Here I’m going to post a few questions I hope our project prototype can answer for future iterations. For context on the game type, we’re prototyping a variation of poker that involves the use of action cards, with actions like hand swaps, card exchanges, and immediate ends of the betting round.
- What parts didn’t worked well? Did the various pieces of the game fit together in a cohesive way, or were they discontinuous with lots of friction? Did the game feel like a single game or several pieced together? This question is important to ask explicitly because a) we want to remove as many of the abrasive elements as possible and I imagine we’ll see the parts people like about the game more than the ones they dislike when they’re playing it. I imagine there will be some friction for sure at the start of the process, mostly around balancing the action cards so that the game feels fair no matter which ones you draw. Here we may have to be flexible with our entire game structure, so the best kind of prototype to address this question is one that has numerous rulesets available.
- Would you add or remove any actions from the game? Similarly, would you keep the turn structure the same or would you change it? This question is essential if we’re going to make the game widely appealing, because at the end of the day we’re only 3 people brainstorming ideas. Play testers are likely to come from many different backgrounds and have diverse exposure to game genres, so they are an excellent source of ideas when it comes to implementing things that can be done in the game. I hope and expect at least some play testers will have ideas for us. For this, our prototypes will have to introduce and remove action cards frequently, which should be straightforward.
- Does this game feel like a natural extension of poker or does it feel more like a free-standing game? This question will largely impact who we market our game towards, either poker enjoyers or casual card game players, so it would be good to know how our playtesters perceive our prototype. I expect the game will be a lot more casual than poker and play testers will find it more approachable. For this, we’ll have to play around with how influential the action cards can be, and how they influence the bluffing process.