exercise: what do prototypes prototype?

Our game involves completing one shared task as a group while also trying to secretly complete individual interpersonal tasks given by a deck of cards.

Q1: What sort of tasks are engaging to complete?

For the game to be fun, the tasks need to be engaging, not too uncomfortable, but also not something you would do in normal interaction? What sorts of tasks will create fun or humorous moments between two people? A prototype to answer this will need to be a deck of task cards. We don’t need the whole game to be run, two people can just do the tasks with each other. I think it will turn out that tasks involving types of conversations or questions will be most engaging.

Q2: How should tasks be scored?

Can we trust players to self-report how many tasks they’ve completed? Is it too much of an interuption to ask their task partner to award them points as they play? Do we need a game master to coordinate tasks or can we do it without? To test this we could create a version of the game with no task cards or where every task is the same, so only the scoring is tested. I think it will turn out that people will be trustworthy.

Q3: Can players effectively juggle both group and individual tasks?

To test this, we need a simple game and a few people to test it, with just a couple of individual tasks as well as one group task. The prototype will also need a scoring mechanism of some form to create the proper incentives. I’m guessing that we will need to make the group task really simple for it to be playable and fun.

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