Successful playtest!

February 14, 2008 at 11:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Okay, so a couple weeks ago I finished somewhat of a preliminary demo of my game. I had George play through it, and I took about a page full of really tiny notes on bugs and various changes I wanted to make. I spent a few days after that going through the list. Then I had my mom try the game. My mom has played Animal Crossing for the DS, and she’s really taken to World of Warcraft, but she’s never really played nes/snes games. Her playtest revealed a few things to me: 1.) If I want people who aren’t familiar with snes-style rpgs to enjoy my game, I need more instruction early on (things like “you can move around using arrow keys,” and “this is how you use a tonic,” etc.), and 2.) the beginning just wasn’t exciting enough. She wasn’t picking up on key elements of the story that I wanted her to pick up. I felt kind of discouraged, but then I got back on it and redid certain parts of the beginning. I decided to reveal certain scenes in order to get the player more excited about what could happen later. Especially concerning the Gleemers…

Anyways, so today Jeremy came over after work and tested it out. He played the full demo, from start all the way to meeting Dolby in the Melolune Caves. Not only was it the first time someone made it that far without encountering a game-stopping bug, but he actually enjoyed it! I told him several times that he could quit if he wanted, but he kept playing. In fact, he picked fights with monsters in order to level, and took extra care in equipping all the characters. He ended up playing for about 3.5 hours (which would definitely be the upper register). I asked him if he felt drawn in after the first hour, and he said he was curious about Dominic’s past, and wanted to know more about Gleem. I think the best thing was that the changes made to the original demo allowed him to more fully absorb the parts of the plot that I want the player to come away with. Yay!

I was feeling so discouraged before, because it’s tough to know if one’s own game is interesting… especially since I know the story, I know all the secrets and plot twists and story arcs… and I’ve played through it so many times. Amazingly, I still managed to amass another page of bug and change notes (in really tiny writing no less). But I’m really motivated about hammering out the next section of the game, and redoing some of the artwork that I’ve put off (like the title screen, some of the facesets, and main character sprites).

I also have to figure out how to properly port the game to a playable demo so I can put it online. Last time I tried this, the encrypt-option didn’t encrypt anything I had added to the original RTP. I’m sure there’s a way around this, so I’ll probably post that question on the forums tomorrow along with some of the other random things I haven’t been able to fix on my own. Ahhh… I have so much new music too that I have to upload! Yay for being back on track.

Pansola… anytime you want to play, it’s ready!

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