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User Experience Storyboard Reviews
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Michael Arnold
moss piglets
[review]

 Space Station Chaos Escape Pod Chaos Who Is Driving?! storyboard design/website Space Crisis!
Average Rating
 
Client 1:
Client 2:
Reviewer 3:
Reviewer 4:
1-marginal     2-ok    3-good     4-very good    5-outstanding

Innovativeness and potential of Space Station Chaos storyboard

Client 1:

Sorry to say, I unfortunately do not understand what is going on here. There seems to be a lot of ideas in one overall concept. I would simplify your thoughts. I think the idea of hanging on a sliding rope with blockers that you have to move out of the way is neat. However, I don't understand the actually game play here.

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Client 2:

You have a lot of ideas in this one storyboard. I like the zipline idea to get over the untouchable areas. Consider how you will reset this, or how visitors will reset the handles themselves to get the whole group through. I think you could make a whole game out of the zipline concept, honestly - the switch puzzle (which I confess I don't fully understand) seems like a distraction. Many people will have trouble holding on to the zipline handle, so you may find that it is enough of a challenge by itself that adding in extra puzzles makes the room have a failure rate that is too high. If the switch puzzle is engaging enough to play a role in solving this room, I would actually take it out and make it the focus of another room entirely. If it's not strong enough to contribute to this room, I would leave it out entirely.

I'm also not clear on the purpose of the assigned color. Are you planning on detecting which user is holding on to the zipline? If so, does only that player need to make it to the escape pod for a win? Consider other solutions that will involve the whole group - for example, if you do keep the color concept (I'm not sold on it - seems like a lot of complexity for not much payoff!), consider dictating the order in which players must cross the second section, rather than singling out one player to be the "hero".

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Reviewer 3:

This idea takes "the floor is lava" to a clever extension in the theme of space. The concept of gliding through the center of the room to avoid all walls and the floor is indeed a nice spin, and should be explored further. It is also creative and will make for a more dynamic experience to have included other mental/physical challenges such as opening locks. However, these individual challenges do not currently appear to be detailed in the storyboard, and may in fact be challenging to execute. In particular, given that individuals are moving in one direction on the glide rails, its not clear that the activity will self-reset. Perhaps the glide bars can be placed on an incline - this would both add to the physical challenge of getting across the room, and would also use gravity to carry the handle back into the original starting position. The ability to reset locks or other barriers would need to be explored further.

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Reviewer 4:

I really liked this concept! I really liked the zero-gravity concept, and the whole switch mechanism seems really interesting/intriguing/fun, even though I don't know with 100% certainty that I know how it works. I like how it is physical, which is something that 5Wits is trying to incorporate more into their games! One thing that I would say to think about is maybe how the zero-gravity glider devices would be self resetting, as it seems as though maybe the last user would use it, and then just leave it at the end position, rather than it being at the starting position for the next team. But, I guess things like this could be solved by maybe using motors or something to drive them back (but of course, it would be nice if the game could naturally self-reset without lots of external mechanisms). Overall, I think this idea is super cool and would be very fun to play!

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Innovativeness and potential of Escape Pod Chaos storyboard

Client 1:

This game looks like there are several puzzles involved. Pick your best concepts and try to refine that idea. There's too much "stuff" going on in one room.

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Client 2:

Lots of ideas again! This has a huge dexterity component that I think will need a lot of fine tuning to make it playable. Can you choose just one of these minigames and expand it enough to make it the focus of the room? Otherwise I think you have a room that is unplayable with 2 people, and if you have 5, then 2 people are left out. If you can pick just one of the concepts (the wiring one stands out to me) and make it more of a mystery puzzle than a dexterity one, then everyone can get involved in theorizing about the answer, and it scales well with group size.

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Reviewer 3:

This is a great approach to involving multiple team members in problem solving. In particular, the mix of capabilities needed to solved the tasks (spatial reasoning vs. logic puzzles vs. fine motor control) will help to engage different team members' strengths. So that team members are not simply working as individuals on their respective tasks, additional challenges could be introduced, for example through sequencing (e.g., team members have to time their actions relative to one another or fail, even if they are individually all fast) or through a physical task (e.g., one or two of the individual puzzles are placed in challenging-to-reach places - could you force someone to hang upside down from a rail in order to access one of the puzzles, placed high on a wall??

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Reviewer 4:

Again, I really like the overall concept for this storyboard too! Something that I am not 100% clear on is whether or not "spacewalking" is different from normal walking (like would players have to only walk in certain ways/on top of certain stepping stones since they are "outside of the escape pod," or just normally walk as they theoretically would inside of the escape pod?). Another thing thing that might need to be fleshed out is the self-resetting aspects of some of the little challenges. While the gyroscope one is definitely self-resetting, it might difficult to get the thermal shield challenge to be self resetting. I could see the re-wiring challenge being self-resetting through an A/B case, as you could tell players to rewire the boosters in one configuration, and then tell the next players to rewire it back to the original configuration. Maybe something similar for fixing the thermal shield could be done -- for example, the player has to open up the thermal shield and do something to fix it, and then the next team has to put it back.

