Ben and Jade conducted our first public playtest on campus, outside of the Tabletop Gaming student society at Goldsmiths with 6 participants from a mixture of different ages, genders and ethnicities as well as levels of VR experience and knowledge.
Prior to the playtest, we discussed how we would make the playtest fair, precise and as enjoyable as possible for each player. Initially, we thought we would run a full playtest where the player would experience the whole game. We then realised that conducting a playtest such as this would take too long, and we wouldn’t be able to get as many players to test it. Additionally, we thought that this would be too difficult for inexperienced players, and therefore would impact our final results negatively. We eventually agreed to run a short playtest, in which after the players found all the trumpet pieces, the game would present a “Normal for Norman? Thanks for Playing!” screen.
The playtest was done in 5 stages – Introduction, Playtest, Interview, Feedback form and finally the Debrief. We began the process by asking each player to come out one by one, to ensure accuracy in our results. They were asked to sign a consent form for the purposes of studying video footage captured during the playtest, and were given a brief introduction that didn’t give the solution to the players. We recorded both screen capture and external footage from a GoPro camera.
After the experience, players were interviewed in a separate area, and were asked to fill out an online feedback form before being taken into a separate room for a debrief on the full narrative of the experience.
We broke the feedback questions into different categories that were graded using a Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5 (1 being extreme dislike, and 5 being extreme like of the item in question) that included Comfort, Game Design and Controls, Accessibility, and Recommendations.
A summary of the reactions from both qualitative and quantitative results will be included here, and the full results can be found in the Appendix of this report.
The top recommendation was to make the objectives clearer to users. Two participants scored the objectives as unclear, two were indifferent / unsure and the remaining two thought the objectives were clear. Additionally, many playtesters said that they had a different idea of the narrative than we had intended. This led us to believe that we had to make significant additions to improve the experience before release.
Other feedback about colour scheme and lighting was taken into consideration because we want to make this an accessible and enjoyable experience for all. This includes people with sensory related impairments, as this may impact on their ability to use the application effectively. Other feedback about how items not being interactive and certain objects not doing what they would do in real life, (e.g. the vinyl player not working, etc) were negatively impacting the experience, gave us the knowledge we needed to work towards making the experience more credible.