BCM300 WEEK 8, Draw and RUIN? Playtesting!

For this week within BCM300, I intended to develop one of my many ideas from the previous week. However, during class I didn’t feel like further developing any of those ideas in particular so spent most of my time brainstorming a new game idea with a focus on a game that I’d enjoy playing.

This lead me towards creating a game for playtesting with the working title ‘Draw and Ruin.’

The game has a similar feel to it to Dixit, as well as Pictionary.

The game works, by players, taking turns to draw a noun that they are given randomly from a deck of cards, while all other players work to guess the noun. After doing so, the player that is before that player is then given an adjective and then has to draw over the original drawing of the noun.
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From play testing the game, the most interesting thing about this, was how even though the adjective was completely random and held no relationship to the noun, I noticed that people would guess the adjective drawing based on what the noun was originally.
For example, when someone drew a car, people guessed adjectives such as ‘fast, speedy, drifty’
Words that would generally be associated with the original noun.

There was an outlier for this, for the noun giraffe and the word pretty.
Thinking about this from the game’s perspective, how do you make a giraffe look pretty?
Surprisingly long flowing feminine hair drawn onto the giraffe made a member of the playtest group immediately guess giraffe.

cards

The scoring, and movement system I used for the game was to give 3 points to the drawer if someone guessed correctly, and 1 point to the person who guessed correctly. Though this seemed to work relatively effectively, I think in my development process it’d be important for me to experiment with different scoring systems and see what is balanced but also competitive for every player.

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The key feedback I got from the playtest group is that though the game is fun, it’d be good if there were more difficult adjectives included in the list of playtest cards.
This Is something that I considered and deliberately avoided as a felt that, if the adjectives were hard to draw or describe people wouldn’t enjoy the game. But then again, perhaps that could be part of the fun experience of the game because the adjectives were at time challenging.
As a WIP, I also had the time limit for drawing set to 30 seconds which seemed satisfactory with only one or two words being unable to be guessed.
(A fluffy plane) (Seriously who guesses fluffy plane?)

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BCM300 Individual game initial ideas

Today in BCM300, we worked towards our own individual games, and quickly experimented by coming up with 10 ideas for games/themes within 10 minutes. While this was quite challenging these our the ideas I came up with:

A Monopoly Parody game, which makes fun of monopoly.

Horses with really long necks, who’s real name starts with G.

We’re not Televising that! (We’re not monetizing that!)

Is that a horse or a unicorn? No that’s a zebra

Is that art?

Bethoven’s last symphony (zombie survival game)

People vs cars

My dog is a police officer and I’ve committed a crime

Dinosaurs with no shoes

 

To quickly expand on some of these ideas ones which I’ve considered the mechanics for would include the monopoly parody game, is that art? And we’re not televising that.

In the monopoly parody game, (which still doesn’t have  proper title) the game would basically include many of monopoly’s key and notable mechanics like purchasing property around the board, and collecting 200 dollars when passing go, but this would affect the game in different ways than monopoly despite appearing the same. Because monopoly holds such a ‘monopoly’ on the board game making industry it’d be a powerful piece of parody and satire to make a game parodying and creating humour based on the monopoly board game.

As for ‘Is that art?’
This would be a game, played likely only by art students in which the game would be a serious discussion on objects ideas and attempting to convince other players of how their object is actually a form of art. This would be drawing a card from a deck and then convincing other people how the object or word on the card is actually a form of art. This is a form of satire, on how there is ever flourishing debate on what should be considered art.

The other game idea, which I focused on mostly in class was ‘We’re not televising that’
The title had some criticism from Christopher Moore, as the medium of television is dying and there would be a better alternative for the theme and title of my game.

This lead me to come up with, ‘We’re not monetizing that?’ a YouTube parody boardgame where one player is given three submissions (one for each of every other player) and then has to decided which one they will monetize. This is similar in concept and playstyle to cards against humanity and has aspects of creativity within it.

After coming up with this basic idea I also looked at the game through the lenses,
pleasure,  and status.
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The game gives the players pleasure, by entertaining them from people’s ideas as well as the pleasure of being someone of higher status briefly than other players by getting to decide which idea is the winner. An interesting part of this game, is how each player gets a chance as the role of the decision maker for which idea gets monetized rotates around to each player. This allows that player to gain the pleasure from being of higher status than the other players, as well as the opportunity to use that status to decide the winner however they please.

Overall, though this game seems like it could be created as my individual game project, I think I’d like to consider and experiment with more ideas. Though having looked at most of my ideas, I think an interest of mine in creating my individual game would be a focus on humour, and catchy titles which attract players through the game’s wit and humour.

BCM300 – Individual Contribution to group game pitch

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Within our group in our presentation of our board game ‘Arsonist Al’ we decided to create project in a prezi format in which we could all contribute a particular topic each. I ended up writing about ‘Similar products’ which I had no issue with however this meant I would have to engage with the format of board games more intimately as it required research and an investigation of how we defined this genre. The first thing I thought about when beginning this research was how I personally had enjoyed games like ‘Mario party’ while Mario party is a video game, boardgame my interest Mario party was more to do with the mini games in Mario party. Within mini-games on the Mario party video game, often there would be games in which four players would compete against each other in 1v3 scenario. As such I related this to our own board game given that we had a 1v3 format in our mechanics. After briefly researching to figure out what exactly this genre could be called I discovered a forum post of a user asking for recommended titles of ‘Come at me bro.’ games. While I found this humourous it did encapsulate exactly how the feeling the single player versing the three felt when playing this game, as such I felt this was an excellent and entertaining way of defining this format of game.
After realizing this I decided, to research and discover titles that I felt related to this format and had the same feeling of one godlike player vs a group of weaker players. This was the focus of my research and was how I came up with the list of titles that I discussed in my presentation.
Those titles of course being:

‘Last Night on Earth: The Zombie game’

‘Scotland Yard’

‘Darkest Night’

‘Flashpoint’

While Last night on earth, Scotland yard, all have a relation to our product in regards to the ‘come at me bro’ complex, they have very differing to our narrative. As another example of games that are similar to our game from the firefighters perspective I also described and researched the parallels between flashpoint in it’s narrative (it’s about fighting fires) and it’s relationship in the cooperation  between the 3 players. Though most notably in Flashpoint all players fight against the games mechanics unlike our game in which the games compete against each other.

 

Overall, I tried in my presentation to be more engaging as I felt to truly present a game a small amount of humour and playfulness in the method I present is key. This is because games are about having fun, so if the way I engage as a presenter isn’t interesting there is little chance for the audience to engage or take interest in what I’m speaking about.
I’ll also add I designed our little prototype logo above.

 

References:
https://boardgamegeek.com/image/1432663/darkest-night-first-edition
https://boardgamegeek.com/image/1129370/flash-point-fire-rescue
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/29368/last-night-earth-zombie-game
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/438/scotland-yard