Week 12: Final Bibliography

BoardGameGeek. boardgamegeek.com. Accessed 2 Mar. - 21 Apr. 2019.

Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson. “Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage.” The Discourse Reader, edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 311-323.

Candy, Linda, and Ernest A. Edmonds. Interacting: Art, Research and the Creative Practitioner. Libri Publishing, 2011.

Coupland, Nikolas, and Virpi Ylanne. “Relational Frames in Weather Talk.” The Discourse Reader, edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 347-361.

Enfield, N. J. How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conversation. Basic Books, 2017.

Extra Credits. “Extra Credits: Writing for Games.” YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhyKYa0YJ_5ATCznEwJx794x4RMuYNZLN. Accessed 2 Mar. 2019.

Goffman, Erving. “On Face-Work: An Analysis of Ritual Elements in Social Interaction.” The Discourse Reader, edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 299-310.

Gumperz, John J. “Sociocultural Knowledge in Conversational Inference.” The Discourse Reader,
edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 78-85.

Headlee, Celeste. “How to Have a Good Conversation.” TEDxCreativeCoast, 7 May 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6n3iNh4XLI. Accessed 2 Mar. 2019.

Hutchby, Ian, and Robin Wooffitt. Conversation Analysis. 2nd ed., Polity, 2008.

Macklin, Colleen, and John Sharp. Games, Design and Play: A Detailed Approach to Iterative Game Design. Addison-Wesley, 2016.

Malinowski, Bronislaw. “On Phatic Communication.” The Discourse Reader, edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 296-298.

Reynolds, Edward. “Truth Is, Everyone Lies All the Time.” The Conversation, 13 May 2012, https://theconversation.com/truth-is-everyone-lies-all-the-time-6749. Accessed 2 Mar. 2019.

Sandison, G. H. How to Behave and How to Amuse: A Handy Manual of Etiquette and Parlor Games. The Christian Herald, 1895. Project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org/files/50059/50059-h/50059-h.htm Accessed 1 Apr. 2019.

Schegloff, Emanuel A. “Talk and Social Structure.” The Discourse Reader, edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 86-97.

Schell, Jesse. The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. 2nd ed., CRC Press, 2015.

Schiffrin, Deborah. “OH as a Marker of Information Management.” The Discourse Reader, edited by Adam Jaworski and Nikolas Coupland. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2006, pp. 272-283.

Smith, Caroline S. Popular Pastimes for Field and Fireside or Amusements for Young and Old. Milton Bradley & Co, 1867. Project Gutenberg, www.gutenberg.org/files/51896/51896-h/51896-h.htm. Accessed 1 Apr. 2019.

Stokoe, Elizabeth. “The science of analyzing conversations, second by second.” TEDxBermuda,
4 Dec. 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtOG5PK8xDA. Accessed 2 Mar. 2019.

Tekinbaş, Katie Salen, and Eric Zimmerman. Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals. MIT Press, 2003.

Tekinbaş, Katie Salen, and Eric Zimmerman. The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology. MIT Press, 2006.

Ten, Have, Paul. Doing Conversation Analysis, SAGE Publications, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.proxy.library.nyu.edu/lib/nyulibrary-ebooks/detail.actin?docID=783527. Accessed 9 Mar. 2019.

Week 11: Research & Playtests 11-12

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Another week playing the Gotcha Game with friends! This time with two rounds of playtests and not one, but two modes of play! To date 75 different people have playtested my game since I started this process.

Conversation with game developer, Jane Friedhoff
I also struck gold with an opportunity to speak with Jane Friedhoff this week. Without necessarily planning it this way, I realize how helpful it’s been to talk with experts throughout my process—at the beginning, in the middle, and now at the end. As a brand new game designer, I haven’t always known what to expect, and now that I’m nearing the end, Jane helped me consider how to approach refining the game. Here are some of the takeaways:

  • For any game, she starts by testing the smallest thing first (i.e. the core mechanic). Then she changes one thing, and tests one change at a time.

  • Notice what makes people laugh or smile the most. Ask: what can you do to make that thing happen more? Might you need to take something away in order for that to happen more?

