Week 12 – Playtest Day

Tackling Toxicity with Play

Week 12 – Playtest Day

Playtest Day

This week’s playtest happened to be Playtest Day. That means that we had an increased faculty count at the playtest and got more focused feedback. We ran into myriad problems this playtest, but the feedback was quite helpful.

For starters, voting and upgrades are still giving us trouble. That being said, we got feedback that the voting may not be the way to go anyway – too many people want empathy and too few AI. Another issue was in that people could still access reports that should have been obsolete – being reports from previous rounds.

Some of the feedback was more focused on presentational issues. Our letter kerning on the PPT is still not in a great state. Twitch Studio began giving us a lot of trouble this time around, constantly flashing black. We will probably switch to another streaming solution for next week.

Finally, some did not feel that the cat paw and robot hand matched our aesthetic very well. We are looking into shifting their appearance.


We had a handful of meetings this week to go over our our work and design ideas with a few professionals. It was nice to get the extra feedback, even on top of our weekly playtesting.

Jessica Hammer

Jessica Hammer is an ETC faculty member and has spent a considerable amount of time researching the Twitch platform and creating transformational experiences. Jessica called our method of education “vicarious experience”. That is, we give our players a cycle of action and reflection. This lets people experience something, then put that experience into words. It helps people crystallize takeaways for themselves, which should stick a bit more consistently.

She approved of our general ideas & takeaways, saying that they aligned well with the research.

She was hesitant about how readable our game is, which we think is a valid fear. The simulation can look very hectic, which is why we’ve been looing into ways to convey information in a more easy-to-parse manner.

A final note she had for us was that running an experience like this for almost 100 people will be very different. It will obviously affect the simulation itself, but even more so just managing chat at that point may be out of our control. We’ll have to keep this in mind moving forward.

Sabrina Culyba

Sabrina gave us some feedback from the point of view of someone who both A. literally wrote the book on transformational design and B. has been a player of our experience more than once. She had some feedback about small bugs and lack of clarity in the experience, which we’ll try to adjust for going forward.
She commented that using the MC as a stand-in for the audience (because the audience cannot be physically present) is a good choice and appears to be moving in the right direction.

On the topic of the AI & Empathy choice, she agreed that it is not working as well as it could be. She suggested that however we change it, we should attempt to maintain a feeling of anticapation. Perhaps draw upgrades live.