Creating an actual game!

Debate or Relate is a conversational card game that is played on the social media platform of Instagram. It was created by myself, Remy and Paris where players are given a platform to conversate with other players over current topics and issues that we initiate and mediate. When brainstorming the game, the idea of creating a conversational card game came up, getting inspiration from current similar games such as We’re Not Really Strangers and Cards Against Humanity. As the game was created in 2021 in the context of the Sydney lockdown and vaccinations as well as various other significant events, we thought creating a game such as Debate or Relate was appropriate. This is due to the game being a space where players can discuss their thoughts on important topics with others, creating informative and meaningful conversations. 

I was thoroughly involved in the design process of the game, from deciding which 4 categories will be relevant and what topics should be discussed. As well as this, I also contributed to the aesthetics and physical design of Debate or Relate, including the Instagram layout, colours and look of the gaming cards. In order to keep the game going, I ensure that I am always aware of what current events are occurring and what the media is reporting to gather inspiration for the question cards. After creating these cards, I post them as well as the information cards and become a mediator in the discussions from the players that follow. 

Here is a video that follows the process of creating Debate or Relate into a fully tested prototype as well as my contribution to the group pitch:

I playtested Debate or Relate by examining the reactions of the audience towards each question card, finding which topics they are most likely to respond to and how exactly the discussions carry on. Through my observations, the question cards containing controversial topics usually instigated heated discussions while other topics have very little or no interaction. To have more interaction within the game, I try to include current topics that are big within the media. I have also made an effort to word the questions appropriately to ensure players do not get offended as some have advised us in the past. For instance, this question card contained a heated discussion, but one of our players privately informed me that the question was worded a little off-puttingly. As it is our goal for this game to be more informative and ultimately draw understanding between one another, the last thing I intend to do is make any player feel excluded or uncomfortable. 

As my parts of the game pitch included discussing the game genre and theme, according to the feedback, these characteristics could’ve been improved. Perhaps I wasn’t specific enough when identifying the game genre as a conversational card game and labelling our themes as our categories (physical, political, mental and social) was not in-depth enough. This is probably due to my lack of complete understanding of what game genres and themes are, as they are much more extensive than I believed. In order to improve this, I will ensure to thoroughly research game genres and themes as well as where Debate or Relate lies within these categories. In addition to this, within the game pitch, I also could’ve included more subject materials to support the information I presented. This, in conjunction with a better analysis of the game genre and theme, will certainly be included within my Project Dossier.

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