Cycle 3 Reflection

This semester has been a learning experience in so many ways. This course is the first real game making class that I have taken since high school so there has been a lot that was familiar and a lot that was foreign to me. Being able to write code in Visual Studio and then use it in the Unity environment was a new experience and I had experiences where it worked well for me at times and others where it wasn’t even close. I have a lot left to learn about this feature and many others in the Unity engine. I like to think I approached the learning with an open mind and worked with what I learned really well.

 

The dynamic of working in a group to design the ideas and concepts for the games was an interesting setup for me as I had never worked like this in a group. By having this group obviously communication was expected but the avenues that were available. If I had issues I could easily ask if my team mates had similar if not the exact same issues with their games and ask for help. This skill has certainly improved over the course of the semester.

 

When working on the assignments in this semester we had the group assignment aspects where we designed the games in groups and wrote documentation more individually. The most effective strategy for keeping track on what is needed and what each member has to complete for any given cycle was communicating. Talking to my group members lead me to be able to manage my time a lot more efficiently, I was able to set aside time to plan out and make my games on my own for the most part and then write the documentation or blog posts with them in the workshops I attended.

 

When working in a group the planning and working changes as other peoples grades and GPA essentially are in your hands. With this in mind when I work in a group I try and do my work ahead of time so that my group can comment and help improve things like documentation before its due so that we all get the best mark possible. Working in the classes is interesting with the tasks and having to split the work fairly, the course already organises the structure so that every member has to do all of the blog posts at some stage and so on which makes the dealing out even work very simple for us. Being honest with the group is more than just not lying to them its about respect as well. If you or a group member doesn’t respect the others it proves to be an issue and leads to work possibly being stolen, not to mention lazy writing and extremely late work uploads. The level of participation during workshops varies from week to week and studio member to member but on average everyone participates and puts in their two cents worth to help out, if there was an issue at any point the tutors are there to help in any way they can in case it is that bad. Overall working in a group is a huge benefit as the ability to get help from the people you trust and work with regularly is so powerful, it has been a good semester.

 

Alex Milne n9687157

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Play Test Report Cycle 3

To conduct the play test I had the testers play the game individually and then answer a questionnaire which has been detailed below with their answers to the questions.

 

Questions for the experienced gamer`s:

Goal 1:

Q1: Did the game run smoothly?

Q2: Was there any obvious bugs in the game where it broke or errors were encountered?

Q3: Did you find that the game performed well on your operating system?

Tester 1:

A1: Most of the aspects in the game ran smoothly, the jumping and movement seemed alright

A2: The only really obvious issue was when the player stopped walking before the animation was finished playing

A3: The game ran fine on my computers OS

 

Tester 2:

A1: The game ran well, no obvious glitches.

A2: Other than the walking animation for the player character there was no obvious errors

A3: The game ran smoothly on my operating system

 

 

 

 

 

Goal 2:

Q1: Did the player move smoothly through the level?

Q2: Was there any characters or player models that were broken, for example walked through walls or fell through the ground?

Q3: Did any parts of the map not line up and could you see out of the map?

Tester 1:

A1: The player itself ran smoothly, the movement system was effective

A2: As mentioned the walking animation was a bit broken but that was the only obvious issue

A3: The map was closed up efficiently, well designed.

 

Tester 2:

A1: The Player ran smoothly for the most part.

A2: One of the issues found was if the player jumped at the walls, they could get stuck on the walls if they tried hard enough.

A3: The map was designed alright, the diner was closed up and I could not see outside of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goal 3:

Q1: Were the textures on the characters working? Did they form properly around the characters?

Q2: Did the textures on the walls, floor and roof all align correctly?

Q3: Could you not any other design flaws in the game scene itself?

Tester 1:

A1: The textures worked efficiently around the player and the customers

A2: The textures on the walls and floors wrapped nicely

A3: I could not find any other obvious issues

Tester 2:

A1: The player and customer models seemed to be mostly flawless

A2: the floors and walls did not have any errors or unaligned textures

A3: there were no really clear mistakes that I could see

 

 

Questions for the Target Audience:

Goal 1:

Q1: Did you find the game enjoyable? Why?

Q2: What about the game did you enjoy the most?

Q3: How Immersing did you find the game to be?

Tester 3:

A1: While the game is quite clearly in its adolescence it was enjoyable.

