Home Front: Week Eleven

The Work This Week:

Week eleven was spent iterating into playtestable design.

After our Halves presentation, the team sat down to figure out how to best to apply the notes we received. It was important we figured out how do so quickly; Saturday was Playtest Day.  Playtest Day is the semi-annual event that the ETC hosts to bring in outside individuals to the building to playtest our designs. It’s an excellent way to make sure we’re testing with our target demographics, and to ensure we’re allowing fresh eyes to give us feedback.

The early part of the week was spent figuring out what to keep and what to cut. With faculty feedback questioning how viable our hologram projection and light-up board mechanics were, we needed to take a moment and examine what we wanted for our final deliverable. Our choice at the moment is to not abandon the use of tech integration in the board, but to understand that lower tech not only removes barriers to production, but also reduces possible fail-points in the design and play. Looking at lower tech options going forward, we’ll be able to focus on design in a more immediate way, while being able to advise on what possible tech we could recommend for a final draft of the game board.

On Thursday, Axel left to attend the Themed Entertainment Association Summit in Los Angeles, Miriam stepped in as acting producer, and the team buckled down to prepare for the weekend. The the team prepped written materials, physical game pieces, and one more iteration of game play for Saturday.

Playtest Day went off without a hitch. The team was able to playtest our game four times, twice with groups matching our target audience of close, familiar groups, and twice with groups who were essentially strangers. The playtests with our target audiences went incredibly well, with one guest asking to come back and test again with their family. Though our playtests with groups who didn’t meet the definition of our target audience were rougher, they did help us to establish that the text is an incredibly grounding element, regardless.

Moving forward, the team knows we’re getting close to the end of the design cycle. Figuring out the best way to polish our deliverable to our client’s standards is our foremost goal at the moment.