Having a day long testing session yesterday, Bobbie and I sat down this morning and discussed the feedback, analysing it and selecting what we will / will not be taking forward.
Summary of Feedback
Below we have listed a series of tasks which came out from the feedback of the testing session and the discuss we had with Adam afterwards. From this list we discussed each tasks and tried to analyse how important it was and whether there was enough time to complete it. We have then gone through and highlighted the tasks we decided we wanted to achieve by hand in and this will then be placed onto our kanban wall on Monday.
Decisions for our choices
Remove Pulse – Bobbie had added a pulsing animation to the UI which was triggered when players were low on health. It was meant to help indicate to players that someone was near death and needed to be healed. However from the testing sessions, players said that they never noticed the pulsing UI. This indicated to us that the animation wasn’t working correctly and by not fulfilling its function,so we didn’t feel it was necessary to keep in the game. As it would be very easy to delete the pulsing from the game, we felt we would add this to our to do list.
Add Beeps – Finding out that the UI pulsing weren’t been seen by players, Bobbie and I would watch the game-play screen and beep whenever someone was low on health. So instead of having a visual indicator of low health we then had an audio one.
As soon as we started doing this in the testing sessions, I saw an instant change in how players would react to low health. Once the beep sounded, I heard players instantly call out, asking who needed healing, there was certainly a sudden heightened feeling of stress and tension in the players, which was’t seen with just the animation pulses.
With the purpose of the game being to make players stressed, the beeps certainly achieved this. So we felt it was very important to add sounds into the game, to make a more stressful and tense experience for players to experience. Which we thought would help players to have more fun playing the game, as it builds up an anxious anticipation of whether the team will die or not. Therefore we added this onto the list of tasks to be completed.
Alter Enemy Bar Location – The feedback we gained from players was that most of them never looked or even realised the enemy health bar was at the top of the screen. Most of the players were playing for the fun of keeping each other alive rather than killing an enemy. And so we felt this was due to the position of the enemy’s health bar and if it was moved to the bottom or the side of the screen then hopefully it would be visually be more obvious, meaning players would look at it throughout the game.
With this being a quick and easy alteration to make, we decided to add it to the list of things to do. Hopefully this will make it clearer to players that they are being attacked by an enemy and get them to view the enemy bar more, to help them realise that the hamsas are helping attack the bar. We hope this will all build up to players working together more efficiently and better understanding the task at hand.
Change Health Bar Colour – The feedback we gained from players about the UI was that it was small but they understood why it was that size and felt that it was appropriate for the game. All players said they could see their health bars, though the collected colours were more difficult to make out. They felt this was due to the health being a black colour, which then encircled the collect colour, giving it the illusion that the colour was darker than it actually was. Making it difficult to distinguish between certain colours such as red and orange, and blue and green. This confusion caused some frustration as to why players couldn’t heal others when they thought they had collected a matching colour, when in fact it wasn’t. Therefore to solve this issue we were given the suggestion to make the health bar a darker/ lighter version of the colour the player has collected. This was the collected colour isn’t surrounded by black and doesn’t appear darker. Therefore helping to make it clearer to players what colour they actually have.
On a side note, I had chosen a diamond UI design because I felt it was innovative and in keeping with the geometric style of the game. However I was worried whether players would understand it was a health bar, as it doesn’t traditionally look like one. Though during testing I found all players understand the UI, there was no misunderstanding about the health of a player or what the diamond was, all players understood. This is makes me very happy knowing that though my design is unique it is functional and can stay in the game.
Add In Designed Screens/ Typography – Adding in well designed menu screens was not something that was specifically requested by players, however we felt they were important in forming more of a polished playable prototype. We have a plan of taking the game to Norwich Games Festival and inviting publishers to play our game at the graduate exhibition, and for this we want to showcase the game to its fullest potential. We felt menu screens would help to add that final finesse to the game, by having them immerse players in this Moroccan Arabic world. As well as make the agme look more professional, which i think will make it more likely for companies to want to publish the game.
So for this reason I will designing menu screens to add into Hurry Hurry Heal Me. I will need to find a readable font to use for all of the in game screens, to ensure text is clear and understood.
As suggested by Adam we have chosen to focus heavily on the marketing of the game and so tasks such as creating a promo film, redesigning the website and contacting publishers is on our to do list.
We decided to focus on marketing, because the game in itself already works and successfully shows the concept of the game, therefore there are only a few finishing touches left to do on it (listed above).
The next stage in development would be getting the game out into the world and trying to publish it. To help us do this we thought creating a promo video would be useful, as it will be a short visual way of getting players to understand the game-play and become excited by it. A promo video can also be easily spread across social media, therefore it will help us reach a wider audience, in turn getting people more excited to play the game and so our chances of publishing it increase.
Currently I feel the website it looking outdated, as all the old concept imagery is on there and there is nothing exciting about it. Therefore we thought it would be useful to update the website, adding it the promo film, updated images and more conscious information about the game. Like the promo video, this can easily be shared and distributed across social media and via email. Again, helping us to spread the world about Hurry Hurry Heal Me and start to build up an audience around the game.
Also all this material is needed for our Norwich Games Festival Application, therefore it is necessary for us to do this in order to have a chance to achieve this goal.
- Completely redo our kanban wall adding all of these tasks – Help us feel more structured and organised – Can visually see what needs to be done – Keep us on track for the deadline.