A month or so before our first foray into public speaking we decided distribute a super secret Alpha build of Prime’s Quest. The goal was to test the overall concept of the game along with being able to visualize different mechanics. This would hopefully allow us to gain perspective from those who had never played the game before.
Once again we fear that we had been developing too long with tunnel vision where mechanics and gameplay seemed intuitive to us but we had been basking in the game since December. So we gave out about 15 copies of the game to some other developers and friends along with a simple feedback loop and let them loose on it.
Note: There was no instruction on how to play the game implemented anywhere. (mainly because we were too lazy to create a tutorial level, but we also wanted to see where people get stuck)
Here’s what we found:
- Treasures without context, confused users. (this is something we had hypothesized which is why the next step in game development is creating unique ways to introduce all the mechanics and collectibles to the user
- People want a tutorial or explanation on how to play (this will be a challenge to ensure the user isn’t hindered by text)
- Timer and Moves counter were too Small (need to find a way to dedicate more real estate to the HUD)
- Using items was confusing (See Issue One)
- Doesn’t support zooming or scrolling (we decided against this due to them necessitating odd gestures that weren’t fun to play with)
- Hints to tell me I’m doing something wrong (games should give user some dynamic feedback to let them know they are doing something right. This one is particularly tricky due to the intricacies of the levels and how many different ways users can get stuck.)
I feel this was an extremely informative first test and I’d love to take the time out to thank everyone who contributed numerous hours playing the levels, filling out feedback and helping us make the best game we can!
(limited number of spots available)