Monday, 24 September 2012

Evaluation of Paper Prototyping

In the previous lesson, I and my assigned group (Joe G, Alan T, Sean B & Josh M) had to create a board game so we could learn the process of prototyping which is a paper based evaluating technique to find flaws and faults in game levels and design in both traditional and digital based games.
We had mainly 3 set rules to abide by when developing ideas for development. These were:

  • ·         Must use a dice or coin toss in some form.
  • ·         A Turn Based 2 Player Game
  • ·         Able to complete in 15 minutes maximum
  • ·         Game-play to occur on a specified surface

With them pre-requisites, we used an idea generation technique, "Random Word Generation". Using "CHICKENS" as our theme, we developed ideas from there and finalised with basis of the common joke "Why did the chicken cross the road?".

Playing as a chicken and the set board being a dual carriageway which you need to cross. With one player on either side, you race each other to cross the board. With a board of 15 tiles to 60 tiles, with one dice you have to cross the board.

The mechanic of the game is that at the beginning you are dealt with 5 cards from a deck of 40. These cards contain boosts and obstacles to hinder your enemy and help yourself. The obstacles are played before your dice roll (only one at a time) and can be placed in any place on the board apart from an area called the safe area. The obstacles either have certain conditions which are changeable through dice roll chance or block a space in the game which becomes  inaccessible to cross when placed in the tiles
The variety or cards include:

  • ·         Traffic Cone
  • ·         Barricade (3 Types)
  • ·         Traffic Jam
  • ·         Oil Slick
  • ·         Citizen Help
  • ·         Chicken Flight
  • ·         Truck Smash

Using these the players can hinder the enemy player and help themselves cross the board. A game about chancing strategy, you must strategize well about the pieces placed on the board and it could be you go into your own obstacle when you get to the other side of the board.

With both the cards being important along with certain symmetrical tiles on the board which can influence the flow of the game, a player was meant to think ahead  and strategize a path for him to cross the board and reach the other side first.

After prototyping the game, a few elements were seen that would need changing or adapting better. These were:
  • ·       The size of the board was too big. There was too much space to cross the board and with only 2 players, this was important. As we had a shortened down version of the board, maybe this was the reason, but from the test we decided as a team that this would probably need changing.
  • ·        Adapting the dice roll better. The integration of dice could of been simpler and easier to understand.
  • ·         Depending on if the playing board was decreased, maybe 1 more card because there wasn't a lot of variety.
  • ·         More unique tile spaces on the board. On the board there was tiles such as pick up a new card and potholes which would cause different effects. These were hardly used on the board and hard to get to so if going back and developing the game, this would need to increase to make them more obvious for use.
Overall I could personally understand the importance of what paper prototyping does. Making me see unforeseen errors in the game which I couldn't of predicted. Errors which in both traditional and digital formats, could make or break the game when given to the audience.  I can especially see it being important to use when coming to level design; as you can a paper version of the level and see any points of unfairness, irregularities & possible glitches. Due to that fact, I would try and concept this prototyping test method before I try anything digital when it comes to developing levels and any design mechanics

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