Round 3: “Lightning” Round
Development Time: 1 week (group)
This round’s lesson was all about scope and how to still deliver a product within a shortened time frame. In this “Lightning Round,” we were given one week to create a fully functioning experience. The understanding in this round was that game mechanics ruled all and that we should design a mechanic we can complete and polish within the week.
We wanted to create an experience that would engage the audience and get audience members to discuss amongst themselves. We chose to use “UnityPhone” which is a platform developed by Evil Genius Designs to use cell phones as massive input into our worlds. Guests can call into a number provided by Evil Genius’ servers which relay data on their input to your worlds.
We made a balancing game in which players must cooperate to keep a small ball on top of a flat disc for a certain amount of time. By integrating this concept with out platform, we decided to have players enter 2, 4, 6, or 8 on their keypads to add weight to the respective top, left, right, and bottom edges of the disc.
Our first observation from playtesting was that the game was exceedingly difficult and guests would drop the ball before they understood the mechanic. We chose to add a barrier around the disc and then remove it after a time limit. Guests did well while the barrier was in place but then lost immediately when the barrier was removed.
The last mechanic we added was a small weight box that fell on to one of the sides. Our aim was to add an unexpected element into play so that the guests would have to adapt their strategy around this new obstacle.