7DRL – Day 1

I’ve started my first seven-day Roguelike entry by starting my design document.  The document will contain all of the work I do for the development of my game, and I will be uploading a new version each of the seven days.  I’ve copied the beginning of my document into this post, and the full document is in the link.

Seven-day Roguelike Entry – Mar 2013 – Day 1

Seven-day Roguelike Entry

Mar 9-15, 2013

Version: Day 1

Design guidance

Design goal

To create (or recreate) a Rogue-like experience while striving for both portability and player-centric design within seven days.

Design platform

In order to reduce the complexity of the experiment and to allow the most iterations of player testing, the design platform must use physical objects that are readily available to the testers.

Design scope

The game Rogue will be used as a starting point, in order to recreate as much of the Rogue experience as possible. The individual game design elements of Rogue, however, are not required and will be excluded unless a specific design element contributes to the new design. Other games in the “Roguelike” genre are not part of the design scope, nor is the definition of “Roguelike” a governing framework. A popular game using physical objects should be used as a starting point for the physical design elements.

The big deal here is not going to be the game (although I hope to design a good one).  Instead, the real meat of this entry will be the testing methods embedded into my design process.  I’ll be elevating them here on the blog and making the tests available for any of you who want to participate.

It has been an interesting start, especially since I was chasing around a toddler for most of the day.  It turns out that Klondike solitaire is a good anchor for my design, and I’ve sent out two tests to my small pool of volunteers (mwahahaha) in order to get some basic info on the tolerances Klondike solitaire players have.  I can use this info to make decisions later about the complexity and length of setup and gameplay for my final design.  Here are the two tests:

Test #1:

Tester criteria:

  • Testers must know how to set up a game of Klondike solitaire (aka Windows solitaire with seven stacks of cards, and a draw deck).

Materials required:

  • 52-card deck of playing cards (no jokers or other “extra” cards)
  • A digital clock or watch

Time required: no more than 15 minutes

Instructions: (Use your own discretion to interpret the instructions, but don’t try to purposefully misinterpret. Vague or ambiguous directions are likely written that way on purpose.)

  • Get out the deck of cards and place them in a single stack with all cards facing down.
  • Write down the time, to the nearest minute.
  • Repeat five times:
    1. Shuffle the deck seven times.
    2. Set up for a game of Klondike solitaire.
    3. Pick up all the cards and place them in a single stack
  • Write down the time, to the nearest minute.

Test #2:

Tester criteria:

  • Testers must know how to set up and play a game of Klondike solitaire (aka Windows solitaire with seven stacks of cards, and a draw deck).

Materials required:

  • 52-card deck of playing cards (no jokers or other “extra” cards)
  • A digital clock or watch

Time required: no more than 10 minutes

Instructions: (Use your own discretion to interpret the instructions, but don’t try to purposefully misinterpret. Vague or ambiguous directions are likely written that way on purpose.)

  • Get out the deck of cards and place them in a single stack with all cards facing down.
  • Write down the time, to the nearest minute.
  • Shuffle the deck to your satisfaction.
  • Set up for a game of Klondike solitaire.
  • Play a single game of Klondike solitaire.
  • Write down the time, to the nearest minute.

Anyone who would like to participate is welcome to submit their answers via the form below.

[form removed]

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