The Building Is… Design Blog #3

01 June 2012 | 0 comments

Coming to the end of week 1 of our install and we’re in reasonable shape – we completed our first playtest yesterday, of the Building Sees, and it was mostly fun! Mostly fun is a pretty great state to be in at this stage…

Things I didn’t realise would turn out to be a massive design constraint #7432 – it’s complex to drive two different screens, displaying different information, from the same programme. This runs counter to two things:

  • we need to display game information to players as they play, and ALSO players who are queuing for the game
  • players of the game have very different informational requirements from players watching the game.

And screens – video game screens – are AMAZING. They communicate an enormous amount of game information, changing constantly. Think about how many different streams of info are presented in even the simplest of video games… And for good reason; players need a constant update of the dynamic system of the game in order to manage it successfully. Deprive players of that, and they suffer.

To counter this, we’re delighted to be working with Fred Deakin and Nat Hunter (formerly of Airside) to create all the visuals for the game. The principle we’re working to is that everything needs to be communicated at least three times – there are printed game instructions, staff members, info screens, game sounds, the game interface, signs on the walls, tape on the floor… As Holly stated so clearly after The New Year Games, All The Things Matter.

A tiny preview of what this game is about, in the draft text for the instruction screens:

The Building wants to see round corners.
Use the mirrors to bounce the light into the camera. Use the screen to help you.
Work together and stay calm.

And a view of the Sees game scorecard, with the different icons you might earn for playing this game…

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