Week 12: Iteration, playtest, voice recordings

We held 2 playtests over Tuesday and Wednesday for the main story experience, using scratch recording and our basic story structure. Our aim in this test was to see how users felt with the rhythm of the story, and what kinds of questions they asked. We had a total of 10 playtesters over the two days, split between faculty and students. We had several consistent feedback:

  • Need more range in the “open ended” questions when guests speak with our voice acted character
  • Shorter answers to the open ended sections, but more pointed to guest questions (for us this means crafting more options for what we anticipate guests will ask)
  • First interaction sets the tone for the experience – if Alexa responds appropriately to “Sure” or “I guess” the same as “Yes” we’ve opened the door beyond “yes” or “no”

In addition, the team worked on the short demos for multiplayer messaging, pattern recognition as well as a template answer demo. As a reminder, our goal for the semester to deliver 3-4 small demos, each demonstrating different interactions. Intro – Navigation to demo, 1 – Story, Open-Ended, 2 – Pattern Recognition, language teaching, 3- Asynchronous Messaging Game, Closing – Message to developer. The interactions we do not include will be part of our documentation at the end, showing our design and technical efforts for the semester.

On Friday, Seth brought in 3 drama students from main campus to do voice recording for our story experience (open ended) and the Pattern Recognition (hereafter referred to as “Ha Koo” – the alien language it teaches users). We found their talent really elevated the sound experience of the story. Over the weekend, Seth worked on cutting the clips, and we will plug them into the editor to continue development. Seth composed background music, and we will be looking to secure musician talent next week (perhaps Roy will double as our violinist). Seth’s challenge in composing is twofold: first, something that will offer dramatic richness to the soundscape. Second, something that will work in subtle phrasing, that allows for a logical flow between periods with no sound (user input sections – ie. when the user is asking a question) and sound files.

In Week 13, we will be working on our 4th story demo (voice recording) as well as finalizing our demo package to show at softs.