So today was the first big play-test for ABG RUSH.
The current version of ABG Rush as of July 7th can be found here.
We had upwards of twenty people come and play the game. The majority of play-testers were Nursing students and faculty from Quinnipiac University. It was really exciting watching people play the game for the first time. We definitely learned a lot about our game and the people that will be playing it.
We were able to gain a lot of really great feedback about all portions of the game. The testers were able to point out and pin down bugs they found, and any inaccuracies in the data we were using as reference materials. This was great help because our team is incredibly small and our limited testing had not found any of these bugs and inaccuracies.
The most criticized portion of the game was the timing of different interactions such as the player washing their hands, or the player's character having conversations with patients. Timing and planning out actions are a very important part of the game. Patients will only wait for a set amount of time to see the player (nurse). If they are not seen within this time frame, they will storm out of the building, and cause the player to lose points. Due to this importance players were unhappy that specific actions took a very long time. For instance, the action of washing hands (which includes walking to the sink) takes between 3 and 5 seconds.
The wait time is fine with a single patient, but when there are 2 or more scattered around the room, that 3-5 seconds for washing hands quickly begins to add up. And there are more equally time-consuming actions within the game. As a result of these actions: as the game progresses and the number of patients increase, players continually fell behind and were unable to keep up which resulted in a loss players did not feel they deserved.
While there was a lot of criticism, there were also a lot of suggestions for ABG RUSH. One particular suggestion I think was great is to assist the players with building connections between symptoms, vital signs, and other information before diagnosing. One option to do this would be to ask the player to provide a guess or their idea of what the diagnosis might be before they are able to request blood work.
At the end of our play-testing session we got a big thank you and a push to keep moving forward with our game. The play-testers like what we have done so far because it's drastically different from anything they've seen before. They really appreciated that we were making a game that they could use to learn.
Based on the feedback we received today, our goal for the play-test two days from now are:
I'm a Game Designer and Developer. I will be posting about my progress on different projects and about events I attend.