Jan 8, 2013

Paper prototype

Since we are computer science students and we don't like blindly using paper and then throw it away. We like the trees, because they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Instead, we made a short gif depicting the action component of our game. Two of the four player screens are omitted. This is also the second scenario of our storyboard. Afterwards we created one small paper prototype and tested it on 2 users.

Action Component: throw a snowball at the player in front of you. (Storyboard 2)

The green player (P2) is sledding behind the red player (P1). P2 previously collected a snowball from the ground. In frame 2 P2 throws the snowball when the course is straight. In frame 5 P1 is hit, loses some speed and drifts with the sledge.

Paper Prototype

Problems with a paper prototype:
  • We would need to move a whole 3D world for this prototype which is impossible to accurately depict this on a piece of paper: We decided to make a 2D version approximation.
  • Because of the size of the prototype it would be counterproductive to implement and test more than one game mechanic.
  • Speed is important for our game, but because of limitations in simulated speed accuracy (coarse muscle movement): we did not try to match the correct speed during user testing based on previous self tests.
The following video shows one short run with the player leaning to turn left or right before user testing.

Paper Prototype Results

User feedback
Both users had no problems with the leaning part of the controls. As mentioned above the speed could not be applied correctly. We also tried to slow everything down completely, but then the sense of what was going on was distorted.

We also tried the action approach where the two users would sled over an icon (depicted as a triangle in the video) and get a snow ball to throw. Both users said that they didn't know what happened. So we added an indicator that the user did collect a snow ball on the way which would appear immediately in the upper left corner of a view.

The following gif animation shows the change that we introduces after the first user testing: Visual feedback of a collected item.

Collectable item shows up in the upper left corner

Some trees were harmed during the creation of those previous movies.

A lot of open questions could be answered during this analysis phase. We collected very good feedback and suggestions. May the prototype implementation begin!

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