What do Prototypes Prototype? (Anna Chang)

1. How should we value our cards? (1,2,3… or like US currency: 1,5,10…)

This is an important question to answer because we want users to be able to easily calculate the total number of points they have at any given moment. We can test which system is better by making prototypes with both and play-testing each. My guess is that the system with increments of one (1,2,3…) will work better since the negative and positive values will keep the grand total relatively low and easily manageable by the player.


2. Should the events be reflective of the real world?

This is an important question to answer because we definitely want the game to be a positive experience for the players – an escape from reality where they are able to start afresh with a new life. With that said, there may be pros and cons of making the scenarios they encounter in the game too realistic. (Will they be engaging enough?) We can test this by making two separate decks of cards, one stack with relatively realistic scenarios and another with more exaggerated/exciting (but unrealistic) scenarios, and play-testing both. My guess is that a combination of both types of cards would be the best since it would allow people to experience a larger range of events and emotions. 


3. Should players “age “/ pass different stages of life?

This is an important question to answer because the different life events that the player experiences imply that time is passing and, naturally, they are getting older. I wonder if removing this component would make the game feel too linear and like they are not progressing. We can test this by making prototypes of a version without the aging component and with it. My prediction is that the game will work fine without aging since it will allow the users to focus on the more exciting life events that can occur during adulthood. The game would also be simpler to play.  

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