Game loop is technically complete, there is a basic tutorial for both the main character menu screen and the first level of the game. I need to complete the tutorial mechanics (making some units free for some amount of time) and fix the dialogue. At the moment, the game is technically as complete as I originally wanted it to be (on paper, when I first started), which means there is still much to do to make the game interesting, fun and actually playable.
I am still having difficulty keeping on going, but I am trying, one of the hardest aspects of this project has been trying to stay active and interested after spending so long on one thing. I am trying to branch out and do more different tasks, but there is only so much I can focus on, before I realise it’s still the same project, and just different flavours of the same soup.
This week I have had to put together a set of testing requirements, there are 3 types of testing I will be doing; Functionality Testing, Gameplay Testing and Player Response Testing. Functionality Testing is all about making sure the game does what it is supposed to do. For this I’m focusing on using the people in the class, as they have a basic idea of what the game is meant to be doing and have an idea of why it isn’t when they see what the game is doing. I won’t be taking detailed notes for this, these are rapid fire tests, asking if they can break it and then how it was broken, I have and will be mostly used my Trello board to take these notes with a simple, understandable sentence of Fix X or Add Y, or Implement Walls etc. normal things.
Gameplay Testing is a little more involved, but there are fewer questions, this one boils down to; “Was this fun? What do you think the major issues with the game were?”. This testing I will be using people who have played lot’s of games, but not people who have been working around me recently, lecturers and other game students are my first priority with this testing, for the reliable feedback and honest opinions. I will be taking some notes for this, some will end up on the Trello board like the lack of camera zooming that is really more of a quality of life feature than a real functionality issue, but is still a whole feature. The other issues will be added to a balancing and bug list, as that is most of what these will boil down to if they are not a full feature.
Finally, Player Response Testing is the most difficult set, with one main goal being does the game do what I, ultimately, want it to do? Does it make the player feel/learn the things I want them to feel/learn? This will be a more complicated set of tests with much greater room for false positives. The players may be already feeling that way, or may not generally get to that point, or I may end up preaching to a metaphorical choir. The first issue is really nailing how I want to make the player feel, something that is hard to define when I mostly want to get ideas across and have players learn something, rather than experience something. I mostly want players coming out of the game to feel more appreciation for their bodies and how hard they work for us and I would like for them to gain an appreciation for the benefits of vaccinations. I mostly want them to learn, generally, how the Immune System works, as a basic understanding of these things would benefit everybody, a higher level of scientific literacy towards these things would help with at least some of the misinformation that is out there now.
These final testing will be done with Google Surveys and the results will be added to the GDD under the Testing Section, which will be posted here along with the game, once it is complete.
I need to get the tutorial complete, testing will require players who can’t sit and ask me questions, nor will I be able to sit behind them with helpful hints. The tutorial needs to be much more in depth or the game needs to be more intuitive, at the moment it is confusing as to why you would do certain things, or even that these things are possible.
One major frustration/concern is my animators; I am having difficulty getting them to get animations to me, none of them have sent me any complete works yet and I am starting to get worried. If they take too much longer I may need to make some animations myself, and I really don’t have time for that. I am going to approach them this week, give them a final deadline on certain things and try to get them to actually finish something.
- Finish Tutorial
- Get in touch with animators
- Fix the bugs I have been finding
There isn’t much to show at this point, just incremental progress, things don’t look too different and there aren’t any major additions. At this point, I need to keep pushing through, so that is what I will be doing.