Sonntag, 3. Februar 2013

Think Aloud

The Setup:

We tried to simulate a real setup, we used a beamer to simulate the public display and positioned the kinect under the projection surface. We designated two people of our team to observe the test subject, only those two people were allowed to ask question. The test took place in a meeting room because there we could calibrate the beamer and kinect for our purpose.
The Task:

We developed different stages for the tasks. The goal of the first stage is to start the game, we asked the test subject to stand outside of the view field of the kinect and then enter the "playground". 

The second stage was to win the game, this one was some kind of a trick question because you cannot win the game. You can only earn so much score till you run out of lives. 

We tried to aim for a full circle of the game in about 5 minutes.

Test Subject #1
Sex: Female
Age: 28 
Prior Knowledge: None, never used a kinect or other motion controls

No indication if the user is properly tracked. (3)
Interaction possibilities not clear. (2)
Game rules not clear. (2)

Test Subject #2
Sex: Male
Age: 21
Prior Knowledge: Sparse experience with motion controller but expert in gaming

No indication if the user is properly tracked. (3)


To solve the problem of the uncertain state of tracking we gonna implement a shadow which will follow the horizontal movements of the user, which should indicate the tracking.

The game needs some kind of interactive tutorial to introduce the game rules and interaction spectrum, a scripted start in which the different game elements and their effects are described, with such a tutorial the interaction possibilities are easy to learn.

Samstag, 26. Januar 2013

New Game

We collected feedback from different people and tried to act on it, which had a complete change of our current game as consequence. We will describe our new idea and give a overview of the features and how the game is played.
Our new game idea is inspired by games like Tetris, Bejeweled and Fruit Ninja. We want to create an enviroment for the player in which he has fun but at the same time some tension in regards to his personnel best.

Player sees a wall, on which different elements descend in three columns. His goal is it to collect gems to score points and prevent bombs to reach the floor. If a bomb reaches the floor the player loses one of his initial three lives. The player can increase the number of lives he has through collecting stars, which also descending on the wall. To collect and destroy objects the players has to throw balls at the wall. He has to throw the ball at the right height to hit a target, in addition his position in front of the wall determines at which column the ball is aimed.

A short list of possible game machanics (subject to change):

  •  Different ball sizes to in/decrease the chance to hit a target
  • Different ball speeds determine the height at which the ball has to be fired
  • Fire multiple balls at mulitple columns at once
  • Increasing speed of the items over time to increase the difficulty
  • Gems which will fall apart into smaller gems, the player needs to hit them multiple times to collect the points
Information which should be visible to the player (subject to change):
  • Number of current lives
  • Current score
  • Current active game effects
  • List of the different tiers of gems


Heuristic Evaluation

We are going to discuss our game in the context of heuristic evaluations and we will derive necessary changes to our ptototype:

We developed two heuristics of our own for the game:

Average Speed to complete a action

The duration of the execution of an action is very important for the feeling of a game. It can make the difference between an action-packed game and a very boring expierence. Our goal should be to make action feel very fast and impactful.

For the average time for a move we can increase/decrease the roation speed of the cubes, those rotations are the only visual impact of the actions at the moment.

How clear is the goal of the game at every point in the game. The player should always be aware or it should be seeable what the goals is.

We show a pattern which visualizes how the cubes should look at the end of the game.

Standard heuristics

We need better feedback of the state of the game. To realise this we have to implement some kind of scroring, we decided to show the player a clock which counts the time the player has needed to complete the pattern.

To improve the error correction we will implement the ability to reverse a rotation action which is currently active. For this the user has to do the reverse swipe action, if he wants to abort a left rotation he has to do a right swipe.

A additional aspect of  error correction is the alert when the player is getting lost and the kinect can track him anymore, then the game should display a message.

Mittwoch, 9. Januar 2013

Take a look at our first prototype

Here is a sneak peak of our first prototype, we started to implement our first idea before we conducted our uoser tests. Sadly the user tests showed, that our ideas were not ready for the public and needed many adaptions:

This will now take more work, than to implement a new fresh prototype. 
We learnt a important leasson for developing a user friendly interface/interaction-scheme:

Do not think your ideas are any good before someone, who is not your team member, says it is good!

week#3: Who did what?

