Apr 24 – 30
The ETC Showcase Day is something like the BVW Festival, but a lot less chaotic and open to industry people only. Unlike the other teams, who had to man their project rooms for the entire 3 hour event, our team just held 1 session of the game given its nature (live performance).
I dare say this was, by far, our best playtest ever! Well, OK, it was not really playtest, more like a dress rehearsal. We had half the RPIS for the game (the other half was partitioned off for food), and the entire room was packed. There were probably around 40 or so audience members, though only 30 of them logged in to our web interface to play the game. It was still our biggest audience ever though, and all of us were nervous about getting this right because we only had 1 chance.
Overall, the session went pretty well. Here are some things which we took away from it:
- Audience size matters a lot
We didn’t think the size of the audience would make such a huge difference in our game, but it does! The relatively large audience (previously our audience size had always been 7-15) meant that the questions and votes kept flowing, and there were a lot less awkward pauses by the actors. On the backend management, it mostly felt the same, as each of us had very specific roles which only dealt with a small amount of the data.
- When there are too many questions on the web interface, the main activity for the audience becomes scrolling down the list
A lot more people were keying in questions than we expected, perhaps because they were explicitly asked to in the tutorial. For a large audience, this means the list of questions quickly becomes really long and unmanageable on the mobile screen. This problem is not noticeable on the backend as we are using laptops, not mobile phones.
- The tutorial can be more powerful with a relevant example
Currently, our tutorial just tells people to enter a question and vote. It doesn’t really give that much context about the flow of the questions, and can afford to be much clearer about which actor will voice it out and how.
- 30 min is a good duration for the new 7 achievement system
We were worried that 30min would be too long, but it actually felt just right! The audience managed to complete the game successfully without too much help from us, taking around 25min.
With the ETC Showcase Day over, we’re now hard at work preparing for the finals! We’re gonna be the first group to present on Monday, and also the first group to demo our game on Thursday morning. Lots of stuff to do!