Short Exercise: What do Prototypes Prototype?

Our game idea was where a group of people try to identify one person in the group based on a description or series of questions. 

Some questions that our game prototypes should answer:

  1. Should we let players pick their own questions/descriptions or have a set of preset ones?
    1. This question is important because it determines what kind of resources we should give players. 
    2. We would prototype it by creating two versions of our game, one with cards with preset questions or prompts on it, and one without such a resource. 
    3. I think players’ own questions would end up working better since users have more freedom and the replay value is higher. However, for first time players, it might be nice to have a small set of preset questions to get them started. 
  2. Should users be asking / answering questions about themselves or about other characters (ex. celebrities)?  
    1. This question is important because it changes the purpose of the game. If users are asking questions about other players, then it better serves as a “get to know each other” game. However, if players are trying to guess what each other’s characters are, people are making less assumptions about other players, which might lessen the chance of offense.  
    2. We will test this by including a set of pre-made character cards with the prototype. We will test if players will choose to use the character cards or not. 
    3. I think players will like asking questions / learning about other players because they will feel like they can get closer to the other players socially. 
  3. Should we organize the game into teams or have the game format be multilateral (every player for themselves?) 
    1. This is an important question to answer because it impacts the power dynamics of the game. Teams also impact the level of engagement players need– in teams players might be able to just piggy back off more enthusiastic players, whereas if it is an individual game players might be more motivated to be active. 
    2. We will playtest the prototype twice– once when splitting the group into 2, and once when we do not. 
    3. I think teams will lead to more engagement at first when players don’t know each other well, since there is a lower barrier for social engagement.

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