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Metro Nexus Usability Report


Metro Nexus is a puzzle-platformer game that is both cooperative and competitive at the same time. It has an old-school arcade feel that is a homage to an old Arcade game called City Connection. Players navigate each level by their vehicle, that can jump from platform to platform and pick up and use items such as mines and life. The design of the game was inspired by transit systems from worlds major cities.




I conducted usability testing on Metro Nexus over the course of two hours with eight users. Users were broken up into two groups of four. Afterwards the users completed a short questionnaire.

Test Objective:
  • Develop an ideal match time range based on user feedback and observation.
  • Determine which area(s) of the screen are a priority to participants.
  • Of the two game modes (co-op and competitive), determine which one the user would think is the main mode. Which do they naturally gravitate to?
  • When users are forces to play cooperatively, do they find it to be a chore or do they enjoy playing both cooperatively and competitively (or vice versa)?
  • See if users understand the goal of the game.
Task Overview:

Initially I asked players what their impression of the game is starting from the tutorial. Afterwards I assigned three more tasks: players to play in a 4-player setting, a 3-player setting, and a 2-player setting.

Executive Summary - Stengths:
  • Everyone could identify the goal of the game (yay!).
  • Everyone could pick up the game and start playing fairly easily despite skill level.
  • Users rated the game to be entertaining.
Weaknesses:
  • Users were divided as to how useful the tutorial was.
  • Users rated the game to be confusing.
  • It took users a while to figure out what the percentage box meant on the results screen.
  • About half of the users were able to understand the item purposes.

Recommendations:

  • Get rid of the blue boxes on the graph. This information distracted users and confused them.
  • Consider showing a short explanation of what things mean on the results screen during the tutorial.
  • Consider adding an information box next to the percentage box, timer box, and lighting box.

Summary
Ultimately, more testing would need to be done to further explore experiences issues. Issues such as confusion and usefulness of tutorial should be further explored in order to determine why these are issues. This research was great for guiding future research and I look forward to playing and testing this game more. 



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