What do Prototypes Prototype Questions

Should players be allowed to form alliances during the game? 

This is important because it affects the core structure of the game and how the game can be played. Typically, games fit into a specific game structure category (e.g. player v. game, unilateral, multi-lateral) but can change in different game modes of the game, such as Single-Player Mode, Multi-Player Mode, or Survival Mode. However, introducing alliances in the middle of an existing round brings in uncertainty and uniqueness per game play. We can test this out by prototyping a version of the game where users are trying to collectively acquire the most monetary value by the end of the game and can have a higher chance of winning if they work with the right pairs. Another version of the game will prohibit teams and every player will have to work individually to achieve a goal. My guess is that although alliances may be unfair in some situations, it can be beneficial because it can create unique game play and more communication between players. Alliances that can be broken or alliances with ulterior motives brings more suspense into the game; subsequently speaking, alliances may not always be the ideal or best way to win but could be lead to interesting game dynamics!

Should players who lose the game early have a chance to turn the tables around?

Circling back to what makes a game boring or what keeps players engaged in a game, oftentimes players who lose the game are forced to sit out. This is important to consider because if players lose the game extremely early, they are basically no longer involved in the game and will have to wait until the next round, without knowing when that might be. To this test, we could prototype a version where players who lose the game can become advisees to someone who is still in the game, and if the person they advise win, they also win. Another version would be not allowing players who lose early to influence the gameplay. My guess is that it might become very chaotic if players who lost continue to play during the game and influence the outcome, especially if there is no clear winner at the end if players begin to form “teams”. It might be more desirable to format the game so that no one loses until the very end of the game and the winner is determined then.

Should certain players who perform well in the current round have an advantage when advancing to the next round?

This is important because it can potentially make the game more competitive and more uncertain, which is a type of fun itself. If players have an incentive to do well in their current round or have the chance to redeem themselves later on in the game, it can help keep players engaged. To test this, we could allow players who do well in one round (e.g. most kills, correctly voted against and found an enemy) to have an advantage the next round of the game and evaluate the speed of each round and the player-to-player interactions. In an alternative prototype, we could eliminate this option completely and have all players be at an equal starting point each round. My guess is that having certain players get an advantage might make the gameplay too skewed over time, especially if the same groups of people stay at the top. It might make other players’ efforts look futile and difficult for them to catch up. It might also be difficult to evaluate performance and the basis on which someone is doing “better” than someone else.

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