Saturday, October 12, 2019

Design Brief #1: Card Game V1 & V2 Playtest Findings Part 1

Following this post, here is Version 2 testing of 'Are You Indistractable?'
1. Jason, Dion, Luntat, Jes, Me
2. Jes and Me
3. Jes, Jo, Huiqi, Me
4. Jo, Huiqi, Howard, Weijun, me
5. Terence, Eshley, Vera, me
6. Xinni, me (Simulate 6 person testing)
7. Abi, Dana, Shiu Heng, me
8. Jason, Shane, me, HuiBin, HuiYi, Maggie, Xiaohui, (Simulate 10 person testing)
9. Chunfu, Alison, Jes, Luntat
10. I also ran through the gameplay and concept with Yihong, Ifah, Janice, Ma Ni, Snow, Lynn and Lyana to get their feedback.

Since its a testing for analog play, players are not allowed to use/check their phones during gameplay. Otherwise each player of the same team will be deducted with 3 Health points. What's interesting was some players would rather deduct HP and use their phone. Some players wanted to use their phones but took into consideration that other teammates HP will be affected so they chose to disregard their notifications.  Overall, most players didn't touch their phones at all during the gameplay and would rather focus and have fun with their friends.

Throughout the game, we encountered some loopholes and problems in the game. I also received many feedback and suggestions on how to improve the game, here are the comments for analog play:

- Cut down on health points to exchange for a health trophy. 5 HP instead of 10 - as the game will take very long to finish
- Block card - change to 'cannot be played anytime/instantly unless its team targetted' whereas Ultiblock card can be used ay anytime.
- Include a Trophy block card
- Ultiblock card cannot be blocked by any other card, except another Ultiblock card
- Star jumps are too tiring - change to jumping jacks
- Loophole found: Your HP are protected for 3 rounds
- Can add 'HP stealing' card, instead of just deducting their HP
- Instead of using upgrade card for ownself, player can choose to use it for their team mate too
- Group challenges can win higher HPs
- Playing Resilience and Grit cards is considered 2 moves.
- There should be a break for the team mates to discuss internally if they have both resilience and grit cards and allow one-time exchange
- Create more cards for 'see another player's hand and do a card-exchange'
- What if my ankle is injured? And I draw a 'physical activity' challenge card that needs me to do 3 pushups? Can I take another card?
- What about physically challenged folks? How can we make this game more inclusive?
- What happens when HP is zero and you are targetted to deduct more HP? Will trophies be taken in place of HPs?
- Change one of the motor skill challenges to 'do 10 in 10 seconds'.
- For 'Crack it' deck, can we allow few guesses? 1st guess, 2 HP, 2nd guess 1 HP, no deduction for wrong guesses after that
- The character speciality cards are interesting, consider adding more.
- Can consider adding seasonal decks for 'Guess what' - Christmas Special, CNY special, etc
- Consider changing 1 cup of water to 1 sip of water
- Consider adding downgrade cards that steal people's HPs instead of just downgrading and their HP go to discard pile
- Consider having customisable trophies. Can give recommended number of trophies. 10 people = 8 trophies to win the game. But the players can also change to just 5 trophies to win if they prefer a shorter game.
- Consider having different difficulty level for the 'Challenges' deck so people can choose and can cater for inclusive community
- Remove team 3, just 2 teams would be more feasible for app development
- Can consider 2 truths 1 lie to include in the 'Crack it' deck to make people think more.
- It's quite easy to gain additional '5 HP' to change a trophy since you started with 10 HP. How about starting with just 5 HP, and you have to accumulate to 15 HP and use 5 HP to change a trophy so its more challenging and fun.
- Consider adding leisure exercises (side lunge, push up) for 'Guess What' deck so people have to do it.
- It will be good to cut down on words for the cards, right now its too texty

One thing we were discussing very intensively was how to facilitate team play that has odd number players. Team A: 5 players. Team B: 4 players
Should we give a headstart to the 4-players team? We tried but the 5-player team still won.
How about the 4 player team only needs 7 Trophies to win while 5 player team needs 8 Trophies to win? We tried but the 5-player team still won.
In the end, we decided that for team play, its better to have even-numbered player or players can opt for single-play as its very difficult to accommodate the game for odd number players. Alternatively players can partner up and make it even-number player game.

To test how long does a game last for different number of players, I set the rule that each team has to collect 8 Trophies to win.
Duration of game:
4 player, 8 trophies: 45 minutes
6 player, 8 trophies: 1 hour
10 player, 8 trophies: 1 - 1.5 hour

We found out that the more players there are in the game, the longer it is for a team to win. I will have to do more testing to recommend a suitable number of trophies for winning. Of course, we will also give them the option to choose how many trophies they want to collect based on how long they want to play the game.

Overall reviews:
The game is fun and not overbearing with the preaching of healthy messages. - Ma Ni, 23
I like how you have incorporated mental activity challenges on top of the physical activity challenges. - Jes, 29
I learnt so much through the card game and become more aware of how easily distracted I am by my phone notifications in a group setting that I should be focusing more on the present. - Janice, 19
I liked the ‘Guess what’ deck and physical activity challenges the most, it makes you work out your body with light exercises and its fun! - Johannessen, 29
It’s interesting how you intend to digitise half of the game assets into a mobile app to save resources yet the main gameplay is not on the app. - Jason, 29
What I liked the most is the trivia and fun facts that I didn’t know before - like Banana can actually boost your mood and make you happier? So interesting. - Lyana, 22

I'll be taking the feedback and suggestions into consideration and work on Version 3 before printing 5-10 sets and do further testing. 


I was discussing the card game idea with Sha, manager of the Outreach team at Active Health, and she shared that its troublesome to download another app and why do people want another app? I agree with her and I'm considering a web browser app now. 

I've also pitched the idea to my brother who is an app developer and he thinks the game has potential and I've started designing the UX flow of the app

First version:

Here is the backend architecture needed for multi-player, drawn by him:
We will be looking for another developer to join the team as the internet socket require more help and time to build. 
Server type: Linux server with database
Skills needed: Javascript
Backend: NodeJS, ExpressJS, Postresql
Frontend: ReactJS

In the meantime, I'm working on a proposal to raise funding to support the development process and hope the game can lead to a meso level impact with nation-wide discourse on adapting a healthier lifestyle and achieving a better digital/life balance to improve overall well-being - sleep, physical activity and screen time. I'm also looking to collaborate with organisations to see if we can run card game tournaments. 

1. Seed Funding. Estimated cost for app development, testing and iteration: $10,000

2. Collaborate to do a health campaign and/or organise card game tournaments with winners/winning teams to receive vouchers/rewards


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