Week 12:
Setup & Playtesting

Wednesday 18th May 2022

WEEK 12  -

TO DO: TEST TWO VIVITEK PROJECTS & PROJECT GETAWAY, PLAYTEST!

 

PURPOSE FOR TESTING

Today is our last day of projector testing before hand-in! How emotional. The purpose for the day is to set-up Getaway using our two projectors and recording clips of the experience for both our Game Trailer and Game documentary. Today is a perfect time to get 3 major tasks off of our to do list, and I am aiming to have the trailer and gameplay demo complete by Friday 20th May. We must also test the experience with a dedicated user.

WHAT WILL WE BE DOING?

We have been in contact with WSA Media Stores again to borrow two VIVITEK Short Throw Projectors for our Degree Shows, which we will be picking up and setting up appropriately today. I will then be filming gameplay/experience clips and using these to fill in the missing pieces to our trailer and gameplay demo, also testing the experience with a user and evaluating its effectiveness.

GOALS FOR THE DAY

  1. Setup two projectors, two panels and two laptops.

  2. One final test - gameplay, interaction, experience etc

  3. Capture gameplay clips

  4. Edit and complete Trailer & Gameplay Video

THE SETUP

VIVITEK (Short Throw) Projector x2

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WHAT DID WE DO?

Today we set up the two VIVITEK projectors as we usually do, with our two makeshift panels, HDMI cables, laptops and game ready to go.

FINDINGS

Initially, we found that the projection on the right was tinted green! I used the remote to adjust the settings of this projection, reducing the tint and attempting to achieve a whiter-toned image. This was fairly easy to do, although, took some time to match perfectly to the right projection. We also found that the projector on the right, projected a little larger than the one on the left, which we struggled to reduce. However, we don't think this will be a major problem once projected onto bright white painted backgrounds.

We also faced another major problem, once we connected our devices to the projectors, they cut off 1/4 of the edge of the screen and did not scale correctly. As well as this, the loading screen was projected with all assets off centre!

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NOTES

  • Surface colours of our walls/panels must be a bright white colour to blend in with the projection

  • Must adjust settings of both projectors to be the same - colour, tint, contrast, brightness & keystone.

  • Angled position of walls made it feel compact and cosy.

  • Event setup must have laptops/cables placed behind the walls, to avoid looking messy!

ISSUES THAT OCCURED

Although we used two of the same projectors, with the same specifications, the projection was still very different in terms of projection colour and size! We tried our best to adjust these settings however, couldn't quite match this up perfectly. As well as this, the issue with the cut-off projection was quite frustrating, and we even spoke to alumni to help us out! To avoid this issue for today's playtesting, we zoomed in and managed to cover up this issue.

HOW TO OVERCOME THESE ISSUES?

Once Kiera and I are able to paint the walls for our setup (after hand-in) we must use the right coloured paint to do so, which we have concluded to be a bright white colour. This will overcome the issue of the aspect ratio/projection size and avoid any harsh lines, despite the size of projection. As for the 1/4 of the screen cut off, we think this is a problem in the script or the aspect ratio of the projector itself, so we will spend time assessing this after hand-in. As well as this, we will have to adjust the settings using the remote to achieve a similar outcome across both walls - luckily, we have time to prepare for both events!

REFLECTION & EVALUATION OF TESTS

Setup was ok although will be much better with our intended equipment. Once we have the holes made for the webcams and other necessary features, it'll be much more rewarding to see! However, we make do, and what we setup today did its job. There are still a handful of refinements and polishes to do, but this is something we will continue to focus on for the Degree Shows, after our deadline. I managed to get some great clips of setup today which will be perfect to demonstrate what our experience is meant to look like, if we were to take this idea further upon graduating. For now, we must focus on the experience itself!

NEXT STEPS

PLAYTEST!

PLAYTESTING

TESTING PLAYER EXPERIENCE

TO DO - Test the effectiveness of the experience

We are almost at the end of our project and only eight days away from hand-in. To finish off this next week and a half, we have planned to use our setup to carry out testing before we make the final polishes to the experience, Getaway.

We will be using our setup and tester to evaluate the effectiveness of the experience, one last time!

REQUIREMENTS FOR TEST

  • Two panels

  • Two VIVITEK Short Throw Projectors & internal speakers

  • 2x Laptop/PC

  • 2x HDMI Cable

  • 2x HDMI - USBC Adapter

PURPOSE & EXPECTATIONS FROM TESTS:

The purpose for this test is to evaluate the success of our experience in line with our initial project goals and essential experience. We have been working in line with our intended player experience, so we must make players feel/act the way we originally desired. Throughout the past few weeks and during a series of playtests, I have been referring back to our experience map and project goals, to ensure we are getting our desired result from testing. Today, we will continue with this process and I plan to evaluate the test in depth, in line with these principles.

