Final Post: Play Test and More

Watch my playtest!

Justine McKenna

My board game took a dramatic turn in the past week. I was overcomplicating the mechanics and had hit a wall. Whilst I loved my concept, I needed to act fast and accept that making board games is hard. After all, the story of Pandemic goes right back to Matt Leacock’s childhood, how could I compete with such a brilliant game? See below the very first sketch of Pandemic’s game board:

the-making-of-pandemic-the-board-game-that-went-viral-146228065233.jpg

However, I am happy with the new concept (see my 360 play test below):

Basic overview of gameplay:

  1. Player chooses path (corresponding set of question cards for each path)
  2. Set timer to 10 minutes (iPhone/ stopwatch)
  3. 1st player roles dice, moves pawn (refugee) however many spaces the dice displays
  4. If the player lands on a panel that reads ‘card’, the player must pick up their corresponding coloured card and answer the question
  5. If the player answers the question…

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4 thoughts on “Final Post: Play Test and More

  1. Great use of a 360 degree camera Justine, I really love it! It’s seems like you’ve handled the stress of this dossier very well!

    I love the level of social utility of your game, creating an education tool used to explore such a confronting and contemporary issue like immigration. The simple, yet engaging mechanics of the game seem to be its biggest strength as it enables newcomers to very quickly pick up the game. It also seems like you can expand upon the game very easily with different themed expansions, but to have the core game based on the plight of the refugee’s in the lead up to an election gives the game an invaluable degree of social utility.

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  2. Hi Justine,
    It’s encouraging to see that while you say that you had ‘hit a wall’, you pushed on and found a solution to the problem of overly complicating the mechanics. I had the exact same problem and I think it is because we try to make our games up to the standards of Matt Leacock and Richard Garfield and others of the industry, when we are really just students given the task of inventing a game over the course of a semester. How can we possibly compete?!

    I think the mechanics that have been chosen respond well to the question of trivializing asylum seeker and refugee issues, ones of the utmost seriousness. These mechanics, like Trivial Pursuit, offer opportunities for players to learn about asylum seekers and may provide insight into these issues and change peoples’ opinions of asylum seekers for the better. You game could also be a game played in the classroom so that young students can learn more about the plight of the asylum seeker.

    Like you say, you could have differing versions of the game to cater for American or European audiences, but you also have expansions on the original (Australian) version, with some more question cards to prevent the game from becoming stale.

    Good work though, constructing a game that fits your vision and is informative but still entertaining, without trivializing important issues.

    Good luck over the next couple of weeks with compiling and finalising your game:)

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  3. Hey Justine,
    Funnily enough I came across very similar complications! Sometimes a few of the ideas won’t make it into the game, but this totally doesn’t impact the quality of the game. I found I had no issue understanding the new concept and often learning a board game can be daunting, but I feel like I could jump straight in and enjoy the game.
    Also I think the theme of your game is awesome. I haven’t seen anything like it done before and the meaningful message adds a lot to the project. Keep up the good work!

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  4. Hey Justine, first I’ve got to say the 3D Camera video is rad. Cool to see people embracing these emergent technologies and incorporating them into your project! The straighforward turn overview makes it really easy to get up to speed on the game while watching. Glad you could push past the issues and develop a game that’s got quite a high quality to it and a unique strategy with the different expansions. Best of luck with the dossier!

    Like

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