Saturday, August 15, 2015

If it is fun does that mean it is still work?

The summer session of work with the EMC has come to a close, and I will soon be receiving the prototype for Enter the Cave.  I have been playing the versions, as they have been updated and in the past few days have had the pleasure of playing with all three of my children.  It is amazing that not so long ago this game was an idea living in my imagination.  There is still much work to be done, and I hope that it becomes a necessary tool for players who are heading to college; but what a blast!

I am also working to finalize the prototype for One Scene At A Time; and with it find a new name for that game.  I have a list of ideas but so far nothing has grabbed me.  I have an event in September and want to be ready with prototypes to give out!

This seems to be a good time to look back at my posts and see what the connections are.  And, then, there is that question of "what does it mean to thrive?"

Good night for now...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Well Designed

Well, I am working on the design of Enter the Cave and One Scene At A Time.  And, I am reading well designed:  how to use empathy to create products people love.  And, Jon Kolko's book which I found in an article from is everything I have hoped it would be.  There are so many quotes for my bag of tricks. Right now, I am working on identifying my emotional value proposition:  what can someone do after playing Enter the Cave or One Scene At A Time that they couldn't do before?

It is creation based on assumptions that need to be checked out through getting to know my players.

I want to know what players actually do when they play.  Boy, that is different from carefully setting up a focus group, trying not to put the players in any situation that would make them feel uncomfortable, and trying not to ask anything that would be wrong!  I actually want them to PLAY, possibly find things that are wrong, and prove that my assumptions may be not based in any usable reality.  That is okay, because I believe that by playing, these future or new college students will be better prepared to THRIVE in college.

So, here are some of my assumptions:

  • Playing before selecting roommates will help players make better choices about who should be their roommate
  • Playing these games means becoming familiar with actual first year college scenarios, and so Players will have thought of actions they could take to deal with the scenarios
  • Players who are already in college can replay scenarios and possibly realize other options they could take
  • Playing gives Players a sense that they are prepared for how to live on campus
  • Playing when in high school, and then again when in college gives Players a concrete sense of their growth from dealing with one context and then the new context
As I write out the responses from my focus group scenarios I see that most of the players (so far) feel that the objective of the game is not to earn the most points, but rather is for the READER to choose the BEST ANSWER.  Every player during the game will take a turn as the READER so PLAYERS have the opportunity to learn from watching others and also take the helm and make a decision. AND, if they really want to, they can EARN POINTS, too.

Most of all, playing Enter the Cave and One Scene At A Time is fun.  Players can laugh, compete, make fun of and have raucous discussions about a new experience without having the commit to anything.  The players will leave the game with new experiences in tow, without having to feel that they did anything more than play a game.

Next step:  find groups of players to check on these assumptions on.  First question to pose:  what does it mean to THRIVE??