What do prototypes prototype

1- What is the range of the number of people who can play this game and still have fun?

This is probably a question that will come as we’re testing out the mechanics. Based on the mechanics set, determining the range for size of group that can play and still successfully complete the game will ensure that we are targeting the right market and hitting our marks. As a prototype, we might use paper prototypes that have just enough information to play the game from start to finish. It does not need to have all the visuals depending on the game. Running this will probably take a few game plays and perhaps even adjustments as we go along.

2- With the given instructions and the game, are players able to understand their roles?

This is a big one. Once we have a game and we’ve set it, we need to ensure that it’s playable. To make it happen, we can have players play the first half of a game or bound it in some way. We can have them play until we can see if players are behaving in ways we expect. The insights from this prototype will help us make the game easy to understand, ensure that it stays fun, and that the mechanics we have in place work for every type of player that plays the game. I see this question giving us rich data about what we’re communicating well and not at all well through our game.

3- Which color combinations relay the message we want to send out as a brad/game?

Answering this question helps us determine if we are communicating the right values to the players. To test this, we can have various colored paper or digital prototypes that players can handle or even play with. We will then ask players what they thought about the game’s look or ask them subtly what they thought the game was about and then later if the look of the game affected how they thought about that question. I see us getting some information from this type of prototyping but would likely need a bit of probing if what we want to understand is the value communicated rather than simple aesthetics.

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