Week 6 – Iterating On The Game
We playtested our digital prototype. It was a group of 6-8 playtesters playing 4 at a time using Xbox controller to move the cranes while we observed and recorded results. In brief, they didn’t fully understand how to effectively succeed at the game. Not only that, but our designed optimal strategy did not come out yet as we’d been building for. At the moment our game has several winning strategies rather than one optimal one. Banning lots of folks as well as educating them was working. As for jailing – that was hardly ever used. With all that in mind, we need to tune the simulation towards working more how we’d like it to and feeling less aimless as well as rethinking the abilities of the players or perhaps how we frame those abilities.
Another thing we need to mindful of is the method of control. We got feedback that using cranes to drop actors into different buckets may be fun in a game-y way, but doesn’t necessarily match the reality we are trying to imitate. not to mention we don’t necessarily have the equipment o give a room full of 80 people all Xbox controllers and TVs. with that in mind we developed towards a method of play utilizing smartphones to control the experience. everyone has a smartphone at the ready and it more closely matches our fantasy. players will receive reports on their phones based on the activity on screen, which they will respond to via mobile and see results back on screen.
This will be done via the AirConsole plugin for Unity. It’s been easy to work with and very helpful.
We improved the visuals. Instead of using the generic pill people that had been our standard, we’ve moved towards using emoji faces as our characters. When being toxic / positive or playing together in general, the emoji will change to represent their state. Not only are these much easier to read at a glance, but they gel well with the Internet aesthetic.
Players will have three total abilities – banning, educating (or empathy training), and AI moderators. Only banning will be available at the start, and the other two will be treated as upgrades to improve the overall flow of the community.
Players will receive reports on their phones that they can review. After review, they will have options on how severely the player should be punished via banning.
The banned player will be pulled off screen via a big cat paw.
AI Moderators will act as a secondary ban source. Instead of all reports being sent to players, some will be sent to these AI mods. The AI will deal with them swiftly and accurately, lightening the load on the players.
Education / Empathy Training
This carries forward our idea of education, but the idea now is that players will walk through a dialogue with players as if texting them via a moderation interface to teach them proper behavior. It is still being worked on.