Our third prototype looked back and reflected on the positives of our first and the negatives of our second. Looking back at the simple mechanics, we began to alter, adjust and add elements to come up with our third prototype.
We focused on and re-looked at the memories we had previously given our character. Using this as a backbone, we chose to add more memories and turned them into a deck. We then chose to add "objectives" that the player would have to work towards in order to win the game in place of solving clues and ciphers. To complete the objectives, the players would have to play the memories that they had in hand in a certain order.
The objectives specified numerical parameters for characteristics like dominance, health, sanity and relationship.
1) Dominance spoke of which personality had the most amount of influence over the host body. Each personality had special powers that would come into play when their dominance was the highest.
2) Health determined whether or not the hosts body was injured or unable to bear the pressure that was exerted upon her because of the various personalities. If health ever reached 0, then it meant that the host/character had died either by committing suicide or by having gravely injured herself.
3) Sanity was the mental state of the host/character. This parameter was placed in order to determine whether or not she was losing her mind quite literally because of incidents she recalled or simply through the shifts in the personalities' moods.
4) Relationship spoke of how close she was to people or how much she isolated herself from them. While isolation did not result in "death" for the character, this condition was meant to eliminate one of the personalities by default, specifically one who depended on and fed off of relationships.
Along with this, these was also an affliction deck that would have a permanent effect (that specifically acted on the parameters) on the rest of the game when brought into play. These afflictions were meant to represent habits that the personalities developed or events that occurred in the present due to recalling memories from the past. Some of the memory cards allowed for players to pick up an affliction card, while others had to be played in a certain order to pick up an affliction. The game ended if the memory deck finished, the parameters of health or sanity reached 0 or if the player completed his/her objective.
After play testing we found that, while the base mechanic seemed to work, the game and distribution of the parameters across the memories was highly unbalanced, because of which "winning" the game was impossible. We had solved our problems of increasing player interaction and having a clear goal for the player to follow but the play was long, repetitive, mindless and boring. There were too many elements to take care of and the cards were very text heavy. The player's role or part in the story was still uncertain and we had entirely lost out on the multimedia element that we had proposed.
The biggest concern that we had was that the narrative of "memories" was entirely lost in the game. Players skimmed over the flavours text on the cards, opting instead to look at and concentrate only on the symbols and the abilities of the memory cards as those were the elements that were necessary for the game play rather than what or who the memory was about.
For the next version of this prototype we tried to tackle this problem and push narrative to the same level as the game mechanics.
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