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  • Writer's pictureTiago Massochin

Playtesting: Iterative Improvements in 'Under Choices' Development

The Power of Playtesting: A Learning Experience

Last week marked a significant milestone in the development of 'Under Choices' - our first playtesting section. This was an exhilarating moment, filled with anticipation and a healthy dose of nerves. As expected, we encountered some issues, but rather than seeing these as setbacks, we embraced them as opportunities for improvement. After all, no game design process is flawless, and it's through these challenges that we refine our game.

A Solid Foundation: Refining the Game Core Loop

One of the feedback points from the playtest was that some players found the game's purpose unclear. This was a concern for us, but we also recognized that our prototype was still in its early stages, lacking some core gameplay elements.

Game Core Loop diagram for 'Under Choices'
Game Core Loop diagram for 'Under Choices'

To address this, we revisited the game's core loop, ensuring that the game's purpose was clear to the entire team. We delved deep into each element of the loop, refining and solidifying the mechanics. This process was not just about fixing a problem; it was an opportunity to reassess our design to ensure that our core system was not only solid but also engaging and interesting. We put a lot of effort into this, knowing that a strong core system is the backbone of any successful game.

Visual Clarity: Redesigning the Post Interface

Another issue raised during the playtest was the difficulty some players had in identifying information in the post interface. Given the importance of reading and understanding these elements for the gameplay of 'Under Choices', we decided to redesign these UI elements.

Mockup of social media post cards for 'Under Choices'
Mockup of social media post cards for 'Under Choices'

We analyzed how the most successful social media platforms display their posts, aiming to bring these elements into our game's posts. We created new mockups based on these references, focusing on a clear hierarchy of information. This approach ensures that players can easily find what is relevant, keeping the information displayed in the post card clear. With a cleaner and more defined look, we're now ready for another round of testing to see if these changes have resolved the issue.

Texturing Sounds: Crafting the Game's Soundscape

On the sound design front, we've been busy composing and defining the harmonies and melodies that will be part of the game's soundtrack. Our goal is to establish a clear audio aesthetic early on to avoid any unexpected style changes down the line.

Arturia ARP 2600 VST used for sound design in 'Under Choices'
Arturia ARP 2600 VST used for sound design in 'Under Choices'

After finalizing the composition of our songs, our focus shifted to refining the sound elements that will be present in our game. This includes ambient sounds, dominant elements and accompaniments, audio synthesis, and texture & gesture. All these factors are crucial in creating an immersive and memorable original soundtrack for our game.

In conclusion, our journey in developing "Under Choices" is a testament to our commitment to creating a game that is not only engaging but also player-centric. Our meticulous planning and risk analysis, coupled with our dedication to a player-centric approach, are the driving forces behind our project. As we continue to navigate through the development process, we remain excited and passionate about bringing our vision to life.

Signing off,

Zizo Mass


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