My Neighbor Alice conducted an early end user testing with its target game audience and made a major design decision in the development of game controls.
Tool Development: Control Scheme Playtest
One of the very important design decisions that My Neighbor Alice is making at this moment is the way that the game controls work. The game controls are the main way that the player interacts with the game. It is of the highest importance that the controls are easy to learn, powerful in their actions, and “feel” sweet and enjoyable to use. So here is what they did:
One of My Neighbor Alice programmers made a prototype where they could try out two different control schemes. One control scheme was inspired by RPG games, and the other inspired by FPS games. When they tested it with a member of My Neighbor Alice target audience (casual female gamers aged 18 to 38), they found that the RPG style controls were much more appreciated. They were easier to learn, and clicking on something to interact with it felt more natural than pressing a key and having to remember what key corresponds to what action. This shows how important early end user testing is: Without it, My Neighbor Alice may have implemented a control scheme that was less enjoyable to use, leading to decreased engagement with the game.
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