A2: The time pressure aspect made the game feel slightly more intense

A3: As mentioned before the game is still very young in development so it was not incredibly addictive however the concepts are there.

 

Tester 4:

A1: The game was sort of enjoyable, could have been better though. It seemed unfinished

A2: The ideas behind the game I liked a lot

A3: I did not find myself losing track of time or getting too addicted to the game but I can see how it might be.

 

Goal 2:

Q1: Was there any aspects of the design you thought could be changed to improve the game?

Q2: Did you think that there are any improvements that could be made for the characters design or the food design?

Q3: Do you have any other suggestions for how the design of the map and the game could be improved?

 

Tester 3:

A1: The map design itself was reasonable, maybe some more colour in the overall game though

A2: I can see how more detail in the customers could improve the game

A3: Other than the customers detail and the added colour I don’t have a lot to add

 

Tester 4:

A1: The walls could have been improved a bit and diners usually have booths not just tables

A2: The meals themselves seemed alright however the player just kept doing the walking animation sometimes

A3: The kitchen could be improved by populating it more

 

Goal 3:

Q1: Do you have any ideas to improve the gameplay?

Q2: Is there any methods to enhance the game to make it more enjoyable and immersive?

Q3: Do you have any other suggestions to help advance the game?

 

Tester 3:

A1: The game itself and the mechanics behind it were a good idea, things like more visuals and more of a challenge would be a good improvement.

A2: if the game becomes more difficult I’m sure that the level of immersion will increase.

A3: The only suggestions I have are to make the game more difficult somehow, otherwise with more development it will be a good game.

 

Tester 4:

A1: If the waiter could hold the food they are delivering it would be really cool

A2: The game itself seemed a bit easy and you could deliver to the same table over and over so maybe have cooldown timers

A3: Make the game harder is the only improvement I have.

 

Overall analysis:

After having the play testers report back it seems very clear that because the game is still in very early development it has suffered however it is also clear that the play testers thought the concept behind the game was good. They provided constructive feedback on how to improve the games base mechanical aspects and the design involved on the outer layer of the game. After completing this playtest there is a lot left to work on but there is a very clear direction from here.

Cycle 2: PX Goals

In our initial talks as a studio we decided we wanted to have a first-person shooter that differed in its player experience from generic first person-person shooter games. We wanted a game that would test the player’s patience and force them to explore rather than a guns blazing, fast paced, linear progression.  We wanted a game that made the player choose how they went about player the game and setting their own goals outside of the pre-determined game objectives.

Our two favourite game ideas are an Alaskan wilderness hunting game and a sci-fi sewer exploration. The hunting game would take place in a large snowy area where the player would have to hunt a variety of animals to collect their pelts and survive. In the Sewer game the player will take control of a sewer repair worker who has been ordered to repair several problems in the sewer all while keeping themselves alive against the large mutant beings that call the sewer home.

We came up with separate PX goals for the two ideas as both have different elements that would make the game what it is.

Alaskan Hunter: accuracy, Analysing, predicting, anticipation

Sewer repair: surprise, Disgust, visual processing, speed

PX Goals similar across both: Fear, Reflexes, Stamina, experimenting

These PX goals will help create an experience provide many surprises for the players and force them to figure out how to achieve the goals in the game.

The PX goals are mainly physical and emotional based, like accuracy, anticipation, speed, reflexes, fear and disgust. There are a few cognitive and creative goals but as there is no player interaction with other characters there are no social based goals.

We selected these goals for two reasons. Some like accuracy and reflexes are standard across the fps genre but others like analysing, experimenting and visual processing help create and experience the put the player in charge of the game and let them decided how they want to play and what the best approach may be or allow them to play the game to their preferred play style.

Aidan Fuller – n9707581

Reflection Post

As a new Unity user and someone with only a semester or two of programming knowledge making my game was not an easy task. I found that my abilities were below what I was aiming to achieve when I was planning the game. The tutorials that guided me through the creation for a basic Shmup in 3d space in unity had a large impact on my final product. Otherwise I had to find new sources for my information from the internet and unity website tutorials in order to make boss scripts and the ability to have a start screen. My Game doesn’t increase the difficulty as you go because I couldn’t manage it on my own and the script for such a mechanic was not found that i could implement.

