This week, the Tuesday Tales team presented for soft opening and started to plan our work for the last week before final presentations. Since we couldn’t take all the faculty down to main campus for softs, Emre and Nicky worked to remove the location checking so that it could be played from our room. In order to make up for this lack of movement and checking, faculty were given a map and a Kaiju of their choice to move around the map and make choices about what buildings to destroy. Jonathan and Matt worked together to figure out what would be said at softs and worked to ensure that everyone knew their role and had practiced several times before softs began. In retrospect, presenting a location based experience is extremely hard unless you can present it in the area that it’s built for.
After softs, the team worked to digest our feedback and balance that with our client desires in order to figure out what our final week will be used for. A lot of faculty feedback centered on building destruction not being fun so our first priority is to make that experience shorter and more fun. Another major feedback we got was that some faculty are still unsure of what the experience is like on campus since it’s hard to get that experience in our project room. In response to that, we will be working with faculty to try and figure out the best way that we can give faculty the chance to play our game in a physical space for final playthroughs. One last thing we are focused on is making sure that this game can be played by our client in LA without us being there. To address this, we are working to be able to dynamically add markers and an onboarding experience so the app can be used without us explaining it in person.
This week the Tuesday Tales focused on gathering as much playtest data as possible and preparing for Softs. Jon and Matt worked to recruit as many playtesters as possible for a weeklong playtest through Hockey app. Of the 20 people whose emails they received, only 3 downloaded the app to give them playtest feedback. As such, they transitioned to doing a short interactions on CMU’s campus. Jin and Nicky joined them and worked together to playtest on campus on April 20th and were able to get around 12 people to play the game and give feedback.
Emre, Jon, Nicky, and Matt also worked to prepare the experience to be shown to faculty at softs next week. Jon and Matt worked to plan out the script for softs and how faculty will be lead through the experience to ensure they get a sense of our entire app. This included coming up with the key talking points and planning out time to ensure that the presentation doesn’t go over 20 mins. Nicky and Emre worked to prepare a build for softs that let the game be showed off without requiring staff to go to CMU campus and walk to each of the buildings to destroy them. This helps to ensure that the full app can be experienced in the 20 minute segments with each faculty pair.
This week the Tuesday Tales team finalized our app so we can start playtesting on campus next week. The team also worked to set up our playtesting system and recruit as many playtesters as possible. Jin and Xiao have been working to complete our art assets. This includes the map overlay that will be used for main campus, the buildings that are meant to reflect the real life buildings, and the UI to help players navigate the app. Nicky and Emre have been working to polish the app and integrate the final art assets.
Matt has been working to set up the playtesting system. This included getting a developer account from Steve, setting up HockeyApp to share our builds, and figuring out what the process of adding new players will be. Jonathan and Matt have also been working to reach out to clubs, like Game Creation Society and TEA at CMU, as well as reaching out to professors, like Shirley Saldamarco and Jessica Hammer, to recruit students to test the app on campus. The goal of this is to find at least 10 motivated playtesters that we can invite to playtest our app starting Monday and lasting through the week.
This week the Tuesday Tales team worked to polish our features and plan out our week long playtests on CMU campus. Based on the the data from the April 1st playtest, we decided we need to focus one reworking our building destruction and making the app flow easier to understand. As such, Jonathan and Nicky have been working to implement a reverse tetris style of building destruction. This style of gameplay requires the user to think and plan out how to tackle each of the buildings. Xiao, Jonathan, and Emre have been working to implement a new UI flow to make our game feel more natural and easy to follow. Jin has been working to finish up the map of Main campus so that we can match the map graphics and our gameplay graphics.
While work has been done on the app, we have also started to lay out the groundwork for the playtest that we will start conducting next week. As part of this preparation, the team sat down to talk about what it is that we feel is most important to gather data on. It was decided that our upcoming playtest will focus on engagement and observing how, when, and for how long players engage with the app in it’s current state. Matt has been working to reach out to groups on campus to find motivated testers that would be willing to engage with our app on and off for the week as well as answer questions in surveys that will be sent out to them. Matt has also been working to setup the platform that the team will be using to test the app and get it to our playtesters.
This week the Tuesday Tales team finished implementing features, moved forward with developing building sprites, and prepared to test on Saturday. Emre worked to build the groundwork to process eggs and check eggs at locations to help them hatch. Nicky worked to further build out the building destruction component to make it more fun to engage with. Jon worked to come up with new ways to make the building destruction more strategic. This was so that players felt they had to more than just spam taps to destroy buildings. Xiao began to work on the UI and flow diagrams to help us explain the game flow to our faculty and clients.
