Issue #14: Final Playtesting
On Monday, we went to the Elizabeth Forward School District and tested our game with 15 testers, ages 6-7. This test was to see if the new user interface changes had made a difference in our game’s usability. Across the board we noticed significant improvement of usability compared to our playtest last week at Sesame Workshop. Kids were able to watch the tutorial and play the game with little to no hesitation. As they played the game, they noticed they were progressing through the adventure and were excited when they reached a new stage, depicted by the background and foreground elements changing. The reading level of these testers was strong, they were able to read almost all of the text prompts on screen. However, their reading comprehension skills are definitely not ready for the high-level language that we are using. There are a few areas that we will need to polish, such as making the feedback on the rocks and where a child can place much more clear and apparent; we noticed that sometimes the child did not notice where they could place the rock or which rocks they could remove.
In the brief 15 minute window we played with, we noticed that the kids were breezing through, with little to no failure. This requires more analysis, both in terms of game design and learning retention. While the kids may completely understand how to balance in our game, they may not be able to transfer it over to real-world situations. It also may be that the levels are too simple, and follow Siegler’s rules too closely, creating an easy playthrough. We will be returning to the EFSD tomorrow, Dec. 7th, for our final playtest to test with second graders and see how they feel about our game as well as to see whether or not the language works with this older set of our demographic.