What do Prototypes Prototype

Do the noun and verb cards fit in the plot cards to create something that makes sense?

Our game asks players to fill out the blanks of a drawn plot card using noun and verb cards from their hand of cards. The noun and verb cards are generally aimed to be funny or weird, and we expect that the resulting movie plots should also be hilarious and perhaps silly. But I believe there is still a bare minimum of logical sense that needs to be present for the filled-out plots to be understandable. So I believe one of the first questions we want to our prototype to answer is whether players are able to reasonably easily create plots that make sense with random nouns and verbs. Our prototype includes random noun and verb cards as well as plots with blanks, some inspired by online random generators, some we came up by ourselves. Using these cards, we can see if people are able to create plots that make sense, and if not, which kinds of noun or verb cards are hard to use. I expect that in most cases players should be able to come up with plots that make sense and are interesting, but there could be edge cases where all the cards a player has in their hand do not fit the plot card.

Is the length of the plots long enough to be interesting and short enough so that players can fill in the blanks reasonably quickly?

The length of the plots is a hard thing to get right. If it is too short it might not allow enough space for imagination and result in basic, boring stories. If it is too long, players may have to spend a lot of time trying to fill in the blanks, which might become more work than fun. Our prototype includes plots from 1 to 3 sentences long. Using this prototype we can see which length is the best or if none of them are long enough. My guess is that the best length would be 2 sentences.

How many cards of each type should each player maintain for each round?

It is important that players have enough options to choose from for their noun and verb cards to be able to create a competitive plot. If there are too few cards, the players may not be able to come up with a good plot and might feel too restricted. However, if there are too many cards, players may take too much time trying to choose from a large selection, which may slow down the pace of the game and hurt the level of interest in the long run. However, we don’t know off the top of our head what the right number is. We created a large number noun and verb cards in our prototype. Using these cards we can play-test rounds with different numbers of cards. Based on other similar games such as Apples to Apples and Know Your Font, our initial thought is that each player should have 4 noun cards and 4 verb cards in order to fill plot cards that have 2-3 blanks (with at least 1 noun blank and 1 verb blank).

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.