Post on 07-Aug-2015
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- 1. by Mad Mike Bonafede A game about Protest and perception.
- 2. Protestype isnt really a word I just thought it sounded neat. Somebody messy From my research, I discovered much more depth to the concept of Protest than I was familiar with. The most interesting discovery came in the realization of self- protest to change the perception others have of you. I sought to make a game about the contrast between perception and self image. Also, I wanted a game where the players were encouraged to break the rules.
- 3. Party game (4+ player) Easy setup desired 4 card types (labels) Hacker Hippie Hedonist Hipster Each player recieves 1 of each label face up 4 random cards for hand These are Mana cards from Magic: The Gathering. They were used as proxies for the prototypes. Any cards can be used for the 4 labels, so long as there are 2 of each per player Hedonist Hippie Hacker Hipster
- 4. Governor Observer for round Voted on by players Can Arrest cheaters Citizen Players that take turns Chosen by Governor Can Protest rules Because the game called for the players closing their eyes, I included a Governor role that rotated as the game progressed.
- 5. The Hacker - Skull Swap any Hacker label with any other label The Hippie - Tree Swap your Hippie with any other label The Hedonist Fireball Swap any Hedonist label with a card in hand The Hipster Teardrop Swap your Hipster label with a card in hand This reference sheet was used to make it easier for players to know what the abilities were during turns. A player has one or more abilities based on their Role, which is determined by counting the highest number of Labels in front of them. The game starts with players all neutral, having all 4 abilities.
- 6. Difficult to find players for first play session Game required 4 players minimum Rules were complex, taking a while to explain Played two roles during play session As player, experiencing the game aesthetics As designer, evaluating the game mechanics Experimented with players at critical moments Attempted to stay neutral as control element Took actions to prompt reactions from players when the opportunity arose
- 7. Player Its my turn. I check my hand and observe the board. Since Im in a good position, I think a little sabotage is in order Designer I noted that no one had attempted to cheat or even protest, which is probably why I was winning.
- 8. Player Ill play the Hippie on this player to lock them into the role, and if they keep that 3 of a kind theyll lose 3 points! Designer The player to my right is not doing well. Hes the current Governor, and I want to see what this move will prompt him to do on his turn. Will he protest?
- 9. The playtest revealed several flaws in the design No players protested No players cheated Initial governor (bottom) was behind all game Deciding turn order was confusing.
- 10. The scoring was determined thematically with the idea of Publicity in mind. It was simplified into a format that fit with the game. Full sets represent widespread publicity to the largest possible audience. Pairs represent gaining small bursts of publicity, those precious 15 minutes of fame. Triples represent diminishing returns in popularity from being marginalized in the media.
- 11. This was my playfield at the end of the game. 2 full sets x 5 = +10pts 5 pair x 2 = +10pts 3 triples x3 = -9pts Final Score = 11pts
- 12. This was the final playfield of the opponent to my left. 2 full sets x 5 = +10pts 5 pairs x 2 = +10pts 1 triple x -3 = -3pts Final Score = 17pts I was beaten at my own game! This was a good sign.
- 13. Players found that the turn order was difficult to determine, due to everyones eyes being closed. Though players found strategic solutions to select players in secret, I needed to find a better way to allow for this. I also needed to give the player more motivation to Protest or Cheat. In the second iteration, the Setup and Scoring phases were moved to separate pages so that an overhaul could be made on the gameplay. This was to make room for the new Scheme Turn and Media Phase. You cant spell iterate without irate A frustrated designer
- 14. Reduced minimum players to 3 Easier to gather players Required 3 due to voting/protest Removed Governor Replaced by eyes open Media Phase Players can accuse each other Players choose the next player Protesting steals turn order Previous player chooses next player Protester takes turn instead Player can still protest on their turn Cheating changed to Schemes Cheating gave wrong impression Schemes are predefined actions Added face up draw pile Only 2 cards dealt to each player Discard action added This is the initial Media Phase before the round began. Players are allowed to see their two cards before they start playing. This player declared Im going first which is how the first player is decided. No one protested him.
