Low Fidelity Prototype

We made a few changes after attending another session of their game play. First of all, we decided to switch the game from Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) to Dark Heresy which is based in the Warhammer universe. The main reason we switched games is because we realized that there is already a lot of support for D&D in the community already. Dark Heresy is a newer game which our social group started playing recently.  We also identified through our cultural probes earlier that our group is motivated only when they are excited by something.  D&D is an old game for them while Dark Heresy is their new fascination.  It just made sense for us to move toward Dark Heresy so they were directly talking about what they were currently playing.

We originally wanted to make an application for the players to keep track of their status and inventory. However, we found that it is not focused enough. Therefore, we have decided to have a more focused application just for the game battle and map generating.  When we piloted our low fidelity prototype with classmates and our group briefly and we realized it was far too bloated with needless functionality.  Our new low fidelity prototype was already a large improvement just in terms of simplicity.

Our application will allow the dungeon master to custom create a map. We got feedback from some experienced dungeon masters in our social group saying it is a pain to make a map because none of them are particularly good artists and creating a proper grid size is very tedious. They would love to have something that can help them create their desired map easily.

Another purpose of our application is help the players and dungeon master visualize the game play situation during a battle. During a session we attended, we noticed that the dungeon master had to flip back and forth in the rule book to show the players the list of actions and the map at the same time. It is hard because they made little pieces of paper that represented each character on the map but it keeps getting out of place when the DM flips the page. Therefore, we’ve decided to make the application show where each character is located and the turn order of the battle.

In the application, we wanted players and dungeon masters to be able to see the map and move the character during battles. At the same time, the dungeon master can edit the map, for example, if there is a meteor coming from the sky and hit the land, there will be a crater. The dungeon master can easily edit the map during the battle to add the crater. We also want the dungeon master to have the ability to create a map before the game starts. This allows him/her to be prepared for the game. Lastly, there will be the save and load screen for them to save the game or map.

Here is the final version of the low fidelity prototype

Main screens:

Save and Load:

Player Setup:

Enemy Setup:

Battle screen:

Reflection

The focus from information recording to a battle application is a good step for our design. We first worried that an application only for the battle was too small. However, after doing some brainstorming and planning out the low fidelity prototype, it is a huge part of the game. We first wanted a map to show where players are. Then we realized that we should allow the DM to create their own map. Having the low fidelity prototype allow us to visualize how the application can look like and what functions were needed. We realized that custom map creation is very important, however, we forgot about random map making. We find that random map making can be very useful in the game if the dungeon master does not have time to make it, they will need a random map to play on.

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