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Innovativeness and potential of Who Is Driving?! storyboard

Client 1:

What exactly is the user doing here? Are they on a merry-go-round? Are they actively doing something?

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Client 2:

This is my favorite of your three concepts. It's a physical challenge that I haven't seen before, which is great! I think that if you can come up with a physical design that takes the number and weight of the players into account, then this could be a lot of fun! Make sure that the players have something to grab onto so they can adjust how much of their weight is directed down onto the platform. You'll also have to consider the safety hazards of having a gap between the stabilizer and the floor (or consider how to avoid having a gap in the first place).

Depending on how the platform is built, just holding the beam of light steady could be challenge enough, but if not: Consider how you might scale the difficulty (in the "guidance" section, you could increase or decrease the number of waypoints, for example).

I think that this is one of those rare concepts that will be fun to play even after you know the solution and have successfully completed the challenge. I like that it's fully cooperative, challenging in different ways for different numbers of players, and is easy to score.

I look forward to seeing how this concept evolves!

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Reviewer 3:

There is clearly an interesting physical puzzle at the center of this activity, but it has not been articulated in enough detail to make an informed assessment. The storyboard focuses on the ancillary experiences more so than on the heart of the puzzle, which appears to be some sort of balancing challenge on the stabilizer. Indeed, there could be multiple elements to the challenge, such as balancing as a team on a wobbly disc, spinning it at the right pace in the right direction, etc. Perhaps something along these lines was intended with the beam of light shown at the center of the disc, though it is currently unclear exactly how the team manipulates this ring. One particular concern is safety - given that it appears the ring would wobble, you would need to ensure that a player can't get his or her limbs stuck under the disc.

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Reviewer 4:

I also really like this whole stabilizing-with-body-weight idea, again because it's super physical and dynamic and can work for many different group sizes. It is also very naturally self-resetting, which is awesome (I think that this idea is my favorite of the three). Something that I guess would have to be thought about is safety, and making sure that the wobbling of the stabilizer wasn't so bad that people would fall off -- but I think that this is a very manageable problem to think about. Other than that, I can't really think of any more criticisms so awesome job!

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Storyboard design and website presentation and execution

Client 1:

These concepts were very confusing and difficult to understand.

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Client 2:

These were relatively clear in their presentation. I think you could focus a little bit more on the game elements inside the room and how they relate to the physical space. For example, in your first storyboard, I'm not clear on where the switch puzzle lives, and how users get to it from the zipline, given that they can't touch the floor.

As you develop these concepts, I'd like to see how you're planning on communicating success and failure to the users.

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Reviewer 3:

The storyboard makes effective use of numerous perspectives to explain the intended activity (e.g., includes zoom-in on one individual with one task, multiple team-member view, top-view of the room), etc. The shading is simple but its consistency (of the shading itself and of the use of contrast) helps make the storyboards intuitively readable.

The website design is a bit simplistic. While this is not inherently a bad thing, the long vertical layout of the page could benefit from some navigation features (e.g., links at the top to jump to individual storyboards, link at the bottom of each storyboard to jump back to the top, etc.).

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Reviewer 4:

I thought that the storyboards were really nicely executed! I like how the emotions and experiences of the players was really captured through all of the captions and headings of the storyboards. I also liked how there were many different views of some of the rooms in the storyboards (like an top-view of the room map) which helped make the concept more clear. The website is simple and clean, and there is really nothing to be confused about as a user of the website. On one hand, having the websites on separate pages might have made your site even cleaner, but on the other hand I also think that having them all on the same page helps the storylines flow together so that the reader gets a more cohesive idea of the theme in general and helps the reader read through the storyboards the the user would experience it. I guess it could have looked nicer if it was centered, but I also don't really think that that is a huge deal, as it doesn't really interfere with the storyboard reading, which is the main focus of the website.

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Room theme, Space Crisis!: engaging and interesting? identifiable with target users?

Client 1:

Space is an awesome theme. I'm sure there are games in here that could be really cool, unfortunately I just didn't understand them.

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Client 2:

I think the space theme has a lot of potential (who doesn't want to be an astronaut?) As I mentioned above, I hope you pursue the Who's Driving room. Your other two concepts have a lot of ideas contained in one room, and I think that simplicity is going to have a positive impact both on your budget and the user experience.

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Reviewer 3:

The overall theme definitely provides for a range of interesting experiences, and the most exciting elements of those shown - while maybe difficult to execute - would make for a very fun time and a mixed level of challenge. The games shown in the storyboards seem like they will rely on a lot of audio/visual tricks to make for an immersive experience (e.g., flashing lights and sirens as alarms, shifting lights to simulate spinning out of control, screens to show navigation). This will be very fun but also challenging to coordinate.

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Reviewer 4:

Yes, I think that the overall room theme seems like it would be super engaging for the target audience (lots of people have seen space movies recently, especially with Star Trek and Star Wars etc.) -- and has lots of space (haha) to allow for lots of different and unique play experiences. It allows for many different physical (as well as mental) games that I haven't really seen before (albeit I don't frequent escape the room/Boda Borg/5wits-esque stuff that often). Awesome job overall -- I really enjoyed reading through all of the stuff!

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