Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hell Week

The worst part of making a game that has functioning mechanics, creative graphic designs, and variety, is when the game is missing the fun aspect. That is what happened to me today when the class play tested our Harry Potter game.

This is the third set of cards we created, the fourth board design we developed, and there are still flaws. After hearing everyones analysis and feedback, I finally figured out the issue. It wasn't that there wasn't enough, it was that there was too much. I realized that people like winning, and they like winning fast. When you make winning a tedious task, people tend to take the easier route; make others lose.

While play testing the first round, the unexpected had occurred. I was presented with four chaos players, who all immediately looked towards quickly ending the game before anyone could obtain points. I had everyone running through the Room of Requirement their first turn! End of round one, only three cards away from ending the game. Something was going terribly wrong.

I waited for a few rounds to pass, thinking people would get the hang of the game, but I was wrong. The players still found no incentive to ask people questions, or to even collect cards for a matter of fact. They all just went to another player's house, and started picking up every card, knowing that they might get sent to the forbidden forest. Vishesh told me this was because he had to pay 3 to get a 4 point card, and that wasn't worth it for him.

When Isaac came to the next round to play, I presented Vishesh's perspective to him and asked him for feedback. With the help of Isaac, who was my partner for the first game, I realized the issue came in how many points it takes to collect the cards, and how easily you lose them, only to gain four points. I tried increasing the value of the House cards to 12, but realized instead of increasing points, I should downsize everything!

So now with all these new ideas, I have a brand new board to create, cards I need to revalue, and new mechanics to end the game. My goal: in the midst of developing all the physical elements of the game, I need to find the most important element, fun. Hopefully, I can use a spell or two to locate it.

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