  • Related to the above, she asked me to identify the moments that I love.

  • Rules eventually start to set themselves.

  • In the rules refinement stage, I should start to try weird words.

  • Also, as I near the end, just give out the rules and let them be. Pretend that you are not in someone’s living room.

  • On receiving game feedback: people are right about their experience, but not always right about what should happen. But always make not of what people are saying anyway.

  • Regarding documentation: she often hires people to film.

Playtest Notes
This week I playtested in my friends’ home and also co-hosted the ITP TNO (Take-a Break Night Out! aka Thursday Night Out) at a bar near NYU. Folks seems to have a good time whether they’re at home or at a bar…yay! Here are some highlights:

  • I playtested two versions of the game: 1) collect a target number of word cards to win and 2) get rid of your cards first to win. Some people like having multiple words in their hand because of the choice it affords them. Others found their attention divided and focused too much on the possibilities to use them in the future; they preferred to have one card to be more present in the conversation. From both nights, players agreed that they felt more pressure with the one-word-at-a-time game—the stakes felt higher. At least one person commented that the round felt faster when playing with one card. People enjoy that the game can be played multiple ways.

  • Overall my rules are solidifying, and my instructions are succinct. I threw out a rule on how much time players have to all gotcha on one another—wasn’t needed because the conversation moves quickly and you only have so much room in your working memory to retain information. Either you can gotcha the word or you don’t and you move on. There didn’t seem to be any issues from nixing this rule.

  • Now that the mechanics feel good, I can tun to the to content again. For TNO I came up with a deck of really fun words to say out loud that directed the conversations in some hilarious ways. Need more of these!

  • I’m starting to get tired of my conversation questions, can I refine (get rid of the serious ones) and come up with new ones that are silly and fantastical?

  • Make people say, “gotcha!”—this is a really fun big moment that I love and would like to see repeated. I’m sure the setting and drinks help, but the vocabulary no doubt plays a role, too.


Week 10: Playtests 8-10


Three playtests in three days! This past week I tested the game with my target audience: good friends. SO MUCH FUN! There’s nothing like laughing hard uncontrollably.

I also tested new equipment for documenting gameplay (new camera, mics, extra light for nighttime, and a gimbal). Taking cues from Kickstarter game campaigns, I realize that it will be more effective to show the game and not just talk about it. Not only did I learn considerations for how to do that better, but I also realized important aspects of the game through my camera lens that I had not yet noticed.

Here’s what I observed from the playing the game with my friends and filming them play:

  • First of all, this game jumps to a whole new level with good friends because you have a sense of when they are speaking out of character or telling a flat-out lie. And when you catch them it’s even more hilarious.

  • With the physical cards, gestures are a big part of the gameplay, such as the dropping of words on the table and the flipping over of one to prove a point.

  • The end of the game is a regular highlight because each player reveals their snuck words and recounts the moments and contexts in which they were used—thus retelling a story of the conversation.

  • In all three cases, groups played an hour of straight, only to be cut off by previously-scheduled commitments.

  • While players took advantage of choosing their new question cards throughout each round, sometimes it wasn’t necessary. Everyone kept on a roll, often jumping off on tangents from the original topic question.

  • Playing to a target of four cards to win felt too short, so they often sent the goals higher themselves.

  • One group made up an entire new way to play the game in which you start with 4-5 words in your hand, and the first to get rid of all wins.

I’m so glad I practiced video documentation. Here are the topic points for me to remember for the future:

  • Get the main mechanics: the initial taking of cards, the reading of the topic question, guessing right & guessing wrong, the word reveal at the end.

  • Lighting is key, of course. For the two afternoon sessions, I scouted ahead and found bars with corner tables and tons of natural light. But my new camera performed quite well in the

  • Smooth shooting: use a gimbal or tripod if I can.

  • Audio, especially in a louder venue, such as a bar, is tricky. My new camera has a pretty good mic, but lavalier mics capture individual voices better.

  • Field of view: I need to make sure you can see the cards go down on the table and how folks have arranged their cards in their space.

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