Project 3 Reflection

For the systems game, we created the Tragedy of the Commons, in which players are able to explore resource management in a player-versus-player competitive setting, where the aim is to be the last person standing, using resources to survive a post-apocalyptic world where there are regular “catastrophes” that can threaten the survival of a player. The mechanics worked together to have players balance the amount of certain types of resources, namely food and people, in order to have enough to survive regular “catastrophes”, while maintaining enough food to feed their people every round. It was really fun to watch others play our game; I think that we were really able to see different types of player strategies and player interactions even from our initial playtest. We had players that were focused on their own survival only, players that wanted to collaborate with others to strengthen themselves, players that wanted to collect/buff certain resources to take advantage of some of the game mechanics, and players that wanted to specifically attack other players. Compared to testing the game ourselves (as gamemakers), playtesting with others who hadn’t been involved in the design process gave us access to a whole feast of game mechanics and social interactions that brought up considerations and problems that we wouldn’t have been able to find ourselves, like the quarterbacking problem that came up with regards to action selection.

Going forward, I would definitely use the lessons we learned in playtesting for making the game more understandable and engaging. I think one of the biggest lessons that I learned during playtesting was that we want to make sure to engage players who might be “out” from the traditional gameplay, if we are doing knockout of players depending on, in this case, the amounts of particular resources they had. For our future iterations, this actually prompted the introduction of the herbivore and carnivore roles that players could take once they were “out” of the potential winning candidates due to insufficient resources. This solution actually worked quite well in our future playtests, and kept players invested in the outcome of the game despite not being able to actually win it anymore, which I thought was a really interesting accomplishment for this game.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.