capital Games Newsletter #11 – 11/9/2012
The team is halfway through our production crunch between Half-Semester Presentations and Soft-Openings. Work on “Food Quest” is continuing along at a steady pace; however, there are pressures on certain areas.
Programmers are finishing the implementation of the Apple Slice in preparation for the playtest this coming Monday.
The team has met and discussed the Flour Slice as planned, and the minigame for it has been designed. The script and the art are being worked on, and will be done at the beginning of next week.
Production pressures are coming in from many directions: Artists are now struggling to balance polishing assets from all previous slices in addition to creating new ones. Moreover, the nature of the new Flour Slice requires many new assets – it is not just on farm like the Apple and Egg Slices, but must contain a new secondary location, the factory; furthermore, the factory requires a new character, Tina the Technician. Programmers’ time scales are also being compressed as big playtests are all coming up next week.
While we’re behind, the team has a hit a stride in terms of investment in the project and realizing what needs to be done. It will be a rough week and a half up to Thanksgiving, and we’re working hard to finish our “rough draft” of the game.
Valuable Feedback from Susan’s Team:
In other exciting news, Susan’s team has gotten the iPad build for prototype 3 working. Prototype 3 contains the completed Intro and Egg Slice. Their team has successfully playtested the game with 5 kids, and have returned with useful results.
They’ve confirmed the need for instructions that appear if a player does not understand the game or interaction, as well as the need for characters to be able to repeat prompts if the child misses them.
Moreover, Susan’s team has provided valuable feedback about useful things to tackle when the team polishes the game: There are certain “missed opportunities” in the current script for teaching moments; moreover, wrong answers to questions, while they should be encouraging, should be less confirmatory and more corrective. Finally, they have also sent us sample vocabulary words that could be more challenging for the kids.
We are very excited about the expertise that the team at the Univesity of Michigan is bringing to complement our team at the ETC. After softs, the team will begin to tackle some of these changes while we polish our final product.
On the Next Episode of Capital Games:
The assets for our Flour Slice and Ending will need to be done and implemented by Friday next week.
We will playtest the Apple Slice on Monday with the preschool program in Braddock, PA that we had spoken to last week. We’ll also be playtesting the Flour Slice and Ending that Friday with the YMCA in the Hazelwood district of Pittsburgh.
We are very excited to be where we are, if concerned about our delays and the long road ahead. We’re thrilled to be working with Susan’s team more closely, to have added them as an important part of our development process, and to see that they think we’re moving in a good direction.