For the second game mechanism test, some of the key changes proposed for version 0.6 were implemented.
The Proposal Decks have the possible cards that can be played outlined, and instructions on the game-play process.
The revised board/site map has copies of the place cards around the edge, so that the information is always available to the players and they can be linked to their locations on the site.
The design lent itself to a Monopoly style board. As the game’s purpose and game-play directly contradict Monopoly I think this is a useful juxtaposition.
The place cards were drafted out with the slide mechanism to indicate how they could be used.
A basic ‘Abacus’ was drafted out with sliders for each scoring element:
The Intervention Cards were updated to remove Time-bank and Actor scores and re-balance the points. Additional draft Funding Cards were also created for lower value funding required at the start of the game.
The Game Test
The key focus of this test was the new turn phases outlined in the last post. It was also the largest group so far with 5 players.
One immediate problem was the lack of table space. With six proposal decks shared between five players, the space was quickly cluttered and hard to manage.
The place cards hadn’t had their cost values added to them yet either, so were excluded from this game test.
Time was limited to about an hour and a half of game-play but the turn process was smoother, so we did manage to get four years completed.
The main advantage of the players working in teams was that they were able to get on without much input from the Facilitator.
However, there were problems with players working with both neighbours. Typically two players would use up all of the time discussing their proposal deck and then have to quickly throw something together with their other neighbour. This left some players sitting waiting and it was hard to hold interest in the game.
The players did engage with the idea of their Actors, but without them affecting the game, it became more about what would work, not what they would like to work.
Some feedback comments:
“Liked it a lot, after a few rounds you get even more out of it. Could make a video teaching people how to play showing them a round so they know how it works” – this could be a useful tool once the testing is resolved.
Need “game objectives to know what the aim is. What’s the reward for players/teams” – objectives hadn’t been made that clear and how to win needs to be worked out better.
They also mentioned that Abacus was not clear enough and the sliders on the Proposal Decks were unnecessary. Other comments were around the clarity of the rules or reflected elements that haven’t been implemented yet.
To solve the main issue with the flow of the turns and the lack of space and clarity, the Proposal Decks will be reduced to one between two players. The players will just work with one neighbour at a time in the Planning and Pitching phases to put together a proposal.
Each Turn/Year they will switch to work with the opposite player so that a variety of conversations and options are available to them. With an odd number, the players on either side of the Facilitator will take turns working alone with extra advice from the Facilitator.
The place cards will be completed for the next game and the Abacus will need to be revised for clarity.