circle to create a harmony. The enemy characters, mousetraps, cheese and crackers would be designed using circle shape as the base to illustrate that they are less harmful and less punishing.

Spatial Dimensions, Size, and Boundary

Cheese and Crackers will be made in a 2.5D side scroller game environment. The boundary of the entire game world will generally be designed to be within a small rectangle, but still big enough for the player to move around and perform some jumps. The game scale requires scaling as long as it makes a clear sense to the players, but it does not necessarily to completely reflect the exact size.

The picture below illustrates how the game world of Cheese and Crackers is bounded.

Game Setting

The background of Cheese and Crackers is that player will play as a mouse who is under certain experiments in the lab to test how agile he is to collect crackers and cheese when is put inside a ball. The game setting is based on the future lab’s experiment box, which contains many metal platforms, pipes and panels that create a maze for the mouse. Most of the furnishings will depict sci-fi theme to bring the futuristic look of the world, which can be metal boxes, portals, metal buttons, etc. The only character in the game is the mouse in a ball which shows friendliness, unharmfulness, and quick-wittedness. The sound effects and background music will be made friendly and cartoonish to reflect the visual style of the game. The game will also display the score board under the experiment result background showing how many crackers players managed to collect. This is one insidious trend in modern game direction to convince players that a meaningless action (collecting the crackers) is meaningful by giving a psychological reward. [2] Human naturally likes to win, and when they have accomplished something, they want rewards. Showing a score board with a number of crackers players have managed to collect will give players a sense of achievements, which they crave.

Representation

 The Character The Cheese

 The Crackers The Mousetrap

Target Audience Analysis

The studio team believe that Sam, a twelve years old boy who played Mario Carts as his first game, is a long time fan of Minecraft and spent a lot of time playing PokemonGo with his parents, would love the Cheese and Crackers game prototype’s look and feel. Such designs that applies an appropriate metaphor to the game would not necessarily change how the game would function, or modify any contexts of the prototype. [3] With a game mechanic that reflects excitement and moment of tensions, the characters appearance and the world design can be made suitable to what Sam really likes. Looking at Mario Carts, Minecraft and PokemonGo, the game contexts show innocence, friendliness, and youth. Refering back to shape structures, Cheese and Crackers would be designed to be based on circle shape structure, which would best represent those elements shown in Sam’s favourite games. The mouse in the prototype would also be designed to be tiny and cartoonish, just as the characters in any of Sam’s favourite games. Moreover, the achievement score board look and feel will reflect collection and reward system which Sam is really interested in.

References

  1. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/185676/the_aesthetics_of_game_art_and_.php?print=1
  2. http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DaveWilliams/20131030/202147/Designing_the_Design_the_Semiotics_of_Choice.php
  3. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/130734/game_feel_the_secret_ingredient.php?print=1

Cycle 2: Playtest Report

The goals of this playtest following the studio’s playtest plan are to identify the difficulties the player faces in figuring out how to solve the puzzles, the ability of the player to pass the actual puzzles to complete the game, and if the player meets the second aspect of our player experience goal, which is feeling the sense of adventurous throughout playing the prototype.

Data Collection

The playtest was conducted to five participants, including one playtester from studio member, for around 15 to 20 minutes for each participant. The session began with filling the questionnaire form to filter the player demographic. It is then followed by briefing about thinking out loud before the playtester plays the prototype. Around 15 to 18 minutes were spent for the player to play the prototype and speak out what they were thinking, while I took notes. After the completion of the game, the playtester were instructed to fill the survey form.

The playtester participants are all confidants in video games. In average, all the participants play games for 3 hours a day. Two participants play more than around 5 hours a day, while the other three play around one to two 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 player playtesting note, questionnaire, and survey form results.

