Week 13 – Final Project Previews

This week in class, after a relaxing Thanksgiving break, we all had the opportunity to play test each other’s final projects, a self-made game designed by either an individual student or team of students. Over the course of the class, I was able to test a couple of games, while at the same time run through the prototype of my own. However, for now I will be discussing the games I tested as a player, in order to provide my opinions on the designs my peers had made.

The first game I had the pleasure of playing was a deck building game that took place in Gotham City, where each player could play as a member of Batman’s rouges gallery. Right off the bat I was intrigued due to my love for comics, though I had not played many deck builder games, learning it took a bit of time. During the game, the goal was to take control of Gotham as a whole, so it also had elements of an area control game on top of a deck builder. After only being able to play it for 20 minutes, I can say it was very easy to understand conceptually after a short amount of time, though it definitely seemed a bit overwhelming at first. I wish I had more time to play it to see more elements, such as combat or traps, but unfortunately, there was no time.

The second game I played was actually a hidden role game titled, “The Masks we Hide Behind”. Mostly an introspection on depression and the social interactions that come from it (along with other mental illnesses), this game felt very powerful in its message. Although when tested, it lacked structure outside of its hidden roles. Players were assigned a role at random, and were expected to display traits of those with an illness that corresponded with the role. However, there was an added element of whether that person was “Stable”, “Moderate”, or “Critical”, so that provided more to the gameplay. The goal of the game was to be able to guess each person’s role correctly by the end based on their mannerisms from the roles they received. The foundation of this game was strong, and I hope it obtains more structure beyond its base to become even stronger.

I feel that leadership was everywhere during this class, with students leading these projects they had meticulously created, trying to find flaws for improvement. It takes strong leadership to analyze your work, to keep what is good and improve on what is incomplete. That kind of constructive self-criticism is a sign of great leadership, at least in my personal opinion.

I know a friend of mine here at Miami who is very passionate about comic books, so I know that deck building game would appeal to him greatly. Perhaps when that student finishes iterating, I might borrow his game to play it with that friend. Either way, I am extremely interested in seeing where all these projects go in design in the final week(s) of the semester.