Week 10:
Playtesting

Tuesday 3rd May - 7th May 2022

WEEK 10  -

TO DO: MORE PLAYTESTING!

 

PURPOSE FOR TESTING

It's now Week 10 of the project and we are scheduled to continue playtesting to identify bugs, issues and feedback from testers to make further improvements and changes. Over the next few days, Kiera and I plan to set up gameplay with all the elements necessary, and carry out the same process of testing as we have done in the past. On Saturday 7th May, we also have an organised playtesting day with prospective students which will be a great opportunity for us to showcase what we have been working on and gather further suggestions and comments. The purpose of this is to evaluate the effectiveness of gameplay and the overall setup.

WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?

We will be setting up the space using one projector, as we are still in the process of waiting to have access to another. We should also set up the webcam, laptop and screen to allow players to interact through gesture control and get an idea of what gameplay is like. The game version they will be testing will be our fifth version, containing our new assets and first few music tracks.

GOALS FOR THE WEEK

By the end of the week, we should have a series of playtests documented. We must gather feedback, take notes on suggestions and improvements to make necessary changes and progress with development.

TEAM WORK - WHERE DO WE BEGIN?

We will begin by setting up gameplay and talking our first tester through the process of the session.

MINI PLAN FOR THE DAY

Tuesday 3rd - Saturday 7th May

  1.  Document test process & questionnaire

  2. Set-up gameplay & playtest

  3. Document comments and feedback. EVALUATE!

TASK 1

PLAN THE PROCESS OF TESTING

TO DO - Outline the process and document questionnaire

Before we begin with testing, I plan to write a list of questions to have ready to ask playtesters before we get started. This ensures we gather all the information necessary from our tests. During our lecture with Steve Bromley (can be found in my Notion), he outlined the importance of finding a purpose for each test and narrowing this down to individual elements, rather than focus on too many things. In this case, the purpose for our tests will be to evaluate the effectiveness of gameplay.

WHAT DO WE WANT TO FIND?

  • How do players feel before and after the experience?

  • Do players move slowly in the space?

  • Do players find gameplay/interaction interesting and engaging?

  • How did players find using gesture?

PURPOSE & EXPECTATIONS FROM TESTING:

We are hoping to receive a good amount of feedback for ways to improve gameplay/interactions further, to allow us to refine and make final flourishes. It will be important for us to improve in ways that enhance our intended player experience, therefore, we should be referring back to our project goals and essential experience at all times.

PLAN BEFORE TESTS:

 

WHAT INFORMATION WILL WE BE GATHERING?

  • We will be measuring the effectiveness of our gameplay experience and interaction.

 

HOW WILL WE GATHER THIS INFORMATION?

  • Q&A

QUESTIONS TO ASK PLAYTESTERS

  1. How are you feeling in this present moment? (Before & After)

  2. Comment on the method of interaction - using gesture.

  3. Level of interest - interaction to influence musical experience.

PURPOSE & EXPECTATIONS FROM TESTING:

We are hoping to receive a good amount of feedback for ways to improve gameplay/interactions further, to allow us to refine and make final flourishes. It will be important for us to improve in ways that enhance our intended player experience, therefore, we should be referring back to our project goals and essential experience at all times.

  • ​Players should feel relaxed and calm

  • Players should feel comfortable

  • Players heart rate should reduce

TASK 2

SET UP & PLAYTEST GAMEPLAY

TO DO - Test gameplay with a handful of playtesters, gather feedback and take note of changes

We've set up the game ready to test with playtesters and have our questions ready as well as an Apple Watch set up to monitor heart rates! We will be taking the same approach as our previous tests and plan to document the outcome as we go on.

DONE

PLAYTESTING

TEST 1

Tuesday 3rd May

TESTER: Adam Procter

DURATION OF TEST: 5 minutes

 

PROCESS:

To begin playtesting for today, we left it completely in Adams hands. It was interesting to see the way he performed, in terms of how slow he moved his wrist and how he observed the environment. We didn't set up the projector for this first play test, but allowed Adam to get used to the interaction through the webcam on a basic laptop setup to begin with.

