What do Prototypes Prototype?

My group’s initial idea is to combine Truth or Dare with Beer Pong in some way. Right now, it’s ambiguous how elements of these two games will be mixed and what, if any, additional elements will be added. The goal of the game is to combine a casual drinking game that’s already very popular with another popular game that encourages people to both learn more about each other and engage in different kinds of fun than they usually do.

1. Is alcohol necessary for the game to be fun for players and how integral will it be to the game design?

This is important to consider as we design for differing environments. In some instances, individuals who don’t drink may end up feeling alienated by the game if they would be required to in order to play. For this reason, along with differing settings where people may simply not want to drink, we should consider whether the game we’re designing only works in drinking settings, or if there’s ways to mod it to broaden its appeal. My guess is that while players may have more fun in a drinking setting, it would still be definitely achievable to have a fun game that doesn’t involve alcohol as a core element.


2. How many players does the game work best with?

This is an important aspect of the game to consider as it will determine later prototypes in the event that they require building something, as well as tailoring the game depending on the number of players which may affect how intimate the setting feels. For our prototype, we can experiment with varying groups of 2, 4, 6, and 8 to get a sense of what works the best. My guess is that a game of 4 would work the best to keep it flowing and allow it to be intimate, without making the social interactions too high stakes (a game with 2 players may be a complete dud if the two don’t get along).


3. Do players prefer coming up with their own questions or should there be a set of premade questions?

This is again important as it will determine the flow of the game as well as whether it’s necessary to create some game set for players to play with. For our prototype, we can experiment with both options, coming up with questions of players and having them come up with their own. From my experience, it can be at times awkward or slow to come up with questions out of nowhere, especially with unfamiliar groups, so in many settings I think having premade questions to fall back on would be good, but for friends that are already tight knit, coming up with their own questions would probably be a better option.


4. How should rounds work/when should players have to do a truth or dare?

This is an important question as it will determine the pace of play as well as the balance between beer pong and truth or dare. One option could be tossing until a question is chosen or having some apparatus to make sinks more frequent while another option would be to have it operate with the same rules as beer pong with players alternating tosses, each only getting one. For our prototype, we could have players play with both options and see which they prefer. I predict that their preferences will be mostly based on what they’re looking for in the game, but that alternating individual tosses regardless of a sink or not would be best as it keeps the excitement of when one does happen rather than it being a given every time.

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