Today we went through the survey results that we put out on Friday. I was a little concerned as yesterday evening, we only had a couple of results come back so I was unnerved as to what possible results we would get. We all did a final share of the survey and thankfully we received more taking our total up to fourteen replies.
The average age of our target audience is 22 years, with the eldest being 32 and the youngest being 19. Putting out this survey has definitely helped to figure out who we are mainly catering for in terms of age and by having the added comment box, people could add feedback and mention if they would play or not which has helped us to get not only quantitative data but also qualitative; this will help us to make concrete decisions of where we take these ideas.
This was quite a popular one. Most people seemed to like the idea of mixing technologies together to create a multiplayer experience. I didn’t expect people to be so taken on this aspect, however, with dual tech, there really isn’t much competition around that’s like this so this could definitely be something we could look to further. One point that I thought was very useful was that instead of making it so that you have to pair a tablet with the console, make it more widely accessible. I can’t believe that we didn’t think of this before, like, why not use a phone? Most people nowadays tend to have smartphones or some sort of device that has a screen enabling you to play the game – what if we made the AI player an application that can be downloaded onto a device of your choice? I.e. an Ipad, phone or alternatively, we could make something so that if someone is on a console, if you have a computer then you can play through that? Also an opportunity to think about making it so you get matched with people online too.
Another major element that people seemed to love was the idea of couch co-op and having a multiplayer. So many games nowadays neglect to have a couch co-op element and this seemed to be quite a large selling point to the target audience. If we do take this game forward, I feel we need to make sure we execute the multiplayer gameplay well as this seems to be quite a critical element to what people liked in the idea. This is definitely something to think about and discuss in our team meeting later.
This game idea was the one that people seemed to sit on the fence about. Half of the feedback consisted of “this could be a good story if the gameplay/story was gripping enough” and on the flipside, “It’s depressing, would definitely not play”.
I did feel that this one would be a tricky game idea as it could be considered quite depressing as it is about death, and it’s also about a child which is a sensitive topic. Whether this means it’s not their type of game or whether they don’t like the idea is unknown which would have been useful to find out and elaborate on. As there were a lot of unsure comments on whether they would play or not, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t be taking this game idea forward but we will have to see in the meeting.
The main outcome seemed to be, if we could do it tastefully then it would be good to play and they would enjoy playing it despite the ‘depressing’ story. This could be a massive undertaking and as much as it would be good to take a risk, it’s not one which I would feel highly confident on trying to work on. I plan to discuss this in our meeting, later on, with the team.
There was quite a mixed reaction to this game idea too. Some were a ‘yes, I’d play it!’ whilst others had no interest in this idea whatsoever.
A lot of people mentioned that they loved the idea and that the story seemed quite original. This was good to know as we weren’t very confident with this game idea on the whole as we felt people wouldn’t be enthused by it as the story seemed vague. It has been mentioned that the use of dreams to communicate was something people found interesting so we did something right with this part of the story. Maybe if we don’t take this game forward, we should revisit this story as we could be on to something there.
On the other hand, the target audience’s response showed that RTS is not a very popular type of game for the sorts of ages that responded to our questionnaire. As we didn’t launch a full nationwide study, we can’t find out exactly how popular RTS’s would be, yet, just from looking at the current results we received, it is obvious that something like this is a relatively niche market. I feel that although this is quite an ambitious task as it is not something any of us have made on this course yet, it didn’t get the reception that’s needed; we’d like people to be excited about the game as it’s our final year and we’d like to go out with a bang.
This game was received very well which shocked me. When I’d discussed this idea with Adam previously, it made me think about how morbid the game sounded even though I explained we would try and include dark humour and comedy to make it a fun arcade game. Therefore I was expecting not many people to entertain this game idea so I was pleasantly surprise as this is one that I favour out of our seven ideas.
This was the only game idea where we received positive feedback from all of our recipients. There were a couple where they offered great feedback and potential ideas to help us make the idea as solid as possible. Having this sort of user feedback was incredibly useful as now we have some ideas of how we can implement some of the suggested changes that have arisen in order to make it better.
The main point that came up a few times was about finding the distinction between morbid and funny. If we push it too much towards the morbid side then this would put off players yet if we try too hard to make it funny, people may get annoyed. There is a line that we need to make sure we don’t cross. I feel that the best way to keep this in mind is, if we take this idea forward, we need to be getting constant user feedback from our target audience. They would be the best judge of what’s too far etc and help us gauge if we’re making the right decisions.
This one also surprised me in the feedback we received. The majority of the people said that they would play this game yet it would depend on crucial factors. For instance, people hate quick time events. Absolutely hate them. I didn’t realise how adverse our target audience is to these so this is something to definitely bear in mind for our projects currently and in the future.
We didn’t explain our idea clearly enough as we had questions concerning whether it would be a narrative game, a tell-tale style game and things as such. We did detail that we imagined the game to play out in short episodes (like the Wolf Among Us) but I can understand how that doesn’t necessarily explain how we are planning to have the gameplay.
I feel that after last year, a branching narrative is certainly not something we are considering as it was proven to be difficult to make engaging. However, I have thought that it would be a good idea to have the player interact with their surroundings and potentially you could have some choices that the player could make. This helps to make it more immersive for the player, and as we are intending this one to be a horror game, immersion is key to making sure that the player is challenged and feels some sort of fear.
