Board Game Prototyping / Initial Playtesting
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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:55 PM
I didn't think this would translate well to a board game. However, my group created a quick prototype and began having people play test it. I was amazed to discover that after a couple iterations of testing, we were able to identify some very key design issues and work them out as well as observe various strategies players might use in the actual "video" game. It showed us what parts of the design had potential to be really fun and what parts still needed work. It also demonstrated how players might use/abuse the mechanics of the game in way we never imagined! Finally, it helped us identify what aspects of the game are going to need to be focused on to create balanced game play.
I was just curious, does anyone else use methods like this during there design phase? Are there any early prototyping techniques you can recommend for a novice game designer? I am also always looking to read some more great books on game design, so any recommendations you might have would also be greatly appreciated!
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Posted 18 February 2011 - 02:09 AM
As for reading material, a good book for design is Game Design Workshop, Second Edition: A Playcentric Approach to Creating Innovative Games by Tracy Fullerton.
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Posted 18 February 2011 - 06:52 AM
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Posted 19 February 2011 - 08:15 AM
This means that it is impossible for someone (or even a group of people) to fully understand the system in their heads. When prototyping (either digital or non-digital) you can explore the possibilities presented by the mechanics far easier than you can in your head.
As the case in point, you were able to discover aspects of your game rules that you didn't suspect existed (or even design for, for that matter).
What prototyping allows is for you to discover, test for and improve Emergence in your games. Emergence comes about through the interaction of your rules, and emergent game play is a great way to get more players to play your game as it creates more depth to your game.
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Posted 19 February 2011 - 09:26 AM
1. Since Jesse and other authors suggest it, it should be apparent that someone does!
1. I was just curious, does anyone else use methods like this during there design phase?
2. I am also always looking to read some more great books on game design, so any recommendations you might have would also be greatly appreciated!
2. Nice list of books on my books page: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson8.htm
Making games fun and getting them done.
Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.