14: Softs, Mini-Game Instructions

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Soft Opening

On Monday, the ETC faculty came around and visited our project room in a tradition called Soft Opening. This term comes from themed entertainment and other businesses where a space is opened to the public for testing and feedback but isn’t yet widely released. In the case of the ETC, it is the best opportunity many of the faculty have to see each project’s work up close.
While demoing the game, we discussed our results from playtesting and displayed screenshots of the towers that children built during our Nov. 19th playtest. As intuitiveness is one of the biggest challenges in designing for such a young demographic, the faculty were most interested in this area and in the playtesting. For finals, we will edit together a little of our video footage of the playtesting beyond what we already put in our 3-minute video, so that we can show how kids engaged with the game.

Most of our other feedback involved polish in various areas, and the completion of areas not yet finished, such as our introduction and ending, and the visual instructions for the mini-game. While sometimes feedback at Softs can raise areas the team was not already concentrating on, the feedback we received generally reinforced the areas we already knew would need attention. We should be on track to do as much polish as time permits and finish strong.

 

Mini-game visual instructions

We have now created visual instructions for the mini-game. The ground gently shakes to establish the coming earthquake. Then the UFO hovers over each structure in turn, and a question mark appears in the background, implying that it is trying to choose where to land. After this brief animation, arrows bounce up and down over each structure, indicating that the player must decide which structure is the safer, more stable structure to land on. Upon mouse hover, the arrow over the selected structure grows and the other shrinks to provide additional feedback. Once players click on the structure to choose it, the earthquake begins, and they see if their choice was correct, based on whether the chosen structure is still standing in order for the UFO to land on it. All these visual elements happens quickly, but it’s details like this that make for a rich, intuitive experience.

 

 

Prep for Finals

On December 12th, we will have our final presentations for the ETC faculty, project clients, other students, and guests. Final presentations serve as a way to showcase our product and process from the semester. We will have fifteen minutes to go over the past sixteen weeks, during which we will discuss the project, the product, our process, and lessons learned from this experience.

In addition to the presentation, we are preparing hand-off documentation on the code and on development possibilities for later teams.

After finals, we will post the final build of our game, Rumble Blocks, available for download on our project website.

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