After around a week and a half, the whole Inksmith team reconvened all together again by Tuesday, allowing us to get back on track for our previous pace of development. We got our artists back up to speed with the prototype’s progress and assigned them tasks for environment and avatar customization art.
We were able to implement most of the main features we had planned for Astronaughty. Our programmer Thomas was able to leverage the wheel rotation code from Animal Serenade to use in our avatar customization. Within the different customization categories, different items and features are selected by the wheel rotation. Our other programmer, Rishit, worked on the hide-and-seek mechanic within the main story. The items to find are draggable, sometimes hidden within different parts of the room. They need to be dragged onto an appropriate object silhouette on a rocket outline on the side of the screen; once all items are found, the rocket flies into the next scene.
Our designer, Jerry, is working on the sound design for Astronaughty. As well as overall sound effects, we need to record narration for the manuscript dialogue. Jerry has gone through a brief auditioning process with different ETC students to see who is best suited to give the narration the feel of a young girl. We now have a voice actor who can record the lines in the next week.
We playtested our first iterations of our various features on Friday, at the ETC. We invited and were able to test with four girls, aged 3-5. They enjoyed building the avatars and showing them off, and were able to find the objects when an adult named them out loud.
None of them exited our builds for the avatar building or the hide and seek, which tells us that we are at least on the right track for child interest.
We were also able to meet with Josie again on Friday. She liked the look of most of our implemented features, giving us feedback on what we could add or modify for more child appeal, but she urged us to look further into how we could make Astronaughty a more nonlinear experience, making traversing back and forth through different locations in the story fun and engaging.
Next week, our prototype of Astronaughty will complete on Friday, November 20th. In our final week of development, we want to focus on developing an engaging mechanic to retain the enjoyable activity of hide and seek, but building it into the story that encourages nonlinear navigation. We will be playtesting at a preschool again on Friday, at the conclusion of the prototype, but hope to bring in more playtesters to the ETC some time during the week for further iteration.