Here’s my paper setup for my game ‘Bad Company’:
-Discuss the selection of value (Integrity) and what it means to me
-Inspiration for integrity game: I experienced an interesting interaction between a business I worked for and a company that they collaborated/competed with. If one company did something wrong, the other could “reserve” it as an accusation for when it benefitted them. I wanted to make a game that simulated benefits of cooperation and accusation.
-Discuss initial ideas for game and possibilities for how it could be made: Group liked the idea of competing as companies. Decided it should be a multi-player game.
-Discuss first iteration of game & input from group: Since I didn’t have any materials on me for our first iteration of the game, I tried to think of a way to play-test that would make it as easy as possible to understand with the least amount of materials. This wound up benefitting me, because I was able to simplify my game into its core mechanics. The first mechanic was deciding whether to ‘Collaborate’ with a company (other players) or ‘Accuse’ them. Then a coin flip was involved. ‘Collaborate’ automatically gave the company of your choosing a point. The coin flip represented if you benefitted (+1 point) or if there was no effect. ‘Accuse’ allowed a coin flip to determine if another company was effectively ‘Blackmailed’ (-1 point for them), or if they evaded your accusation (no effect).
My group suggested I add cards to my game, and gave a couple other tips. This iteration also made me think on how I wanted to put a heavy emphasis on metagame, and how that could be accomplished.
-Incorporating suggestions and adding “fun”: Since I wanted metagame to be an ever-present element, I added a feature that I felt would make the game a bit more entertaining from the get-go… The players had to choose a company name. That meant players would be a bit more attached to their “company,” and provide the possibility of inside jokes and amusing accusations, odd collaborations, etc. if, say, ‘Chastity Belts Inc.’ worked on an ad campaign with ‘Patrick’s Pizza.’
-Second play test and observations: I did this play test with my friend Anna and her mom. I was happy to observe that the metagame was strong! They would exhibit emotions that were a by-product of the Collaborate/Accuse actions (i.e. the desire to compensate favors, or seeking revenge). A lot of the time, these emotions were voiced. “Since you helped me out…” or “Well I’m going to accuse you of—!!”
Can also discuss that the player type is ‘socializers’ as the game catered to a social experience.
-Is game successful/lacking in tying back into integrity?: Integrity is likely not in the forefront of players minds. That may be a weakness. However, the motivations of players, metagame, and methods can easily be analyzed to draw conclusions about integrity, and the play experience can be similar to the real-world example that drove the creation of the game. Integrity may be found in the form of contestation: does it really matter who “wins” first? Does it make more sense for small businesses to help each other out, rather than compete? Can everyone reach success this way, or is it inevitable that some must fail in order for others to succeed?
-Thoughts on improvements and how the game can move forward: These suggestions can come tomorrow, during more play testing!