On Sunday, we decided that it was time to expose our still buggy game to innocent strangers at a nearby cafe.
First, we spotted the waitress.
As you can see the waitress was quite grateful for the break and enjoyed playing the game saying that it was fun. Though she said that as a casual gamer she found that there were not enough hints for the timestamp and massacre modes so it took her a little while to get the hang of it. Once she got into it she said that there was a lack of action in the massacre mode (though one of our team members stated that this was due to the AI bugs as the game is not yet complete).
Then we saw another young woman who seemed like she needed a break from her studies. So we went over and her face lit up for the opportunity to procrastinate a little. She said that she thought that the circuit mode was very similar to Temple Run, but then she changed her mind. She also mentioned that it would help to have checkpoint notifications in Timestamp mode to know if you’ve reached the time limit and how to stay in the race. Also, the game started too suddenly for her and she didn’t get why. Also, similar to the waitress, she mentioned the lack of action and her need for speed…we think she just wanted to play the game for longer, but alas, her thesis on human trafficking was more important.
And of course, due to bugs, the game crashed and we had to wait a little while for our developer to fix it. In the meantime we spotted some dude who was reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. He was our next target.
He found it a little bit challenging initially, then he got really into it…at one point we were worried for the team iPad as he was going a little bit crazy with the swiping and shaking it. We found out that it was because he thought the afterburner wasn’t enough so he thought by tapping the screen continually, this would make it better. (We’ve decided to change this and make it unlimited with a refill time). In massacre mode he mentioned that it was taking too long to actually cast a spell as it was taking a while for the wizard to take out his wand. Then he said he wanted a custom made wizard and he wanted to name him/her. THEN he said the track is too narrow. AND THEN he said that he needed more direction/instructions…I don’t think he won any friends in us…though he has influenced us to change a few things.
A 9 year old girl approached us and asked if she could play too. Her first comment was that she didn’t like Annabelle’s style…she actually liked the bugs in the game as she thought they were fun…if only the rest of the world thought that way, gamedev would be so much easier. Her favourite thing was casting spells and she was almost as enthusiastic as the previous guy. The tunnel in timestamp mode was a little scary for her and she said it was the most difficult game she’d ever played…but then again her favourite game is Pet Shop Story.
So, we came to the conclusion that we are going to:
– Change hints in our existing loading pages
– Change some minor details in Annabelle’s style
– Continue working on the AI to increase action
– Create checkpoint notifications (even though we were going to anyways)