Cycle 3 Activity 7 – Joel Aldridge Playtests

The method of playtesting selected for this task was based on observation with the testers asked to verbally communicate any good or bad aspects they came across while playing. 3 tests were conducted starting with a colleague to fix any problems from a game design perspective then an experienced player to improve gameplay before testing the game with someone close to the prescribed target audience to find any target audience specific improvements.

The playtests were conducted with a clear goal of understanding faults within objectives and goals, visual design and player controls and interactions.

After each testing sessions notes were made on improvements that could be implemented based on the testers performance and comments.

The following improvements were made based on playtest sessions:

  1. Added a green cloud to the top and bottom boundaries of the game to simulate a gas cloud and give a visual warning and reason when the player dies from touching either boundary. Removed option to restart the current level as this could allow players to die intentionally until the random level generation produced a level they could easily complete without any challenge. The random platforms order was adjusted so more challenging combinations of platform orders were less frequent.
  2. Menu was simplified to only explain the core gameplay elements. The random platforms were again adjusted. The number of levels within the game was reduced from 5 to 3. A new mortar platform was added to increase variability of every play session.
  3. Random platform generation was again altered this time every platform was adjusted for the possibility of it being placed next to every other type of platform to remove all unwinnable scenarios.

Links to the notes produced from each playtest are found below.

Playtest 1 – Colleague

Playtest 2 – Experienced Player

Playtest 3 – Target audience member