Alexa: paper prototyping
Nizar: paper prototyping
Stephen: organising the meeting, paper prototyping, pictures
Aouatef: questions and task for user testing


Github Organisation:

Documentations Repo:

Source Code Repo:

Change is imminent

We got great feedback from our testers, we will summarize the important points and derive changes to the prototype:

  • User want to what is on the other sides of the cubes, to make better decisions for their turn.
  • Buttons for changing the rotation mode are not optimal, the users want to use natural gestures like swipe or rotation of their wrist as command to chnage the cube.
  • Selection with the left hand are not optimal: When the user is moving the selection changes, they want to make a selection with a command and disable the selection with a other command.
  • The initial goal is not clear to the user, when he sees only the cubes.

What we decided to change for future prototypes:

  • Implement some kind of goal, which implicit communicates the kind of interaction. This will make the interaction more intuitive and removes the buttons from the UI.
  • Find a way to make the overall goal clear for the user (Interactive Tutorial, Scorecounter etc.)
  • Implement swype gestures for rotating the cube.
  • Implement a command chain for selecting and deselecting a cube.

The changes for the paper prototype are minimal but significant in their impact, we removed the two buttons from the UI and changed the laser pointer selection to a gesture selection. When the user is pointing on a cube the cube is selected. Now the can use swype gestures to rotate the cubes. When the rotation is complete the user can make another gesture (undefined at this moment) and return to the selection mode.

The selection indicator

The indicator should be aware what are the other sides of the cube and visualize them to support the next decision of the user.

Let the games begin!

We invited twodifferent people to test the prototype, a male and a female.

A in-depth summary of the test will follow, first we need to get the permission to publish photos of the users, which we forgot to ask during the test.

Take a look at our finding a post above.

Our first paper prototype

We started with the extraction of the UI-elements:

  • The cubes
  • The Marker, which indicates the current selected cube. 
  • The selection buttons for switching the rotation direction.

Then we decided how we want to create a those things as a paper prototype. The first idea to visualize the cube was to use Post-It's on a flip chart with different colors and change the the Post-It whenever the cube would rotate during game. In our game idea, the user selects the current cube through holding the left hand in the direction of the cube. We decided to simulate the selection with a laserpointer. The buttons are simple piece of paper and an arrow for indicating the current selected mode.
We build the necessary elements and put them all in place, and there we discovered that the post-it's do not give a required visual feedback and do not represent the cubes well.
So we started to build real cubes with colored sides and succeeded greatly.
Here are some pictures of our prototype:

In the center you can see the the cubes, the have all the same color combination. At the start of the game the shown color combination is randomly determanted.

An Overview of the prototype

The two buttons for changing the rotation mode

A close up of the cubes to see some of the other sides

week#2: Who did what?

Alexa: drafting the storyboard, interviews, interview findings and design modifications
Nizar: unity vvaluation, programming, interview findings and design modifications
Stephen: creating the questionair, interviews, blogpost about persona and interviews
Aouatef: interviews, blogpost about interview questions

Our Design Principles

  • Our game must be very easy to understand, so that people can comprehend the game mechanics within the few minutes of waiting time.
  • The duration of the game must fit the time people are waiting.
  • The game should be designed in a way that people feel confident while playing the game in public.

A lot of Design Modification


We will do without a profit/win in the end. It did not seem to be important as a motivation for playing the game.


The multiplayer mode is not an optional feature anymore, it's the must-have feature! We are focusing on cooperative mode, as people wan't to play with there friends and don't want to play alone.

Adjust the complexity of the game to the average waiting time

If the waiting time is very short, the game must be very easy and fast to achive a goal. To achive that we would need to replace the textures with colors, so the game would be easyer. Also the number of qubes needs to be reduced if the waiting time is short. If we have a long waiting time (e.g. hospital) the game could be more complex and could last longer.


The operation of the game must be very easy to pick up, especially if the waiting time is very short. We need to rethink the operation of the rotation.

Place and Szenarios

If children are playing the place must be very save.
We definately need to agree on one szenario. As to many differnt szenarios really can change the requirements.

We need decisions!

  • Are we talking about children or parents?
  • What's the average waiting time?
  • What waiting place we are focusing on?

Dienstag, 8. Januar 2013

Interview findings (summary)

In total we intervied 6 people.


We found out that the interaction part of the game was not very clear to the users (P2, P3, P6), some had problems understanding the whole concept. To P1 it was not clear how to actually select the specific rotation. It was also said that the rotation will be tiring. Game instructions need to be really simple and easy to pick up.

Multiplayer Mode

We found out that a multiplayer mode is very essential. Nobody want's to play alone, because "man will sich nicht alleine zum Affen machen". It seems that people are a little bit afraid of playing/acting in public.

Winning something

Getting a prize in the end is not important for P1, P3. The others didn't say something about it.

