Aquasition – Dev Diary Part 5 – 1st Public User Test Session

On Monday the 25th I had people play the prototype for Aquasition for the first time. This public test session has been very informative and helpful as far as feedback. It has definitely made a few things very clear to me.

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It seems that everybody who played the game immediately went back to get the items when they are dropped by their character. This is good because it means that players are entering the game with the perspective I thought and hoped they would. However, they struggled to come to any realisation of what the game was about or if there was a goal besides just collecting things and getting bigger. From the feedback I got it seems this was due to a variety of issues such as the rate at which the player slows down and the lack of visual feedback showing any negative effects of collecting in the game. So, all I need to do now is try my best to implement changes and visual assets that persuade players to change their minds on gathering collectibles in the game. After that, I will just need to work on finding a good balance as far as timing for this change in perspective and the subtlety of the elements of the game that encourage it.

General feedback from players after they finished with the prototype seemed to revolve around the visuals and how they could be used to push players more naturally towards the perspective I want them to take to conclude the game.

After our talk from Emma Reay, I found myself thinking about my intended ending for my game. She mentioned critical making and how we can explore topics and concepts through creating works. An example she mentioned was ‘The Stanley Parable’ and how it provides opportunities for the player to explore its ideas and find their own endings. It doesn’t tell the player what is right and wrong and provides a response to all their choices. I was thinking maybe my game would benefit from an ending that occurs in the instance the player never changes their perspective. This ending would be closure for the game experience but it should hint at the possibility of another ending.