Feedback On Level 1

Latest Version:

The results from our recent playtesting have highlighted some major areas for improvement. One of the key takeaways was that players generally felt they needed the game to give them more visual feedback and clues, for example, so that they know immediately if an object is something they can interact with, and how they are meant to interact with it.

Another thing we noticed was that players wanted the option to be able to move around more freely, and didn’t like that clicking the doll “trapped” them in the close-up view because they worried they had done something wrong and broken the game, and where not expecting this to happen. However we also found that when players were unsure about what to do next (particularly when it came to the task of scraping off the old eye glue), they would get themselves in a loop of clicking any buttons they could see and not always try new things. We see that we need to give some more detailed instructions to give players more guidance, and whilst we agree that being able to zoom in and out of the doll would be nice, we are worried it might make this part of the level more challenging.

Before moving on to the next part of level 1, or even level 2, we want to take the time to respond to some of this feedback, make changes, and test again, so that we are improving the gameplay and mechanics now as much as possible before giving people more to do (if people are just going to have the same issues).


We found that generally people were struggling with scraping the old eye glue off, because they were unsure of which motion to make and couldn’t tell if their actions were having any effect.

We have thought about simple ways to hint that a scraping, back-and-forth motion is required, and will try to make sure there is some kind of visual feedback to let the player know that they are doing it correctly.

One relatively quick fix is animating the scraper so that it moves when the player is making the correct motion, as this should immediately signal that their actions are having an effect of some sort.

We could also look at adding sound effects, and maybe even some particle effects to show something is being “scraped” off.

Cursor States

As part of communicating and feeding back to our player visually, we should be using our cursor image to convey different possible actions that the player can or is doing (e.g. grab vs inspect vs using item).

This is a technique often used in point-and-click games, because it helps players identify what they can interact with, and gives a hint as to how they will be doing so.

For example in Myst, the direction the hand cursor points in changes when you move to the edge of the screen to signal that there is something (that you can move to) in that direction.

We could take this a step further by having animated cursors, to not only add more movement to the game but to really help convey motions and actions.


Another feature we would like to add to the level and test is having objects gain an outline when the player hovers over them.

Based on the feedback we received, we think this could be another good way to make the level’s tasks more clear and understandable. It will reveal to the player that they can in fact interact with certain objects in situations where the mouse cursor might not necessarily change.

At this point, we are not sure if we want to have the cursor states or the object outlines, or both, so for now we are implementing both fairly quickly so we can test the level again and see if either one is helpful in any way.

Player Movement

We understand why players would prefer to be able to move more freely and zoom in and out of the doll whenever. Unfortunately, the way our game is structured it is intended to be very linear and guided, and the task tracking system currently used by the game means that adding the ability to move around wherever whenever would break the game in its current state and require me to rewrite a lot of code. It is also a feature of the games that inspired us to have arrows that appear once each section of the game is complete and the player can move on.

However, I did still want to try and implement this so we could at least try it out and test the response to see if it was really worth restructuring the game for. Unfortunately I couldn’t get this to work, as it created too many bugs specifically when it comes to the doll close-ups and zooming out at any point. As a slight compromise, once the first 2 tasks are complete and the move arrow appears, the player can then at least move freely between the table and shelf when ever they please.

Now that we’ve identified these issues, and have some solutions in mind for each one, we will spend the next week or so acting on this feedback to prepare a new version of the game for more testing.

Laura Alford

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