Week 9 – Control Spot to achieve a sequence of interactions

Last week, we had a rough draft of our experience background story and our client liked it. We started to create a paper prototype. The reason that we need this prototype is that we want to visualize our experience and put all the individual experience into a complete longer experience. After we finish the paper prototype, we’ll also use it for playtesting. The purpose of this playtest is to find out whether the players can 

  • Understand the mission
  • Understand the narrative/story
  • Come up with a solution
  • Finish the current game loop 

and whether those mechanics

  • Are fun
  • Are Intuitive/make sense 

Since it’s a paper prototype, we could conduct the playtest virtually. In this way, we don’t need playtesters to come to our project room to do the playtest or we don’t need to rush to build out the experience in the physical space. After having those input, we could further develop the game and story as we know what works and what doesn’t.

Paper prototype draft

On the programming side. We had to make the decision – should players use the keyboard or game controller to control Spot. We quickly prototyped and found out 

The Xbox controller worked well. Players can directly watch Spot and it’s intuitive for people who have gaming experience in PS, Xbox, etc. It also supports wireless control, so it would be easy to control Spot as to control the remote control car. 

Then, we tested using the Xbox controller to control Spot to complete a sequence of interactions. For example, we want Spot to step, catch, carry and shoot. 

First, Spot needs to step on the paddle to pull the cardboard so the ball falls out. 

Second, Spot needs to catch the ball.

Third, Spot needs to carry the ball to a destination area.

Finally, Spot needs to shoot the ball to the destination area. 

We found out it’s possible to complete this sequence using the Xbox controller and it’s fun to achieve the goal. However, the prototype/installation we built is not stable and we need to improve that installation for future use. Our instructors suggested that if we could allow control that is not too precise, that would be better. Otherwise, players would feel frustrated controlling Spot. We agreed. Our goal is that we expect the players to get the ball with 2 ~ 3 tries. We’ll improve the installation in the next week.