P3: Reflection

Before doing a systems game, I was very confused and overwhelmed. I knew about systems and generally what a system is, but when I started to think about how to create a game that represents a system, it was almost such a general prompt that I was paralyzed by all the possible systems to choose from. My group and I (Truth or Troll) decided to make a game modeling the system of news media, specifically the spread of misinformation. After choosing the system, I thought that it would be easy to think of a game with basic mechanics, because I thought that it would be easy to map mechanics from the real world system to the mechanics of the game itself. This proved to be much more difficult than I thought, and we completely changed the mechanics of our game twice until we found mechanics that worked for our game. The problem wasn’t finding real world mechanics in the system, it was finding mechanics that we could simplify enough so that you could play a game with them at a very basic level. I think what we did that I found really interesting was iterating so drastically. Our first three iterations were three completely different games, and it kind of felt like we were just trying random ideas until something stuck. We were all very pleasantly surprised when we finally did a playtest that went well, and felt like we could stick with the core mechanics. This is interesting but also troubling, because there could have been a scenario which I’m sure has happened countless times where someone has to go through many completely different games before they find core mechanics that they can build upon, and we felt pretty lucky that it only took a few iterations for us to find our game. Now, I just continue to see how important iteration and trying new things is. I also think that going forward there could be a more calculated way to decide on mechanics for a system game so that we are not just trying random games until one sticks. I think that there could be a way to sit down and brainstorm different real life mechanics of a system, and narrow them down to ones that would be easily simplified or gamified, but with the time constraints of our project it just didn’t feel like we had time to do something like that.

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