Recently, my team and I held a playtseting session for our upcoming game Dyadic. This session, as most others do, featured several people coming through, playing our game, and answering some questions based on their experience. But questionnaires can only yield so much data (particularly when as poorly written as ours), so our playtesters were recorded as well. From this, we were able to gain a considerable amount of insight into where our game needed to be improved, and such improvements are already underway.
First and foremost, jumping. Dear god, it was terrible. The amount of difficulty and frustration players had trying to navigate throughout the level was far more than I could have imagined. One reason this was missed, was because having put together the levels myself, not only was I primarily focused on the puzzles, but I was also already familiar with how the jumping worked. As such, I was able to find all the ‘sweet-spots’ for jumping from platform to platform.
As for the issue with the jumping itself, the height of the jump, and the fact that all platforms were treated as completely solid, meant that getting through the level required you to jump from very specific spots to make each jump. The jumping itself also felt strained and claustrophobic in the small spaces of the level. To fix this, the jump height has already been increased, and the height of the ceilings too. The arc of the jump has been improved, and the platforms are being updated so that the player can jump through the bottom of them, so they don’t keep hitting their head on everything now.
Secondly, communicating the functions of all the various puzzle pieces was another point of issue. Most players manage to understand how everything functioned and get through the entire game. However, for some devices it took players longer than was ideal. To resolve this, more feedback will need to be added, and the feedback will have to be made clearer. Also, updating the art to be more indicative of what the device does will also help.
As for the questionnaire, well, a number of the questions were too broad, or had too much extraneous information that would blur the answer given. To resolve this, multiple choice questions have been converted to a Likert scale, and broad questions are much more specific. Further more, the survey cover more topics that were missed on the last one. Hopefully we should get far better feedback in the future.
For now, we’re back to preparing for the next playtest in a few days. It’s then that we’ll see if how we’ve handled any of the feedback was effective. I have the utmost confidence that our results will undoubted improve. So until next time, dear reader…