Xiao and Jin worked together to build out the art to represent the final campus areas we will test with. Over this week, they were able to develop the assets for about half of the final buildings. The rest of the buildings will be finalized and built out in the coming week before we got public with testing. This art will also be integrated in the coming week to ensure that players will see the building they want to destroy.
Jon has been taking charge of planning our playtests for playtest day on April 1st. Matt worked with him to ensure that the app had what we wanted to test and gathered the resources to ensure we could test with all our playtesters. We plan to take our playtesters through the building destruction portion of the app with a focus on the path of destruction feature. We want to see to what degree players enjoy this component of the game and how they flow through a space with multiple markers.
This week the Tuesday Tales team presented our halves progress and continued to work on our prototype. At halves, the team showed the faculty the current prototype with the location tracking and building destruction. We also outlined our plan to finish the broadcast and reward sections of the loop done by soft opening in week 14. The faculty and other students who saw our presentation gave us very valuable feedback that we will use going forward with our project.
The team also got some time to work on our broadcast and reward part of the main loop. For these areas, we are going to allow players to take images with their Kaiju to help their friends hatch eggs or to impact the reward they get from destroying buildings. These images will be shared in app and can be posted to Facebook to promote our app amongst player’s social groups. The reward loop will consist of players being rewarded with Kaiju or resources for destroying buildings and hatching eggs.
Nicky has been working hard at adding these pieces of the loop and has gotten it so that we can capture photos from the iOS device and superimpose the Kaiju over them. Jin has been working working to make more art assets to better matching real and virtual buildings as well as to give players more options for Kaiju. Xiao has been working to formalize our UI and flow structure so that our programmers can focus their last development week on building in the app flow. Emre has been working to finalize our proximity and perform connection so we can better manage our buildings and switch between the states. Jonathan has been working to formalize our game design document to ensure all our discussions are captured and to ensure we have everything we decided we needed by the end of next week.
This week, the Tuesday tales team prepared to present our progress to the faculty for halves. Matt, Xiao, and Jonathan worked on the content and visuals for the presentation. Xiao and Jin worked together to make a concept video to help share our current progress to the faculty. The whole team then came together to practice our presentation so that we would be ready for after spring break.
While the team preparing for halves, work was also put into combining the location proximity work with the building destruction prototype made the week before. This means that the current prototype now allows for players to go to locations and destroy buildings. This allows us to test half of our gameplay loop, proximity and perform. This means that the next couple weeks will be devoted to finishing the resource loop and adding in a broadcast component. As well as making more art assets to better tie real world buildings and the buildings in the game.
This week the some of the Tuesday Tales team left for a conference and few members stayed to further develop the project. Emre, Jonathan, Xiao, and Matt attended the game developers conference in San Francisco. While they were there, they got the chance to learn a lot more about game development and location based games. It was also a chance to make connections that will help them both for this project and for their careers.
This left Nicky and Jin in Pittsburgh to further develop the project. They focused on prototyping the city destruction components for our experience. Players can tap on portions of the buildings in order to destroy them and damage their contents and occupants. The player can also slide between buildings to destroy a set that make up that location. This means that our work in the coming weeks will be hooking our two prototypes together and rounding out the experience.
This week the Tuesday Tales team focused on finalizing our game idea while creating our app’s golden spike. After quarters, the team took the faculty’s feedback into consideration and tried to merge the ideas of using Kaiju with the social mechanics of the Caravan game. This led us to a new idea that was based around representing players’ relationships through Kaiju. When we pitched this to Legendary, they had some concerns about it limiting the game to require friends to play together.
The team pulled together for our gold spike to ensure that we can achieve the basics we will need for any experience we choose to make. This included map display, getting phone GPS coordinates, and receiving data from spatial. This gave us the chance to get a better idea of what and how quickly we can produce our experience. As a team, we were able to get the basic features implemented and working in the week.
This week the Tuesday Tales team focused on the feedback we got from Legendary and presenting our progress to the ETC faculty. The team met with Legendary early this week and got feedback on our pitches. Legendary liked the social responsibility and growth of the Caravan game but also liked how the Kaiju game idea integrated with the IP that they own. As such, we’ve been working hard to figure out how the strengths of these 2 ideas.
See our pitch video here
This week was quarters at the ETC and, as such, the team needed to present our progress to the faculty. The team told the faculty about the pitches that were given to Legendary and summed up the feedback from the day before.The faculty felt that the team was on track compared to past successful projects. However, the team needs to nail down a final idea and start building the framework to make it successful.