Local game design company brings playtest to Brock

Photo Credit: Jeshoots Com on Unspalsh

Photo Credit: Jeshoots Com on Unspalsh

The Game Design students from Brock’s digital humanities will have the opportunity to play test Love, a game designed by Rocketship Park in its initial testing phase.

On Wednesday January 22, 2020 Rocketship Park will give 30 Game Design students the chance to playtest their game and give them feedback. This initial testing is the beginning of a long testing phase that the game will go through before it gets released.

“Later sessions will be with other people who might buy the game in store later. We start with these guys. There will be many iterations. I am sure there will be 100’s of things on my list at the end of playtesting,” said Shane McCafferty, gaming director of Rocketship Park.

McCafferty has been designing games since he was 11 years old. Rocketship Park is an Ontario based digital design company consisting of McCafferty and Jim Squires. Shane McCafferty has also been a guest speaker at Brock and a part time professor at Niagara College for Game Design. They have worked with Brock students in the past and Rocketship Park approached the students for initial input into the game.

“We came in over a year ago. We did an initial kind of play test, a puzzle jam we called it, where we talked about the idea of the game and students were involved right from the start. Now the game is a year and a half in and at a playable state, so we are going to get them again because they were great. They will get to see how far we have come and actually get to play a demo of the game,” said McCafferty.

They pride themselves on keeping the work local and Ontario-based. McCafferty appreciates the Game Design program and the students in it.

“We know they are good and we know them. The facilities are good and we have a nice room where we can watch them all and we don’t have to explain the ins and outs of game testing because they already know,” said McCafferty.

According to McCafferty, game design has numerous phases and playtesting is one of the final steps before the game goes to market. The initial steps to game production include first taking the initial concept and narrowing it down to see if it’ll be fun and something that is worth producing. Then the developers have to find the money to make it, market test it to see if the game still works conceptually, then coding and full production begins. It is during the production where the developers find other people to complete the artwork, sound and 3D modelling. The playtesting sessions are some of the final steps in the process and are very important.

“The more the better. This [playtesting session] is our first one we are doing with people who aren’t making the game. So it is kind of a first step. We will do one with members of the public also because this student group will be fairly knowledgeable gamers you know,” said McCafferty.

Love will be a game that will be available for console and PC and Mac. As for the playtesting session on Love with the Brock Game Design Program, McCafferty has confidence there will be good feedback.

“They are not regular playtesters. They have been partially involved and are excited to see it again. I feel good about it. They are a good crowd they will have good stuff to say,” said McCafferty.

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