Time and Place

The time, which is available for playing is very important. It needs to be around 5 minutes. Also one person said (P2) that while waiting for public transport he can not focused on the game. If children are playing it needs to be a save place. Also people need time to play (e.g. waiting in the hospital). The time and place aspect is very important! Maybe we have to rethink our scenarios.

Freitag, 4. Januar 2013

All about the Interviews

Alexa - talked to 2 people (two male Students, mid-20th)

Places they are waiting the most: public transport, while picking up other people, traffic light, fast food
Average waiting time: 3-5 min

Person 1

He played Sport-Games like Tennis and Bowling using the Wii, but only once. He has no fun playing those games. Also playing Tennis is pretty boring.  Usually he prefers "real" games (like Super Mario, Minecraft, Batman), with a more advanced and elaborate control concept. He things that you could never play GTA4 with such a device. He was not really convinced playing the game, but would definitely try it out. He would prefer a multiplayer games as he doesn't want to be the only one to make a fool of oneself.

Game related

He liked the idea. It wasn't clear to him how to choose the direction of rotation, how to do it with his left hand. The Idea of winning something wouldn't change his desire to play the game. The game would kind of  distract him from waiting so long, as he would have something to do. He prefers cooperative games.


  • What do you do if a lot of people standing in front of the screen?
  • Multiplayer: cooperative -> All should throw on one field. competitive -> Splitscreen

Person 2

He had very little experience with motion controlled games. He played a racing game and a fighting game once. He really liked it, because for him it is very difficult to use a common physical controllers as it is very hard to remember key combinations and pushing the right buttons at the right time.
He wouldn't play motion controlled game in public, as he usually has to carry a lot of stuff (coat, backpack, laptop). Also he said he would not be really focused, because he has to concentrate on two things: waiting for the train and playing a game. He could imaging displaying short comics (like in Frankfurt).

Game related

He likes the game idea, because he likes rubik cubes. Probably he would try out the game.


  • selecting Rotation in not clear
  • multiplayer mode is essential (man will sich nicht alleine "zum Affen machen")
  • prize in the end is not important
  • while waiting for public transport not focused to play

Stephen - talked to 2 people (a mother of two boys and a male student)

Person 3

A mother of two boys, 4 and 7 years old. She usually waits at public transportation stations and places like doctors. She does not have interest in any games but she would probably play it if one of her sons would ask her to play it with her. Her older son would totally play this game at any location, so she thinks. She has some reservations about the public displays at locations like the metro or bus station because she would worry about her kids falling in front of a train or car. At the doctor or other locations she thinks it is a good idea and likes the simple concept with colors and the dice. A educational background with numbers or letters could create positive side effects.

Game concept comments

The interaction concept was not clear, even after multiple explanations. She has no experience with any kind of motion controller or games in general. The motivation with prices is not a aspect which would get her to play the game. For kids she thinks there need to be another achievement.

Person 4

A business administration student who plays a lot o games in his free time. He plays different kind of games like FPS, RTS and MOBA. He is not a fan of motion controller, he would rather control the game over a touch display. He would be embarrassed to "jump" around a display in public but would it do if he was drunk or with friends. He normally only has to wait at bus and train stations, the game time has to be less then the bus/ train interval (5minutes).

Game concept comments

He likes the puzzle aspect of the game and likes the interaction with both hands, he said its future stylish. Likes the multiplayer part, would rather play it competitive than cooperative.


  • Game time is relevant, it needs to be around 5 minutes
  • Game instructions need to be really simple and easy to pick up
  • if children are playing it needs to be a save place
  • some kind of prize in the end is not important

Aouatef - talked to 2 people (a men and a women)

Person 5

Hamza (35 years old), who is employed by German Patient Care. He plays different kind of games like PES, super mario and other sports games in his free time. He wait a long time (sometimes 6 std) in hospital and specially at the first aid. He has experience with motion controlled games und finds it very interesting.

Game concept comment

He don't likes the puzzle concept but he would try it if he is with friends.

Person 6

Xiaoying is 27 years old, she is student. She hates to wait at the "Prüfungsamt", sometimes she has to wait more than 1 hour. She has a little bit expereince with motion controller games like Wii dance. Public display games would she try if she is with friends and she has time. She would do it cooperative or competitive.

Game concept comment>

The idea is complicated, the rotation of the cubes will be tiring.


  • needs to be a multiplayer game 
  • people need time to play (e.g. waiting in the hospital)
  • Rotation is not clear