First playing of Panopticon game on 1st December 2013

lego-panopticon-brighton-crypto-party-dec-1st-2013

First playing of Lego Panopticon prototype took place at Brighton Crypto Party – Lighthouse. It wasn’t hard to find six willing players – all eagerly reading the slightly fussy-looking 2 page printout of the rules. Overall it went down well. The experience left quite an impression on me and has opened up some interesting questions about the nature of games and the roles we play in life too and how much these are games we play.

Feedback and observations

  • The beginning of the game is too slow
  • Jeopardy is not apparent from the start – knowing the risks
  • Takes too long to get a feeling of success
  • Power ups are good – they change the dynamic in really interesting way
  • Super ability cards may be problematic – giving too much power (this was debated)
  • Trojan’s ability to take control of other play was very powerful – was 3 rounds of control too much? We had fun with this one
  • What’s in it for the good guys? Anti-virus complained that if he simply had to defend others there wasn’t much incentive for him – since he couldn’t work out how he would win.
  • About being in a helpful mission – you could ask for donations and then share the benefit of your abilities and power-ups.
  • Winning condition could be reduced. perhaps 10 bricks on the tower?
  • Each mission could have it’s own clearly defined winning condition and if this was met then the game ended also (thanks Nate Whitestone for that one)
  • How could the good guys ever win? could they find an easy way to work together and define a different winning condition?
  • Having many different coloured content blocks was tricky. The colours could be made to mean more. My son suggested that we use the skylanders element colours. Here are some ideas:
    • Blue (water) = money?
    • Red (fire) = downloads/consumer products?
    • Green (earth) = social media?
    • Yellow (tech) = software and tools?
    • Black (undead) = black/grey market?
    • White (air) = information?
  • Kids weren’t that interested in actually playing the game and were much more keen to develop new characters and think of new structures – how could this be made better? – but essentially they did learn more about data protection.
  • towers would fall down on their own when reaching in for power ups – could this be used in some way? being knocked down?
  • The block/content space could be used differently (again thanks Nate and Chris) so that players could do peer to peer exchanges and collectively build up blocks and power-ups across their respective servers/zones

 

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