Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Updated Beta Schedules

Below is our updated beta testing schedule for Wednesday and next Monday. Please check to see what games you will be testing. Please arrive on time and prepared to play! Also, beta testers: please have your game set up BEFORE our class meeting if major installation or equipment layout is required.

Roger’s Divided Attention, 4:30 – 4:45 (12 players: Roger observes, while EVERYONE else plays)

Jessica’s Avatar, 4:45 – 5:15 (12 players: Jessica observes, while EVERYONE else plays)

Lauren's untitled roleplaying game: 5:15 - 5:45 (12 players: Lauren observes, while EVERYONE else plays)

Q’s C-Walk: 5:45 – 6:15 (Video presentation, followed by group play while EVERYONE either competes or forms an audience)

Elliot's SFAI Balance Challenge: 6:15 - 7:00 (4 players and an audience: Elliot and EVERYONE ELSE forms an audience, while Lauren, Grey, Leo, and Kwansoo play)

Katie’s A Public Game: Report from players: 4:20 – 4:45 (Cihan and Grey)

Kwansoo's untitled Twister mod: 4:45 - 5:15 (Kwansoo observes, while EVERYONE else plays in rotation or forms an audience)

Jay’s game: 5:15 – 5:45 (Jay observes, while EVERYONE plays)


Calvin and Leo's Lonely City: FIELD TRIP! 6:15 – 7:00 Demo and design document tour @ the designers’ apartment

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Beta Testing Schedule- IMPORTANT!

Below is our beta testing schedule for Monday and Wednesday. Please check to see what game you will be testing on Monday and please arrive on time and prepared to play! Also, beta testers: please have your game set up BEFORE our class meeting if major installation or equipment layout is required.

If you did not submit your beta testing request as required (see the latest blog post @ www.artpractice.blogspot.com if your memory fails you) you are currently listed as *unscheduled* for beta testing. If I do not receive a beta testing request from you by the end of the weekend (Sunday night), I cannot guarantee that you will receive a beta testing slot. I have one slot open on Monday for a shorter game (1 hour or less) for a smaller # of players (not the whole class); if this fits your game and you are ready to test on Monday, please email me ASAP.

Jacob's Cafe Bowling: 4:30 - 5:00 (10 players: EVERYONE will be in cafe; Jacob, Elliot, and Kwansoo observe and play the "bystanding public" while EVERYONE else plays the game)
Grey's Frisco Wars: 5:00 - 7:00 (4 players: Grey observes, while Elliot, Roger, Lauren and Leo play)
Kwansoo's untitled game: 5:00 - 5:45 (7 players: Kwansoo observes, while Jessica, Calvin, Q, Katie, Jacob, Jay and Cihan play)
Cihan's Zilchmaster: 5:45 - 6:15 (4 players: Cihan observes, while Jay, Jacob, Katie, and Kwansoo play)
Katie's A Public Game: Packets distributed to 2 players who take 30 minute to discuss/practice and then will return them on Wednesday. (2 players: Katie oversees, while Jessica and Calvin play/prepare to play)

Lauren's untitled roleplaying game: 4:30 - 5:00 (12 players: Lauren observes, while EVERYONE else plays)
Elliot's SFAI Balance Challenge: 6:15 - 7:00 (4 players: Elliot observes, while Lauren, Calvin, Leo, and Kwansoo play)

Roger's game, unscheduled
Calvin and Leo's game, unscheduled
Jessica's game, unscheduled
Jay's game, unscheduled
Q's game, unscheduled

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Beta Test Requests!

Remember to get your beta testing requests in by this Thursday (Thanksgiving!) Please email me with the following information:

- Name of the game you are beta testing
- Final platform of the game and any special needs (an empty room, outdoors, 2 computers with Internet, etc.)
- # of players for a complete game
- length of time for a complete game

If you do NOT submit a beta request, you will not be allocated a beta testing slot and will not be able to beta test your game.

