iphone's camera roll with pictures of desert

Short Exercise: What do Prototypes Prototype? – Elyse

My team is making a party game that’s like Apples to Apples but you answer the prompts with photos from your camera roll. We’re still trying to figure out how to facilitate anonymity when submitting photos, whether to shuffle everyone’s photos or make people draw from their own camera roll, and whether we should have people guess whose camera roll each photo is from.

  1. Can we make this game without requiring internet / connectivity between phones?
    1. This is important because we’d like to make this as much of an analog folk game as possible. We don’t want people to be constrained by needing their phones, and we’re worried that tying people to their phones might make them less social.
    2. One option would be to have everyone submit some number of photos, and one person prints them ahead of time. Then, the photos could serve as cards without any phones needed. We’d prototype by trying to play the game this way.
    3. I’d guess it would work, but some people might forget to send their photos in time, and printing and cutting out photos will require even more planning ahead of time as opposed to setting things up on a phone in the moment.
  2. Can anonymity be maintained if participants submit photos to a group chat?
    1. This is important because submitting your photo anonymously each round is a core mechanic of the game.
    2. We’d prototype this by testing the game setup process with a group of people outside of our team. We’d give them instructions and see how well everyone followed and if they could guess who submitted which of a set of non-identifying photos.
    3. I think that we’d find that it’s doable, but we might run into indicators of identity we didn’t think of, like profile pictures or contact info, that might be tedious for people to clear out on their phones.
  3. Will it take forever for people to scroll through their camera roll?
    1. This is important because we don’t want people to be scrolling through thousands of photos while others wait to play the game. We could choose photos randomly from people’s camera rolls, but this might result in embarrassing or boring photos.
    2. We can describe our game to people and ask them to select 15 photos from their camera roll that they’d want to play with. We’ll time them without telling them that there’s any time pressure.
    3. I think it would take them about 2 minutes, but it’s hard to get everyone on this timeline in practice.
  4. Would people rather play with their own photos or a mix of everyone’s photos?
    1. This is important because we’re on the fence about this, and it might change the photos that people choose if they knew it would be in others’ hands.
    2. We could run a full version of the game with the same group to test these two conditions and interview players afterwards to see their responses. We can ask players to compare the experience of using their own versus others’ photos and see what they preferred.
    3. I’d guess that people would prefer their own photos, at least if they were the ones who just spent some time picking them from the camera roll.

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