Key Findings

Session Goal 1

Check if the players are able to figure out how to solve the puzzles.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2 3 4 5
The game was easy to learn how to play 5 3 5 5 5 92%
I always understood what I should do next to solve the puzzles 4 3 4 4 4 60%

Player observation and note reviews:

Generally, all participants managed to figure out how to solve all the four puzzles. The time needed to solve each puzzles differ between each participant. All players immediately knew what they have to do to pass the fallen tree. Some players took time to find the stone buttons. They understood what they have to do with the stone buttons, but many of them spent a lot of time locating for the objects to press, especially the coconut. They tried different things make the coconut drop. Many participants did not perceive well if all stone buttons should stay being pressed to keep the gates open. All participants were surprised when the crates sank after they put in the river, but then quickly realised what they have to do. Participants seemed suspicious with the weight measurement of the crates to float. All participants also figured out how to pass the double gate puzzle after a short time playing with the rock.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • All the puzzles in the prototype were generally solvable by common players’ creative thinking.
  • The first puzzle (fallen tree) was easy to figure out how to solve it.
  • Players could understand how to solve the second puzzle (gate and stone buttons), yet they were not clear with the mechanic of the stone buttons and the gate – “will the gate open if all the stone buttons have been pressed?” or “should the stone buttons stay being pressed to keep the gate open?”
  • The coconut was not visible to players to locate.
  • Players tended to solve the coconut puzzle by experimenting rather than thinking.
  • Players could understand how to pass the third puzzle (the river) given three crates nearby.
  • The weight limit of the crates to float was not clear.
  • The mechanic of the fourth puzzle (double gates) was clear enough.
  • Player could figure out the solution to pass the double gates mostly after experimenting with the rock and the stone buttons.

Session Goal 2

Check if the players are able to complete the game with current difficulties.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2 3 4 5
The game’s controls made it easy to do what I wanted 4 5 5 5 3 88%
The game was frustratingly difficult 2 3 1 1 1 88%
Time needed to complete the game (minutes) 11 15 14 15 16

Player observation and note reviews:

Every participants managed to pass every puzzles and complete the prototype. The total time spent for each participants to complete the prototype differ slightly. Many playtesters had no problems with solving the first puzzle, where they could correctly place the rocks next to the fallen tree and perform a double jump easily. The players mostly tried to locate the stone buttons near the gate, and did not notice the actual path to the stone buttons. Few errors were found when players attempted to place the rock, crate or coconut to the stone buttons. They tended to misplace it to the ground instead of the button’s surface, which made them reposition the objects a few times for the button to get clicked. The real difficulties were found in the third stage (the river). Many playtester found it really hard to jump over the floating boxes. They tended to fall to the river instead, which made them spent the most time in this puzzle. All of them tended to alleviate the crates into 0Kg, which were not heavy enough to carry the players across the river. They seemed confused when the character fell through the river eventhough they have made the right jump to the floating crate. The fourth puzzle was easily done by all participants with a few errors in rock placement and the shooting range.

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • The character’s controls were generally easy enough to perform necessary movements to solve the puzzles, such as jump over the crates to cross the river, altering and carrying rocks, etc.
  • The overall prototype were generally in the right level of difficulty.
  • The prototype could successfully be completed by all participants for on average 15 minutes.
  • The double jumps for the first puzzle (the fallen tree) was easy to perform.
  • The location of the second puzzle’s stone buttons were quite unnoticeable.
  • Carrying and placing the objects to the stone buttons precisely were a bit challenging, so players tended to reposition them many times.
  • Jumping over the boxes from one to another to cross the river was very challenging.
  • Bringing 0Kg crate case where players will still fall through it even after a correct landing brought much confusion.
  • Altering the rock’s weight from between the gates was easy to perform.

Session Goal 3

Check if the players feel the sense of adventurous throughout playing the prototype.

The collected quantitative data from player survey forms:

Question Player Response Score
1 2 3 4 5
The game’s background and world was adventurous to look at 5 5 4 3 5 88%
The game was adventurous 3 2 3 4 3 60%

Note reviews:

During playtesting, the participants were prompted with questions relating to “Do you feel a sense of adventurousness?” and “What makes you think that way?”

