Minigame 3 – Reflection Post – Steven MacHunter

Cycle 3 reflection:

1 – Aside from the pessimism displayed from the previous two cycles, I decided that this cycle I would have a greater overall mindset to approaching the development of this game. The tutorials were all very helpful in finding out how to use Unity’s animator functionality, allowing me to further use that skill in the development of the game.

2 – Throughout the semester I suppose I developed skills about how better to collaborate with my peers, though these lessons were already taught in previous courses.

3 – The best strategy I’ve used to best manage assisting my team is to just sit down for a day and do the work to it’s completion. Having someone by my side, making sure to do the work is also especially helpful, which I also assume is the same for my team.

4 – In working in a team based environment, it’s best to make sure that the one person doesn’t do the majourity of the work. Which, unfortunately, occurred during all three cycles, Connor did the majourity of the work on the game development, while William and I didn’t really show up for most of the sessions. Though at least I can say that I assisted even slightly with the completion of the activities. Having someone on the team who was not only competent at Unity but also able to do the work was incredibly helpful.

Cycle 3 – Mini Game 3: Reflection Post

  1. How you have approached learning new things and/or finding new information during the semester

As a third-year student who completed multiple QUT assessments in the past, I’ve approached learning new things by being open-minded when listening to the tutors and studying the information that was presented in the class activities. With finding new information, Gamemustra has been a useful source to understand concepts that was discussed during the semester. For relation to finding info about learning how to develop the three mini-games, I’ve used QUT’s tutorials, Unity forums and YouTube. In conclusion, I consider myself to be resourceful in learning new things while also finding out the information that is needed to fully understand on how to be successful in this group assessment.

  1. What additional, non-technical skills you’ve developed during the semester

There have been numerous non-technical skills that I’ve developed during this semester when attending QUT’s IGB100 Mini-Game Development subject. Firstly, team communication is important during the design process, each team member has to clearly communicate their design ideas to their teammates through an explicit explanation. If this is not achieved then the rest of the team will not properly understand you design idea which will cause a mix-up. Secondly, task prioritization and self-management is key to making sure the necessary work is completed. Lastly, in this team-based environment I’ve learned to improve my action in making important decisions while also finding out what’s happening within the team regards to game project by making sure I continually communicate with my team mates.

  1. The most effective strategies you used for managing individual and team activities

The most effective strategies I’ve used for managing individual and team activities is to have a clear voice within the team, allow each team member to communicate their ideas and make sure everyone understands their tasks. In other words, team communication and task prioritization is important to achieve success. Moreover, a well-organized team can be achieved by making sure everyone completes the allocated tasks that was given to them while also providing assistance to them. Furthermore, I’ve found having a constant online chat window is also vital to talk about the project’s progress. All things considered, the best strategies to use for managing individual and team activities is shared team.

  1. The ethical responsibilities associated with working in a team-based environment. Areas to consider could include: justice (fair work practices); responsibility (specifying tasks, completing activities); honesty (avoiding deception); and reasonableness (level of participation, reaching consensus).

During this semester, I’ve experienced a few hardships in this team-based environment as my team members didn’t always show up to class activities and while one member didn’t always communicate to the rest of the team about the project. As a hard-working team member, I’ve taken responsibility in completing my tasks and given a high level of participation in activities. Overall, each team member has mostly completed the work that was set upon them but as a team we’ve could have improved our communication and the task allocation in the team-based environment.

Activity 7: Playtest Reports

Play tester 1: Indigo Thomas (Confidant – Persona of Sally)

Observation Notes

  • Found the controls easy to use
  • Understood how the HUD (Health system) works
  • Liked the game soundscape
  • Commented on the beauty of the art style

Player Stories for this Playtester

“Playing as a Knight, I will use my “Rusty Sword” to hit the enemies to kill them.

  • Playtester targeted enemies – used the character’s sword to kill enemies
  • Understood the sword – a tool to kill enemies
  • Waited for the perfect opportunity to attack the enemy (avoiding damage)

Survey Responses

  1. Gameplay (Fun factor out of 1 to 10)

8/10

  1. Difficulty (Easy or Hard)

Easy

  1. Controls (Simple or Difficult)

Simple

  1. Navigable UI? (Yes or No)

Yes

Interview Responses

  1. Overall, what were your thoughts about the game?

It was a fun but short playthrough. As a prototype, it’s a good game but has the potential to be even better. I would love to see a fully-fledged version of this game.

  1. Were you able to learn to play quickly?

Pretty much I knew how to play the game straight away

  1. What is the objective of the game?

Reach from one end to another end of the level. Defeat foes and dodge obstacles. Try not to fall into the pitfalls or the spikes.

