The WaterCooler Game Test

Recently we were asked to test a game called WaterCooler, which is currently in the alpha phase of development. The premise of the game is that you are a boss at a game studio, with the responsibility of choosing what game to develop and allocate to a selected team member. You also must manage the teams moral, which can fluctuate depending on the activates they are doing. So, if they have not worked in a while they may get bored and aggravated, which is where the watercooler comes in. You can go up to them and suggest going over to the watercooler to talk. Here you are prompted to pick one of a few dialogue options in a response to what they said. Depending on how well you talked to them, there moral can boost or lower which gives some consequence to your actions. However, the more I played the game the more I realised that each time I would talk to somebody they would often repeat the same things they said last time. Vice versa, I also normally only had the same things to say back, so repetition was a problem very early in the game.

 

The game also had a cartoony, colourful and bright look which complimented its quirky concept. It had a very “mobile game” look, which is one of its possible target platforms. Progression also came in the form of each game being developed and completed. This lead to more people being hired and more management involved in talking to them, and going over to the watercooler. As more recourses became prevalent, the more you could improve the look of the place with the player being able to place plants within the office. My play time was limited however, playing only half an hour at max. I did see that there were more offices to unlock as the game progressed, giving the player a sense of progression and progress. It also breaks up slightly, the relativeness of seeing the same environment.IMG_20170425_112305.jpgThere are also points where it will reward you with an achievement like moment, when you achieve certain criteria.IMG_20170425_112640.jpgThis one was for boosting the mood of a co-worker by talking at the WaterCooler. You also get an experience reward for this, along with a bonus if you meet the extra criteria which I missed. Moments like this will keep the player interested and motivated, and make them feel like the extra effort they put in is worth it.IMG_20170425_110825.jpgI also filled in a questionnaire before and after playing with many questions about enjoying the game, to bugs and what types of games I play. It was clear to see there were many deep analytics so the developers can carefully test their games, whilst also seeing what new features need adding. Whilst playing the game for half an hour it did become apparent that I was not the target demographic for this game, as it did not have the depth needed to keep me interest for a long period of time. I can see this being aimed at a younger mobile orientated audience who are interested in management like games. I did come across one bug whilst playing, which is when using the mouse scroll wheel I was able to zoom in indefinitely with no limit. It is also important to remember that the game is in alpha state, and could improve and iterate on its current features.

 

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