What do Prototypes Prototype? – Jonathan Affeld

The game my team and I are working on is a spin on Pictionary or salad bowl except players use a material to construct out their prompts. I have identified a few questions that a game prototype might help answer.

  1. What material is the best to build with?
    1. This question is important because we need to determine what build material is easiest for players to build with and express what they want to their teammates. We will craft two prototypes, one with playdoh and one with legos. I suspect that the playdoh prototype will work better since it is more maleable and quicker to construct with rather than legos.
  2. How long should each turn be so that players have ample time to make their builds decipherable?
    1. This question is important because we want to determine how much time will be long enough for players to get through more than one prompt while also providing a sense of time pressure for chaos. We can test the turns with lengths 30 seconds, 1 minute, and 2 minutes. I think that this question will be the hardest to answer as different people take different amounts of time to build. I think somewhere in the middle like 1 minute will work out best.
  3. How many rounds and prompts per round should there be?
    1. This question is important because we want to provide variety to the game so that rounds don’t feel like they are too long or too short. We will try having the number of prompts be 1 per person or 2 per person. We will also try 1 round of building or 3 rounds of varied restrictions. I expect that more prompts and more rounds will be preferable.
  4. What kinds of rounds should there be?
    1. This question is important so that each round does not get stale and we can provide additional challenge to players. We will test all our round ideas and narrow it down to 1-3 rounds that we feel would be best for the game. Some ideas that we have already thought of are pictionary but with building, pictionary with building but the guessers are blindfolded and need to feel the object to guess, charades, or describing the prompt. I expect that whatever we choose, we will want to fixate the restriction on one gimmick.

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