Week 12: April 5, 2014

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”
-Tony Robbins

This week the team had to rapid-prototype a new feature i.e. the Quest mechanic. The playtest was scheduled to be on Saturday for which we had some set goals. We then revised our milestones based on the feedback received and also considering the remaining timeline.

As decided the artists worked on the new fish models and animated them. We now have 3 new fish in the project (Great Barracuda, Seahorse and Puffer fish). We had set goals for our Saturday’s playtest. We wanted to see if the 2-touch interaction with fish was intuitive for the users. We also wanted to implement a prototype quest and gallery option. The user interface for the same was also important. The team worked hard to get it done before Saturday.
The quest was to find 5 different fish and take snapshot of them. A gallery icon would poppufbarseahorse-up upon quest completion and users can see the recently clicked pictures. Along with this based on the playtest feedback the teachers suggested we include more information of the fish. So we added a fun-fact for every fish. When the user touches any fish a name on top of the fish and a fun-fact dialog box pops up at the bottom of the screen. These fun-facts are also sent to marine biologist for validation.
On Saturday, we were able to playtest with many kids that matched our target demographic along with few older kids and some adults too. playtest sat1We realized that the designed prototype quest was interesting but was shifting the focus away from free exploring to just solving the quest. Also the screen time for the pop-up fun fact was less. Most of the users completed the quest but wouldn’t return to the game. Also the lack of a tutorial confused many in the beginning. As per our playtest goals all these reactions are very helpful for the team. The team realizes that a need of an in-game tutorial is important. The quests have to be subtle and short. The free exploration time before the quests pops up should be more. All these points were taken into consideration and the team designed a new prototype.
The work on the project website has been significant now and a new page for teachers’ reference will soon be added too.

Next week we are showcasing our project at the Kids Learning and Creativity Rally organized by Sprout fund in Pittsburgh, PA. We plan to have 2 new quests keeping in mind the problems with the 1st quest prototype. The art assets production will continue to 15 total fish after which we will start making the environment assets like corals and wrecks. A design document will be prepared and work on populating the website with more content will be done.