Tuesday, December 08, 2015


We had a series of card game design events on my team.  I broke up the traditional teams and had them design card games using a.) preferably a work or developer/quality theme, b.) a card making framework (I had examples in javascript and Ruby with modifications), c.) paper prototyping if they didn't want to use a framework.  They had an hour to design, minimal follow up to firm up their rules and give me a paper or printable prototype, and then we spent an hour at a subsequent meeting rotating the games between the teams for play testing.

The goal was a.) to design, b.) to see how hard it is to write good documentation and acceptance criteria, c.) do some testing and modifications to adjust based on the findings, and d.) do it in a way that was fun, because I find aspects of our tech jobs to be fun, we just lose sight of it.

Afterwards, everyone voted, and the four folks on the winning team had a playoff to determine who picked their prize first out of four different commercial card games (Coup, Batman Love Letter, Release!, and Guillotine).  My door was closed, but glass, so as people walked by they observed four people laughing and playing cards with this on the white board behind them.  The game that won was called Year End Review (initially a bit tongue in cheek and no one won, everyone walking away with a subpar review, but cleaned up for team play and upper management), but that wasn't obvious if you didn't know the backstory.  So you could watch people pause momentarily outside my door and ponder the players and the sign and look really confused.  Which means they were pondering whether I was making my reports play cards to determine their annual rating.  Admittedly, not necessarily the worst approach, and better than some, but not what we were doing.

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