For the group project, we designed a board game named “Guess My Job”, based on the game “Guess Who”. Guess Who was originally a 2-player board game where players each guess the identity of the other’s chosen character. Each player is given a board with the same standing cartoon representations of 24 characters. Then, each player will choose a card for the other player to guess. The goal of the game is to be the first to figure out which card your opponent has chosen by asking him a yes or no question. For example, “does he have a beard?”, “Does he have red hair?”, etc. It was designed to train kids the ability to think of complicated questions that can lead to the destination. However, the game mechanics are too simple for teenagers or even adults. Therefore, we decided to enhance the gameplay with “Guess My Job”, and also made it a party game.
There are a total of 30 job cards and a variety of chances cards that may bring advantages or disadvantages to players. Each player will have 3 occupation cards, and when a given player’s occupations have been guessed correctly, he will lose the game. The goal of this game is to be the last man standing. Here is how the game works. First, each player draws 3 job cards, which will be the ones other players will be guessing. Then, each player will take turns asking a player of selection a yes or no question. After asking one question, they will have to make a guess, and if a given player guesses incorrectly, he will have to give up one occupation card, which means he will be a step closer to losing the game. If no one guesses correctly, they will have to roll the dice, and the player who rolled the highest number can get a chance card. And this process loops until all other players’ occupations have been guessed correctly.
One prominent contribution I would say I made in this project, is bringing up the question of whether we should focus on encouraging players to ask a meaningful question, or encouraging players to make their best effort to disclose as little information about their job cards as possible. I then did research on the original Guess Who game and the benefits of both playing methods. Eventually, I found out that encouraging players to ask complicated and meaningful questions can develop their reasoning skills and ability to effectively eliminate possibilities. Players can also learn more about different occupations and encourage to search for different jobs in order to perform better in the game. I pointed this out during our discussion and we decided to shape our board game into encouraging players to ask good questions.
I also contributed to part of the PowerPoint creation. I built the page which explains the gameplay, the game rules, and the key game loops. Gameplay is about how the game works including the actions each player has to take each turn, what they have to do when certain events happen, the losing and winning conditions. Game rules are the rules that players have to follow. For instance, when no one guesses the occupation correctly, everyone has to roll the dice and they do not have a choice to opt-out. Another rule is that they have to make a guess starting from round 3, so players cannot just gather information but not guess so that the game can proceed. The last part was the key game loops, which it displays the continuous process of the game. Our key game loop is players asking questions, then they will guess other players’ occupations, then if no guesses are correct, they will roll the dice and draw a card, then they will go back to asking questions. This loop will continue until the last man standing.
Last but not least, I also participated in the playtesting part. At the very beginning of the project, we didn’t plan to change “Guess Who” into “Guess My Job”. Instead, we tried to maintain the “Guess Who” gameplay, but make it more complicated. For example, we thought of making the character board unaccessible so that this can train players’ memory skills. However, after playtesting, we found out that this added little value to the game, and guessing characters is fundamentally not a very attractive game for teenagers and up. Therefore, we started to think from the perspectives of teenagers and found out that guessing different occupations might be more interesting as they are around the age where they have to plan their career paths. And as mentioned above, at the playtesting I pointed out that engaging players to ask meaningful questions is more interesting, so we decided to switch to this game mode as well.