We had our first playtesting on Monday this week!
For the playtesting this week, we tested all four demos including the rhythm game, the touch screen integration, the Wubi input, and the voice feedback. Generally, people are pretty curious about the Tap device. In fact, none of them has ever used a Tap or similar devices before. Thus it makes this playtesting even more valuable and actually, the testing results are kind of surprising.
For the music rhythm game, it has a new Daydream version so that the players can play with Google Daydream as a VR experience. And this is much more welcomed than the original mobile version. Some playtesters mentioned that they would prefer to use the touch screen when it is available since the latency on the touch screen is much lower. When played as a VR experience, the Tap is essentially the best input device which makes the whole experience more immersive. We believe this is one of the areas that we could explore more.
And for our Wubi input demo, it is a little bit tricky. Since if the playtester doesn’t understand Chinese, it would be a little bit hard to explain how Wubi input works. Luckily, we have got some playtesters who understand Chineses. And the conclusion from the playtesting is that using Wubi with the tap would not be faster for a healthy human being. As long as the user can memorize the whole mapping of the Wubi input, then it is still much faster to use the keyboard than using the Tap device. The only good thing is that the Tap device can actually simplify the learning process of the Wubi input. However, think about this scenario in which a person only has one hand, things could be totally different. The Tap would make it possible to input Chinese really fast with just one hand.
As for our integration with the touch screen, it is really inspiring. The playtester actually helped us with the brainstorming process. This demo is just simply a tech demo, but it really got the potential which can be extended to different areas including education, medical, musical and game.
And for our voice feedback demo, people generally believe that it would be very helpful for people with vision problems. However, one thing we ignored is that there have already been very mature voice feedback systems on mobile devices like iOS and Android which can be directly integrated with the Tap device. It is understandable that we have never used these kinds of features by ourselves. But this is also a warning that we need to research more from the perspective of our target audience, not from ourselves.
With all the feedback from our playtester, we continued with our plan about prototyping.
There are several prototypes going on at the same time. One simple demo is to test the possibility of using the Tap device for party games, which should be simple and funny. So we developed a running game which supports two players to compete with each other locally. The control of the game is just tapping two fingers as if you are running with fingers. This game turns out really fun to play and we are looking forward to finding more potentials about using the Tap with party games.
And three other demos we are working on are: using Tap to teach playing piano, Tap Orchestra demo which can use the Tap to create casual music and creating an experience with the CAVE. Currently, we have finished our design documents for these three demos and the sounds assets. We will probably have working demos by the end of next week.
On the other hand, we are also working on some general packages that can be used by all the demos so that we do not need to rebuild the wheels.