12: Mini-Game, Tutorial, Videos
For the assessment of learning within the game, HCII has created a set of mini-game level designs involving contrasting cases of two buildings. These expand the content of the mini-game we showed in Newsletter Issue #9. We have implemented the first batch of these mini-game levels and will include them in the playtest we are running this Saturday. The sequence in which levels occur, both main game levels and mini-game levels, will be made flexible so that it is easy for HCII to change in response to future playtest results after the semester is over.
Tutorial and Help Images
Tutorials are most effective when they are interactive, adaptive, short, and feel like you are already playing the game. So we’ve built our tutorial around one very simple level where the player uses each of the key actions of our game. To give an example of each action we have a 5-second video that loops repeatedly in the top right corner of the screen giving an example of what to do. If desired, the player can make the video bigger by clicking on it. We then wait for the demonstrated action to be completed before playing the next video, of which there are three in total. To make the tutorial adaptive, the second of the three videos only plays when needed for extra guidance if a player places a block randomly on the ground rather than triggering a checkpoint.
Since we are developing for both PC and tablet, we have two sets of tutorial videos, one for each version: the PC version has a mouse icon and the tablet a hand icon. Due to the parallel development for tablet, and the potential use in a school setting, we can’t say for certain if the player will have audio as they play. Therefore, our visuals have to stand alone as an understandable and intuitive guide. We may include voice-over as supplementary guidance for each video, but it shouldn’t matter if it is turned on or off.
In addition to the tutorial, we have quick reference help images that are always accessible from an icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, so that players can view them at any time, even when on later levels of the game.
On Saturday the 19th, we are hosting a playtest with K-2nd graders at the ETC. We will find out Saturday how effective our tutorial and help images are, and adjust them accordingly.
The past week we’ve been working on our project’s promotional videos. Promotional videos are done for several purposes, such as marketing and promoting the ETC as well as the project itself. They are a form of showcasing what the project has done as well as archiving for the faculty and future students. For example, future project teams can use the video as a quick reference tool and inspiration they can apply to their project.