  1. Is there anything that you did not like about the game? If so, what?

Animation looked a bit strange at times. Some colliders in the levels were difficult to jump over.

  1. Was anything confusing?

No

Key findings for each PX

Goal 1: Level of Player Engagement & Fun

Overall, this found the game engaging and entertaining during her playthrough. After completing the game once, she desired for additional content. As there can’t be any further updates on the prototype, she decided to play the game again and treat it as a speed run.

Goal 2: Game Difficulty (Simple or Difficult)

The game’s difficulty was simple enough for the playtester in this session. Yet, there were some technical issues which provided a challenge for the player. These are mostly bugs which could be fixed if the project was given more time to be worked on. Most of these were level colliders, player & enemy animations issues. For example, the player is allowed to use double jump in the Unity editor but for some reason, this mechanic doesn’t work in the build version of the game.

Goal 3: Player Controls & UI Navigation

The player tester found the controls easy enough to use but the game’s difficulty was raised as the player couldn’t use the double jump mechanic. With the UI navigation, she had no issues with it and could easily navigate through it.

List of recommendations for improvement

  • Improve animations, fix double jump bug and colliders
  • Ability to parry or block
  • Damage indicator on the enemies
  • Switchable characters

Play tester 2: Connor Burton (Confidant)

Observation Notes

  • Learned how to use the controls quickly
  • Found the soundscape catchy
  • Found the enemies’ difficulty easy

Player Stories for this Playtester

“As a player, I will use the character’s boots to jump over the spikes to avoid getting hurt.”

  • Playtester used the character to jump over the spikes
  • Knew what the spikes would if he came in contact with them
  • Made sure to jump over the spikes to avoid damage

Survey Responses

  1. Gameplay (Fun factor out of 1 to 10)

7

  1. Difficulty (Easy or Hard)

Easy

  1. Controls (Simple or Difficult)

Simple

  1. Navigable UI? (Yes or No)

Yes

Interview Responses

  1. Overall, what were your thoughts about the game?

An entertaining 2D side scrolling platformer with interesting game mechanics.

  1. Were you able to learn to play quickly?

Yeah, I had no problems with learning how to play the game.

  1. What is the objective of the game?

Jump over obstacles & spikes, dodge or attack enemies while trying to reach the end of the level.

  1. Is there anything that you did not like about the game? If so, what?

Character animation needs additional polishing.

  1. Was anything confusing?

No

Key findings for each PX

Goal 1: Level of Player Engagement & Fun

Connor Burton found the game enjoyable and played it for a decent amount of time. Moreover, he played the game twice as he also wanted to see how fast he could complete the game.

Goal 2: Game Difficulty (Simple or Difficult)

Generally, the game’s difficulty was simple but there were times where it became difficult as there were numerous bugs which effected his playthrough. As previously stated in the previous playtester report, these bugs came from the level’s colliders and animation issues which stopped the player from using the double jump mechanic.

Goal 3: Player Controls & UI Navigation

All things considered, the player controls are simple but not without any problems while the UI navigation didn’t have any issues.

List of recommendations for improvement

  • Fix player animations and level colliders
  • Health bar for the enemies
  • More player weapons
  • Player health pickups

Play tester 3: Liam Trevor (Non-Confidant)

Observation Notes

  • Learned how to jump and attack
  • Tested the spikes to see if they would cause damage
  • Found the enemies easy to kill

Player Stories for this Playtester

“As a player, I will use the character’s boots to jump on the platform to dodge enemies.”

  • Liam Trevor learned to jump on platform in order to dodge enemies
  • In doing so he would avoid a confrontation with the enemies
  • Moreover, this playtester lowered the chance of receiving damage during his playthrough

Survey Responses

  1. Gameplay (Fun factor out of 1 to 10)

7

  1. Difficulty (Easy or Hard)

Easy

  1. Controls (Simple or Difficult)

Simple

  1. Navigable UI? (Yes or No)

Yes

Interview Responses

  1. Overall, what were your thoughts about the game?

Very entertaining but still needs a lot of work. It has the potential to be a really good if it was made into a fully-fledged game.

  1. Were you able to learn to play quickly?

Yes

  1. What is the objective of the game?

Beat the level by jumping over obstacles and defeating enemies.

  1. Is there anything that you did not like about the game? If so, what?

I was able to walk behind the enemies without them noticing. Character animation needs some fixing.

  1. Was anything confusing?

No

Key findings for each PX

Goal 1: Level of Player Engagement & Fun

For this playtester, the level of player engagement and fun was apparent during his playthrough. It was high as he found enjoyment in attacking enemies and attempting to jump over the spikes.