“Not really, I can say that I am being lost than being adventurous. Especially, when there is no puzzles on the way, for example on my way from the gates to the river, I would feel bored.”

“You can say that. However, I prefer if there’re some other living NPCs, such as deers or tigers to make the game feel more real adventurous”

“Yes probably, but I think the game is more into fantasy and futuristic since you are holding a gravity gun and you move objects around with imaginative effects”

“Yes, the game world looks really well set up for giving adventurous senses, but I would expect the game to be more sci-fi adventurous as you are playing with gravity gun”

“Looking at the environment, yes, but when you play the game I personally did not feel 100% adventurous. Even the background music is a bit relaxing and not relevant to adventurous in a sense”

Based on the relevant data mentioned above, there are some standing out key findings:

  • Testers did not find the game really adventurous from its gameplay and stories.
  • The game world has been appropriately designed to look adventurous.
  • The gravity gun concept did not support the atmosphere of adventurous.
  • Non-existent of wild animal NPCs reduced the sense of adventurousness.
  • The background music was too relaxing rather than bringing the spirit of adventurous feelings.
  • The gap long distances between puzzles make the players feel bored.

Recommendations

Based on key findings and playtester feedbacks, some potential changes and improvements to the game need to be considered. These includes:

  • Increase the height of the fallen tree and add another bigger-size rock which prompt player to perform a triple jump instead of double jump.
  • Give a clearer indirect instructions, such as by direct pop-up messages or additional tutorial points, to explain the mechanic of the stone buttons that tells players how heavy the objects should be to be able to press the stone buttons.
  • Prompt clearer feedbacks that indicate the gate has been successfully opened, such as sound effects and pop-up messages, only when all the stone buttons are pressed by interactible objects for the second puzzle to prevent the dilemmas.
  • Implement radiance effect to the coconut and make the model bigger to be much more noticeable in the game.
  • Give clearer indirect explanations to the exact weight of the crates to be able to float on the river to bring more sense to players.
  • Remove the 0Kg crate edge case in the third puzzle (the river) to prevent confusion.
  • Shorten the paths between the gates to the stone buttons in the second puzzle, as well as between the second puzzle to the third puzzle.
  • Slightly increase the player movement speed.
  • Implement a linearly vertical shadows to interactible objects to allow players identify the location point the object will drop.
  • Increase the size of the surface of the crates in the third puzzle, and increase friction to help players jump to each crates more easily.
  • Redesign the path to the second puzzle’s stone buttons to make it much more noticeable.
  • Modify the gravity gun’s model, visual effect, sound effect, as well as the game background music to be more adventurous rather than fantasy.
  • Add wild animal NPCs to help increasing adventurousness.
  • Bring wilder varieties of nature to the game world, such as wild grass, chasm, giant rocks, etc.

Appendix

Playtest questionnaires, notes, and surveys.

Reflection Post

What did you learn about professional development by going through the design process?

I found understanding the principle of professional game development by following the complete steps of design activities, starting from designing player experiences to creating a playtesting plan, is really important. This process has transformed my perspective into developing a more player-focus instead of mechanic-focus game. Having journals that lists down how players should experience and feel from playing the game, how they would behave through player stories, and what choices they would have, will give a great guidance to the development process. In my studio, the player experience goal that aims to player’s creativity to think outside the box helped my development to First Person puzzle game concept, and other supporting design journals also improved and sharpened many parts of its mechanics. Overall, I learned that the professional design process would help develop a more robust game by applying player-centric thinking approach.

What did you learn about the other majors in the degree by working in mixed teams?

