Hey @MarinaKy14 we finally got around to testing your game
We played inside with just two people, using small paper polyominoes, but tried to follow as closely as possible the rules for the outdoor game.
Here’s how it went…
The game worked surprisingly well with just the two of us. We improvised a couple of things to feel more like birds (a parrot earring and standing on a chair ), and although of course that’s not the same as a group working together on a roof, we got really into the narrative of the game.
We played through to envelope 7, but by this point with just the two of us, the puzzle solving started to get a little repetitive (and we didn’t have so much time), so we then skipped ahead, just doing the street card challenges until the end of the game.
I didn’t find it any harder to communicate with the body instead of the signs, which made me feel like maybe the signs weren’t necessary in the first place? I like the idea of the communication getting progressively harder/more inventive each round, but in our experience the difficulty level remained the same. One thing we found impossible though was to point to buildings to try to solve the shape.
- the different elements/mechanisms of the game fit together well. I think the bird thematic running through everything helps with this.
- the street challenge mini games that really made us think about birds (e.g. who can make the most realistic bird noise, tell a bird related poem etc. felt more successful to me than the bird version of rock paper scissors, or counting 10 things that begin with the letter ‘S’)
- solving the polyominoes (however after 7 of them it became less exciting/challenging to solve them)
- the dynamic between people in different places and at different heights
- non-verbal communication
Possible area to improve:
- the mechanism which causes the “birders” to become “birds”. At the moment the situation is that the people who are left at the bottom (less and less people until it’s eventually just one person) are having harder and harder work to do moving around the polyominoes. They don’t have any agency, they are just following orders. I think this could be physically tiring and also upsetting/demotivating as the reason why they are left is because they have lost every mini game so far. This creates a system where the “winners” are on top and the “loser(s)” at the bottom, like a kind of meritocracy. I love the idea of members of the public getting involved and helping, but having the person left on the bottom go up to strangers to ask for their help, with quite a high possibility of them saying no, also seems like it could be demotivating. Is there a way that communication and puzzle solving can be more of a two-way process?
- Is there a set age range for this game? It seems like some of the mini puzzles would be suitable for all ages, whilst others would be particularly good for children or particularly good for adults. Perhaps you could have different variants of the game for different age groups?
We took some photos and short video clips, which I’ll send to you by wetransfer as they’re a bit too big to email.