PLAN BEFORE TESTS:

 

WHAT INFORMATION WILL WE BE GATHERING?

  • Measure the success and effectiveness of the gameplay experience, Getaway, as a whole.

 

HOW WILL WE GATHER THIS INFORMATION?

  • Questionnaires to understand personal opinions and preferences regarding the experience.

QUESTIONS TO ASK:

These questions can depend on the responses of players, but can be tailored to suit them and will also be expanded in discussion.

  1. How are you feeling in this present moment? - Elaborate.

  2. Opinions/comments on audio/visuals - anything you'd like to add?

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

  4. When would you find this experience useful?

  5. Would you visit again?

PLAYTESTING

Wednesday 18th May

DURATION OF TEST: 15 minutes

 

PROCESS:

We conducted the test by allowing players to get used to their surroundings and enter the space as they usually would, if the setup was an installation or room transformed on university, school or college campus. We let them have free reign, and take whatever they wanted from the experience, because this is the beauty of an experience like ours.

PLAYTEST GALLERY!

LOADING SCREEN

The player was presented with the initial loading screen which Kiera implemented into the space yesterday. This gives players a brief description and visual GIF of how animation works, to prepare them and avoid confusion. Players can then press the 'BEGIN' button in the right hand corner and begin the experience, after the loading screen has lasted around 7 seconds.

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INTERACTION

The player used a range of motions and slow movement to control the bird. The room during this time fell silent, and it was fascinating to watch and observe. During the beginning of the test, the environmental sounds played and created a nice settling atmosphere. This was certainly the right decision to make, to ease players into the experience and allow them to gain that control back.

OBSERVE

We allowed the player to stand back and observe whenever they wanted. The beauty of the experience is that players can stand back and listen to the music play, despite how developed it is. They still feel that sense of reward, and at each stage it's still really nice to listen to.

QUESTIONS: TEST FEEDBACK

  • How are you feeling in this present moment? - Elaborate.

Was feeling very relaxed, very much enjoying myself, enjoyed catching the snowflakes. Good distraction from my exam next week.

  • Opinions/comments on audio/visuals - anything you'd like to add?

Audio very good. Enjoyed the new layer of music compared to last time. (Enjoyed the 'bass') Visuals surrounded him nicely, felt very immersed.

  • Comment on the method of interaction - using gesture.

Easier than using nose - similar to how he did last time. Way better than using a controller. Didn't like how he couldn't fly higher than a specific point. Enjoyed the slow horizontal movement, was less enjoyable vertically.

  • When would you find this experience useful?

He would find this experience useful when he is stressed. Why? Because it's distracting and fully interactive as it requires physical movement.

  • Would you visit again?

Yes. Why? Easy to get to, especially if it was located on campus. It's a space that can be accessed whenever I need it.

TEST EVALUATION

ENGAGEMENT

Our tester as fascinated by the experience on a whole, as a result of the visuals, the sound and the method of interaction. He found using his arm/wrist different to anything he had ever experienced before and commented on this as being "fully interactive". This enhanced player engagement and he found himself enjoying the experience more as a result. Essentially, these elements combined to create an experience that is both engaging and immersive, which is what we initially aimed for!

GAMEPLAY

Gameplay wasn't how we expected it to be. The player guided the bird across screens without having collected all snowflakes and therefore, all layers of the soundtrack - but how do we change this? We don't! We like the idea of players being able to move around the space with no limitations to what they can and can't do. We didn't want to give them a direct objective and require too much thought, but being able to soar through the environment at their own pace, and collect as many musical snowflakes as they'd like, is perfect. In reality, at some point they'll interact with a handful of snowflakes, leading to the development of the soundtrack, but the order in which the tracks play do not affect the overall sound, so the intended player experience is still fulfilled.

PROJECT GOALS & ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE

Reviewing the comments provided by the tester, it's clear that this experience would be something that he'd consider in times of stress and overwhelm. Initially, we wanted to provide students with the means to escape during moments of discomfort, and felt that designing something to be located on campus would be perfect. Knowing that our tester would find this useful is just what we wanted to hear, and I am happy that we were able to develop an experience that made people feel comfortable visiting during times like this. Our major focus was based around music, visuals and the use of a physical space, which we can safely say we successfully achieved. I am really pleased with the outcome of our deliverable so far, because I believe we have the foundations to present a thoughtful and meaningful idea.

FURTHER FEEDBACK & IMPROVEMENTS

To continue with the project and with only a week left, it's necessary for Kiera and I to focus our time on the last polishes and refinements before completion. Alongside this, I'll be making sure to have all marketing/promotional material ready for the deadline and prepared to be posted on all social platforms! It's almost that time to begin promoting the event and I am so excited to share what we have been working on with the world.

Another successful test down!

NEXT STEPS FOR TODAY

  • Edit and Complete both the Game Trailer and Gameplay Documentary.

Game Trailer

Gameplay Documentary

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