- 15. The Governor was removed to make selecting turn order easier as well as fixing the issue where the Governor would fall behind in the game due to not taking a turn. The face up Draw Pile added a strategic element to reference when attempting to convict a Schemer. Players had to consider the top card as well as the playfield. The hand size was reduced to 2 and a Discard action was added so that by the players 3rd turn they would have no cards in hand. This was an effort to encourage Scheming and Protesting later in the game. Still in the initial media phase, the player to my left takes stock of her hand. She does not protest either. The player across from me takes a normal turn, so we will close our eyes.
- 16. On my first turn, I chose to play without Protesting or Scheming. The earlier in the game it is, the less reason there is to take these actions. The first turn ends up being about strategy formation. The top card on the draw pile is a Hipster, and I hold 2 Hedonists. This means that I can force someone into one of those two roles. I also force the next player to take whatever card I discard, unless they Protest. So, I choose to play a Hedonist, and discard one. I want to keep the Hipster to use on my next turn to lock someone out.
- 17. A few turns later, the player across from me was examining the playfield to see if I had schemed. The two players discussed and found no evidence of foul play. The Media Phase was a success. The players were interacting with each other more. It seemed that needing to analyze the board for Schemes kept the constant possibility in the players minds.
- 18. I began to notice different roles were emerging independently among the players. This was both unexpected and favorable. The player across from me was acting like a sheriff. He studied the playfield like a hawk after every turn and lead the discussion on determining if a Scheme had been used. The player on my left was a troublemaker. She seemed to be trying to insert an element of chaos into the game, and was pleased when it worked.
- 19. These are blind shots taken of my scheming opponents while my eyes were closed. During the turn below, the player to my left attempted to take an extra Hacker. Dont worry, we cracked the case
- 20. For the first time, another player attempted a Scheme. However, due to a misunderstanding, she performed actions outside the allowable range of Schemes. Further clarification would be necessary. Since the Scheme was discovered anyway, the actions were reverted and the penalty was given as normal to keep the game in progress. A clarification to the allowable Schemes was made to the players again: Draw/Play 1 extra card OR use 1 extra ability.
- 21. I saw an opportunity to test out an scenario in the game whereby it was obvious that a player Schemed, but that they werent found guilty I used two abilities to give the player on my left the most ideal playfield: 2 of each label. During the Media Phase, I was of course accused by the player across from me. He outlined the actions of my Scheme. The decision then went to the player to my left. Knowing she was playing the troublemaker role I said to her: In my defense, you have 18 points now. She decided that I wasnt guilty after all, allowing me to steal a label from the player across from me.
- 22. This was the final playfield at the end of the game. There were some interesting differences in play style based on their background compared to their final scores. Top player Software engineer Read and understood my outline Calculated, strategic play style Schemed twice, caught once Left Player Artist Listened to rules explained by me Freeform, adaptive play style Schemed once, was caught Bottom Player Me. I won this time, but barely. Score: 14 Score: 6 Score: 15
- 23. This is a picture of the back of my eyelids. Ok, so its actually just my palm covering the camera. Even though my eyes are closed and its not my turn, discussion still takes place. I found this interesting and have no plans to change that aspect. Most of the discussion was players telling others how they could play their turn, however. I concluded the rules needed further simplification so that these discussions would instead be strategy based. Everyone needed to know the rules for that to work. LEFT: Do I play a card first or use an ability? I forget ACROSS: What are the Scheme abilities again? ACROSS: Its draw, play, ability, discard. LEFT: Oh ok, so what do I do if I am out of cards? ME: You dont have to discard. ME: Its either draw and play another card OR use 2 abilities In the land of the blind, its easier to break all the rules A one eyed man
- 24. Hipster/Hedonist abilities Became useless when hand had no cards Players wanted to use them Game length too long Discarding prolonged the
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