Prototyping Questions

How does the type of shape on our tiles influence communication between the players?

  • The shapes need to balance recognizability, with some level of ambiguity. Basically, we want players to be able to communicate which is which clearly, but not without some difficulty.
  • This is more of a look and feel prototype – we could make different versions with different shapes, i.e. some that are the classic cards suits, and some that are basic building blocks.
  • I think that shapes that are more visually distinct, i.e., stars and circles, and which might occur naturally more often than i.e. spades, will probably be better.

What level of restriction on communication is most fun?

  • We want to strike a balance between restricting player’s options for communication and leaving them with a wide range of (silly) ways to express themselves. 
  • This is more of an implementation prototype, specifically the implementation of communication restrictions. We could allow some limited vocabulary for one of the players, for example.
  • I think that this will interact with the rules on showing the tile to the other players – if it’s fully hidden information for the game board, then I think we need to expand the player’s vocabulary in some way. We don’t want it to be frustrating, so I think some loosening of the ‘no speaking’ rule will probably end up being best.

Are players able to block one another effectively, and does it add to the strategy?

  • Our initial concept called for players blocking one anothers routes across the board, as another layer of strategy.
  • This is an implementation prototype as well, I think – we could test turn-based versus not, or really specific zones of control for each player to see if it’s additive (i.e., you can’t step within one tile of another player).
  • I think that being able to block one another won’t work well in a real-time version, and that the zones may not work in that environment either. I think the turn-based will work best for this mechanic, but will lose some of the energy of the free-for-all version we have now.

Is this better suited as an outdoors or indoors game?

  • This game could be a smaller-scale social game you play inside on a board game night, or a larger-scale one with a lot of running around that fits into the genre of outdoor icebreaker games.
  • This is a role prototype, and I think we could make one larger scale version for the outdoors, with more tiles and more objectives, and a smaller scale one where actually traversing the tiles is less of a focus, and just communicating quickly is most important.
  • I think the indoor version will ultimately work better, since the rest of our ruleset is set up to promote silly communication, but doesn’t really support the type of movement we’d need for the outdoors version to work.

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