Does beta testing make a difference?

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

We've started our first round of beta testing and the feedback we've received is helping to define the direction we're taking moving forward.

The Concept

Imagine being on a tropical island with your friends and you decide to play capture the flag. You've each got your own flag to defend, and you've got laser guns and programable robots. That's Super Code Strike in a nutshell.

Beta Testing

We invited beta testers to come into the Toronto office for in-person testing beginning January 2020. At this stage we were working with a very simple mock-up of the game (see below); no art, no sounds or tutorials. We wanted to know whether it was fun (or not) to build a base around your flag using a series of walls and explodable crates. And, to use simple block based coding, to program a defence team of robots to spin and shoot on command or in a series of patterns.

Next came striking another's base. Could players defeat their friends robots, find their way to the flag and enjoy the simple victory? Yes, and it was fun. BUT we learned that actually being able to select the bases you're striking is way more fun. Being sent to bases at random wasn't nearly as cool as being able to play the base your friend just made, published - and then challenged you to beat.

The most difficult aspect of gameplay was setting up your own base. In this design, the player was faced with a large, empty base and an inventory collection on the right hand side. The process of building your base was to select items from inventory and then drag and drop them (one-by-one) to form walls and barriers.

The feed back we received surprised us. Players were not initially inspired to be creative, instead they felt overwhelmed with options. Unlike striking which was immediately fun and easy to get the hang-of, building a base took time and it involved a learning curve for those programming robots. It's at this stage that we realized the value of a well thought-out tutorial to introduce players to block based coding. We also moved forward with a different inventory strategy, eliminating the drag and drop process.

Most importantly though, the beta testers were clear that the game was fun because it involved their friends. It was easier to build bases when a friend was involved in showing you how, the challenge of defeating your friends with a complicated base made the time you spent building worth it. Moving forward we will be working to integrate this feedback as much as possible, and we will continue to work with beta testers, allowing their experiences and feedback to determine our focus areas as we prepare to launch Super Code Strike to the public.

Interested in becoming a beta tester for Super Code Strike? Sign up to participate here: SCS Beta Testing

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