This is a week of receiving and responding to feedback for us. We also developed the composition box and nailed down our metrics. We had faculty walk around in Pittsburgh on Monday, open house in Silicon Valley on Wednesday and faculty sit-down on Friday. For the demo on Wednesday we voice playtest an environment simulation demo where guest is the manager of a coffee shop. This demo helps us to give guests and our client a more concrete idea of what we are doing. We also received very specific feedback based on that. 


The most important three aspects for us are gameplay, storytelling and client requirement. We hope the player to “laugh” while playing our game. We have also made our composition box. 

Composition Box

Design direction

Client recommended us to lean back into idea #1(grow up a Sim, see more details in week 3 post) and focus on interacting with and developing a single Sim, and make those simple interactions feel amazing. They also recommended us to prototype while designing so we can work around platform limitation. Production wise, client asks us to list out the features based on priority so we can implement the most important ones first. 

Here are some of the more detailed feedback we get. 

  • Is it a casual experience or is there a challenge to overcome? 
  • What is the hook to come back? How do you develop goals for the player?
  • Consider adding timed re-engagement gameplay (i.e. you need to come back in 5 hours to supervise the new shift at the restaurant)
  • Thematically, is the gameplay expected to show a mundane reality, or a soap opera?
  • How will players remember specific Sims and their stories over short interactions with multiple characters, and potentially no visuals?
  • A lot of this design sounds like it could be accomplished with Skill Flow Builder, which is the tool we used for Sims Stories.

Feedback from Faculty

From faculty, we received questions like what are the examples that we have looked at. We have looked at Trivia, party games, song games and adventure games. Since our focus is on storytelling, faculty also recommend us to look at some radio comedy and TV series, or maybe just improv it out. 

Simlish, the fictional language in The Sims, also draws faculty’s attention. We initially plan to use Simlish together with Alexa as narrative to add more emotional layers our environment simulation. Right now considering we are shifting from environment simulation to more single Sims storytelling, we might cut down or eliminate the use of Simlish in our gameplay. 

For those of you interested in Simlish, checkout this great video!

One faculty mentioned that Sims is a game about emotion, we were asked, what kind of emotion do we want to invoke our players? Our answer is laughs and smiles from humor. 

One faculty asked suggests that we can use Alexa as our “eye”. If The Sims team have a series of animation corresponding to different emotions, we can borrow that and use words to describe emotions. For example, Sims waved his hands over head for four times. I think he is angry now. 

Ruoxi and Weidi gather feedback from guests after the demo

Demo feedback

We also get feedback from guests coming to our open house. 

  • Have fallback answers
  • Assume the player will say something different
  • Players don’t know what they can or cannot do. 
  • Direct the user back to the same place as before
  • Don’t ask player to choose A or B if the one of the answers is a dead end
  • Could start the experience with a list commands. What are the things that players can do and get. Think about adventure game.
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