PingPong game for ID players

[part of the INMD project]
PROJECT PAGE: PingPong game for ID players

OUTLINE: This game is intended for the ID group with the most severe intellectual disability.
It is therefore intended to be played with assistance, at least for the start of the game. It can be played by 1 person alone – or be played as a 2 player game, each player taking charge of 1 side of the game (left/right black bar and their corresponding half of the screen/projection).

Though this project started off as a group project – both Anuschka and Darren ended up not working with me on this. The plan had been to set up our game in 2 versions: 1 in Flash, 1 in Javascript. I was happy to do the flash work (and was lucky to get help from Simon) – and Darren was hoping to find time to set up the same in Javascript. In the end however – only the flash version was done and ready for testing…

The 2 days of User Testing organised by the INMD team together with the RIX centre were very interesting and fun :) It was great to meet our user group and we were lucky to be introduced to a great team of support workers and such a nice group of people in our testers :)

Day 1 turned out to be a bit of a disaster for me and my game… Though Simon had helped me to get the 3 levels setup and working – a missed flight meant he was not around on the day to help with the switch setups (which I was not familiar with). This then meant that I was stuck with an almost non-functioning game. I ended up having to use my own versions – which were split level and very plain. Though my users seemed to like the idea of the game – it was way too short to be engaging enough – and I felt bad wasting their time. The short duration of the game however did give me opportunity to ask a lot of questions and find out what additional elements might be good to implement. Initially I was unsure how to proceed (being very disappointed and thrown by the fact my planned test game was not working) but Rasime Singh from the RIX team was there to support me and we ended up having some nice chats with the user group :) – THANKS, Ras :)

At the end of the day I was determined to have a better session the following day – and show our testers that their ideas and suggestions were taken onboard. I took their ideas of additional colours and imagery (the requested rainbow specifically) and worked on editing the game further. After a long night I was happy to be able to show a much more complete and fun game the next day.

Day 2 of the User Testing then was a blast :) It was fantastic to see the happy faces of my users when they played the game. The changes I made the night before seemed to make all the difference; Simon was there to help me set up the switches and it all went very smoothly. We had a lot of fun – and it was nice to see the different reactions. Some were happy to merely play very calmy and enjoy the colours and sounds. Others, especially the boys, were getting quite competitive and were keen to out-do each other. I was happy to see that my ending with applause and fireworks did bring a smile to the players’ faces :)

I am hoping to finalise the game for our last workshop day and to donate the game fully working to the RIX centre.

Here is a clip of a few of us giving our impression of the workshop and our experience with the user testing :

19/03/2008 blog,thoughts,workshops

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