Now that I have finished iterating my rifle test, it is time to start getting people to play test this iteration. I specifically asked people who have not played before to play test this iteration as I feel that, unless the player  aimed down the sights to shoot for my first iteration, would notice much of a difference between each iteration.


Bug during playtesting

During the first two players playtesting they both encountered a nasty bug which resulted in breaking the game. The players found that they could break the rifle animation if they reloaded too quick (despite me saying in my last blog post I fixed this bug). Immediately I stopped playtesting and set out to fix this bug.

Replicating the bug was difficult as it would only happen when a specific set of arrow keys were pressed and when they were pressed. Pressing two arrow keys during the shooting animation would break the rifle and so did during aiming down the sights.

To fix this I made it so players could only press one arrow key at a time. Pressing multiple arrow keys does nothing as the code is looking for what state the sequence is at (for example: When the rifle is idle the sequence is at 0. Pressing the left arrow turns the sequence to 1. The sequence will only go up when the correct arrow is pressed. When the gun is reloaded it is set back to 0).


Back to playtesting

Once this was fixed I once again started asking people to playtest my game. Since my intended target audience is going to be regular gamers I asked around the labs again for people to play through my game. However, I also had a few people online play as well which brings my total play testers to 12.

I conducted the experiment the same as last time by setting up the game on the computer and had the player read the instructions menu first. I then observed them playing through each level and only gave advice or hints if they asked me a question. I also informed the player of the highest time on the last level since the test doesn’t currently have a way of remembering a high score. Once players lost on the last level I will ask if they want to play again, if they say no then I ask if they could fill out a questionnaire.

Same as last time I had players fill out a questionnaire as they did before.


Questionnaire responses

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Fig 1: Question for iteration 2’s questionnaire

So far I am very happy with the feedback players have given. So far everyone that has played through the game has rated the rifle as being ‘Good’ or better. Plus when asked if they would play a game if the rifle mechanic was implemented 18 out of 22 people said yes for both questionnaire results combined. This encourages me to want to take this mechanic further and turn this into a full game once I get the feedback for my next iteration.

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Fig 2: results for whether players find either the test or rifle engaging.

Ways to improve

However, I did still get a lot of feedback on ways to improve the game and rifle:

  • Bug with the collider of the targets – There seems to be a small gap that players can shoot through on a target in the neck area. This could be a small gap between the target’s two colliders. This can be easily fixed.
  • There isn’t much use aiming – Although I did notice more players aim, I did get feedback from some players stating ‘there is little need to aim as the targets are close enough to see when firing from the hip’. A way I could solve this is by making the firing range longer so the targets are harder to aim at when firing from the hip.
  • Movement feels like moving on ice – I had a few players state the movement makes you slip like on ice. This can be easily tweaked in my code.
  • An option to change sensitivity? – Two playtesters asked me this which I found an odd request, but I will look into this.
  • Remove debug button – I forgot to take out the space bar being a debug tool to stop the time. This is easily to remove.
  • Remove/change the bullet trace – I got one comment on this. Although I stated this was a debug tool for me to see where the bullet goes I didn’t remove it as I thought players could benefit from it. However, I feel I should remove it as I don’t need it for debugging any more.

Although there was one comment I heard at least three times which I’m unsure as what to do about.

  • Changing from the moving keys to reloading keys meant I had to readjust myself – honestly, this is what I wanted to happen when designing this reload mechanic so players would have to consider either moving, aiming or reloading (unless someone has three hands). However, since I was asked this 3 times I’m wondering if this could be a turn off for some players as they would find it easier to have one hand set on mouse and the other around WASD (movement keys). The only solution I can think of would be to make the reload keys either as WASD as well but you press R to switch or similar, or have them close by so players won’t need to move their hand much (but I feel would be more likely to forget which keys to press or get confused as to whether they are moving or reloading).
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Fig 3: A comment made by a playtester about moving to reloading

For now I think I will keep it as it is with the arrows controlling the reload sequence unless I get a lot more feedback about this.


What next?

Now that my second iteration is finished I will now move onto creating my final iteration: adding ammo to the rifle. I feel this will be a big step for my game as I need to make sure that reloading the rifle with ammo is easy to do and easy to remember. My biggest worry is players saying they find it way too confusing or hard to remember.

My plan to implement adding ammo is to make the player able to add ammo to the rifle when they have reloaded the rifle half way. I will make this clear to players both in the instructions menu and alongside the text prompts that appear on the side of the gun. Again following this video demonstration by hickok45 I will try to mimic how many bullets the rifle takes and how the rifle ammo is reloaded.


References

hickok45, (2012). 1903 Springfield Rifle – YouTube. [online] YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mbaO7qLzS8&ab_channel=hickok45 [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].

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