This game idea was also received well by our target audience. Although it didn’t cater to some of the audience’s need for action, there were many positive mentions about how the story and concept for the idea were great. One individual mentioned that, as we described it as a tycoon sort of game, that this sort of thing would be refreshing on the market as there is a need for games such as this that isn’t just Cities Skyline or Planet coaster. This is a valid point as if there is not much in our market, we should consider taking this forward. We need to think about whether we could generate enough interest for it to take off as if this is the case, we really need to think about branding the game and making it polished enough that we could greenlight it on Steam. We will have to discuss this at the meeting later on.
Another key piece of feedback was that we need to consider how the game is structured. For example, would there be an option for the game to be endless? Would there be a challenge mode? These were suggested as well as mentioning that we need to make sure that the game doesn’t end up being repetitive. I feel that these pieces of feedback are incredibly useful as it means that we have lots of avenues to think about incorporating into the game to make it more exciting and repeatable for the player so they would get value out of it.
We have already considered procedural generation for elements of this game to do with the production of the dream seeds but we could always consider a way to make proc-gen contracts and things to make the game more random and fun for the player; this will be something we will have to consider if we decide to take this game idea forward.
This game was our biggest game and possibly the riskiest. There were a lot of mixed thoughts and feedback given for this idea ranging from ‘it’s too confusing’, ‘the setting has been overdone’ to ‘it sounds good and is well thought out’.
One of the largest pieces of feedback stemmed around how the idea was massive and was hard to understand or explain. There were a lot of questions from one particular individual (see above, the bottom comment) which means that maybe the game idea wasn’t as thought out as we had currently thought. This has made me think about how unfinished the idea is and the little potential it holds currently. I will not be doing this one, even if Millie and James decide that this is what they want to do as it hasn’t got enough ground to stand on and is not very well explained; I would like to make games people actually understand and want to play.
Our mechanic of being able to manifest things from your dreams was highlighted as good in the feedback. This was surprising as yet another mechanic derived from dreams had caught people’s attention. Maybe there is something missing from the market that incorporates things such as the dream mechanics we created – could it be worth following up such mechanics and seeing the potential they could hold? It is definitely something to consider later at the meeting.
We came together in order to collect the feedback as a group and discuss what comments we’d been given back. This was also a chance to see which games were the most popular with our target audience. See Sketchbook 2, orange tab labelled Survey Feedback, pages 185 – 190.
We went through the feedback all together to see what people thought of the comments. Luckily, it was a pretty straight forward process as there wasn’t much that we disagreed on at all. We all thought that creating a survey has been quite a success considering the great feedback that we received.
Top 3 favourites were:
We worked this out through the number of people who said that they would play the game supported by the amount of positive feedback we received too. 5 Days was the most popular with 14/14 saying that they would either be interested in playing or would play, Delta with 13/14 and lastly Bell Jar with 12/14.
Overall, these statistics have helped us with narrowing down the game ideas as we wanted to see how our target audience would choose, as that is effectively who we’re designing for. They seemed to choose the ones that we were most invested in which is a happy coincidence! This may have to do with that we’re also roughly the same average age of the target audience.
After the results, we’ve looked at all of the ideas and decided that we are going to be taking forward the three most popular – Bell Jar, Delta and 5 Days. This decision has come about based on the feedback we received in the survey as well as us thinking about our creative skill set and whether the games would be feasible to make; we’d like to take on a challenge but not so much that we fail on creating the product we want to deliver.
The next step now is thinking about presentations. As there are three ideas and three of us, we have decided to each take on one idea to present. We feel that this would be more suitable than us doing three presentations of the same things. These top three all include James’s, Millie’s and my own favourites so rather than waste time and bore everyone by repeating the same games, we’ve decided to instead make polished presentations including:
These will all be expanded on so that people understand what games we are considering to make. Once we’ve narrowed down to the one idea, it will also help us to make sure that we have a head start with designing our GDD as we will have the raw ingredients from our presentations.
As well as the above list, we will each be including some of the prototypes that we’ve been making for the three games. As there hasn’t been much done for 5 Days, which I have chosen to work on, I will have to try and get on making a few in this last week. I plan to do some work with the storyboard that I first created as well as try to create a quick isometric scene to demonstrate what our maps could look like. I could also try and do some more character concept ideas for the main character if I have time, yet this will not be a priority.
I am also thinking about including any suggestions in the feedback that we as a team are considering as it will help to show that our ideas are developing further and progressing at all times. It could also spark some new suggestions from the class as they are also the target audience that we are aiming for.
We’ve also decided that we shall start a team Trello as a place to share with each other what we’re currently working on. We have also installed dropbox on there too meaning that we can add our work accordingly and keep them both up to date and linked. This would help communication and aid the process of transferring work over to whoever needs it. This will probably play a larger part in semester two when it comes to making the game however it is still useful to use now in order to work out what people need to work on in this phase of the project.
We also discussed how we visualise the three games as obviously, we all have different ideas as to what they look like. This will help me to make a mood board which will show the audience what sort of look and feel we’re trying to achieve so it will set the scene better. Also, this will end up being a good reference point if we choose to take that game idea ahead.
See our group Trello here!