I held a focus group with 8 people aged between 19-23, I had some pre written questions to ask them about how they felt towards the characters that were drawn. (See Apendix 2 for full notes). From the group it was almost certain that they did not like the characters. They didn’t like the idea of the characters in costumes, they felt that maybe if there was more detail to the costumes that they would like them more. They thought that if the costume is going to be all one colour, why doesn’t the character just be that colour and forget about the eye holes. They also didn’t like the colours used for the characters, they felt that they were very elementray, and there was no warmth to the character. They just didn’t connect with these characters. I took note of this and was ready to go to Emily to tell her what had happened in the discussion and to make our next improvements.
Taking the new sets of characters back to the users to be tested I took a new set of notes (See Apendix 2). From this testing it was 7 out of 8 people that said they prefered the second set of characters. The one person who prefered the first said that they reason they liked those characters the most was because of their ears, they liked the idea that they looked a bit like bears. They said that I could play at the idea of the 3 bears in Goldie Locks with alcohol and none alcoholic drinks. I did like this idea and thought that there could be a level or a starting scene that showed the off, which would give a link to why the characters were designed in this way. But 7 out of 8 liked the other characters more, they said that they instantly felt a warmth to these characters, they seemed friendly and were cute. They liked how the characters changed shape and grew hair the older they got, you could really see how they developed. I decided at that point that those were going to be the characters that I was going to use.
There were a number of factors that affected and changed the shape of my project in the process. The main one to start with was the decision to completely change my idea. I began to realise the importance of the user, having an actual reason to create a game. There would be no meaning to the game if there wasn’t someone to create it for.
The target audience were also vitally important for shaping my game, there feedback and responses turned my game into what it is. The decided upon what characters they felt were most appropriate, and which they would connect to the best. Without the audience the characters may have been unappealing and this would have put the audience off playing the game.