Week 10 – Paper prototype playtest and a new mini-game!

Another mini-game idea is born after we received positive feedback from our clients. The game we thought of is color picking, delivering, and combination. In the last game, we demonstrated Spot’s ability to catch, carry, and shoot the ball. So instead of carrying physical objects like balls, we thought it would be also great to let Spot carry something not so tangible. That’s where the idea of color came from. 

In this game, the goal of the player is to create a “purple” light. In order to do that, the player needs to use Spot to spin the wheel to get some colors. Purple is not on the wheel, so the player needs to get the correct combination of red and blue. The concept of color mixing sounds easy but how do we “get” a color? We plan to attach a PixyCam on the wheel and the PixyCam can detect color. We plan to use Arunios to help our communication between computers, LEDs, and PixyCam. This is an initial idea and we agreed that it sounds promising. We also include this idea in our paper prototype so that we’ll know how to make it more rounded. 

Our designer, who conducted the playtests, had Zoom meetings with playtesters and guided them during the playtests. Firstly the designer introduced the background story to playtesters. Then, the designer showed them the map of our game and players had the freedom to go anywhere or do any interactions in the room. The designer actively responded to the players what happened during this process either by talking or showing some visuals.  

We had 6 playtesters and the playtestings results were positive. 

From these responses, we saw the experience was positive and they all think Spot was helpful om the game. They were able to understand the game mechanism well. Most of them wanted to play in the real game. Making Spot catch and shoot the ball was the most satisfying part. However, 40% of playtesters didn’t enjoy watching Spot’s emotional reactions after stepping on the trash bins. This was surprising because most playtesters reacted “Aw, so cute” or “Oh, Spot was scared” during the playtests, which shows that they connected with Spots throughout Spot’s emotional reactions like “happy” or “scared”. On the other side, in the survey responses, they thought they were not that useful in the game and were distracting. From this, we learned that while the emotional reactions of Spot were great, we need to put them into the story rather than separate interactions. The other downside of the prototype is that the playtesters need lots of guidance to understand the color mixing game. They enjoyed it when they understood the mechanics. We learned that while color mixing was intuitive, the players need to know Spot’s ability to carry and pick up a color/light. Finally, we also knew the importance of our story and make our environment settings and interactable objects fitter to our story. 

Spot’s scared reaction

After understanding their responses, we agreed these are the way to improve

  • Teach players to pick up a color, carry a color, and deliver color in 3 individual tasks. Then we expect the players to come up with a solution to the color mixing game themselves. 
  • Come up with a rounded story and name all the interactable objects to make a more immersive experience. 
  • Show Spot’s emotional emotions at the right time. For example, Spot is happy after Spot completes a task. 

We also improved our installation on Friday. It was built using cardboard, a shoe rack, and fish line, and magnets. It’s much more stable now. We can reset it quickly if the player fails. In the next week, we’ll test most of our interactions in-person. So we’ll know how this works out for our playtests in a real space.