After creating this game in the few short weeks of the semester I found that the creation at this level was not incredibly tough however once the development begins to increase in level of difficulty that wouldn’t be the case I assume. Regardless of the level of difficulty however it was very enjoyable to make the game itself. I was working with the game engine and scripting which I found both challenging when things wouldn’t work and enjoyable when the did. I got a sense of triumph when the scripts didn’t have errors after writing them which I did enjoy. This has certainly had an impact on my idea of a career in game development.

In order to communicate with my team we used Facebook primarily to message between each other and talk about ideas we were having for our game design. Otherwise we spoke in person during our workshop periods. This was very useful as the ability to speak in person got more done in a shorter space of time. I found that aspect of the group communication quite useful, otherwise the group did not have to discuss a lot of information about our games as the majority of the work was individual.

As a gaming student with our stereotype I found myself cramming my work towards the end of my available time to create the assignment. I feel like I learnt a lot from my work or lack there of this cycle and I will definitely be changing my work ethic and habits for the next cycle. This way I can ask more questions when I encounter problems and fix my errors earlier on in the game development.

By creating this product I have possibly given a user somewhere a competitive challenge which has gotten them addicted to the game that I created and gave them a sense of life.

Activity 7 Play Test Report

Introduction

I conducted 3 tests using the play test plan from activity 6. The 3 people I tested where all experienced gamers 2 of whom where not part of this subject and one who was. All 3 had played SHMUP games before but it was not their genre of choice.

Observation Notes

Players all reached Game Over on the 1st or 2nd stage on their first run. However on their 2nd and 3rd run they mad it to stage 3 and 4 as they learn’t viable gameplay strategies.

Some Players experimented with different strategies to come up with the most effective one

One Player asked for the best way to play but I encouraged him to figure out how best to play.

All the Players wanted to keep Playing after the test had concluded.

By the conclusion of the test all players had achieved a majority of the PX goals.

Players exhibited a variety of emotions while playing that represented the emotional player goals outlined early in our plan

Players had to rely on reflexes and accuracy to succeed.

Players where confused as to what the boss was and how to defeat it.

Interview Questions and Answers

Q1) How engaged where you while playing?

Player 1 – Very, I was solely concentrated on surviving as long as possible

Player 2 – I had a good level of engagement enjoyed my time playing.

Player 3 – Completely engaged I don’t want to stop playing.

Q2) What kind of experience do you think this game provides?

Player 1 – A very fun one, it seems very simple but you want to keep playing and set higher and higher scores.

Player 2 – It seems fun but I don’t know if there is enough content in the game to keep playing for a long period of time.

Player 3 – A very Addictive one, I did not want to stop. I thought the sound track was very good to listen to and complemented the game well. It was challenging but It meant you wan’t to keep beating your previous performance.

Q3) What additions would you like to see in the game to add to your experience?

Player 1 – A larger variety of enemies.

Player 2 – A way to easily identify when you have been hit instead of having to constantly gaze to the top left of the screen to see your lives.

Player 3 – Perhaps a player guide to describe what the different things in the game are and what they do.

Key Findings Session Goal 1

The Players found the game engaging and addictive. They enjoyed there time playing and wanted to keep playing after the test session so they could beat there high score. I found this a good indicator of the level of enjoyment of the players, the fact that it was not a chore to play and that it is a game people want to play.

Key Findings Session Goal 2

The first play through for each person seemed to be a test play through where they discovered the game mechanics and how the game worked as well as basic strategies. On the Second and third play through it was clear that the players had learned from mistakes in the previous run and where applying what they learnt to get a higher score and a more successful outcome.

Key Findings Session Goal 3

The game uses patterns which allowed the players to analyse these to gain an advantage in the game. Players often experienced anger when they lost but that was followed immediately by joy if the beat their high score. Players where all very surprised when they first encountered the boss. Players with better reflexes and accuracy achieved better results so it is clear these are the necessary traits to do well in this game.

Recommendations for Improvement

Upon completing their tests the play testers offered some ideas that they believed would improve the game. I also have a few ideas that I could implement to improve the player experience.

Instruction Guide – A guide that is available on the main menu the describes basic features of the game and the controls.

Introduce more enemies – Included a larger array of enemies would keep the player engaged for longer as they face more challenges.

A way to know if you have been hit – Introduce a visual or sound queue to signify when the player has been hit and lost a life instead of just having to look at the lives counter.

Explosion effects – explosions when the enemies are destroyed as well as sounds just to help the game feel more real.

High Score Chart – Be able to Save High scores and view them.

 

Aidan Fuller – n9707581