Reflection of Week Eighteen… The Final Week *screams internally*

Week beginning 29th May ending 1st June 

This week has been a matter of mostly adding the finishing touches for James and Millie who have been working hard to build and create the last few assets needed for Twilleir. For me, it’s been a matter of tidying up blog posts, sorting out documentation bits and pieces for hand-in as well as working on the development video for the team.

I really pushed myself this week with doing the development video as I’ve only ever touched After Effects once briefly last semester and with only two days before the hand-in (Bank Holiday Monday so couldn’t access the Macs in the studio for AE) I managed to pick up some of the basic skills from Millie and through trial and error too in order to create the film in 8 hours! This time included selecting the footage to use and downloading extra content from our Dropbox to add to the film as well as working everything out and creating the film.
Having pushed myself, I feel good about opening myself up to this new challenge in such a tight deadline as I’ve proved to myself that I can work under pressure and possess the ability to learn new skills rather quickly so this works well in my favour! It’s inspired me to really push myself in the future to challenge myself, even if it’s just weekly, to try something new or work on old skills to improve my work, skills or myself.
Below you can see my attempt at the development video, enjoy!

Also this week, I tried to catch up from the disaster that was last weekend and listen fully to the playthrough of Twilleir that Evie kindly took the time to do. Not only was she hilarious to listen to and watch, she provided some great feedback that will definitely help us to shape Twilleir – more so in the future than now as with only a day left till the deadline, there’s not enough time to implement everything that she mentioned.
Below are the notes that I took of her playthrough the game plus comments from myself which can be seen in red:

  • Confused by Gender One and Gender Two buttons. It was surprising that she went for this immediately rather than look at the L’Hallen and Meidryn buttons. This could be due to her not knowing what those words were? Might be an idea to have the genders blanked out until the race selection is complete.
  • Struggled with the names of the races. Should we have it so that when you click on the race buttons, the race speaks their name i.e. select L’Hallen and an Elf says “L’Hallen!” so Player’s understand how to say the name? Bit farfetched but could this help?
  • Liked the vibrant hairstyle colours but would like to see more choice in hairstyles. Wanted hair like Eliza! Due to time restrictions and it only being an Alpha, we decided to limit the number of styles you could have which is frustrating after hearing this as I would have loved to have worked on more; this is something to think about in the future.
  • Struggled with the text, SO MUCH WRITING, can’t remember what Eliza said to do etc. Understandable, even I struggle to read the text and I don’t like how much writing there is too. Need to make shorter or at least let the Player work through the tutorial step by step with Eliza so as not to overpower the player with so much information
  • Harvesting mini-game goes too fast! Didn’t realise how fast it goes still after building. It seems to be too much for younger players so we should change this to make it slightly easier so it’s not unfair; something to consider.
  • Tutorial in the Garden repeats itself after you harvest your first plant? Not sure why that is, this will be something in the code which hopefully James can iron out easily. 
  • Chamomile wouldn’t plant? I couldn’t see the screen too clearly so wasn’t sure if she’d just selected it but the collision boxes hadn’t worked when clicked? Passed on to James to try and fix.
  • Eliza says “Meet me at the Adventurer’s Guild!” but there’s no Guild button? Ideally, the Dungeons button should probably say Adventurer’s Guild instead as you have to choose a Helping Hand before going through into the Dungeons. This could be something I could change before Exhibition just to make it easier for the Player to comprehend what’s going on. 
  • Likes the music. Good to know as no one’s commented on the music before. No ‘news’ is good ‘news’ hopefully then! 
  • Don’t understand the Dungeons and how they work. I think we should have a step by step tutorial here with certain buttons highlighted etc in order to show the Player what they should be doing. You just get chucked in it and it would be a good idea to lead by example as such.
  • When first entering the Crafting mini-game, she wanted to see the Dream book to see what she could actually make. Hadn’t thought of this before and will certainly consider putting this in as it could help the Player’s understanding of the game and it’s outcomes a bit more. 
  • Clicked on Sleep potion and didn’t do anything? She got a bit confused here, it wasn’t made clear that if she didn’t have all the ingredients harvested then she couldn’t go to the crafting mini-game. Maybe we should have potions blanked out if not all the specific ingredients are in the Player’s possession? This could help them to understand as well as have Eliza pop up when you click on it all like “oh, looks like you haven’t got one of the plants! Go back to the Garden and get to it!” sort of thing. 
  • Oh, it says “Congratulations, you finished your first dream” but I didn’t do it? Not only does this pop up here but also the Dungeon text that appears once you’ve come out of the Dungeons? Will pass this along to James to fix before the exhibition.

