What do Prototypes Prototype?




Should we include word constraints to the guessing mechanics?


Constraints though are explicitly limiters in available actions, often serve the opposite purpose by instead sparking the creative process. At times when people are completely stuck, acting within the constraints allows them to have guidelines for their actions, and lead to actions actually being executed. On the other hand, having too many constraints may result in a game that is just too difficult or no longer fun. Thus, it’s important to understand whether our game needs additional constraints, particularly in the format surrounding how to guide the player to guessing a correct answer, or if the current format allows for maximum creativity. Would introducing constraints spark or hurt the creative process?


In order to answer this question, we will first run the game without “Taboo” words to say, and open up the playing field for any words to be used. Then, in future iterations, we will limit the words that the player can say, whether this means the person that is guessing can’t say any words and rely on their actions alone, or is restricted in their lexicon. 


I predict that taking away the guesser’s ability to speak entirely may result in some awkward gameplay that may become too difficult. Though the game relies on motion and not verbal communication from the guesser, having the opportunity to clarify might prove useful and revoking the ability to speak may discard this.


Should we have a team-based format for this game?

In games like charades and heads-up, though teams are necessarily required, they’ve proven to drastically increase participation and engagement. Though, they also carry the risk of social loafing, or resulting in some players not being as actively engaged as others. Thus, determining whether a team-based format enhances the gameplay experience in vital to creating an engaging game.

In order to answer this question, we will first run the game in smaller groups, where people are simply paired off and take turns playing as the guesser. Then, we will run gameplay tests with a team-based format where each team tries to get their own guesser to guess the action before the enemy guesser. This creates a lot more tension and likely would result in a more engaging game.


As previously mentioned, creating teams will definitely up the stakes as it creates a competitive atmosphere. In a lot of instances, competition drastically increases engagement, thus I predict that a team-based format will be ideal to take on this game. It will likely cause people to feel more invested in the game, and lead to much more social interactions that boost the playing experience.


How many players should play the game?

Game size is always a pertinent factor in what generates an enjoyable gameplay experience. When a game is too small, and there are too few people playing something that is meant for a lot of people, the game tends to feel awkward or unenjoyable. On the other hand, when the game has way too many players, people tend to feel left out and easily disconnected from the game. Given that this game thrives in chaotic environments, it may benefit from having a lot of people, however, having a lot of people speaking at once may break the game entirely to the point where guessing becomes nearly impossible.


In order to answer this question we will prototype this game with various group sizes ranging from 4 to 10 players in order to identify the perfect size for people to play. In assessing each gameplay experience we will ask participants about how they felt about the number of players, whether they felt engaged in the game, and whether it was ever too difficult to play due to the amount of people in the game.


I predict that a size of about 4 people would be ideal for this game. In this case, there would be one guesser and 3 people helping the person guess. This is enough for it to get a little chaotic without it being impossible to hear the other person when multiple people talk at once. The group environment also will limit awkward interactions and there’s always going to be someone saying something so silence is mitigated as much as possible.


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I just like cs & ethics lol

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