In “Congrats Grad!”, the core values we explore are autonomy, ambition, and adaptation/change. These values are pivotal in shaping the post-grad experience and are embedded in the game’s mechanics and narratives. Autonomy is reflected in the decision-making process, as players navigate scenarios that test their independence. Loyalty emerges in how players interact with imagined characters and situations, impacting their in-game relationships and choices. Ambition is a driving force, motivating players to strategize and progress, while adaption is the constant underlying value that the players have to adopt as they navigate the evolving scenarios decided by the random dice rolls and develop their character.
The game’s loop is central to its design. Players start by creating a scenario, a snapshot of post-grad life they must navigate. They then receive feedback on the feasibility of this scenario from other players, introducing a collaborative element. This is followed by a dice roll, determining the success or failure of the scenario. Success moves the player closer to the goal of 15 points. This loop of scenario creation, feedback, and resolution keeps the gameplay dynamic and reflective of the uncertainties in real-life post-graduation experiences.
The arcs in “Congrats Grad!” are the narrative peaks that occur at specific points in the game. The first arc happens when players complete their persona, introducing themselves and their initial values and goals to the group. The second arc is reached when players successfully align their actions with the core values of either “stay” or “move”, solidifying their direction and focus in the game. This alignment is crucial as it shapes the subsequent scenarios and strategies. The final arc is the conclusion of the game, where each player recounts their journey, weaving their experiences into a cohesive post-grad narrative. This recapitulation allows players to reflect on their growth, decisions, and the path they’ve charted throughout the game, offering a sense of closure and insight into their simulated post-grad journey.