​GATHERING FEEDBACK

We allowed Adam to comment on his experience throughout rather than have a Q&A session after. This felt more natural and he was able to comment on the things he instantly noticed and thought needed to be improved.

COMMENTS & FEEDBACK

  • Reduce distance - the movements are too big, more fo a floating movement will work better.

  • Use of wrist is a little uncomfortable

  • Interaction to collect snowflakes - too much pressure to have to collect them once you know what you have to do. Leave this up to players, don't inform them.

  • Snowflakes to fall slower.

  • Snowflakes to disappear when you touch them.

  • Change button - maybe a different gesture rather than a button to begin game.

  • Different movement/interaction - no need to let them know about how to collect snowflakes and the effect on movement. 

  • Let the experience happen naturally

  • Slower to get to the point you want to travel to - little bit jittery at the moment.

  • Have video output - see what is being detected. Turn skeleton output on for debugging purposes.

  • Email to see if we can borrow second short-throw projector. Price of projectors are too expensive to access these now.

EVALUATION OF TEST

INTERACTION/GAMEPLAY

Testing with Adam was a great way to gather rapid feedback and suggestions for ways to improve the experience. Most of the feedback given was regarding the interaction and movement required from players. This is information we have to pass onto James to adjust the sensitivity and speed of the gesture interaction, as well as the identified body-part itself. We were already aware that there were some implications with the 'wrist' detection, and today our tester confirmed that this is quite draining and not as relaxing as he would have hoped. He suggested to have more of a natural input method, potentially performing a 'wave-like' motion with your hand or moving your fingers, rather than the wrist. In addition to this, he suggested to change the way players interact with the 'Begin' button, and would rather use a particular gesture to begin the experience as it feels more natural. Lastly, it was suggested that the snowflakes should disappear after being collected, to give players insight into what they are actually doing - but explaining gameplay isn't necessary.

OTHER COMMENTS - THE SPACE

The price of the short throw projectors to buy now are a little too expensive, so he suggested contacting WSA Media Stores and borrowing what they have instead. Because of this, Kiera and I plan to get our hands on another short throw projector ASAP and test with this when we can.

CHANGES THAT NEED TO BE MADE

  1. Change 'wrist' detection to fingers, palm or other movement​

  2. Make the snowflakes fall slower

  3. Make snowflakes disappear once touched

  4. Change the way you interact with the 'Begin' button - can this be a gesture?

  5. Slow down travel time between physical movement and movement on screen.

TEST 2

Tuesday 3rd May

TESTER: Phill

DURATION OF TEST: 5 minutes

 

PROCESS:

We allowed Phill to get comfortable and begin the game himself. He made comments throughout which we took note of and answered any questions he had during the session.

COMMENTS & FEEDBACK

  • Enjoys the idea, thinks it could work really well

  • Understands how the 'wrist' detection at the moment is a little bit jittery, not as comfortable

  • Preferred to use his head motion as previously tested (nose detection)

  • Thinks the palm will work best

  • Loves the art style, pretty environment drawing

  • Liked the sound of the first 3 tracks he heard, found them relaxing

  • Excited to see the final outcome

EVALUATION OF TEST

This was a quick test to gather a general opinion around interaction as Phil was quite keen to test the game out so far. He touched on the use of the 'wrist' being slightly uncomfortable and tiring, and feels it would be better to use the palm or finger detection instead. We agreed that this is what we were initially aiming to do, and will take the necessary steps to get this changed seen as this was the top suggestion amongst all of our testing so far.

PLAYTESTING SESSION!

Saturday 7th May

PROCESS:

Today, we attended campus for a playtesting session 10:30-12pm with new students that are set to join the course in the next academic year! It was really lovely to talk to the new students and showcase our game idea, as we gathered some great comments and feedback, and it was exciting to see people play and comment on the experience.

