What do Prototypes Prototype? – C’est la vie

1. Is the game fun?

This is an important question because there is no point in playing if it isn’t fun. A role or integration prototype can give us the answer, as the test subjects can learn the game mechanics and dynamics and see what kind of fun they derive from the game. My prediction is that there will be a couple of changes to make to the game mechanics in order to create good dynamics and thus a fun game.

2. What kind of theme should our game have?

This is an important question to consider because the theme of a game attracts different types of users. In our case, we want to target mostly college students. A look and feel prototype can help us. We can have different options for the board – e.g. boards that are simple, or that have party or mystery or serious vibes. We can also design different types of cards and different prompts for the cards. We can then see which ones our test subjects like the most. My prediction is that the more they can relate to the cards / board, the more they will enjoy the game – hence, a college or Stanford specific storyline will probably be the most liked.

3.  Are the rules too complicated for our game?

One reason people usually get into games is because the rules are simple. We will need a role or integration prototype to figure out whether our test subjects can easily understand how the game works. My prediction is that test subjects will ask for clarification, which we can use to refine the rules. There might also be new rules or rules to be removed, because of things we have not thought of but that will become apparent through using the implementation prototype.

4. What is the optimal number of players for our game?

We want to create a party game that is flexible with regards to the number of players, but it is also important to know the optimal number of players for a game. Again, a role or integration prototype can give us the answer. We can have different numbers of test subjects play out the game, and see which game turns out to be the best, e.g. most fun, good timing, etc. My prediction is that 4-7 is the optimal number, and odd numbers are better than even numbers.

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