prototypes reading sketch note

Short Exercise: What do Prototypes Prototype? (uphatak)

Our final idea is not solidly determined yet, so I could not write questions specific to the mechanics, dynamics, or aesthetics of our game. However, the following are broad questions that I know our prototype(s) should answer:

  1. Is the premise fun?
    1. This is an important question to answer because if the game is not fun, there is no point making it! We need to identify the type of fun we’re aiming for, and then see if users are accessing that type of fun.
    2. This prototype will be role-based. The looks and perfect implementation matter less than the broad strokes of the game: does the premise make sense, and does it hook you as a story?
    3. After working on our game idea for a bit, I expect that the premise should be fun.
  2. Does this interface make sense?
    1. This is important because if the game’s rules or mechanics do not make sense, it cannot be played.
    2. This will be an implementation-focused prototype. We need to make sure that the way the game is played is fleshed out and understandable.
    3. I expect that the first few prototypes might be confusing and prompt more iteration. But I hope that through iteration, the interface will become very clear.
  3. Are the social components motivating?
    1. This is important because we are trying to make a fun social game! Especially for the specs of the assignment, we need to make sure the social aspect of the games are motivational and prompt the desire to play more.
    2. This will again be a role-based prototype; we want to see if people intuitively get why they would want to play the game, not make sure that all our dice are correctly labelled (for example.)
    3. Like Question 1, I hope that following significant brainstorming, this would be a successful prototype early on!
  4. Is the method of communicating the rules sound and compelling? (Marketing/communications prototype mentioned in the video)
    1. This is probably the final things we’d want to check – that the marketing is spot on, and makes people want to play our game. Again, if it’s not a compelling narrative, or is incoherent, the game is unplayable. So, this is important.
    2. This would be a Look and Feel based prototype
    3. Like Question 2, I think these prototypes would take iteration, but hopefully would not be very costly to produce.

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