Alpha Testing II

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To begin Alpha testing II, I had two new testers. Maddie who is familiar with Inform 7 was the first tester. She was very thorough and clear with the correct commands. Everything went smoothly with her testing until she came to the part in Dr. Carter's office with the crazy lady and the knife.
She hadn't examined the knife at first, therefore the next step of the game couldn't continue. I used that command to lead into the next piece of the puzzle because when you see a crazy lady speed into the room on a wheelchair with a knife, my first reaction is to either ask the crazy lady about the knife or examine it. Eventually after running out of options, and with hesitation she examined the knife.
I asked her why she didn't want to do that in the first place. She said the lady seemed like an enemy more than a friend and was afraid of losing the game if she confronted the lady with the knife. It was more out of fear of doing the wrong command. I never really thought of fearing of another character's reaction in interactive fiction. It's hard for me to believe that games like this are violent, but they obviously can be. I just haven't played any. However there was no inuendo of violence earlier in the game, so I'm not exactly sure why a player would be apprehensive about using a certain command or confronting a certain issue.

This also happened with my second test user, Clare. She is not familiar with Inform 7 at all, but after telling her the basics that she should examine objects and use directions of north, south, east, and west, she caught on unbelievably quick. She realized right away that she could take objects and give objects to the crazy lady. The only command I had to help her with was "ask lady about {object}." Other than that, she went through the game smoothly except for the same part as Maddie. The lady that suddenly speeds into the room with a knife scared her. She was nervous about making another move after that. She asked me how you can run away, because she thought the lady would attack her.
Initally, that was kind of my reaction I wanted from my players. I didn't want them to be afraid of continuing. I just wanted the reaction. Then after she realized there was nothing more to do except examine the knife, she sighed as the description read, "A sharp piece of metal with reminants of carrot slices."

So what I am going to try to do to solve this is make the situation less scary.

1 Comment

Humor is a great way to dispel fears.

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This page contains a single entry by published on December 1, 2008 10:24 PM.

Corrections for Mistakes found in Alpha Testing I was the previous entry in this blog.

Tiffany's Favorite Program for her Final Project is the next entry in this blog.

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