I personally learned that communication plays a very significant role in game development team since there is no solo game developer. Every members in the studio with varying skill background are equally important. In my studio, every members focused on their main area. I built the whole game mechanics while my partner designed the game world, then we combined those resources together. Since every member focused on different area, maintaining a good communication in the team is very critical in order to prevent significant work mismatches. This has happened to me many times in my personal experiences working in a team, but I think how I and my teammates would respond to it will primarily determine the quality of the final work.

What did you implement in your own individual work that you found the most satisfying?

I found successfully building the interaction between objects through scripts was very rewarding. This included creating the relationship between the gravity gun to either carry or alter the weight of certain interactible objects, which involved playing with physics. This also included the mechanics between the interactible objects and the stone buttons, which were directly related to the gate objects. Overall, what make me find completing this part most satisfying was actually when I could successfully ensure that there will be no bugs among hundreds different possibilities players could face in the object interaction. This because as my personal experiences being a Computer Science student, developing a free-bugs app is extremely challenging. I found that not only finding and fixing many parts of the scripts that contained bugs improved my technical development skills, but it also boosted my confidence in building games.

Do you think that there are any ethical issues attached to designing a First Person Experience inspired by recent events?

According to a personal perspective, one main ethical issue of designing a game using the idea from recent events is a high risk of being tedious. Games are enjoyable when they bring imaginative concepts and uncommon experiences to players, however events are realistics and mostly common – the main idea of the events are similar. It is difficult to turn events into a completely new imaginative and uncommon gameplay. Beside that, building a game concept using recent events most likely has a predictable background story or mechanics, which I believe the excitement would not last long.

Cycle 2 Activity 5: Interactivity and Choice

Since the prototype was designed to introduce four puzzles, the challenges that appear from two of the puzzles would be discussed. Choices players have, interface updates, actions players would perform, rules, and feedbacks would also be outlined.

Challenge 1

(Logic, Exploration): Passing the big fallen tree – Find a medium size rock and place it next to the fallen tree using the gravity gun to help jumping over.

Choice 1 – Players try to pass the big fallen tree directly using only player controls.

Interface – Obstacle is designed to be separable to the environment or terrain objects. The path is designed to make players understand clearly about where they should go next, prompting a thinking if the path is being blocked by an obstacle rather than a thinking of the boundary of the level.

Actions – Players position the character in front of the fallen tree and try to jump over it.

Rules – Character’s jump height is shorter than the height of the fallen tree. Players cannot make double jump (air jump).

Feedback – Players fail to pass the fallen tree and stuck at the same area.

Choice 2 – Players explore the world to find and utilise interactible objects around them to pass the fallen tree.

Interface – Interactible object (rock) glows, and it also shows its weight on hover.

Actions – Players use the gravity gun to hold the object (rock) and put it close to the fallen tree. Players then jump to the rock and then make another jump to pass the fallen tree.

Rules – Players can only hold one object at a time with the gravity gun. Players cannot make double jump (air jump).

Feedback – Players pass the obstacle (the fallen tree) and proceed to the next area.

Challenge 2

(Logic, Pattern recognition, Physical coordination): Crossing the river – Use the gravity gun to adjust the weight of the crates so it can float on the river as a bridge to jump over to.

Choice 1 – Players try to swim to get to the other side of the river.

Interface – A tutorial point showing if players cannot swim is placed nearby the river.

Actions – Players run and jump to the river directly.

Rules – Players die when they fall into the river, and will respawn back at the beginning of this obstacle.

Feedback – Players respawn at the beginning of the obstacle and stuck at the current area.

Choice 2 – Players see many crates around them and understand how to utilise them correctly.

Interface – Interactible object (crates) glows, and it also shows its weight on hover.

Actions – Players use the gravity gun to lighten the weight of the crates, then players place the crates on the river. Players then jump over to each rocks to cross the river.

Rules – Crates’ weight cannot be over than 100Kg nor less than 0Kg. Crates will float on the river when its weight is below 15Kg.

Feedback – Players cross over the river and proceed to the next area.