What I learn from my first paper prototype?

Introduction

This project was a group product and my role was designer and developer. The game is called Snowman Chaser. Three players competed on the snow ground and roll some snowballs, then build them together to make a snowman. The first player who makes a snowman will win.

Beginning – A lesson from Gamejam: Quick start

When we first decide to make this analogical prototype, choosing the topic is the first step. We had too many choices and couldn’t make a decision. For example, we came up with a prototype board game that one of our group members made before. However, the mechanic in that game was complicated and the rules couldn’t be understood by others. We also tried to figure out some topics that we imagine before but those ideas were always too huge and unsuitable for these games which need a simple mechanic.

Finally, the experience on the Gamejam stroke me. On the Gamejam I have joined, the topic is represented by a picture that contains a short story. Then participants did the brainstorm and expanded the story to games. This type of topic gives a clear direction, meanwhile, it also keeps a range for creation. So I picked some short story images online randomly, then our group started to brainstorm and generated some interesting ideas.

The topic of 2021 CIGA GameJam

Iteration – Ideas are cheap

After we had some ideas, we refined and combined them. Then the first game test started. In the first test, we found that the 15*15 map was so big, players cannot influence others and there was no competition happened. So, in the second test, the map was changed to 10*10. Unfortunately, the map was still so big and we reduced it again to 6*6. This time, the map became small and nobody can achieve the game goal under the huge influence. We also found some rules in these games is not suitable. So we change it again.

After the fifth test, I thought the game may still have some problems but I don’t know where, though the whole gameplay looked good. To find out the problem, I led the team to judge all the game rules one by one, dividing them into fun ideas and non-fun ideas. Then we throw the non-fun ideas away. Though some ideas were excellent, they were not fun for this game.

Final Iteration

After the iteration, I clearly understand what the professor lectured, ideas are cheap.

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