This is a post that I made on the Anamnesis Tumblr, but I thought I'd share it here as well.
Heya, Alexa here.
We’ve been having continuous playtests, and they always give us awesome feedback on all sorts of things. Things like ‘people tend to go to the right instead of left,’ ‘people enjoy voyeurism,’ or ‘people don’t like reading.’ We even had playtesters that did not realize they needed glasses until they tried our game and was like, “The text is all fuzzy!!” In this past week’s playtest in particular though, we’ve observed something interesting that I thought I’d share.
We have text in our game. Even in the Oculus Rift view, we have text. It needs to be read, and it needs to be read well. One feedback that we’ve continuously been getting is that text legibility in the Oculus Rift view of our game was terrible. Especially because it was cutting off the edges of the screen.
Cutting off? I couldn’t get it! I could read all the text, clear as day. You can never say playtesters are wrong, but you do need to figure out why they say what they say. I was thoroughly perplexed, to say the least. Then I noticed that all the playtesters we had were Caucasian males.
Now we don’t know much about human anatomy, but we realized that the distance from the player’s eyes to the Oculus Rift lenses was the issue. FYI, I am an Asian female. I have a very low forehead and small nose. The lenses are very close to my eyes, therefore I had a wider peripheral vision inside the Oculus Rift. (Scott, the other half of this project is Caucasian but has a relatively low forehead.)
We could just be racists and say our game will be only for Asians, but we’re better people than that. We made drastic changes to the HUD in the Oculus View. We made the text field way narrower and center oriented. (It’s surprising how little percentage of the screen is actually valid in the Rift.) We made sure that the text in the Oculus Rift screen is almost always visible in both eyes. Now we can only fit in half a Twitter post’s worth of text in the HUD, but that only pushes us to use text to a minimum and that’s fun! Well, now we’re pretty positive that players of all race and sex will be able to enjoy our game. Hopefully!
Ah, usability, how we love tackling you down. We’re sure there will be more issues but until then, buh-bye! Thanks always :-D