Our first play test for the game Sommeliers has been completed, with this we have gathered a bunch of helpful feedback and of course not so helpful feedback but that is to be expected. Our questionnaire that was filled in by players and we were able to pull helpful information about how our testers perceived the game giving to them. We did miss out on a key point of out mechanic and what they were supposed to be doing within the game.
Our concerns branched from many avenues, we needed players to know that the building they were in was actually a barn and this was important because it was a brief requirement for our game. Additionally the premise of the game was important to the barn environment, players seemed to have an understanding of the robot sommeliers (wine tasters) and they all realized that this barn was re-purposed into a cellar for these wines.
These are in the form of a 3D model made by our self’s and created for the first play test. These were items that would immediately have player knowing that they were in a barn.
We created placeholder 3D models of typical item you would find in this setting, we needed these items to this work of environment set up as the use of words is not allowed.
With the barn elements aside we focused on the elements of the “wine”. This was done by the use of bottles, creates, boxes and a wine tasting stand. To make our barn seem like a re-purposed barn come wine cellar, there were elements in our level design to help portray this to player. In our first play test the creation of the “wine tasting station” with being placed in front of player from the beginning it would serve the role of setting scene for players.
“This was the Wine taster station that was to play into the setting and premise of the game level and environment, helping indicate that this was a wine barn and that the characters had something to do with that.” Add to pic
Our feedback that we broke down had good indicators that reinforce that players understood of the setting and premise.
Our Question: How would you explain this game to your grandparents?
Answer: You play as a robot trying to catch bottles of wine that are being thrown out of a barrel, then you can drink the wine and the robots spin around.
Answer: drunk French robots rob a cellar.
Answer: Robots try to catch wine while listening to French music.
While this feedback was helpful the key element we want to get out of the play test was player understand of the core mechanic and weather they get how to switch characters and do this to catch wine.
The switching between robots, catching the falling wine bottles before they smashed and then proceed to drinking it is what you do in Sommeliers, and unfortunately this was unknown to some of our play testers.
We believe that the reason for the confusion was due to our prototypes lack of clarity and indicators that demonstrated what they were supposed to do.
We missed out on a lot of feed back to the player in game due to the absence of animations on our characters which would helped indicate when a robot is drinking, additionally having screen prompts in the form of symbols as to “how” you drink these wine bottles, and a metre that filled overtime as to also indicate that robot was drinking. These would have all been ways that players could better understanding our core game play.
Our menu where something that broke with our build. Having our menus hooked up would’ve been beneficial to having player understand our level and navigation as a controls menu was included. And have the game trigger a game over they could’ve been aware when the game was over, and they could’ve referred to the instructions panel in the main menu scene for any game play confusion.
These are all changes that have been put in motion to be implemented into our next build. The reasoning for them not being present in our 1st build for session 1 was a clear technical design documentation which ultimately eat into our time for the deadline.
Our Question: What was your strategy for catching all the wine?
Answer: I was not aware that this was the goal.
Answer: no strategy! Didn’t catch wine. Went sideways out of the level.
Answer: I didn’t really have one, because as far as I could tell, they were all spawning from the one location, and I didn’t have time to move to them before they hit the ground.
Answer: Find where to stand under, which was more trouble than I expected.
Looking forward our second play test will bare better outcomes