As this was a general playtesting session rather than a more intimate Q&A session, I took notes of their comments and feedback and kept the responses anonymous, which I plan to evaluate after documenting. I was also restricted to the photos I could take of playtesting due to permission, so I only photographed those that allowed me to.

OUR OWN EVALUATION

(Listen to hear talkthrough)

ANALYSIS NOTES

  • Positioning of the webcam was a respectable distance from the user, as you can see there was around a 126 cm gap between them.

  • We found this distance detected players wrists well, and would also work around the arrangement/positioning of the projector in our space.

  • 'Wrist' detection still a little bit jittery, unaware why there was a problem with this.

  • Didn't fly as smoothly as we would've wanted - kept flipping left and right, back and forth.

IMG_3141.HEIC
IMG_3142.HEIC

ANALYSIS NOTES

  • Changed input to eye, bird flies much smoother than the 'right wrist' detection.

  • Kiera demonstrating the movement of the bird using her eye.

  • Bird follows movement slightly after physical movement, slightly delayed, to seem more controlled.

ANALYSIS NOTES

  • Issues with the camera picking up the 'right wrist'.

  • Changed it to nose and it worked better, but too many people in the room potentially, which is why we had issues with this detection.

  • To overcome this, we may need a space at the Arcade to section off our experience.

  • Camera should be positioned head on, parallel to the position of players.

ANALYSIS NOTES

  • Laptop setup connected to projector with webcam.

  • Positioning successfully.

  • User stood 126 cm away from webcam.

  • Tested movement of the bird to eyes and nose - which worked perfectly fine.

  • Potential problem with the 'right wrist' detection.

PLAYTESTING!

THE EXPERIENCE IN ACTION

PLAYTESTING NOTES

  • Players unaware of how to 'play' the game/experience

  • Unsure how to play

  • Wrist detection a little bit confusing

  • Some people rotate the wrist rather than holding it still, parallel to the screen

  • Bird flips back and forth very fast

  • Love the environment design

  • Music is definitely relaxing

  • Hand detection is fascinating

  • Would ideally like the snowflakes to disappear once collected

  • Unsure of the objective of the 'game'

  • Feel relaxed and calm

  • Music is peaceful

  • Would like to see the animations in the space

  • Struggled to interact - this user was waving their hand/arm extremely fast!

EVALUATION

WHAT WENT WELL?

​Overall, playtesters were fascinated by our experience and were impressed by the idea of our experience. We gathered many positive comments regarding the experience itself, the music and the visual design. We were informed that the music was both relaxing and calming, and the art style was very impressive!

WHAT DIDN'T GO WELL?

​Unfortunately, the result of playtesting didn't go to plan. As soon as we set up the device connected to the EPSON wall projector, the 'wrist detection' struggled. The webcam was unable to identify the wrist and fly the bird as smoothly as expected, which we had to adjust along the way. During testing, we changed detection to both the 'eyes' and 'nose' script, to identify the cause of the problem. This problem was primarily caused by the 'wrist' detection itself, therefore, we have taken notes on how to improve this. In addition to this, most users were unaware of how to use their wrist to guide the bird, so we must establish a way we can introduce players into the experience, rather than leaving it completely up to them.

CHANGES TO MAKE

  • Adjust detection - make adjustments. Shall we detect another body part or leave it how it is, and adjust particular values? Speak with James regarding this.

  • Introduce the game - how do people play, how can we indicate how to play? (Images, visual demo, animation, emojis etc)

  • Indicate objective - don't give too much away. A simple visual demo to show what to do.

NEXT STEPS

  • Update GITKRAKEN with updated changes Kiera made during playtests today. (E.g. speed at which bird travels/follows wrist)

  • Organise discussion with James to talk through 'wrist detection'. How can we make this smoother?

  • Discuss how might we make control of the experience easier to understand.

  • Begin scheduled tasks for Week 11.

NEXT STEPS

Take changes and improvements further and progress with Week 11. Adjustments will be made to the code and Kiera will be regularly updating our GitKraken after these changes are made.

Week 11

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