This week, True North conducted 2 playtests, received some unexpected deliverable updates from our client, and attended industry conferences – GDC & SXSW.
Playtests: (Data to be discussed next week)
We conducted 2 playtests between Monday and Tuesday. Monday consisted mostly of main campus and ETC testing. The MP class and our team came through to corral friends (undergrads and grads) into our room in the UC to playtest the current prototype. We playtested 12 people, and have some new information to sift through. On Tuesday we welcomed our clients Lucas and Joanna to playtest where we received…
New deliverable parameters!
While we received some positive feedback on our progress, we also got clarification on the news that our game must be tailored to undergraduates instead of graduates (we got word of this possibility over the break, but clarification this past week). This changes the stakes quite a bit. First, our story was targeting graduate students, and the characters and interactions reflect this (e.g. there are a couple of bar scenes, which will need to be changed to reflect the 18-22 yo market instead of late 20s crowd). Second, the undergrad experience varies in a tremendous way – things that resonate with CS students might not resonate in the same way with Drama folks. We’ve received word from Lucas that they are thinking of incorporating this tool to use as a reflective exercise with students who have been found in violation of the academic code. So, not all freshmen during orientation. That helps a bit in our alteration, but we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to make this pivot.
GDC / SXSW:
The team took a hiatus from work (not good timing considering we have our Halves’ presentation this Wednesday!) to attend industry conferences SXSW and GDC. We had a mini-True North reunion at a mobile games networking event (not pictured is Emily, who was hiding in Austin, TX). There
were some great talks about the power of games to achieve different transformational goals, and we saw quite a few graphic 2-D interactive adventures / RPG persona style referenced as speaker projects. Looks like “The Unwritten Code” (Our current working title) could be part of a web-based 2D narrative wave.
Below are some bullet points of what else we accomplished this week. Next week we’ll go through our Halves’ presentation, our “pivot” to target undergrads and our playtest results. See you next week.
- Prototype Playtests – 12 testers (including 4 additional on Tuesday – client playtesting)
- Halves’ Review – practice and deck creation (More on this next week!)
- SFX implemented, ambient BGM to be implemented, FX lookahead
- Friendship meter re-design (to make this consistent with the Integrity points system)