This playtest, conducted with a general audience from the ETC, was aimed to expose data about playability and general game strategy. As a result, we realized many things in the UI that were confusing or overly complex. We have since worked to address as many as we could, including those regarding priority assignment for alternative paths, in-layout-mode saving, and clarifying the parts installation order screen. We also concentrated on some other elements such as providing players more information about the assembly machines, their speed, cost, and what they do.
Additionally, we realized the need for a thorough tutorial system, which is currently under heavy development. Technically, the game performed well, with limited to no connection issues between the database, registration, and gameplay.
Players were generally pleased with the appearance of the game, but were confused as to how to approach playing the game itself. Many offered suggestions such as a built-in tutorial system that forced the player to work on one aspect of plant layout at a time. This idea of starting, at least as an introduction, with a partially complete, or mostly complete layout, will allow players to get a better feel for how best to play the game, because they will have a thorough understanding of the underlying components. It will also present an avenue to introduce more complex features, such as alternative path, to the player, because they are comfortable with the general layout idea and able to consider additional factors such as load-balancing, their budgets, etc.
Results are also pending from a remote playtest setup to involve some professional engineers in the evaluation of our product. We thank all of those who participated for providing us with excellent feedback!