Iteration and Completing the Final Build
While our public playtest was composed of a small sample size, the feedback that we received from players proved to be an invaluable addition to our own experiences with our public playtesting build, and we set up a prioritized list of tasks to complete over the weekend before our live demonstration in class.
To address concerns with the narrative and objectives, we set out to include the combinable scripts from our first puzzle prototype, record additional voiceover, introduce positional audio cues to draw the player’s attention to specific objects, change the lighting (both color and intensity) between each timeline, add more diverse and distinct objects and textures, and finally implement the trumpet melody that Alex had been working on that ties the thread of the narrative together thematically.
We also needed to work on the movement between timelines, because the objects that we were using to trigger the change (a birthday card, a record player, and a cabinet) were all objects that the player needed to interact with. After the playtesting session, it became clear that we needed to address this, so that people could interact with the objects without accidentally triggering a memory change. To solve this, we created images of each room from each time, and hid the images in picture frames that players can interact with should they choose to, and have a clearer idea of what they are doing.
And for issues with the interactions in virtual reality, we set out to make sure that every object in the game that should be interactive is, adjusted the colliders and weights for each object, and made sure that the experience was as stable as possible before release.
For our final demo, we wanted to make sure that there was a puzzle using interaction with the record player, that the objective was clearer, that people can move seamlessly between timelines, and that the game displays credits when the experience is complete. Some of these changes still need work (as people are still not figuring out how to move backwards in time on their own without help, and the record player puzzle broke in class when another record was placed on top) but they serve as a baseline for how we would like to add on to the project if we were to return to it in the future. For the most part, feedback in class was very positive.
And although we didn’t manage to accomplish every task we set out to do when making the final build, we are extremely proud of what we have managed to complete, and we couldn’t have done it without the expertise and effort of each member of our team.