Introduction Section Artwork

Without giving too much away we wanted to show off some of our artwork from the introduction section of our game book, Malevolence.

The introduction section is a very important aspect of the game book, it introduces users to characters and the world in which the game book is set. It also builds up tension and events. A lot of the art work you’ll see uploaded here will have animations or moving objects. All of the scenes slowly transition to each other when the user clicks the forward arrow, changing the text shown on screen. Each background will coincide with the text that is displayed.

We have only uploaded a few images. They are so much nicer when they are working together in transition on the iPad. We’ll let you be the judge of that.

Until our next Blog,

Team Malevolence ~


User Testing

It has become a number one focus of the team to prioritise “User Testing”. After our initial project documentation (requirements and design) we narrowed down the type of market that our interactive game book would appeal to. So how do we go about sourcing users to test our product? Basically for Malevolence, we scouted online forums with fans dedicated to fighting fantasy and choose your own adventure style game books. We posted a basic overview of what type of game book we are developing and shared all our social networking details so they may follow the progress of the project. Through this we have sourced small group of people that commonly play these books to test for us. As well as that, we have a group of people sourced online through our social media that own ipads that have never played these types of game books to test too. In that respect, we have two different types of groups and users testing.

For the narrative testing we uploaded the narrative and all linking branches to html pages. We then implemented google analytics so we could track our users choices and paths. Find the images below that highlight certain aspects.

Analytics All Web Site Data Visitors Flow 20130906-20131006

Google analytics set up
Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 19.13.39

Drop off Rate

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.03

Results from google analytics data, that shows 32% of readers made it to the final scene.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.22

The red line indicates the most commonly chosen path by users.

In-Person User Testing

The team have also attended “Testing Jams” with consist of various users of different age/sex/culture to test our game book. These users may never have played a game book before or in fact have never played an application on an iPad before so it was interesting to see how they interacted with Malevolence. Currently we have only attended one of these testing sessions but have more planned in coming weeks. During these testing sessions the environment has played a huge role. We have tested in a small space, with a seat for the users, window open to allow air to flow but the room has been a comfortable temperature. We have then handed the iPad to the user with a current build of the game book ready to play. We have then taken note of users interactions and asked them a short list of questions at the end. It has been noted since our previous testing session that users found the combat scene very difficult and hope to address that in the coming weeks.
Here is the results from our testing session on the 15/10/2013

Testing Session 15/10/2013

Combat Mechanics

Objective: Monitor users interactions with the game scene. Can they figure out how to use it with minimal instruction? Are they using buttons displayed? Did they win/lose?


Objective: Monitor and record users interactions with the navigation throughout the gamebook. Can they use it? Is it obvious what the various navigations are for?

Testing Room Environment

Small quiet room. Medium temperature. No Noise, chatting kept to minimal volume. Capacity 18 people. 9-12 people present at any given time.


User 1 –

  • Lots of hyphenation in narrative that needs to be taken out.

  • Would like to see small drawings on blank spaces on paper background. (stamp or logo or symbol)

  • Didn’t understand how to use stats.

  • Really liked HUD – easily navigated through intro and branching narrative.

  • Struggled with combat scene/still couldn’t understand how to use it with minimal instructions.

  • Prefer if the introduction corresponded in similar style to branching narrative but could felt that opinion was not valid as she did not read those style books before. (However, did prefer introduction style with illustration to correspond with text.)

  • Definitely need instructions for combat scene/couldn’t use it at all.

User 2 –

  • Throughout navigations work well and it has a good feel.

  • The buttons should highlight on hover, not the other way around.

  • No minus on stats.

  • Last piece of the action bar (yellow block) looks like a button.

  • Message board needs to be changed.

  • Health is beside the timer rather than being displayed with the health bar.

  • Would prefer introduction and branching narrative to be similar in design.

  • Knew how to use combat system with minimal instruction. Did not need any instruction on navigations.

User 3 –

  • Change the open hud arrow.

  • More visual feedback needed on buttons in HUD when touched. (cracks in wood)

  • Break up text with paragraph breaks.

  • Ask a question in the branching narrative asking the player what do they wish to do before giving the choices.

  • Sprite animation needed for attacks

  • Tutorial explaining the health, timer and attack bars purpose

  • Audio is needed

User 4 –

  • Animated graphics to fill blank space.

  • Paper texture looks better with darker backgrounds.

  • Tutorial need for fight – possible in the intro that users have the option to skip.

Test Flight

From the group of testers we gathered online, we created a group for them all on Facebook. It seemed an easy way to inform the users of new builds and sharing links without emailing each individually. Of course, we have kept a record of all user details anyway.  We emailed users our build on test flight, when they have approved of our provisioning license, we send them an email with the current build.  We have received a lot of feedback using this method of testing.

In our next blog we will discuss artwork of enemies that can be seen in the Malevolence.

Team Malevolence ~

Sprint 2

We are a bit behind on updating our blog but luckily we are keeping track of all our development as we progress through creating Malevolence.

Since our previous post, we have completed a lot of user testing on the Narrative of the book as well as user testing the combat mechanic.We have also passed our Sprint 2 deadline. We have presented once again in front of our lecturers in DIT to receive feedback on our work and progress so far. Please see the screen shots below of our presentation that day, highlighting our user testing and objectives for the next sprint.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.31.43 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.31.53 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.03 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.12 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.22 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.32 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.40 Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 13.32.47

We also recreated a short video that gives a short overview of gameplay.

Here is the feedback we received from lecturers :

  • The moving graphics on the pages (especially the inter pages) looked good.
  • use a spread sheet to list all assets, animations, character, fights and mechanics so you can see how much you have done and how much you have left to do. In these last two months you need to have a very clear idea of what is needed and what will take most time to do. this will help you focus your efforts were they are needed.

  • The fact that it was on a device and that core aspects of it were tested were big pluses. The testing will stand to you in the exit interview.

Our next blog we will update you on artwork progress and feedback from our social media!

Team Malevolence