CS/INFO 4152: Advanced Topics in Computer Game Development

Assignment 13
Closed Beta Release

Demo: Monday, April 17th at 11:15 am
Due: Saturday, April 22nd at 11:59 pm

Your fourth presentation is your "closed beta" presentation. In order to get your development going quickly this semester, we moved up the production schedule split the single beta release into two. With that said, the difference between betas is a bit artificial. As for any beta release, we are expecting a clearly recognizable game. In particular, we want at least four playable levels of clearly varying difficulty.

In addition, closed beta should be finished enough that you can start getting extensive feedback on your game from your close friends or residential hall mates. It should be playable by people who are forgiving of a clearly unfinished piece of software. This is different from public beta, where the user interface should be much more polished (from feedback on this closed beta).


Class Presentation

As with the last prototype, your class presentation will consist of two parts. However, this time the presentation is a little different. We are not asking for a separate designer presentation to show off art. By this time, we hope that your assets are finally incorporated into the game. Instead, we ask that the designers give us another presentation: outlining a user testing plan.

Software Deliverable

We will have roughly 18 minutes per group, per presentation. We want the bulk of this time (8-10 minutes) to be devoted to showing off the game so far. You should have one person playing it while another team member narrates the play; the narrator and player should not be the same person (so that the player can concentrate on playing). The narrator should point out game play elements, challenges, and strategies as the player encounters them.

We expect this to be somewhat rehearsed. You should develop a script for this presentation and stick to it (to the best of your player's ability at the game).

User Testing Presentation

The remainder of the time should be spent talking about your testing plan. We do not expect you to have done any formal playtesting before this presentation. The purpose of this presentation is to tell us what you plan to do with this beta release now that it is completed. In outlining your testing plan, you should answer the following questions:

How are you going to get playtesters? What are you recruiting methods? People down the hall? Passers-by on Hoy Plaza (it is getting warmer)? We would like to know exactly what demographic you are trying to target for playtesting.

How will playtesters access your game? Can playtesters only work with your devices, or can they get the game on their own computer or mobile device? If you have to provide the devices, what are the logistics for doing this?

What types of things will you be testing? The game is not finished, so some things will need to be overlooked. What types of things will you be focusing on in your tests? Please give us a somewhat detailed list of the things you will be looking for.

How will you be recording the outcomes of the tests? Are you just going to do user surveys? Or will there be more complicated data collection? Sophisticated data collection is not necessary, but we will talk about it later in the semester.


Presentation Schedule

The structure for this presentation is the same as the previous ones. As you can see from looking at the calendar, this presentation will take place over the entire week. This is intended to give you long enough to present and answer questions. While we would like you to playtest, are moving playtesting to the discussion section. However, we might playtest in class if there is time.

So that you are prepared, the presentation schedule is as follows:

Monday (April 17)

  • 21 CUGL (Infernal Descent)
  • mujun rasen (Mesmer)
  • Boonana Games (Cannon)

Wednesday (April 19)

  • Hot 100 Fire (Flo)
  • CUGL Buddies (Laser Penguins)
  • One Group (Magic Moving Mansion Mania)

Friday (April 21)

  • Spoopy Squad (Cults Against Humanity)
  • Edge-Guard Studios (Slam-a-lot)
  • Candescent Gaming (Lit)

Submission

Due: Saturday, April 22nd at 11:59 pm

As before, you are not submitting any software to CMS. Instead, we want you to create a release in GitHub. This is the policy that we have had all semester.

However, we have an addition requirement this release. Several of you have networked games on iOS and it is hard for us to play them without access to your developer account. Therefore, we are demanding a TestFlight release for all iOS games. Talk to the course staff if you need to know more.

Finally, you should not forget to turn in your fourth two week report. This will allow us to see how you are organizing you time, and make suggestions for future milestones.