Friday, January 18, 2008

Game Design and Hopscotch

After a very relaxing break, and a very rewarding trip touring companies on the west coast, the semester has started and I am back in action!

My project group is awesome, I can tell, but I'm also taking Jesse's Game Design class, which terrifies me. Usually, when I take a class or do something, I feel like I have some knack for it going in, but Game Design is something I have NO idea if I'll be any good at or not. It's a scary thing! The last time I took a step into something I had no idea about was when I took my first computer programming class at Centre...

...and then, of course, I ended up reveling in the challenge, majoring in it, and supposedly being rather good at it. So, who knows!

Anyway, our first assignment is to redesign hopscotch. No easy feat, let me tell you! We have to go through and document a particular process with this, and Jesse is all about establishing the problems that your design will attempt to solve. So, after playing a round of hopscotch with a classmate on a crudely made court of masking tape, here are some problems with hopscotch I've come up with:

1) It's too easy
2) waiting to take turns is boring
3) if you fall behind early on, your only hope is that the other people will also screw up, otherwise you're screwed
4) even if you all play a perfect game, whoever goes first will win
5) turns are self-contained, there's no real interaction between players, they don't affect each other
6) the more people play, the bigger the downtime-to-playtime gets, and the more boredom is able to flourish
7) punishments (losing turn if falling or stepping on lines) but not much in the way of rewards (you get to keep going, woo?)

I think I am most interested in solving problems 2 and 5, because I think they could be solved together. On to the brainstorming!

Any thoughts are welcome.

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