DON’T DROP THE BOMB

Check out our fun, engaging and competitive game in the video below:

My group and I had a strong community dynamic. We had much of the same passions, which led to quick and fun ideation of the game we wanted to make, but we still had different skill sets, which added to the well-roundedness of our teamwork as we put those ideas into action. I took much of the interface and story building elements as a graphic design student and journalist, as well as studying acceptable game mechanics.

Our group was vibrant from the beginning, we had six members who all brought ideas to the table. Many of us had the same ideas and vision which helped the flow of the game concept. we evenly distributed the workload by sitting around one another and physically engaging when developing the game. We also created a workload schedule, created a Facebook group chat, and shared notes on Google Docs which helped communication. We were all equally as excited to create the game which helped create a positive working space. We bounced ideas off one another and went through several prototypes of games from different ends of the spectrum to conclude with the game “Don’t Drop The Bomb”. 

In our first ideation, we discovered a shared love for role play games (RPG). The first game that came to everyone’s mind was a game called Love Spell as we had played it in class and everyone liked the mechanics of it. From there I then explained the game of Spy fall to my group, they quickly understood the game and how role play was involved. From here we combined our knowledge on pop culture and trivial facts most people would know. However, the first step we took was doing some research and gathering inspiration for visuals and mechanics for our game. I looked at Spyfall as an RPG game and Love Spell as a card game, as we developed our game rules around these mechanics. During my study, I discovered the importance of multiplayer games in terms of game experience and plot. While we have reduced the number of players to two through different iterations, this still plays an important role in our game in developing the plot of two competing factions. 

“Hidden traitor mechanisms are defined as functions within a game that a smaller subgroup of players try to perform to sabotage the actions of the larger group to complete a task within the game setting” (Tilton, pp.2, 2019).

However, after playing the game we ran into several problems, we had made the game too complex and added too many layers making it almost confusing to play. When discussing these problems with Chris and Richard, we identified that the game did not have a lot of room for ‘play’. The pre-set characters give the player little room for interpretation and in creating the cards one player always knew too much or not enough players knew about the characters. We did still like the idea of bluffing or having a common theme and trying to work towards deciphering what it was (which we’ve turned into word association). 

Once this occurred we went back to the drawing board and discovered how exciting and engaging card games were. This is when we began to play our most recent game ‘Don’t Drop The Bomb”. Once this occurred we went back to the drawing board and discovered how exciting and engaging card games were. This is when we began to play our most recent game ‘Don’t Drop The Bomb”. This uses communication as the ability to choose and deliver specific words that are correctly/closely associated with the designated word card. Utilises strategical thinking as it encourages quick thinking in addition to creativity. It gives players accessibility, it gives players plenty of options to move and be abstract with their thinking. Finally, it’s simplistic and fun. This game focuses on engaging creativity and decision making. The overall goal is to lead the other team into saying your bomb word, without uncovering theirs in the meantime. The people within our group, all contributed to developing the game and brought in different aspects of the lectures to help improve the logistics of the game. 

As we gained a greater understanding of the more complex ideas explored, we incorporated lecture experience into our group’s concepts by improving game mechanics. When studying game mechanics, we concentrated on four particular ones that would be appropriate for our theme/marketplace: card draw, dialogue, pen and whiteboard and rock-paper-scissors. By the players drawing cards it helps keep the game exciting and creates a high turnover, instead of the players coming up with their own words. Having this element of unknowing in the game is fundamental as this action allows players to become excited as they work towards the final goal of winning, this is repeated continuously until the game concludes. 

The games we took on for visual inspiration were games like Buzzword. At its core, Buzzword’s is a team game that puts friends against one another in ruthless wordplay action. In understanding their game mechanics we transformed similar strategy/ communication styles into our game. 

While unearthing the purpose of our game I introduced the idea of creating a classroom friendly game. This means the game would work to fulfil children’s needs in literacy and vocabulary. After doing some research I came across a study conducted by Najar (2014) highlighting students who played word dominated boardgames enhanced their vocabulary. As our marketplace is classrooms, we hope to fulfil all levels of engagement and interaction when the game is played. Whenever a game is to be played, the number of pupils, proficiency level, cultural background, pacing, learning subject, and classroom environment should all be considered. Games help and encourage many learners to sustain their interests. Word games also help the teacher to create context in which language is useful and meaningful.

“Games bring in relaxation and fun for students, thus help them learn and retain new words more easily”( Thanh Huyen,& Thu Nga, 2003 , Learning Vocabulary Through Games, para.1)

The more emotion and knowledge that is rehearsed in the memory the more likely it is to be retained in long term memory (Klepper, 2003). With this knowledge, our game prototype went quite smoothly as we weren’t over complicating the game. 

Having clear rules and a simple game design we were able to make our marketplace very specific and identify. Although our overall architecture is relatively simple, I am still pleased with these elements because I believe they add complexity to our game and keep players thinking outside of the box. 

References:

Huyen, N.T.T. and Nga, K.T.T., 2003. Learning vocabulary through games. Asian EFL Journal5(4), pp.90-105.

Klepper, J.R., 2003. A Comparison of Fourth Grade Students’ Testing Scores Between an Independent Worksheet Review and a Bingo Game Review.

Masri, A.A. and Najar, M.A., 2014. The effect of using word games on primary stage students achievement in english language vocabulary in Jordan. American International Journal of Contemporary Research4(9), pp.114-152.
  Tilton, S 2019, ‘Winning Through Deception: A Pedagogical Case Study on Using Social Deception Games to Teach Small Group Communication Theory’, SAGE open, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 215824401983437–. https://journals-sagepub-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1177/2158244019834370  

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