Week 10 (3/24 – 3/28)
The previous week the team focused on polishing the existing features in preparation for a third playtest and a complete feeling demo for our half semester presentation. On Saturday, the team playtested the existing prototype with two children: a first grader and a fourth grader. The playtest gave some useful feedback on player expectations and the team decided to modify the game so that player’s could see each other’s avatars real time.
This week the team presented their progress for the half semester mark then resumed work on producing in game objects and adding functionality for the quests/adventure system, user decorations, and light physics. Towards the end of the week the team received helpful feedback from the faculty and meet to decide how to best address this feedback.
Following the team’s halves presentation, the team got back on development for the current sprint’s feature set. The artists had a hefty workload of models, many with interactions, that they were focusing on creating for game’s decorations system. The programmer’s went to work fixing some existing bugs and implementing what was needed for the games quest and decorations feature as well as talking about how to implement real time character interaction. The designers made sure the UI mockups were up to date and added additional design specifications for the upcoming features where it was missing.
Once we received our feedback from the half semester presentation the team had to meet and discuss how we could best address the feedback. Amongst the constructive advice some points stood out:
- We needed to think about how to facilitate integration between our product and the existing Questyinz game. Related to this, we needed to establish differentiating elements between the two.
- We need to make sure that the aspects of our product are cohesive and work together to give the best overall experience to our players
- We need to make sure design and product goals don’t get lost in the shuffle.
- Related to this, we should think about how we can make our ‘Social Bookshelf’ the best it can be.
With this in mind, the team met over the weekend and made some initial decisions on how we could take this feedback into account.
Based on the feedback we decided we should have a theme for our game in order to give an understandable transition for our players from the original Questyinz to Questyinz Social. We chose a Tiki Island theme because of its summer vacation feel and its imaginative aspect.
The team also thought to allow the bookshelf to be more playful, allowing users a book decorating/display interface and to take the books from the shelf and put them around the room any way they want.
We also decided to rethink the in game inventory. As the current Questyinz game gives the users a clubhouse and decorations, we realized that giving similar functionality in our experience might confuse the users, and regardless it would be better to give all new content where possible.
As such, we decided instead to shift our focus to systems of nonverbal communication. We will focus on developing a system in the game to allow the users in game communication through their avatars.
Obviously, these changes incur additional tasks (shifting decorations to the theme, creating new animations, designing and implementing new functionality). These tasks are what the team will focus on for the upcoming week .