Major Project #9 - game testing and user feedback
Aktualizacja: maj 26
At this point, I finished coding most of the basic elements for the game and I'm working on the graphics and overall visual experience. Just like with any other project, testing and user feedback is important at the early stages and throughout the whole process of the development. With games, testing is a key to success. "Delivering an end product with bugs will lead to criticism from the end users since it ruins their experience which in turn can lead to a significant reduction in unit sales." Even though user testing sessions are something I've done before, I have never actually conducted them strictly for game design so I started by doing research on different game testing techniques to get a better idea of what I should prepare.
Functionality testing - the tester plays the game while keeping an eye on any bugs and errors within the game or in the user interface;
Compatibility testing - testing whether the game will function within the hardware requirements set;
Regression testing - testing is used when a bug has been found and fixed. Developers use regression testing to see if the bug has been fixed. Secondly, this type of testing is used to find out whether new bugs have been popped up with the introduction of new features;
Play testing - a select group of players is selected to play the unfinished version of the game. This test is to gain a better understanding of what the public’s perception of the game might be;
User Interface testing - the main focus of UI testing is both the graphical elements and content types;
Feature testing - verification of the games’ features, mechanics (can also include the storyline).
Of course, there are so many more techniques I didn't mention here but I feel like because I only create a simple 2D game and I'm not going to ask anyone to test the code and find bugs there - these should be enough. Considering the stage my game is at, I will probably go for functionality, play, UI and feature testing. Ideally, I'd prefer to conduct these user testing sessions in person to be able to see players and observe their gameplay, but unfortunately taking into account the current situation, I will have to do it remotely.
My approach will be very simple, but I hope to gather some useful information. Because my project is created in Unity, I will save it and upload it on Netlify so that the players will be able to play using just a web browser. I do realize that my game is quite short for now because I still didn't implement all the graphics but it includes all the mechanics and elements that will simply be repeated in random order in the next stages. I also thought it would be a good idea to get feedback only on the storytelling part (as the game is not finished yet, players won't be able to comment on that while playing the demo version) but this one I would send to a slightly different and wider audience - including storytelling-enthusiast as well as book and literature lovers.
To gather the feedback, I will use a simple Google Form. To measure the visual side of the game, game controllers, any occurring bugs/errors, and overall experience I came up with a short survey that consists of a mix of open and closed questions. For the narrative and measuring the storytelling aspect, I will create a second google form that will be focused on text analysis. Doing it as a free-to-write open question I will give people the freedom to express their thoughts and opinions on my narrative. In here, I will also include the emotional change curve to visualize better my thought process.
Taking into account my target audience I defined in one of my previous, I sent the game and a link to the first survey to gamers, mythology and folklore enthusiasts and fantasy-geeks. The second one was sent to people who have less experience with a gaming industry but rather are more interested in literature. My main goal was to get as many responses as I could for the first part of my testing stage (functionality, mechanics and visuals) as the second one is very subjective.
The first feedback I got was pretty obvious, as I already knew what works and what doesn't but it was still really good to see that the game is playable-ish. Ladders don't work at all, push-and-pull script glitches so that people had to kill the character first to push the box out of the ledge. I got overall positive feedback about the graphics and people liked the aesthetic. Most of them mentioned there should be more elements in the game, which I will implement in the later stage.
* While running and changing the character 'R', the run-animation is still on.
* Double jump is not possible from the push-and-pull boxes.
* Player is still attached to the box when they press 'Space' so they both fall down.
Canossa, A. and Drachen, A., 2013.Game Analytics: Maximizing The Value Of Player Data.