This exercises is about paper prototyping in teams, and thinking about mechanics beyond tropes and genres.
We are going to design “mods” of classic arcade games that tackle a complex issue.
I don’t want to use old games because I’m nostalgic but because:
>They are more well known than the contemporary ones
>They are way simpler than contemporary ones, with few elements and mechanics. Even if you’ve never played them you can figure them out in few seconds.
>They are 2D and that helps a lot when you are working on paper
>They are into some extent archetypes. They introduced some of the most basic elements that are still present in contemporary videogames.
PART I: ANALYZING THE GAME
What verbs are used in the game?
Can you think of any other relevant verbs or dynamics that could have been included in the game?
What messages does the game communicate or what values it embody through its gameplay?
PART II: MODDING THE GAME
Look at your Problem card. We have given you an issue, a scenario, and a story.
You can choose any of these as a starting point for your modded game.
Redesign your assigned game so it is about the problem. Do this by using a different set of verbs that reflect the values of your group.
The goal is to come up with a new game so don’t just change the objects (re-theming)
It doesn’t have to be a propaganda or an educational game. Consider how the gameplay can depict the problem, or offer possible solutions to the problem, or approach it as an engaging dilemma with no easy solution.
After you came up with a new gameplay, the old theme may not work as well. Alter visuals and story and/or add new elements to make the new gameplay less dissonant.