Playtesting Phorkys

For this week’s challenge, run a QA test and playtest of your game:

  1. Test your game extensively and log all bugs you find.
  2. Prioritise bugs and fix any that will interfere with a playtest.
  3. Distribute your game to playtesters, along with a survey to record their experiences. Advice on creating a survey can be found here (Links to an external site.).
  4. Based on player feedback, improve your game.

You can repeat this process as many times as you feel necessary between now and the assignment hand-in date.

Testing Phorkys for bugs

A playtest carried out by myself revealed the following bugs

  • Start/Restart/Exit is not working
  • Forcefield is not working
  • Not all Jellyfish are singing
  • No recognition you picked up a forcefield
  • Seaweed not parrallaxing
  • Not all NPC jellyfish robots make a sound – heal is not working
  • Left = Right, Right = Left :/ Oops!
  • Add light to the forest

Early Release

Prior to release I am aware the following issues:

  • Start/Game Over/Win Screens are basic
  • Basic UI (especially health bar system)
  • Not all artwork has been added
  • Dialogue is in the first iteration and needs work

Distrubiting my game for playtesting

I asked a selection of ages to playtest Phorkys in advance of preparing my survey. Largely these were friends of friends.

Writing a short survey

To keep players engaged in the survey I decided to keep the questions short and present qualitive and quantiive data questions to analyse.

Qualitive

  1. What did you like most about the game you’ve just played?
  2. What was most frustrating about your experience?
  3. Where did you feel confused/ lost about what you should be doing?
  4. What do you like most and least about the character Phorkys?
  5. Was there anything you wanted to do that you couldn’t?
  6. If you had a magic wand to wave, and you could change, add, or remove anything from the experience, what would it be?
  7. What were you doing in the experience?
  8. How would you describe this game to your friends and family?

Quantitive

On a scale of one to five, how much did you

  1. Enjoy the visual aesthetics?
  2. Feel immersed into the world?
  3. Like the character Phorkys?
  4. Find the sound and atmosphere added to the game?

Would you be happy to discuss the game you’ve just played and your answers in a 10-minute chat on Zoom? If so please email me at [email protected]

I plan to carry out one or two 1 on 1 interview over the next week, so I can explore in-depth feedback on my game.

Feedback

Using feedback

Over two weeks I have completed 2 playtests. John Payce (Senior Gameplay Programmer at Jagex) advice on accepting feedback to become a better developer applied to this weeks task.

Generally my target audience, young adults enjoyed “spinning in circles” and playing Phorkys, the tiny shrimp robot on his journey to primordial sea-god.

“Cute character, tension/suspense, controls were easy to pickup and fluid”

“I like the style, I didn’t like the floatiness that he felt”

The survey responses returned a plethora of suggestions for game improvement, with the general consensus being that more interactivity is needed. I have struggled with the programming element of things. I plan to add some more interaction after fixing major issues. My favourite suggestion came from my target audience when asked if there’s anything you’d like to do that you couldn’t…

“Eat things and get bigger.”

Age 7 to 11, as quoted by his mum.

My first playtest has shown a consensus that:

  1. A reminder for the controls would be useful
  2. The player didn’t know where to go, what to do
  3. The forcefield was too hard to find
  4. There were some bugs with controls and forcefield

I added further dialogue, explaining how to obtain the forcefield. I moved the forcefield position, so it was far easier to find. I also added a healing element, so the jellyfish robots can heal the character.

My second playtest

  1. The objective is still not clear and there is not enough back story
  2. The forcefield is too easy/too hard to obtain
  3. The UI like health and interactivity is not clear
  4. Players are finding the forcefield and completing the game but there are still issues with confusion from the start.
  5. The Level Design has issues, and finding your way isn’t clear. The improved level design would help show your objective and save confusion, i.e follow the pink flowers to the entrance, have all black objects as blocks you can’t move past.
  6. Lights could be brighter

Reflection

  • The survey could have been a touch longer.
  • Fellow student Nick Gackowski had a selection of interesting demographic questions which I wish I had included in my survey, like hours of gameplay, type of games etc.
  • Send survey as soon as possible, people are slow