What Do Prototypes Prototype? — Ethan Huang

How does the game make us feel?

When we play games, there is an expectation of what that game will bring – joy, chaos, fear, excitement, etc., and it’s important that what we design for is what is actually felt. Our prototype includes many wacky photos and card names that are meant to elicit joy and humor — we’re predicting a lot of chaos that leads to fun.

How complex is the game?

Depending on the number of players and target audience we’re designing for, it’s important to understand how complex the game is. Our prototype consists of the most complex features that we believed could still make for a fun experience — we’re expecting that there will be points in testing where players struggle with the complexity of the game (set bonus, battle mechanics), which we will base further modifications on.

How intuitive are the game mechanics?

If a game is too difficult to learn, then players may be discouraged from an otherwise fun game. Our prototype attempts to simplify, as much as possible, the instructions and include helpful hints so that game mechanics feel fluid, not forced — we’re expecting players to run into points of friction that we did not anticipate or that we felt were clear but actually isn’t.

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