Thursday, January 19, 2017

Day 68: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 68 - Lens 60: The Lens of Physical Interface
Somehow, the player had a physical interaction with your game. Copying existing physical interfaces is an easy trap to fall into. Use this lens to be sure that your physical interface is well suited to your game by asking these questions:

What does the player pick up and touch? Can this be made more pleasing?
The physical components of the game are close to final. I think I would like the bases to be heavier, and in a perfect world paths and bases would be metal... and the timer should be glass not plastic in the end.

My current bags are big enough, but I played with an old smaller set and bag size turned out to be a pain point in ways I hadn't realized so I lucked out in making them big enough when I built the current set.

How does this map to the interactions in the game world? Can the mapping be made more direct?
Interactions with the game world are pretty direct given that this is a physical board game and that all of the pieces can be acted on directly. I don't think there is much more I can do there.

If I can't create a custom physical interface, what metaphor am I using when I map the inputs to the game world?
I can create a custom interface, but I am using a god like interface where the players manipulate the pieces of the world with their hands.

How does the physical interface look under the Lens of the Toy?
Pretty great. All of the parts are pretty and pleasing to hold and use. The game is fun even without any goals.

How does the player see, hear and touch the world of the game? Is there a way to include a physical output device that will make the world become more real in the player's imagination?
I can't think of one. I don't use sound much outside of the instructions and the challenge call. I do use touch in terms of feeling how many pieces you have in your bags. I could add more spoken lines to the game if I can get people to say them, and perhaps striking the table when making a challenge so others can feel the vibration and up the stakes and threat of conflict?

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