Actual Tiny Prototype
These were the story elements I created for lecture. I “augmented” them with some verbal explanations during play-testing, but I am simply posting them as is here… as, in retrospect, maybe it would have been better not to comment and just let the prompts speak for themselves for quality feedback.
2: No matter the choice in 1, this is the next update. Simply for foreshadowing purposes, no choice to be made (yet).
3: Now, another choice:
4: If one picked “become a friend,” I told people that sadly no leads came out of the conference, and presented them with the following option. If people “rejected the offer”, we headed straight to 5.
5: If people “agreed in exchange for the event invite”, the game (and their business) had a future (that path is under construction – no narrative constructed yet). If no, we continued (and ended) here, in a sad spot:
Observations Tiny Prototype
Here’s what I gathered when testing with my classmates [and some comments of mine in square brackets]
+ Testers liked how I made it incredibly easy to “change one’s ideology” using bay steps. People all voted for the party and then kept getting more and more involved, saying “I felt there was no upside in going back.”
+ Testers liked “the personal investment” – “I felt like I had a business to run and was in a tight spot,” people said game feels realistic
+ Testers felt like “they were a real part of the story”
x Someone: “There’s a lot of uncertainty, I feel I’m forced to make decisions with little information of what it may mean down the line” [I see this a pro – that was by design]
x Someone: Check out the game “spent” (playspent.org), could be insightful for “what you’re trying to do.”
– Some more explanations on why me choosing a) leads to the next step, would give me more a feeling of why I’m too blame [weighing this right now… the idea was to highlight how arbitrary non-democratic regimes operate and that once they’re in power one is helpless, at their mercy, and it’s too late to make changes… but I’ll have to find a way to make that more salient, so it was helpful feedback].
– I feel I lack a net worth calculator so that if I make morally sound choices I see how I’m in an increasingly desperate financial situation [thought of adding this: would have to be pretty hacky to do this in Twine, right? Like just separate each path and hard-code values, or is there a good way to run calculations?]
– Make the larger understanding more salient: is there a flashback moment, a way to push for reflection (one tester didn’t understand what I wanted the game to be about… they thought it was fun to make business decisions within geopolitical constraints, but missed the bleak undertones… so I’m thinking about how I drive home that point without it being too “in your face” for next week]