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.

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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.