The play testing for our group was as important as it was for all the other groups. It gave us a lot of insight what players thought that we needed to change with the game and good feedback about what we had done right. We got both constructive criticism and good compliments about things that we had done nicely.
The first play testing, we had included enemy one with a very complex movement pattern which was made by our very talented programmer. This though had consumed an enormous amount of time for him and unfortunately we never ended up having time to add another enemy other than the boss. Fortunately though this one enemy was challenge enough for players to fight off, and make the game interesting without having to add another enemy.
This particular enemy was a bird which flew towards the player shooting one shot and then entered into an orbit around the player where it did damage by electrocuting the player as it flew around. Additionally this enemy always entered the playing field with multiple other ones which followed the first one like a train. Each wave was about 10 enemies that flew in.
After the first play testing, people were very impressed by the behavior of this enemy and had some troubles dodging this orbiting enemy and destroying it before it was able to deal damage to the player. This though was one of the compliments that we got, with some being that they thought it was a little too hard. But while it made it hard it also made people more interested in trying it again and again. The constructive criticism that we got was that they didn’t think that our avatar was moving like a ship enough and they wanted something that felt more natural.
We ended up fixing this by adding a little delay between the controls and the actual movement of the avatar. That way players got the feeling of being in a ship rather than a car.
Our second play testing was a little more interesting since we had already included our complete boss at this time and player were very impressed by this. The boss was able to dash at them, and was able to bite the avatar and be damaged as well as die.
As far as other enemies goes, we were not able to add any more to the game so we ended up spending the time on the boss instead.
The constructive criticism for the second play testing was mostly that our boss was too difficult to kill if you didn’t know exactly how to avoid him in the first place. So the decision was made to slow down the bosses dash so player had more time to avoid the boss and therefore stay alive. This small but necessary change to the bosses behavior was enough for the players to appreciate the game and give us good reviews.