Mar 27 – Apr 2
ETC Playtest Day is a huge event which ETC organizes every semester, where they invite tons of people to come down and playtest our (incomplete) games. This semester’s one was on Saturday, April 2, which gave us roughly a week after Halves to prepare for. It was pretty crazy, as we had so many things to change and so little time, but overall it was a really productive week. The power of deadlines!
Our producer, Nikhil, was focused on finding actors and writing the story for our experience. He came up with a number of possible paths through the story, and scripted most of it out. Our group had a discussion on how much should be scripted and how much improvised, but Nikhil felt that actors needed a script, and more importantly, scripting everything out would give us a lot more control over the experience. That made a lot of sense, so we decided to go with that.
Our main programmers, Ivy and Tao, worked on our web interface and ensured all our core features were done before the playtest. Our main designer, Hill, worked on the playtest details, such as flow and questionnaires, as well as helping Nikhil with the story. Our artist, Yen, worked on designing the flier which we wanted to give out during the playtest, as well as mockups of the website for our programmers.
As for me, Sarah, the generalist of the group, I took over some of the production stuff to lighten Nikhil’s work (also because I’m the only other native English speaker). I also came up with a detailed breakdown of flow for our game, which included what the guests were expected to do, what information would be shown on the mobile website and projector screen, and what was happening on stage.
The playtest soon rolled around, and we went in with the objective of testing our interface and flow of the game. Unfortunately, we still weren’t able to secure any actors, so 2 of our group members had to act. The playtest was still extremely successful though, as we discovered so many problems from it, including how important it is for your server to not go down halfway through the experience!
We transcribed all the information from the questionnaires and interviews after the playtest, but left off analysis to the next week. All of us had looming deadlines from our electives which we had put aside in favor of the playtest day, so it was time for a short break from the project.
More on our playtest findings next week!