We designed this game, and the first thing we did was to play it our selves to make sure we are providing a fun and engaging game.
for Game description please visit My JailBreak Board Game Post.
but as designer we needed other people to play our game in order to find if there were any flaws in the game. So we asked some of our classmates to sit and play our game with the minimum help from us.
Observation: (Done by Jingyi and me)
Our players spend a lot of time reading and understanding the instructions.
At first, they took a long time reading the instructions, and most instructions seemed confused by them.
They thought only the first person who picks a room can pick an escape plan cards.
They showed their Items cards to each other.
They thought they should keep event cards and they can trade them among their item cards.
They were confused about how and when to move between rooms.
They asked a lot of question, and we had to explain the rules of the game.
They were confused about how and when to trade.
They were confused about one of the event cards which forces them to remove a card from their hand randomly. They didn't know which card they should remove, nor if the person should remove it themselves randomly, or ask an opponent to choose one.
(written by Li)
Visualize the instruction
Using pictures, icons and other visual elements in the instructions to better guide the players and make it easier for them to understand.
Show the goal of the game (be the first to collect all the things in the escape plan) in advance to avoid the players showing cards to each other.
Add one indicator such as a flag or a sign to show who should be the first to start in this round. Also, add moving the indicator into the movement phase.
Be more specific about different phases and tell the players what to do in each phase.
Emphasis the movement phase and give definitions about how the players move to different rooms and decide the sequence of players’ turns.
Add rules about showing event card in the action phase.
Rewrite the trading phase to clarify the trading rules between players.
5. Be more specific on the description of the card content to avoid ambiguity.
Revise some of the ambiguous cards, give clear definition about “randomly”.
For the cards that allow you to go to the second room, add content that shows you can also draw one card from that room.
6. Revise the design of the map.
Show the path through each room.
Add places for the escape plan.
Our game is a very interesting game but for the first time players the guides and rules were a little to complicated to understand. But the good thing about it is that as soon as they learn the rules and start stargazing everything becomes very easy and enjoyable.
What we noticed while this group was playing was the same. Some people learned the rules fast and started playing while others where really confused, until we as designers gave them some instructions.