Week 7: Slow and Steady Progress

Two of our team members, Eric and Richard, were at GDC this week, so there is not much design work to report as far as the app is concerned. However, our programmers worked diligently to get the app’s basic features up and working, so that we can playtest on Tuesday. Thanks for all your work, Yong, Zoe, and Ramya!

On my end, I did a ton of research about who goes to minor-league games, and what that demographic likes. This background allowed me to come up with another idea for an inter-inning event. Right now, I’m calling it Treasure Hunt.

The basic premise is that the audience, who have already been split into competing sections via the app, will compete with their same sections during the event. One member from each section will go out on the field with a flag and a smartphone. The still-seated audience members will see a map of the field on their phones, with an indicator (probably a big red ‘X’) where their flag is supposed to be planted. As members of a section watch their representative wander around the field, they will be able to indicate on their phones whether he is getting “warmer” (closer to the target) or “colder” (farther away). The inputs will be aggregated/averaged and sent to the phone of the person on the field, so he can tell if he’s going in a good direction. The first section to successfully plant their flag in the correct place will win a prize.

Personally, I’m excited about Treasure Hunt because it’s a simple premise that can be achieved with cheap materials (a stadium wouldn’t have to buy expensive equipment), and the game should be quick enough to fit in between innings. There are also various ways the game can be added to, depending on the stadium’s resources. For instance, a stadium in a farming area could let livestock wander the field during the game, to act as accidental obstacles for the players. Or, a stadium with a large fireworks budget could shoot off a few fireworks when the first flag is planted, and change their color depending on the color of the flag. The possibilities are endless!

We’ll be conducting a preliminary playtest on Tuesday, right after our app playtest. I’ll be sure to write how both tests go in next week’s blog!