Usability Testing: Portfolio 1
Scratch ended up being a fun experience for me. At first, it looked like a kids game or something that I would understand very quickly. It turned out to be a lot more complex than I imagined but not impossible to understand. I can now say that I have successfully completed a Scratch interactive story game. I am mostly proud of it because I drew all of my own characters and backgrounds and coding. I felt like I had really achieved a fun game. More than that, I know if I had more time I would be able to create an even better game and expand the codes (through trial and error) to give a more adventurous experience for the user.
Two Scratch projects I looked at were A Close Shave because I thought it was adorable, and Space Hunter. The reason I chose these 2 games to watch and learn from was because they both held my attention. Neither of these games were games that I chose to model my own after, but I wanted the same idea of holding the attention of the user. Both of these Scratch projects were primarily "games" instead of narratives, which is what mine turned out to be.
The opening screen on my Scratch project clearly states that it is an interactive story, so the user can be ready to play with it and not just watch. The reason I added that was because there are a few seconds of story that play without the user doing anything and I didn't want people to think that it was not an interactive game.
Section 1: The point of the game is to help Henry the puppy with his adventures after he grows up. The story opens with a few seconds of the story to explain how Henry wants to go on an adventure (and hopefully that the user will say "aw, that's a cute puppy"). They get to help the puppy grow up before the adventure even starts. I wanted this whole beginning to draw in the user.
Section 2: The story builds by starting the adventure that section 1 talks about. The user get's Henry moving and get's him interacting with objects (such as a blue ball that he can take into his possession.) The blue ball leads Henry to a jungle, which further expands the elements of the game into these odd and unexpected places. Who knew a dog would grab hold of a portkey?
Section 3: Henry collects a bug, which leads him into space. This further builds on the other sections by letting the user see how far Henry can go and that this really was a cool adventure. I chose such locations such as a forest and space to catch the user off guard. It worked for the most part. Finally, Henry is able to come home and back to his bed. This ending allows the user to feel satisfied with what they have done.
Explanation: This game is a way to interact with a computer generated story. There are no mind boggling trivia questions or areas of difficulty. It is simply a game to satisfy a user and maybe get them thinking about a game of their own. The story is friendly and the scenery is exotic and unnexpected. Henry is a puppy that just wants to grow up and explore the world (and even further).
I used all of my own drawings, backgrounds, storylines, and coding. The only thing I can give credit to is Scratch itself for letting me expand my imagination. Some related sources would be the games I had mentioned before, since they caught my attention of "thrilling" the user.
2. Space Hunter
First User: The first user of my Scratch game was a female and I didn't tell her anything about it. She started the game with an "aw" at the puppy, just as I had hoped. She continued the game and read the directions thoroughly while following them just as closely. The game went a lot slower than I had expected, which I realized was because I was the only person who had played it before and I knew all of the commands wihtout having to read anything. That incident made me happy though because originally I thought the game was going to sweet and short but it DID lengthen out.
Second User: The second user was also a female. She thought the puppy was adorable, although I didn't get an "aw" out of her. She also followed the directions clearly and accurately. The only problem she had was accidentally clicking on the background at a time when she wasn't suppose to, which messed up the screen. This was actually my fault because I wanted the background to be clicked in just one screen but I couldn't find a way to make it so nothing would happen if the background was clicked on a different screen. It was okay though, I set the game back up and she was careful, so it worked well.
That glitch ended up being the only glitch I had in my game that I just did not have time to succesfully fix. I was able to work on it but it ended up messing up other parts, so I resulted in letting it go and hoping that none of my other testers would notice.
Third User: The third user was a male. He actually said "aw" at the puppy, which I was very pleased with. He followed the directions and helped Henry on his adventure, but the only comment he made was that it needed more. He was the only one that said that, I could make the assumption that it is because he is a guy. Of course, I know the game could use more but I told him that in the time I had, it was as good as I could make it, and he accepted the answer.
I learned a lot from my tesing that directions are very important. My testers commented that if I hadn't given certain directions than they would'nt have known what to do. I'm glad I was able to evolve my game into something that is playable.