Blog Response: What do Prototypes Prototype? – Ji Hong Ni

Our game is called Three Night Alibi (Tentative) which focuses on a crime that happened in town and the townspeople have three days to solve who is the murderer. Each day (round) players have to come up with an alibi with their given when and where cards to prove their innocence. 

  1. How much freedom can we give the player to come up with their story? 
    1. This is an important question to answer because we have a lot of freedom for the players to come up with an alibi and deflect any suspicion that gets thrown their way. Thus, we need to figure out if that makes the game difficult to narrow down the murderer. 
    2. We will make a paper prototype and have the players play out one round to see how the deflection of alibis will play out. This is the best way to test it because it captures the action in real-time. 
    3. I think the game still has too much freedom and it’ll turn out the way we expected which is coming up with anything to avoid suspicion. We need to find ways to limit the freedom to a degree that still makes it engaging. 
  2. Are there too many mechanics to the game that players feel are essential to the game? 
    1. This question brings up the fact that we have players with their own backgrounds, special abilities that are tethered to die rolls, and crafting any narrative alibi the player wants. Are all these necessary within the game? Every character has the ability, to make up the stories, introduce the murder methods, murder items, and more. We want to see if this overwhelms the player in any way to understand the game. 
    2. This will also be solved with a paper prototype because we need to see it played out to capture the confusion if it occurs.
    3. I think it won’t be too much for the player since all the things are pretty essential to how the story progresses, as the townspeople get closer and closer to solving the case. 
  3. How is the power dynamic distributed within the character roles in the game? Does one heavily favor one side or vice versa? 
    1. Since all the characters have special abilities, do some abilities overshadow others in terms of playability? In addition, how does the murderer’s power compete with the other townspeople? Does it skew one way? All these questions are important to the balance of the game and whether or not one side has an advantage. 
    2. This would also be solved with a paper prototype since we need to see it play out. 
    3. I think there will be a slight power dynamic since some of the abilities might reveal so much that the murderer gets called out immediately and thus ending the game very fast. This might cause some issues with the dynamic between the players.

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Junior studying CS with an Art Minor :)

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