Questions to Answer for Prototyping:
Our current game is based on the folk game “one word at a time” in which players take turns going around in a circle building up a story. Our game has a twist of having teams and rules on which words can be said. Saying an out of bounds word costs your team a point and you take a swig of your drink.
Some important questions to answer to improve this game:
- Can two teams quickly generate a narrative topic?
- This is a key beginning feature of our game. It is essential to game play, and if there is too much friction in this process, the game may never even begin.
- A quick exercise in teams of 5 each and asking them to come up with a quick one liner sentence around which a narrative will be constructed. IE: A dragon is living in lake lag
- I think it will have a bit of friction. It might be useful to designate a story generator at the beginning of each round which rotates throughout the game
- Can teams come up with sufficiently different and challenging rules to follow for building a story?
- This is important because if there aren’t enough options for rules the game will fall into the trap of becoming repetitive and predictable. It will allow players to quickly optimize rule options and game strategies and become much less fun.
- Give two teams a narrative and ask them to individually generate 5 rule options providing boundaries on what words can be said during the game. Then ask teams to swap rule options and evaluate each rule.
- I have a feeling that most rules will be confined to restricting words that start with a certain letter, we might want to have a list or set of cards that expands these possibilities.
- Is the enjoyment of creating a story enough to make people want to play this game? Do we need other incentives / punishments?
- If creating a story isn’t enough fun people won’t even pick up the game to play it. We want to make sure that we are creating a easy and accessible game that people want to play at a party, waiting in line, etc.
- Ask people to play the initial prototype of the game (as it currently exists) and notice their reactions while creating the story. Are they enjoying it? Do they feel awkward? How does the vibe change when the people know each other well? If they don’t know each other at all?
- I think people will enjoy creating the story, but I think that the narrative statement will play a key role in how the enjoyment goes–it might be worth creating some kind of narrative generator to ensure interest and engagement.