Sink or Sail! Trivia Game Prototype

For our final prototype assignment for our CAGD 170 Game development Assignment, we were to choose partners and create a game. We had total freedom with this assignment and had the ability to choose any game genre and make any type of game we decided to do.

After pitches were made, I went up to my teammate to help make the game idea he pitched. He pitched an idea for a trivia game about sailing. I liked the idea because I love sea trivia such as pirates, myths, and viking trivia. So we decided to go with that game idea. We named our game “Sink or Sail!”

At first, the game was simply players being asked trivia questions on index cards, with the possible 4 answers on the index card and the answer on the back. We never intended to use this method for the final result, we were just using the index cards to gauge if the questions were too hard, too easy, or too niche for players to understand.

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Main Screen

We decided that just asking questions wasn’t engaging enough for players. So we decided to do a “dual-screen” concept, similar to a Wii U. We decided to have an electronic screen that has the Questions and Answers, and as a second screen, a board that players can either move up or down. When players get questions right, they move up, and when they get questions wrong, they move down.

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The Second Screen We Used

I was in charge of the first, electronic screen and my teammate created the amazing second screen. This made players much more receptive to the game, as the game was not simply a trivia game anymore. The board game element helped players become more invested, and gave them more incentive to answer smartly.

With the board element, we made it so if players give correct answers they can move up the board. When moving up, players can receive positive bonuses at certain spaces they can hold onto and use on certain questions, such as being able to call a friend, ask a game master, ask Google, etc. However, moving down the board would cause players to receive negative bonuses such as being forced to answer the next question.

This gave players incentive to answer correctly and also gave them incentive to not answer frivolously, as there was punishment for answering incorrectly.

We had about 26 people play test our game. 23 of the play testers were college aged CAGD majors. About 60% of players were men and 40% were women. On average, reviews were positive, however some felt that questions were too hard, or that the game dragged on for too long.

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Problem Question #1
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Problem Question #2

To combat this, we either trimmed or cut questions players had the most problems with. We also embedded a 30 second timer in order to cut our playtime from an average of 15-20 minutes to 7 minutes. This worked much better, as trivia games on average do not work with extremely long play times.

I learned from this game assignment that the more enthusiasm you put into your game, the more players will respond positively to your game. I think players had fun, even though the game was a trivia game about subject matter not many players knew much about, because my group mate and I kept the game fast paced and had an upbeat attitude.

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