What do Prototypes Prototype?

For our party game, we want to split a group into teams of two, make a mystery mocktail, and have the rest of the group try to guess what ingredients it has. If they guess right, the team that created it has to drink it, else, the team with most right guesses designates the team that has to drink it.

These are some questions we want to answer with our game prototypes:

What is the time range needed to complete making the mocktails? 

This is important because it’s what will create the dynamic of time constraint, which will ultimately contribute to the aesthetic of challenge and fellowship to work faster and harder. Nevertheless, if too little time is given, it would limit the ability of the players to express their creations. A prototype that can help us answer this question is looking up the average time it takes to make a home mocktail online, and make 3 teams of 2 do a mocktail with the same ingredients, but at times X,Y,Z. At the end of each time, we will interview the teams and see how they felt, and adjust the times with the feedback. My general guess is that it 6 minutes to make a cocktail is good enough to allow the teams to express their creativity, but not long enough for the other members to get bored.

How many total players should the game have?

This is important because the number of players ultimately means more competition for the game, and hence a greater sense of challenge. Moreover, the number of players also depends how we split up the teams, a larger team can lead to more fellowship within the in-group but too big of a group can lead to a member not feeling as engaged. To prototype this, we will run the game in 2 formats, one in which there are 2 teams of 2 and another where there are 2 teams of 4. We will run the game exactly the same and then ask each player to rate how engage they were during those 6 minutes and see what format gets us the highest engagement. My guess is 2 players is going to be the ideal number, since making a mocktail isn’t that complex and doesn’t require many hands.

What ingredients should be available to the teams to make their mocktails? 

This is important because the ingredients determine the difficulty of the game, the weirder the ingredients are, the harder it is for the teams to guess what the mocktail is made of, which creates challenge. The more obvious the ingredients are, it helps the players making the cocktail express themselves in a way that is fun and easy, instead of counterintuitive. To test it out, we will run the same game with different ingredients, the first round will be with intuitive ingredients that are easy to mix and identify, and the second time a set of ingredients that are not related to each other and are typically not found in mocktails. We will interview both players are the end of the game to see what game they enjoyed most and why. We will observe both games for engagement and emotions. My guess is that the harder ingredients will be funner, because the faces of the people that taste it will be funny, adding to a high positive sentiment.

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