What do Prototypes Prototype?

Game prototype questions:

1. How does including phrases or proper nouns impact the game?

  • This is an important question to answer because having phrases (e.g. idioms, sayings) and proper nouns (e.g. cities, famous people) instead of just nouns, verbs, and adjectives in the game gives it more variety. At the same time, we don’t want to make the game too difficult or inconsistent.
  • We will playtest three prototypes: one where there are only nouns, verbs, and adjectives on each card, one where we add in phrases, and one where we add in proper nouns.
  • My guess is that phrases may make the game too difficult, and especially inaccessible for some people, while proper nouns won’t do so and may add some variety to the game.

2. How does the “steal” feature change the game?

  • This is an important question to answer because unlike similar games (i.e. Taboo), we want engagement from the team who is not actively giving hints and guessing as well. However, we also want to make sure the “steal” feature is not too chaotic and does not advantage an already winning team too much.
  • We will playtest the prototype with and without the stealing feature and see how players behave in each version.
  • My guess is this feature will engage every player more, because it increases the intensity of the game for both teams.

3. How do shorter or longer rounds affect engagement?

  • This is an important question to answer because we want the highest amount of engagement from the players, but it’s hard to get the timing just right so that there’s enough time to get into a flow of giving hints and guessing but not so much time that each round drags on too long and people get bored.
  • We will playtest the prototype with rounds where each person has 2 minutes, 3 minutes, or 4 minutes to give hints.
  • My guess is that 3 minutes will be the sweet spot for getting into a flow but not feeling like the game is dragging. However, I also expect that with groups of 8+ players, this sweet spot may chnage and maybe rounds of 2 minutes per person would be better.

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