Little did we know the COVID-19 would affect the development of our game. We are so used to working remotely from the Batcave that we didn’t take into account making a contingency plan for a global pandemic, should we? Nothing would change regarding the development, but what about testing?
The demo was already stable to be given to the closest friends and family to be tested. We were ready to take notes of the very first impressions of Ikai so we were trying to fit these playtesting sessions in the calendar. And then COVID-19 spread across our country, Spain. The government decided to begin a quarantine period. We had the playtests planned yet all of our friends and relatives were, and still are, locked down.
We are lucky that this is the only outcome we have lived from the pandemic; all of our beloved ones are okay and so are we. We hope you are also doing well and that everything goes back to normal soon. Thankfully, having no testers is not a big deal, yet it is something we had to manage.
Of course we have been weighing up other possibilities, besides, we almost decided to ask the testers whether they could record themselves and the screen so we could analyze not only what they say about the game but also their impressions. We know words can be altered depending on the emotional bonds and that’s why we want to see them. However, we discarded this option as some could not have a powerful equipment to run the game while recording themselves and the screen all at the same time. Moreover, they could also feel uncomfortable about being recorded.
It is difficult to create the perfect environment not to affect the mood and the possible reactions of the testers, but, they would be more likely to enjoy it and get into it (and so would we) if we organize something more informal, just us, popcorns, horror movies and then the game. We’ll definitely wait for it. Meanwhile, more improvements to the demo can be done and further reactions will certainly be better. Correspondingly, let’s just sit down, take some tea and wait. Well, or sake, depends on each one's preference.
Anyway, as you’ve read, the prototype demo is ready! We are so thrilled to bring it to you soon. It is now on its earliest stage, but it is already playable. It will probably be full of bugs we didn’t come across since we, as developers, are conditioned in the way we play. The first round of testing that will eventually occur will help us detect more issues and be able to fix and polish everything. We’ll keep testing and iterating on the prototype demo until we can live up to the trust you’ve placed in Ikai. Be patient guys.