Phase 4- Week 10: Concluding survey results
Updated: May 5, 2019
This week I have decided to look over our survey results. We posted our survey at the beginning of phase 3, just over a month ago. The survey had a selective volume of responses, which was due to limited advertisement and sharing. We can resolve this next semester by ensuring that our ERGO ethics form is completed before we release. As well as this, far less children took the survey than parents. In the future it might be better to pair the surveys so parents ask their child their opinions during the survey.
The survey looked at the nature of play in families.
The families that took part in our parental survey mainly consisted of two adults and 2 children.
Interestingly 2/3 of the participants were within our target market, despite us refining the target age group after releasing the survey.
We found that around 70% of parents play together with the children regularly. Which is a good indication as our research into familial play demonstrates that its important for childhood development.
We found that families were typically playing with board games and tactile toys together as well as physical activities. Which has helped us understand the market for our game. It has shown us the importance of tactile play within our game (the card gameplay).
All of the participants enjoyed playing with their families. With the majority explaining that they enjoy the time for them to connect with their child. As well as a participant noted that that shorter gameplay would be beneficial (around 20-30 mins). In response to this we have proposed the idea idea of splitting the game by 'chapters' (tasks), in which you can choose to save your hand of cards on the app in order to pick up and play again another time.
Every family says they experience conflict occurring in family gameplay. They put this down to general competitiveness and rule breaking. We hope that our game prevents both of these through its shared familial goal.
All the parents think that it's important to play together as family, yet the majority of them them struggle to do so. This comes down to time issues, not feeling able to due to tiredness or health, varying skill levels and lack of imagination. With our game having a saving feature the game can be picked up and down freely without concern for time. This will also help those who are tired and with health concerns, with the knowledge that they can pause the game for another time. With regards to lack of imagination, this game acts as narrative not requiring creative thought to create a story.
Around 60% of the parents in our survey play digital games with their children. There is a range of games within that with multiplayer party games to parents helping their child with solo games. It demonstrates that there is a market for a toy that bridges the gap between physical toy/game and digital game.
We found by asking parents about their next intended gifts for their child that no participants were looking to get digital games for their children. We think this is a reflection of parents wanting to engage with their children and not wanting them to be engaged with a screen.
As with the parental survey, 2/3 of the participants were within our target market, despite us refining the target age group after releasing the survey.
We found that the most popular device used by children is the tablet. This has ensured that we create an application for mobile devices such as tablets so the game is accessible to the audience.
The target audience within our survey were interested in shooter, fighter and strategy games.
They mainly engage in solo play, which demonstrates the purpose of our game, to connect families.
Their favourite games reflected the individual child's interest, with games such as Fifa 2019 and princess games. It also showed how this target market is influenced by bold visuals, with someones favourite game being Fortnite because of 'the cool skins'.
We found that children were typically not role-playing games in real life.
Next semester we could use a further questionnaire for public opinions of the proposed game to see specifically their opinions of the game and their interest of it.
Parents explained that they enjoy playing with their child as its opportunity to connect and interact with them. From this and the play research we conducted (specifically Can Video Games Promote Intergenerational Play & Literacy Learning?) it further demonstrates to us that we need to engage the child, as the parent is engaged with them and its the child that is engaged with the game.
By looking at the child's survey we've noticed that their appeal in their favourite games emerges from 2 areas, aesthetic appeal and connected interest. The favourite game examples given were Fortnite and FIFA. The child's football interest sparks the connected interest of FIFA. By looking at the emerging literary interest of 8-12-year olds and the fantasy genre, it tells me that they would be interested in playing a game about witches and magic as it would be a connected interest. Fortnite and Fifa in particular have aesthetic interest for the 8-12-year-old child, who comes to expect realistic or bold graphics.
This led me into looking at the style of games our target market are playing and what kind of style is they are attracted to. I found that the most popular games for this age group tended to have bright contrasting colours. This has made me think about how were going to apply colour to the game. I spoke to Rubi as this is conflicting with the visual experiments she had made. Some of her experiments looking at Lauren Child and Jessie Wilcox Smith, were too mature looking and that could be down to the application of colour. We discussed how applying a bright colour scheme of varying colours could really engage our audience. This led to me coming up with a concept colour palette that we can apply to our design to see if colour can work as an influencer to our audience. This may not work, however it can always be adapted.
As well as this the child's survey identified that play within families tends to lean towards more physical games such as the Wii or tactical games like boardgames. We feel that this is leaning towards the game utilising the technology to highlight the tactility. We thought about how the application was working and as a narrative, task outline and success display it was very disjointed. It would have required the player to be going from device to card back to device, which didn't help the gameplay. We therefore started to think about the essential purposes of each item. The ingredient cards are the main artefact of the gameplay, this as a physical item was essential. Along with this was the physical cauldron, as this is the unique tactility element of the game, which has been developed by the child's survey results. The AR animation is the digital result of the tactility element. This adds to the experience as a whole, bringing the magic alive. The purpose of this AR is to demonstrate the outcome of the spell, it is a visual outcome and aids the imagination of the player. This left the application narrative, the remaining card types and the witches hat badges.
The application narrative's purpose was to display the story. Upon reflection me and Rubi failed to see its advantage of being on screen, there was no benefit to visualisation of the story. We decided that integrating this back into the physical book of 'The Book Of Secret Spells' was much more efficient. This was a factor effecting the flow of gameplay. By having the narrative in the physical book, like the paper prototype, it gives further purpose to the role of lead witch, with them dictating from the book as well as further tactility. This means that the tasks can be written into the narrative and the book act as rule book also.
The purpose of the lead witch and spell cards is to inform the player. The first selects a player for the first round and the later dictates the specific combination figure for each round. During play testing our paper prototype, these cards were the ones that consumed the most time. The lead witch card was a mechanic that only played in the first round. We figured that this could be solved with the classic, highest roll of die wins (becoming the lead witch) With the spell cards, players felt like it was another card to remember the function of and even then it only applied to one player per round. The mechanic also had an issue, it required mathematical addition by the player. This did not prove popular with players. We therefore need to change this mechanic and a solution to this is to automate the process. This could be achieved by the app acting as the spell card. No one would have to 'hold the spell secret' it could simply tell the players the spell type. Then when players play their ingredient card in the physical cauldron, the app could simply apply the corresponding combination value and compare with the data of the NFC ingredient cards to determine the success of a spell.
The purpose of the witch hat badges was to add additional benefits to gameplay for above par and below par performance. In hindsight we believe that the naming of 'silly witch' hat was not a good idea. It was almost like naming a player a dunce and had the worry of the game provoking conflict among players. For this reasons we think that the we think we need to review the success system.
This in form, reformed the game. The gameplay now involves: Having the game narrative and introduction of each task read from the book. The application then tells players who is the lead witch, with them placing their card of choice into the cauldron. The player then mixes a spell in the cauldron by putting in their ingredient card. That player then see's the result of the spell by holding the phone up to the cauldron with an AR animated coloured smoke on the application. This still needs some more refining but we think that this has improved the playability of the game. To help explain these changes I should look at reviewing the name of each mechanic.