Goal 2: Game Difficulty (Simple or Difficult)

The game’s difficulty was simple enough for the player in this playtest session. Similar to the previous playtester reports, the player found the level challenging as it suggests to the player to use the double jump mechanic. With this in mind, the completion of the level is still achievable but it’s difficult to do.

Goal 3: Player Controls & UI Navigation

In conclusion, the player controls are easy to use but the level in the game was challenging as the player couldn’t use the double jump. As usual the player understood how the UI navigation worked.

List of recommendations for improvement

  • Similar to Indigo Thomas’ suggestion for improvement: Parrying & Blocking
  • Improve animations and level colliders
  • Damage indicator for the player and enemies

Play tester 4: Lyn Collier (Non-Confidant)

Observation Notes

  • Understood how to use the controls
  • Likes the music, art style and combat
  • Didn’t notice the health HUD straight away
  • Found it hard to escape the spikes after falling into them

Player Stories for this Playtester

“As a player, I will use the character’s legs to walk through the level so I can win the game.”

  • The playertester understood on how to use the controls in the game
  • Move the character to reach the end of the level so she could win the game

Survey Responses

  1. Gameplay (Fun factor out of 1 to 10)

8

  1. Difficulty (Easy or Hard)

Easy

  1. Controls (Simple or Difficult)

Simple

  1. Navigable UI? (Yes or No)

Yes

Interview Responses

  1. Overall, what were your thoughts about the game?

An entertaining and cute platformer. Really liked the art style and the combat.

  1. Were you able to learn to play quickly?

Yes, I learned how to use the controls quickly.

  1. What is the objective of the game?

Your main objective is to reach the end of the level while dodging enemies and jumping over obstacles.

  1. Is there anything that you did not like about the game? If so, what?

At times, I found it difficult to reach the top of an area in the level. It would be a good idea to improve the mesh and the colliders in the level.

  1. Was anything confusing?

No

Key findings for each PX

Goal 1: Level of Player Engagement & Fun

Overall, Lyn Collier found the game entertaining and wanted to continue playing it with new content (weapons, enemies, levels, etc.). For most games, there is always room for improvement and this playtester had plenty of suggestions for making the game even better.

Goal 2: Game Difficulty (Simple or Difficult)

As previously shown in the other playtest sessions, the game’s difficulty in the objectives was easy but the player controls were difficult at times during particular sections in the level as the player found it hard to jump at specific spots.

Goal 3: Player Controls & UI Navigation

Lyn Collier found the player controls and the UI navigation easy to use. Yet, if there was additional time given to the project then the numerous bugs with the player controls and animations would of have been fixed which would of have gotten rid of the undeliberate difficult parts of the game.

List of recommendations for improvement

  • More songs to listen to and adding sound effects
  • More player health or health pickups
  • Fix current game bugs
  • More environmental hazards
  • New levels; jungle, lava biome, ice biome, etc.

Summary of the Playtest Sessions

In the end, the playtest sessions were successful as they reached the requirement that was listed in the playtest plan and all of the collected data provided useful information on how to improve the current version of the game prototype.

 

Minigame2 – Reflection

Reflection for the Week 8 submission of the second minigame development cycle.

1 – Player stories and player goals, I find, do not assist me in the development of the game in anyway, really, they were churned out at my great displeasure, and forgotten about immediately. The biggest thing that I found aiding me in the creation of my game prototype was the narrowing down of ideas in needing to choose a ‘local news story’. The ideas forming around the need to run from a cyclone, aided incredibly in the development of the basics of my own prototype.

2 – Not much was learned about the other majors, specifically because we had to develop individual prototypes on our own. From what we’ve discussed in class however, having someone available to teach Unity is incredibly valuable.

3 – The most satisfying part of developing the game prototype was figuring out how exactly to make the boxes push the player around, using RigidBodies to make those physics objects tumble around is incredibly satisfying.

4 – I mean, there are plenty of ‘sensitivity’ conundrums to developing a game based on current events, especially considering the presence of such news stories such as, “4 Police Officers Decapitated”, and “14 Die in Night Club Shooting”. It might be very insensitive to design a game based on something like this.

Activity 8 – Reflection

Activity 8 – Reflection

Professional Development and practice

How well your skills matched the tasks required?

My skills matched well due to my past experience that was detailed in the previous project.

What kind of knowledge and kills did you have to develop?

Furthering my Unity knowledge was the largest part of this project. However, at the end of the project period, I lost my work because i had a hard drive failure and was unaware of the cloud feature.

Working in a team

How you managed communication with your team?

Even though life threw its problems and surprises my way each week, I tried to make to as many of the workshops as I could. The other 2 members of my group put in the hard yards of coming up with the initial ideas and planning for the game because i was unfortunate enough not to be able to make it on the first week of this development

Working independently

The effectiveness of your work habits?

