Doby – What do Prototypes Prototype?


What kind of visual objective, if any, do we want for our patchwork-like game?

  • This question addresses more of the look and feel of this game. Thinking about other puzzles, there is often some visually appealing reward when players complete a game like creating a picture or grouping colors. In our case, I wonder if we could decide how the color or shapes of the tiles could produce an aesthetic result. Without thinking about the rules too much, I would arrange tiles in different formats and see how rewarding the result feels for players. This may be merely creating unconventional shapes with different tiles or changing the shape of the tiles themselves. Since the results will be subjective, I say that it will be hard to tell definitive results but I have some intuition that people may enjoy taking on a healthy challenge to create different shapes.

How much does communication limit players from achieving their goals?

  • Initially, the lack of communication was going to be the feature of our game. However, it is unclear so far if the lack of communication will inhibit players to the point where the game feels impossible. I would take a simple puzzle and test different magnitudes of communication. The extreme would be absolutely no talking, no eye contact, and no noise. The next level may be minimal talking allowed (maximum 10 seconds per person). The other extreme would be talking for the whole game with no restrictions.  I could possibly use the time to finish the puzzle as a concrete way to measure the effects of communication. Maybe, more importantly, I would survey players to find out how the game ramps in difficulty over these levels. The results from testing would be important indicators of whether communication levels actually affect gameplay and whether it should be a feature of our game. I’m guessing that the difference in communication will not produce a huge ramp in difficulty.

How many limitations can you put on a player until the game no longer feels cooperative?

  • This question arises from the theory that if a player has too many limitations on their moves, the game no longer feels cooperative. In my opinion, too many limitations may feel like you are not at capacity to help your fellow players and other players have no way of helping you out of a bad situation.  The prototype may be testing different types and amounts of limitations on a small puzzle. For example, we may test only putting pieces that teach each other diagonally; and measure how people feel like they’re contributing to the group and how much they actually are. We may test having two versus three limitations on players and measuring the same way above. The results may again be subjective considering that people may navigate limitations easier than others. However, we want to measure how cooperative versus individualistic it feels when dealing with these limitations. So, there possibly may be a consensus when there are too many limitations.


About the author

she/her/hers | Computer Science + Human-Computer Interaction Track | Class of '23 | hello friends :) I'm looking forward to playing games with y'all!

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