React! is a high-energy game designed for almost any large group gathering and many different social environments. Whether you are hanging out with a group of your closest pals or breaking the ice on the first day of class, React! is the perfect game to add fun to an already existing friend group or a tool to forge new connections with strangers. When creating this game we wanted to combine two types of fun, namely challenge and fellowship, and also be flexible with the social context so the game can be played in many settings. We wanted to create a game that you could play at a family reunion to perhaps ease tensions or bring back liveliness into a room -so family-friendly, but also be able to play at a kickback in a college dorm room, so the amount of fun increases with inebriation. React! allows players to play as one team and see collectively how capable they are at coming up with creative and funny contexts so the guesser can quickly and correctly perform the action. Playing the game in a co-op style while allowing each player to use a blurt word and earn a point for the team introduces a medium level of competition into the game while simultaneously encouraging intragroup bonding. 


Concept map:


Formal Elements of the Game:

Team-based- During our many rounds of playtesting, we experimented on whether to have React! be a game played in teams or a game played in a co-op fashion. In our first few iterations, we had playtesters play in two teams of two. We learned that though players felt a great sense of competition, when one of the teams were not playing and waiting for the other team to complete their round, members of the idle team felt bored. Additionally, having only one storyteller on a team limited the amount of creativity when crafting the story for the reactor. To solve these two problems, we decided to have players play on one team together. This allowed for greater creativity as three people now bring their creative juices to create the story. Additionally, there is no down time for team members to get bored because they have to stay listening to the stories their team members are crafting and improvise their addition to it. Our playtesters loved hearing how crazy the story would get with the blurt cards as team members added on to the story.

Score Keeping- Another consideration when iterating through different versions of react was if and how we were going to keep score. Initially, when we had players play in teams of two, we kept score by comparing how many React cards each team got with the winning team being the team that got the most React cards. However with the addition of Blurt words we decided to incorporate the number of Blurt words into the score, so for every Blurt word used a point is gained. We got the feedback that there were two many moving parts and it was too complicated to keep score. Therefore we had some iterations where we did not keep score. Subsequently we got the feedback that there was no point to the game and players did not feel any level of competition. With our final iteration where players play on one team together, we keep score by aggregating the number of Blurt words used per React card and accessing the team as a collective based on a range of “storytelling ability” -ie we give players a range to see where they fall.

Age: Initially, we had set the age range as 6+. However, after a few iterations of playtesting, we realized the amount of challenge associated with telling a story to get someone to react was too great for the average 6 year old, so we increased the age minimum age to 10.

Rounds: Since we needed a definite way to end the game, we initially had React! be a five round game. However, after switching to a co-op style, we give the collective team 3 minutes to see how many React cards they can successfully complete.

Team Size: React! Is a 4 person game. We experimented with a range of 4-6, but with games of 4+, the 5th and 6th players would often stand idle and have limited contribution to the story being told. Having 4 players was optimal as everyone was involved and would stay engaged. 4+ can be made possible with the Co-op approach, where we eliminated teams altogether and had a player versus game mentality. 

Game Box: For the box design we decided to go with a comic book theme because comic books often have action themes which correspond with the premise of React! Additionally, we chose a color palette from some of our favorite comic books! ~ The reason for the clutter and amount of action on the card is to reflect the chaotic nature of the game and the bright colors would attract kids and market fun. For our final game box, we had to get rid of extraneous polka dots and other distractions on the box to draw more attention to other places, like the description of the game. We also added in a lot more white space in order to ease readability. Our previous and final iteration of the game box is linked below. 

Type of Fun: We wanted to incorporate two types of fun into our game, challenge and fellowship. Since we wanted this game to be played in many social contexts -from friendly get-togethers to family reunions- we needed something high energy while also fun to play with people.


Testing and iteration history:

    • 1st Iteration: React! Was first envisioned as a game called Unique. The game goes as follows: 
      • Everyone in the group writes down a unique fact about themselves on a piece of paper. The game moderator then collects the note cards that players have written a unique fact about themselves and then players guess who each card belongs to. We were the test players of this game as it was proposed week 2 during class. We liked how this game can be played in a large group setting to better connect with people, however, we decided to pivot our game for project 1 because we wanted something that was more high energy. At parties people like to move, so we figured a game that gets people moving would fit great into the party atmosphere.
    • 2nd Iteration: Since we wanted something more high energy, we took inspiration from the game Taboo and came up with React! The premise to this iteration was we wanted a game that would get people moving but also encourage creativity and laughter. We were fixated on the phrase, “look there’s a rat behind you.” The thinking there is, if there is a rat behind someone they’re most likely to jump to get out its way. So we created these game cards and had actions on them like jump and turn around.
      •  Our play testers were classmates in CS247G. One of their main feedback was that our game was not challenging enough. Additionally, some of the words we had on the game cards did not spark creativity. For example, one of the cards had driving on it, and one of the players said “what you do when you are in a car.” Therefore we had to solve the problem of making the game challenging but also more fun.
    • 3rd Iteration: To solve the problem of making the game more challenging and fun, we decided to add somewhat random words the hint givers have to incorporate into their clues. The idea here being adding these random words would add challenge and encourage creativity with coming up with contexts to give the guesser. An example of this is for the action jump, a word a hint giver must say is rat!
      • The feedback from this iteration of testing was way more positive and encouraging! Our playtesters were classmates in CS247G and they said the game had an increased level of challenge and was more fun than in the previous iteration. To make it more challenging, they recommended adding more words hint givers must incorporate into their hints, and the more words they incorporate, the more points they win for that round. Additionally, another way to increase the challenge level is by having hint givers start with one of the random words.
    • Fourth and Fifth iteration: We used all the suggestions from the 3rd iteration for this iteration of React! To fix the replayability problem, we created a new deck called the blurt deck that gives players new words for each action. We added 3 random words to each Blurt card. Additionally, three blurt words provided players more options than previous iterations, because one blurt word would have players sometimes stuck. We also decided to remove the restriction of starting with the blurt word. Therefore in this version, we had 3 blurt words per blurt card and the storyteller had a chance to get 3 points per Blurt card. 
      • This round of playtesting happened in class during the Tuesday 4A section. One of the positive pieces of feedback we received was that the storytelling approach enhanced the game. However, playtesters said not only did the storytellers feel too challenged but the idle team felt bored when not playing. Additionally, they felt the point keeping system was not well implemented. Since we had more time to playtest, we were able to come up with another iteration of the game where we incorporated each of the items of feedback into our game, namely, keeping track of points. Linked below we have a document with more detailed feedback we received.
    • Linked below are the video clips of the playtesting 



Final Prototype:

  1. Box:
  2. Scoreboard:
  3. Game Cards (Blurt + React Cards Printable):
  4. Point Poster / Card (print to your liking):
  5. Rule Sheet:
  6. Actor/Reactor Role Card:
  7. Storyteller Role Card:
  8. React Game Tutorial VIDEO:

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I just like cs & ethics lol

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