Monday, November 08, 2004

FORMAL FEEDBACK Playtesting 1: The Prototype!

Congratulations! You have reached stage one of the playtesting process. Your job today is to collect feedback from playtesters, and to give feedback to your fellow game designers.

You will give FORMAL feedback to two other games on your blog this week. (A Monday game and a Wednesday game) The first formal feedback is due BEFORE class on Wednesday; the second is due by Friday 5 PM. Over the weekend, after you have completed your feedback to others, you will post your own thoughts on how your playtesting went. This response is due Monday 9 AM. It can be informal; you should address other players’ feedback and discuss your own feelings about what went well and what needs improvement.

Your formal feedback blog posts should address the following questions:
1. What is the name of the game you are giving feedback on, and who designed it?

2. What is the “platform” of the game, and what genre of gaming does it fit into?

3. What verb(s) would you use to describe the core mechanic?

4. What adjective(s) would you use to describe the experience of playing that game, as it is currently designed?

5. Does the project you playtested have enough structure yet to be formally considered a game? What elements of a game are currently missing from the prototype, if any? (ex: a clearly defined goal; rules constraining player behavior; the ability to make decisions that affect the game result; resources for players to manage; “the lusory attitude” is required; a “magic circle” is created; etc.)

6. Which of the formal game elements mentioned above is best developed in the prototype you tested? How so?

7. How clear are the rules as currently presented, on a scale of 1 – 10? Specifically, what if anything needs to be more presented more clearly to players?

8. Was it possible to develop a strategy while playing this prototype? If so, what strategy (or strategies) did you use?

9. What surprised you, if anything, about the actual play of the game, compared to your expectations after hearing it described and reading the rules? Did anything unexpected happen during play? Was the experience more, or less, of something than you would have guessed?

10. How do you imagine this prototype best developing into a final version? What should it become more of? less of? What specific modifications would you recommend?

Once you have addressed all of these points, please feel free to share any additional playtesting memories, or additional thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions about the prototype. Good luck!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

PLAYTESTING I: Prototypes November 8 and November 10

Remember: It’s absolutely okay (in fact, it’s expected) to have just a small part of your game playable, or to have a low-tech, low-aesthetic, or “bare bones” version of your game.

At the same time, we must be able to PLAY, not just look at, interact with or talk about, your game. We must have a CLEAR GOAL and SPECIFIC ACTIONS to take. A formal presentation of the RULES of your game is required so that we know how to play your game.

We will play your game for 30 minutes or less. All class members will be graded on their participation in and close observation of the playtesting other people’s games, as well as on the preparation of their own prototype.

Please treat both of these classes as an exam. Class and playtesting begins promptly at 4:15. If you miss class or are late without 24 hours approved notice, your final grade for the semester will be lowered up to 1/3 of a letter grade.

If you would prefer to go on a day other than the one you are scheduled for, it is YOUR responsibility to switch with someone on the other day.

Day 1 (Monday)
Kwan Soo

Day 2 (Wednesday)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Alternate Reality Game wraps

now here's a very interesting New York Times Article: Sci-Fi Fans Are Called into an Alternate Reality ...

Getting ready for Prototypye Playtesting!

Two blog assignments will help you prepare for next week's playtesting of your prototypes.

1. Based on the brief descriptions presented in class, please choose another class member's game project to comment on. Find and visit that game designer's blog (see the links in the sidebar!), and give the designer feeedback, support, or suggestions in a comment to any recent post. If you missed class on Monday, choose a game designer's blog, review their most recent project post, and use that as the basis for your comment.

2. RULES, RULES, RULES! We analyzed rule books for a variety of console and PC games. Now it's your turn to decide the format, style and concept of your rules presentation. If you are going to explore something more high concept or stylistically innovative, please describe your ideas and plan in a Rules blog post. If you are going with a traditional rules presentation, please post a draft of your rules for comments and feedback. Remember, every single prototype must come with a rules set!

Prototype Playtesting begins Monday November 8!