First Prototype!

Our very first prototype...

The team knew a few things right off the bat: we wanted to make a game using the format of “worker placement”, had to talk about the concept of crunch culture, and would be manufactured small enough to be portable. As fun as big tabletops are, you gotta start small and somewhere, right? Those limitations gave us the opportunity to start work on our first build, but not before getting through a game or two of a similar and relevant game,Mint Works. Five24 Lab’s pocket game gave us a good, hands-on (and fun) idea of what size we’d have to start thinking about to pack in an entire game. 

We rallied under our newly-written manifesto, determining what goals we’d want to strive for, the concepts and ideas that needed to be extrapolated upon, as well as our new team structure. With appointed leads for three departments—game design, illustration, and animation—our team dynamics were beginning to take root. Jordan, now designated team lead, started us off with a fantastic first build, combining three basic factors that are necessary in any job environment: work, play, and fun. Although it was back to the drawing board a couple of times, we started to really put together a strong concept: this first iteration was a “department management” sim, where the main focus of the game was to complete jobs and finish a job tracker. The main draw was that you, quite literally, build up your office with different cards that were available for “purchase”, and your workers would earn the aforementioned work, play, and fun stats as currency. This design was truly one of our first loved and really exciting set-ups; we even came up with “situation”, which acted as a sort of game timer: once they were all drawn, the game was over. This first build also came with an exciting bonus: modability, which opened the doors for different potential packs, set-ups, and even custom offices.

The unfortunate balance was that it included far too many trackers and assets to keep up with mental math, and while we had to move forward without our yoga rooms and box fort offices, the basic concept still remains in the iterations we’ve made since: how do you build a healthy environment where each employee can reach their full potential? Better play your cards right.

- Cat the Animation Lead & Epic Scribe (Writer)

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