Wednesday, November 17, 2004

response to feedback

Thanks for the feedback
I have decided that:
The length of the game will be however long it takes
You will know you have won when you have completed healing the zombies on your list
The scope of the field is everywhere you go
The quantifiable goal will be the completion of your target list of zombies
I will create a document for the game that will help players keep track of their progress
I will aid the lusory attitude by stating that you can only use your face, and you can not talk to or touch zombies
I want to make a small pamphlet to present the game to future players.

Formal Feedback

SFAI Balance Challenge by Elliot was a kind of mini triathalon. The different stages had different core mechanics- mostly answering questions and skating skillfully.The game was exciting to watch and stimulating to play. I think the Balance Challenge has enough formal elements to be considered a game, a clearly defined goal- cross finish line first, rules constraining player behavior- i don't think you were allowed knock someone off their board, players can choose to complete the math test affecting the game result, the 'lusory attitude' is present- players adhered to the course rather than just race over the finish line, a magic circle was present, it was easier for players who might be more hesitant at other times to skate on the quad.The best thing about the game is the juxtaposition of intellect (math questions) and skateboarding- challenge eachother challenge stereotypes challenge yourself! I think it might be good to interpose other activities such as still life drawing, poetry writing, dancing, singing as well. The rules were well presented but the technical aspects like how much the math factors in were a little hazy. I think they should count for more. I didn't play but it seemed like jacob's strategy was to skip the math and head straight for the finish line- he won but I think that breaks the lusory attitude in a way because players will just never do the math unless you make them.The group IQ test was a neat way for fans to get invested in a player and somehow bet on them. It's a really neat aspect.Good Job

Formal Feedback

Jacob's game "The Cafe" is a social game in which players complete a series of activities-in teams of two for five minutes before swithching tables and pairing up with a new partner for the next activity.I don't think that there was a singular core mechanic people are: talking-&sharing stories, bartering, drawing, mimicing etc.. just completeing the activities. The play experience was exciting to begin with sitting down with someone, knowing that the two of you would be completing a mysterious task together; it was fun to watch other players and guess what activity they were completing; and it became confusing when it seemed like finding both a table and player that were new was impossible. Jacob gave clear enough instructions as to how to play, the cafe was a good defining game space, and I felt comfortable- and within the magic circle- completing even the most silly of the actions. The best developed element to me was the collaborative aspect of the concept- I feel like the game made collabortaters out of everyone and that collaberation reinforced the magic circle because of a kind of safety in numbers thing. The rules and instructions I would give an 8 out of 10 they were pretty explicit, however, I feel like the rules failed the structure at certain points when I was unable to correctly participate because the only tables available were occupied by people who i had already played... but that shouldn't be hard to fix- i am imagining a kind of script where on the activity sheet, players have a direction to there next destination like player one- go to table six...?? Strategy was impossible because there wasn't a goal. I would like for there to be a goal to the game even if it is just a reveal of how all of the activities relate to one another.The game had all of the oppertunity for and produced emergent play- that's cool.
I would like a mod : if the first activity for all tables was to think of an activity- and then the players ended up at there own activity station last- I think that might be interesting because it would be more specific to the individuals who were playing and it would mean no matter how many times you played you wouldn't get bored because the activities would always be changing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Formal Feedback

Cihan's Zilchmaster is a democratic mod on trivial pursuit. It is a board game and the core mechanic is voting. Watching the game was entertaining, it seemed as if the questions really mattered a lot less to the players than coming up with strategies for managing their true and false tokens, and strategizing on what players thought the other players might vote true to rather than voting how they honestly felt, which is also neat because players would run out of one answer and have to play another answer even if it was contrary to how they felt- kind of like a real world democracy. Zilchmaster has all of the physical elements: a board, pieces, question cards, tokens, etc. of a game but I did feel like the magic circle was not very defined- I think a fine tuning of the small rules like how you lay down tokens and when etc. will clear a lot of those problems up, also keep in mind that it did seem as though the last team to roll, lost out because they didn't have tokens by the time it was their turn. Clarity of the rules 6.

Formal Feedback

Grey's Frisco Wars is a strategy boardgame played on a map of San Francisco. Players are designated areas on the map, cards that correspond to those areas, and a number of pieces to represent their gang members. Players distribute their pieces throughout their territories, then on their turn they invade another players turf using the connecting bus routes and try to take it over by playing their cards against the other players cards. In terms of 'verbs' I would say that players move pieces and set down cards. Even as the game stands now, it is an interesting game - the weapon combinations that come up are creative and entertaing, the board and the pieces are aestheticly pleasing- they leave enough to the imagination of the players that there is space for casual role playing, it would be good if players could name their gangs. I would say that the prototype definately had enough structure to be formally considered a game. The game has a clearly defined goal- though I think a longer play testing would reveal that the more territory a gang inhabits the more thinly it is inhabited leaving the possibility of other players coming back and making the play last longer- although i'm not entirely convinced that this is a game that would need to be played in only one sitting. The rules are verey simple and elegant. The ability for players to make decisions that effect the game result is definately a high point of this game. Resource management is the central theme of Frisco wars. We didn't enconter any confusion with the presentation of the rules, 10. It was definately possible to develop a strategy- I didn't invade any of Elliot's strong holds because he had all of the guns, i focused on territories with few pieces that bordered on at least two of my territories like Chihan's Castro. I would say the experience was more than I would have expected especially since the prototype was so complete. The only specific mods that I can think of would be things like a police pressence could bring something more to the game- like each game gets a dirty cop on their side as a special card, who can bust members of other gangs or like in monopoly send them to jail for a round. It's a pretty straight forward game and I like that about it, but I also think that at some points it might get a little to predictable which is where an outside element like the police might come through. Or if gangs were given a specific business and could form partnerships with other gangs- stolen cars, drugs, weapons etc.