Ready, set, PLAYTEST! We had a great night at the institute, where we were joined by MCAST students for a playtesting session. Both cohorts were required to build a board game prototype as part of the course and the evening was organised so that all groups could get valuable playtesting feedback to iron out their final prototypes.
Board games are experiencing a resurgence in popularity and have moved a long way past Monopoly. This resurgence has resulted in all types of board games and Malta in particular has seen growth with successful board game design and production with Mighty Boards’s most recent Kickstarter campaign reaching their funding goal of 30,000 USD within hours and finally finishing with a whooping $300,000 of funding. The students of both the Institute of Digital Games and MCAST were tasked with completing a playable prototype and probably all of them were better-designed than the clunky classic that is Monopoly. Prototypes involved musical card games, dinner-themed card games, and games where hand-eye coordination were a crucial aspect.
Why board games? You may wonder as you note the “digital” in “digital games”. However, as a tool for evaluating and exploring game design board games provide the constraint that they are essentially pure mechanics and designing a prototype like this familiarizes our students with the results of the mechanics on gameplay. Furthermore, as a multi-disciplinary master’s focused on game design, it is critical that all our students come out with an understand of game design aspects through practical knowledge in addition to the theoretical knowledge they receive throughout the programme and their research. Using analogue prototypes allows students from all backgrounds to experience the thought process and QA testing that goes into designing the game framework.
Overall, the play testing night was a huge success, allowing the students from each institution to learn from each other and connecting various disciplines together in one informal event. We're excited about these type of events, that show an increasingly dynamic and committed community with an interest in game design! We encourage students with an interest in game design to join us for our public lectures and monthly board game nights. The board game nights are open to the public and are posted on the Institute’s Facebook Page and lectures are open to the public as well. Subscribe to our Newsletter below!