Dev Diary - Project 3: The First Playtest

Today was our first playtest. We went into class with a few minor issues that we quickly tackled before the testing. These including making the game run much smoother on the tablet. Apart from that, the game was pretty solid for a weeks work.

We had numerous people playtest the game and even with a 1 page document telling them what to do, some of them were confused.

In the "Planning Phase" you're mean't to draw out your accomplice's route, going over the primary valuable and finishing at the exit. Can you tell how you would start? Where the entry/exit is? Where the primary valuable is? Visually showing the player what their goal is and how they can start, is something that is missing.

By far the biggest issue with the playtest though, was drawing out the accomplice's route. Around 80% of the time, the testers were trying to draw the line, hoping that it won't hit a wall and destroy. This was a big issue on our side. In our minds we expected around 30-40% of the playtime for each level would be in the "Planning Phase", not almost the whole playtest. 


Once the testers finally made a route, the "Execution Phase" happened straight away. They were thrust into the game, with the accomplice moving along the path. What they had to do from that point was still unclear. They read that they need to tap on distractions to distract the guards, but where are they? What do they look like? By the time they managed to figure it out, they were already caught. Again like mentioned before, showing the player what they can interact with is necessary.

So what needs to be fixed?

  • First of all, drawing the accomplice route.
    • Make it not destroy when it hits a wall.
    • Fix all the numerous bugs it had.
    • Make it not instantly switch phases upon letting go on an exit tile.
  • Visually show the player what to do and how the world works.
    • This could mean having the entrance tile glow or flash to attract the attention of the player, showing them that that is where they need to start drawing their route from.
    • Make distractions and the primary valuables more visible.
      • Have the primary valuable glow golden.
      • Have the distractions show off a radius of effect during the "Planning Phase" and have a small particle effect.
  • Numerous small bugs to do with the guards, including...
    • Accomplice being able to walk through vision cone sometimes.
    • Movement bugging out.
    • Moving to distractions and standing at an awkward position.