[Test 1] Testing the prototype
Since the last ideation, we have change the rules of the game because we found that the initial objective of the game was not that clear after some internal group testing.
We create a story that we need to bring the duck across the river. This is much easier to explain the game objective rather than “try to create a series of bombs so that you can kill the opponent”.
The biggest assumption is the “If/Else” card and the “while” loop card. The “If/Else” card has the ability to bring more than 2 ducks across the river, while for the “While” loop card allow the duck to dash to the finishing line. We assume that the children would understand this.
The first game
The test is conducted to 7 participants who age from 9 to 11 years old. 4 boys and 3 girls. It was a 2 vs 2 game mode.
There are a few things that we would like to find out from the first game.
- Do the children understand the game play ?
- Do the children find the game interesting?
- How do the children play the game?
Although we started the game with only the movement cards, bomb cards, stop cards and the wave cards, we have discovered some insights that we did not realised before.
Problems found from the first prototype
We do not know what is the size that we should start with, so we start the 9 by 9 grid which is based on the Go game . However, during the game play, we realised that the board is too small which prevent the players from moving and placing the bomb strategically.
As we are not sure what is the ratio of the cards should be in the game deck, we started of with 50% movement cards, 30% bomb cards, and the rest are wave and stop cards. In this ratio, there are situation that one of the player have too many bomb cards and only 1 movement cards. This player has trouble planning his next move.
In one of the game, one of the player has a least 5 wave cards. The purpose of the wave card is to push all the ducks back by 3 steps. With that cards, he is able to push all the ducks back to the starting point. Forcing the other player to start all over again. As a result, they could not end the game after 1 hour of game play and they are beginning to get bored from the unfair game play.
The second game
In the second game, we did a quick rectification after observing the game play from the first game.
- We increase the board from 9 x 9 grid to 11 x 11 grid
- We change the ratio of the bomb card and the wave card.
- We also introduce the “If/else” cards, “For loop” cards and the “while” cards in the second game
The whole game last for an 1 hr and the children are able to apply the “For Loop” card without any issue. However, they could not understand very well what is the “if/else” card and “while” card for.
Feedbacks that we have received from the facilitators : -
- The game play is easy to understand but it could be more interesting if there are interesting copy writing on the card like the Explosive Kitten.
- “Stop”card need to be rephrased. Is it a skip card or stop the other player from making the move.
- Rules should be much clearer.
- Ratio of the deck should be improved further.
- The colour code of the play card is not clear and misleading.
- “If/else” card and “while” card could be explained better on the card.
- Encourage the player to say the instruction out loud rather just throwing the card on the table.
- Drawing the board on the paper is quite a hassle.
Although the initial intention of the game is meant to be 1 vs 1. Due to the size limitation of the venue, we start the game with 2 vs 2 as a collaboration mode instead.
From this, we realised that the players are able to learn more and better through discussion and collaboration. This remind me of the pair programming approach where knowledge is been constantly shared between pair programmers.
This gives us the idea that for the beginner to pick up the game fast with a short learning curve, they could play the game in pair initially.
There will be another group of players in a few weeks time and by then, we should have improved the game design base on the feedbacks that we have collected so far.