User Feedback to Prototype 1
We tested our prototype at the Game Jam as well as after, with friends and acquaintances. What we realized after testing was that our game due to its mechanics and subject matter is more suited for a slightly mature audience, ages 20 and up, and is most definitely not a kid friendly game. We got a lot of useful feedback in terms of what worked with this prototype and what didn't.
- There was no sense of completion or ending after finishing the game. Our players were left feeling hollow,(which was what we wanted) but, they did not feel accomplished after going through the game and finishing it.
- The openness of the narrative and mechanics led to a lot of confusion. Since the narrative flow depended mostly on the player's choice, the players were unsure if what they were picking was right or wrong.
- There was very little player interactivity and activity. The player would simply follow the clues to the next card, read it and follow the next set of clues. The only other interaction was in the viewing of the digital media.
- Players sought patterns among dates and through the progression of events over a period of time and tried to recreate the activities of our protagonist over that period of time. This was interesting because the progression of events over a certain period of months was not something that we had consciously tried to allude to.
- The open- choice mechanics of the game worked better in a multiplayer setting than in a single player setting. Players could talk to each other, debate over the next step and validate their decisions. In a single player game play, there was no such conversation and validation available to the player and he/she was left very unsure and uncertain.
- The player's role in the narrative and what they were trying to achieve was very unclear despite being specified to the player. The player's wanted more to do in the game.
The user feedback prompted us to think about what would interest our players and motivate them to play the game and also ask ourselves questions that would help us really flesh out the game and add more depth to it. What is our player's role in the game? Who is our player to the protagonist? How does the player's relationship to the character influence game play and their own intent? How do we monitor game play? What motivates our player in the game? Is that motivation enough for the player to feel a sense of achievement?
All these questions led us to determine the elements that we would like to concentrate on and evaluate for the next version of our concept: puzzle-solving (written codes and ciphers) as a mechanic, reworking a single player game play with a specified player role, clarity of narrative, and presentation of the multi-media elements to match the narrative.
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