Updated: Jun 4, 2019
For our initial playtest will be hearing feedback about the story of the game. This will be from a member of our target audience F (aged 11), alongside his family. We will use the script through a text to speech engine to deliver the narrative.
By playing the text through a text to speech engine, the players became completely unengaged. Instead they were focussed on the voice. This took the focus off the narrative and onto different areas of the project.
The narrative did not work in this format. The players were not engaged. However this prompted suggestions about how the narrative could be developed into gameplay:
Breaking up the gameplay elements with a quiz or a riddle, maybe these could be time based (adding tension and a goal) or maybe this could form part of the spell casting? This could add purpose to a long stretch of narrative, as the narrative could teach them information for the end of level quiz/spell casting clue.
Similarly could the cards be said in the narrative which players have to listen out for. This also adds importance to the narrative.
Could, by the dealing of cards, the narrative intrust the players turn. I.e. "the player who holds the weed of forgotten is chosen". This could reallocate turn taking from removing the lead sorcerer.
Using the narrative additionally for instruction purposes, I.e. starting spell-casting, "lead sorcerer, cast your favourite card". This could create an automated system of turn taking, previously removed along with the lead sorcerer on the AR.
Additionally collecting the ingredient cards was proposed to further the gameplay. This would see the players building their deck through exploration. This would develop the interaction model and give more interest to the game.
F, enjoyed the random nature of the spell casting as it felt mature. It was likened to gambling, despite being very different. This could help when re-creating the success system.
A sibling outside of the age range, also proved interesting during the play test. They demonstrated how a player may verbally interact with the game; I.e. whilst playing the lucky clover card, "I'm feeling lucky". This demonstrates how the card naming and illustration could have impact on the gameplay. She also explained how she was, "collecting the scales". This demonstrates why we must clarify the aims and objects, so that players are not simultaneously creating alternative aims for the game.
With the narrative itself not being commented on, the voice needed for the role was discussed. Here are the suggestions we received:
Mage from Warcraft
Oogway from Kung Fu Panda
An older professor Quirrell from Harry Potter
A rich, accented male voice.
Thames regional dialect
Old like Robert Carlyle
Cackling, lady witch
As this play test was focused on Rubi's narrative I did not prepare specific questions, we simply wished to hear feedback on the narrative and whether it was enjoyed by the audience. However this proved troublesome, as it meant that we did not specifically hear anything about the narrative. Despite this, we learnt more about our target audience which has given me ideas for further research and potential game development.
From this a lot of gameplay elements could be explored, I think particularly the element of luck in spell casting should be further explored. The suggestions for voice, will be developed later on in the game-making process, however we know that it is important from this that the voice is engaging.
Overall I feel that a few predetermined questions about specifically what has recently developed will be important for the future playtests.