New England Institute of Art Students Playtest Aaaaa! Semi-Sequel Beta
The awesome Jason Wiser, part of the animation faculty at the New England Institute of Art (NEiA), helped orchestrate an in-school beta playtest session on November 2 for our upcoming Aaaaa! semi-sequel. Nearly 20 animation and game art students from NEiA played
hooky and offered feedback that will help us polish the final game.
Why did we test at a school? We have hardcore and casual players (both fans and newcomers) playing the beta outside of academia. NEiA student feedback adds a layer of analysis from people professionally studying game art and design. Here are a few snippets they sent us:
- “I failed [the turbine level] so many times, but when I finally got it (with a 5 star rating no less) I was really happy. Not a lot of games do that.”
- “The ‘honeycomb’ level stood out, too. Also, anything with lots of enclosed spaces to fall through- not necessarily too small, but it really got me stressed and focused (in a good way) to not be able to just bail out into the space away from the buildings.”
- “Mouse sensitivity needs bit of work (it’s always been kinda bad on Mac).”
- “I had difficulty in using the parachute.”
Those who have experienced similar issues in the beta, rest assured: we are working hard to refine the problems reported by our testers. Everything is being taken into consideration; our spreadsheet of bugs and suggestions is filled with so much TLC. Thanks to everyone’s thoughtful feedback!
Jason and our faith in the students’ discretion made the event virtually hassle-free, with zero paperwork — no messy NDAs — just games. Steam’s client and code redemption UI made the installation easy on NEiA and on us. The students completed an online feedback form after playing the game, and Jason’s instructions were simply not to talk to any press. To our knowledge, no tabloids have run stories on these awesome volunteers’ experiences, so we’re good!
For those local indies interested in a similar focus testing opportunity, we totally suggest contacting Jason at NEiA.
Once again, we give a huge thank you and shout out to Jason Wiser (Fun fact: he’s teaching his two year old daughter a language never before heard on Earth, probably influenced by Aaaaa!’s new outer space levels). We also send a huge thanks to NEiA, or as we like to think of it now: NEiAaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!