After these notes during the game, she answered the questions on our survey:

What did you like?
The graphics – like mermaids and magical things like pixies. Liked the ‘cabin’ aesthetic.

What didn’t you like?
Hard to understand but gets the main functionality of the game (Yay, that’s something!)
Would like the character choices to be better in customisation – include makeup
A lot of writing so you forget what to do – keep writing but have a current tasks thing so people can see what they need to do next. (A really good idea, nice one, Evie!)

What did you enjoy the most?
The Gardening part

What did you enjoy the least?
The potion part, didn’t understand what to do

In three words, describe Twilleir.
Stylish
Mysterious
Interesting

How would you rate it on a scale of 1 – 5, 1 being awful and 5 being amazing?
3 or 4 out of 5

On a scale of 1 – 5, 1 being definitely not and 5 being yes definitely, would you want to play the full game?
3 or 4 out of 5

When I thought it was all over, it surprised me that despite the difficulty Evie seemed to have in playing the game, she wanted to carry on?? So I guess we did something right?
She also added some extra feedback to the above pieces which was super useful.
This included:

  • Maybe have a ‘3,2,1’ aspect to the Harvesting mini-game so the Player has a chance to compose themselves and know what’s happening. Also an idea to have piano noises instead of a ‘ding’. Completely agree a really good idea. We were hoping to implement some piano instead of the dings, however, we wanted to spend more time on the other assets in the game before revisiting this aspect. Maybe we’ll get this done before the exhibition so it’s less annoying!
  • There’s no back button in the Dream book, instead, it’s some writing that says next page even though that doesn’t work. WHERE’S MY BUTTON JAMES. WHERE IS IT. I MADE THAT FOR YOU *CRIES* lol joke, I’ll try and get James to fix this asap.
  • Really had no clue as to how to play the crafting mini-game. Bless her, she really tried to guess and understand what exactly was going on but didn’t get it – she still didn’t do too badly though!
  • Don’t know if it actually gives you gold after you fulfil a commission. This could be solved with some particle effects or something similar with some coin jingling sounds to show the Player that they’ve earned that sweet, sweet coin.
  • SHE FIGURED OUT THE SPAMMING METHOD IN THE HARVESTING MINI-GAME. We should probably change that …
  • Wanted a higher reward for doing so well in her score than just four ingredients. This is a fair enough request. We only made it four just for tutorial purposes but I don’t see any reason as to why this couldn’t be changed at a later date or in the full game. It gives the player more incentive to do well too so this could work well for the Player depending on how they wanted to play?
  • Don’t know what seeds are for what plant. We could either have a rollover option where the name appears when you hover over the seed or possibly in the Dream book there could be an option to see what the seed looks like too? 
  • Didn’t get the growth time at first – thought this was how long she had to wait before she planted the seeds. An honest mistake, I’m not sure if we should change this as we’ve not had this issue before but maybe some re-wording on the hover over text could be in order to make it just that bit clearer. 

Some comments and thoughts from me as Evie was playing:

  • She seemed to enjoy the game a lot more when she actually understood what was going on
  • SHE WANTS MORE THAN 4 INGREDIENTS PER HARVEST, OKAY?
  • Liked the look of Nigel, thought he looked cool unlike Adam who seems to have a vendetta against this guy…
  • Thought one of the enemies looked like a turd, that made me laugh and snort out my drink…
  • She likes Soap Grandma (Marketman) but doesn’t understand why she’s a human.
  • She ran out of money but still figured out she could build more money up by making potions except she didn’t accept any more so she ended up a bit stuck. Maybe we should make it so that you can make potions without commission cards to avoid this loophole in the game?
  • She wanted to play again later?? YAY WE OBVIOUSLY DID SOMETHING OKAY.

Overall, having someone from the younger end of our target audience test our game was really eye opening as we got to see if it was too difficult for Evie, if there were any bits and pieces we missed out or could change and her suggestions were great too! A fresh pair of eyes to the project definitely helps and is something I feel we need to focus on in future projects so as to not get caught up in what we’re doing and see how others interpret the game. 

The rest of this week has been taken up by writing the last ever reflective blog post of the entire project *cries* which you can find here.

 

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