Week 11 – Full speed ahead

This week, we set up our project and playtested with 6 playtesters in our project rooms. Although we are still working on the color transmitting game, the in-person playtest tested different parts of the experience. We mainly tested control and interaction with the environment. To be more specific, we wanted to see whether they could use the Xbox controller to control Spot and enjoy achieving the missions or not. We had 3 playtesters who are not from the ETC so the playtesting results would be less biased than the last time. 

Most of the players find it easy and intuitive to control Spot with an Xbox controller. But all the subjects here have a great amount of experience playing games with controllers and I’m afraid that’s not the case for all of our guests. So it’d be better if we can recruit some playtesters with less gaming experience. 

This gives a clue about the priorities of improving the accessibility of these items. Either from a narrative perspective or from a UI perspective. Besides, they took non-interactable objects in their vicinity, and one common characteristic they share is they are all big enough and don’t blend into the background. After identifying what they can interact with, the experiences went on well. 

Another interesting fact is that the player still enjoys the game even after a few failed attempts like the ball didn’t slide itself into the basket on Spot’s back in their first try. So we don’t have to worry about the cases when the physical installations go wrong as long as we reset it without being too interruptive. 

As for the narrative, we only gave players a minimum amount of the story except for the objects in the world. Their visions about (IS R) were close to our original story which means the experience and the installations justify themselves in a way we expected. Interestingly, none of them felt that being in the space but only interacting with the environment with Spot is strange. That is a good thing. It might because their hands are too occupied with the controllers in their hands, and we can take advantage of that setting. 

Takeaways from the playtests:

  • Risk of being biased. We should reach out more to people who don’t fall into the group of playtesters we had these two days. 
  • Update control overriding.
  • We need to make the objects more distinguishable
    • Lamp #1
    • QR codes #2
  • Pull out the control log. And have playtesters compare the tablet controller with the Xbox controller. 

We also made progress on our color mixing game. Design-wise, we came up with a way to teach players the concept of color picking. We also interacted with the idea of color picking – instead of getting a color from the wheel by pure luck or frustration, we could build a tunnel, and Spot can go through the tunnel to pick up some colors. The player needs to “lock” the color so that Spot can bring back that color.

we got PixyCam and LED working. Spot can pick up a color now! In the next week, we’ll work on color delivering and mixing (tech) and designing the progression of game/level design! We’ll also shoot some video clips of our existing interactions. In week 13-14, we can work on story, narration, and UIs.