Week 9 (July 23rd-July 29th)


Evie and I thought that our games were ready for some real test-playing early on this week and we decided to play each other’s games. She ran through the Konijn Gemstones version of my game and showed me that it needed a lot more work. So, that version has been put back on the ‘Still Under Construction’ shelve and I put the finishing touches on the Grimore: Sarcastic Spellbook quest so that it can be used for our first few test subjects.

Friday of last week we went to dinner with a professional game developer, as well as a new professor to UNCC and he came and reviewed our game. He helped us dig through it and pointed out some interesting features to NWN Toolset, such as the fact that I can write to the game’s log. Because of this discovery, I added log scripts to the quests and now we can know exactly when students do certain things in the game. The first subject I ran through with this log system helped me learn a -lot- about what players look at doing while playing and gave me some input into things I should fix before we started running the real subjects through the game.

This week has been mostly dedicated to preparing our group’s presentations for Thursday, as well as getting all the study materials ready by Wednesday. We had hoped to start running subjects Tuesday, but the presentation development process set it back a day. Our first official test was a bit.. unorganized.. and we had some difficulty finding a machine in the lap that could handle Neverwinter Nights decently. Both official tests that we’ve run so far have ended up being on my laptop, which is not exactly going to work. One of the main goals for next week is to find a machine that can run the game, so I can have my laptop back to myself.

The presentations went well, though there was some overlapping between group members. To see a copy of my presentation, go to Week 10 (be warned, it’s a large file with all the screenshots).

No real way to lead into this, but Tuesday we received an email about a game symposium in Boston this weekend. Three of us jumped at the chance so now, along with Dr. Barnes, we’re on our way to Boston. I’m actually writing this right now over Boston while we wait for the landing strips to clear. We’re volunteering at the symposium in order to attend for free and I’ll be sure to do a special entry on the trip, including pictures of the city and event.

Landing time, and one more week to go. Hopefully we’ll be able to get more subjects into the study and finish our all papers in time. Wish me luck!

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