To be honest, I have poor work habits. I usually put leisure before uni work, however, I did try my best to work on this piece of assessment as much as possible. I have a much greater mentality when working in a group however because I have people relying on me and I am not the type of person who enjoys dragging others down due to my laziness.

Ethical Considerations

How the product you’ve created might enhance quality of life?

Just like almost every game ever, this game can help improve fine motor skills such as coordination. You need to be quick with your movements in this game so you end up learning to react quickly to what is happening in front of you. A small game like this can also improve happiness. It can do this by adding a small amount of competition with friends that you can play against. It can also be a good way to relieve stress and anger.

Activity 7 – Playtest Report

Playtesters:

Riley Meara

Justin Vander Walt

Mitchell Howard

Information gained via watching the testers:

  • This is a type of game that is better suited for play with a controller
  • The end goal wasn’t clearly defined
    • I was asked a couple times what it was
  • Testers were able to just start playing without having to look up controls
  • Even though there isn’t much UI, the testers were able to navigate it easily

Gameplay Scores Rate/10

Riley

  • Gameplay

7/10

  • Game Difficulty(Game Balance)

5/10

  • Controls

5/10

  • User Interface(UI)

7/10

Justin

  • Gameplay

5/10

  • Game Difficulty(Game Balance)

6/10

  • Controls

7/10

  • User Interface(UI)

6.5/10

Mitchell

  • Gameplay

8/10

  • Game Difficulty(Game Balance)

5/10

  • Controls

7.5/10

  • User Interface(UI)

6.5/10

Q&A

Riley

  • Overall Thoughts?

Good game idea

Very stressful and enjoyable

  • Pickup Ability?

Easy controls and layout

Similar to other games so general idea is pre known

  • Anything Dislikable?

End result isn’t well known until you finish/lose

Mitchell

  • Overall Thoughts?

Good different concept

Like the improvements on games like crazy taxi

  • Pickup Ability?

Similar controls to old arcade games so easily picked up

  • Anything Dislikable?

The type of movement is much more suited to using an analog controller

Justin

  • Overall Thoughts?

Interesting concept. Could have a lot more stuff added though. It’s just missing something.

  • Pickup Ability?

Very easily picked up and played the first time

  • Anything Dislikable?

Other than things that would be improved with time, the addition of something extra would make the game more interesting. Like power ups like time stop or extra speed.

Recommendations

They all mentioned that smoother animations and better graphics would vastly improve the game, however, they did understand the level of skill and time I had.

Riley

  • Add the a minimap

Justin

  • Add more obstacles

Mitchell

  • Add controller compatibility
    • With the free movement it would feel better being able to play with an analog controller

 

Cycle 2 – Mini Game 2 – Reflection Post

  1. What did you learn about professional development by going through the design process?

Firstly, I learned that team communication is important when going through the design process. In any team, each person has to be able to properly communicate their design ideas to their teammates through an explicit explanation. If this is not achieved then teammates will not properly understand your design idea which will cause a mix-up. Secondly, I’ve had previous experience with this problem but coming up with an interesting concept requires time and continuous amount of brainstorming. Furthermore, this concept will change through multiple iterations until the design idea is solid.

  1. What did you learn about the other majors in the degree by working in mixed teams?

As previously stated in the Cycle 1: Reflection Post, I’m a third-year student who has already designed multiple game projects in the degree and as a hobby. Furthermore, I’ve networked with other students who do other majors in the degree. At the moment, I haven’t learned anything new in this subject about the other majors in the degree as I already have past experience in those areas.

  1. What did you implement in your own individual work that you found the most satisfying?

The most satisfaction that I received when implementing my own individual work would be programming and level designing in the Unity project. It is apparent that I find enjoyment in the practical side of work instead of theory but again I have to remind myself that documentation is key to having a successful assessment. Furthermore, I feel relief when fixing an irritating bug that would continually haunt my game project until I found a way to get rid of it.

  1. Do you think that there are any ethical issues attached to designing a First-Person Experience inspired by recent events?

Personally, I don’t have a lot of ethical issues attached when designing a First-Person experience and I can’t think of any recent events that would alter my stance. Yet, as a designer you’ve to figure out your target audience. For example, when designing a game like Doom then I would create it for an older age group as they can handle realistic killing in a fictional setting. Moreover, a First-Person experience can be different from a Third-Person experience. With the game’s camera set in a first-person perspective, the player feels close up to the game while also having the feeling of taking over the character’s shoes. If I had to design a First-Person game for a younger audience, then I would make a game like Overwatch as the graphics are cartoon and doesn’t contain realistic violence.