Name of game: Skribbl.io
Format elements: Players engage in multilateral competition. The single drawer can use pens to draw shapes. As a guesser, one can make one guess by typing into the text box. There is a timer to facilitate the guessing. The objective of the guesser is the guess the word(s) from the drawing as fast as possible. For the drawer, it is to draw the word(s) accurately so as many people guess the word as possible. The main rule for the drawer is that they can’t write out the word.
Fun: The game is social fun and also challenging fun. Socially, you can interact with others and laugh over the ridiculous drawings people make. There is also a sense of competition to be collect the most points. Then, it’s challenging both to draw and guess. Doing it well gives the player a sense of achievement.
Why does this game work? How could it be improved?: The game has a really simple concept: draw accurately or guess accurately. Therefore, players can jump into the game with almost zero learning time, making it a really good game for all players to casually connect. In the private mode, being able to mute other players’ guesses would improve the game because it creates annoyance at other players who are spamming, and is distracting for the player. Then, it could be improved in the public mode from disincentivizing players to troll. Some players derive more pleasure from drawing strange shapes and confusing the other players, rather than collecting points themselves.
Comparison to other games in the genre: Compared to a game like Codenames, there is a similarity of using restricted behavior to communicate some concept. Skribbl.io is a much simpler version because there is only one concept, and it is to be communicated via drawing. However, in Codenames, one uses restricted speech (limited number of words) instead of drawing and has to unify multiple concepts. Another similar game would be Taboo/Heads Up, which has only a single concept to be communicated, except one can use words more freely.
How vulnerable do you need to get? You don’t need to be very vulnerable to play Skribbl.io. There is almost no sharing of personal information, and no encouragement to do so.