We’re a few days into our low-tech email based play testing, and already some really interesting patterns have emerged. It’s clear that one of our biggest challenges with the game will be changing how people think about exercise, and how it relates to themselves.
Here are some things we’ve run into:
Even making brief time for exercise is hard
We asked people to do a series of self-tests to gague their initial fitness level. The tests consisted of 5 distinct activities, which did not need to be done all at once, with each test taking about 3 minutes each. We said the testing should take “about 15 minutes.” Our response rate was abysmal.
When we asked why people hadn’t tested, the most common response was that they didn’t have time.
Exercise time is separate from normal time
One tester responded that her workout time during the week is short, on her lunch break, and that she wasn’t able to squeeze the testing in along with her previously scheduled workout. She planned on doing the test over the weekend, when presumably her workout was a little longer.
Even when people do make time for workouts, it’s quarantined from the rest of their time. People aren’t asking themselves “when can I find 3 minutes to take this test,” they’re saying “oh, now my workout time needs to be 3 minutes longer.”
This is, of course, exactly why we’re doing email testing before going through the work of building out the system. Our takeaway is that we need to break up the “character roll” into more distinct steps which can be tackled one at a time. Another strategy is to further direct when people should be doing this. Instead of “fill out this form” we need to provide more of a roadmap: “when you wake up tomorrow, or while you’re waiting for your Hot Pocket to cook, do this push up test and send us the results.”