What do Prototypes Prototype? – Nicholas Bui

Prototype Questions

Will our gameplay promote more or less intimacy among players?

Since we plan to make a competitive game, that also promotes getting to know one another, these two goals may conflict. The prototype for this would be a paper and pencil version of the game with questions on various cards. I think that the intimacy of the game will still come through in spite of more competitive gameplay.

Where do various questions rank on their level of deepness?

These control the interactions between players and manages how comfortable they are at the moment. Having just the right level of discomfort in the questions is important for a good experience. The prototype for this would essentially be a list of questions we can ask people to answer and rank based on their intimacy. I think we will find that some questions we thought were good, end up giving short, nom-intimate answers.

Are all players currently engaged with the experience?

As a party game, everyone should be involved for the entirety of the game such that people won’t easily get distracted by phones or otherwise. This could be a set of prototypes that attempt to give players more/less/different tasks to see what keeps them engaged the most and can work in conjunction with the prototype for the first question. We will probably discover that there are various parts of the game in which players are disinterested in the actions others are taking since it doesn’t involve them and may need to adjust the artifact accordingly.

What is the minimum we need to play this game and what additions would be improve quality of life without being cumbersome?

This will show what the core elements of the game are and anything else we will need to design that makes the experience more smooth/intuitive. Also determines the scale of the game and what kind of packaging we may need. The prototype for this will be a barebones paper version of the game in which we can slowly add elements to see which helps and what hurts. Alternatively we can start with all of the game pieces and see which ones are used the most/least. We will probably discover that we need less than we think we do for the essential aspects of the game.

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