Playtests and gTars
Team Bravura had a very exciting week; we got to conduct our first playtest on Monday and on Wednesday we met with Incident Technologies for information about what they’re doing and feedback on our application. We’ve been busy integrating all of this feedback into our current application build.
We had a blast showing our progress so far to our fellow ETC-SV students. The test consisted of a preliminary build of the application on an iPad and a “paper-prototype” where Nate simulated a more full experience. Above all, people really enjoyed the application! With no prior musical experience, they DID feel like they were composing music.
The playtest provided useful feedback about features we are considering integrating into the application. We learned that people were in fact interested in looking at how their melody can become music notation, that they wanted to continue to explore a level even after creating a melody, and even if they were not fond of their melody at first, when they added accompaniment, they were unanimously impressed. They enjoyed trying different accompaniments, with the added educational bonus of learning about the differences in musical style that we didn’t even anticipate. In sum, the playtest was extremely successful and rewarding; it was encouraging to find we’ve been moving in the right direction towards our goal of allowing everyone to create music.
A visit from the creators of the gTar, Idan Beck and Josh Stansfield of IncidentTech, to ETC-SV proved to be just as encouraging. Their product is a digital guitar designed so that anyone can pick it up and start playing. After docking an iPhone into the gTar, you can pick your song and difficulty level, and the notes you need to play light up on the frets of the instrument. The goal of the gTar is very similar to ours; to show people that anyone can create music.
After their demonstration, we showed them our current version of our application. As they have experience designing a music product for non-musicians, they had a lot of valuable feedback. They really liked our application, notably the overall design and art style. Idan pointed out that our way of visualizing music is perhaps even more effective than traditional sheet music! He also gave us interesting feedback on voice as input and the art specifics.
Next Tuesday, Nate, Cheng, and our advisor, Jiyoung, are going to conduct another playtest with students visiting Electronic Arts from Markham Elementary school. We will also be spending the next week and a half preparing for our halves presentation and demonstration. As we make small refinements to the application from our testing results, Mike will compile these changes into a build to show at halves.