Paper prototyping isn’t always the best way to simulate a game mechanic, and this was certainly the case for Team Hey Hey’s paper playtest of the game that would become Sync. However, our paper playtesting was helpful to us in allowing us to consider the structure of our game rounds and the rhythm of our gameplay.
Our game’s main mechanic centers around the difference between AI and human players, which was not something we could simulate on paper. Our work-around was to have one person move 5 paper clips on a piece of paper in a certain way, and another person move a single paper clip in an attempt to mimic the pattern. A blindfolded third person would then attempt to pick out that singular paper clip moved by the second person.
This did not simulate our game mechanic very well, as picking out the “imposter” paper clip was next to impossible, but we were able to observe how the rules of our game felt when enacted. Perhaps the main lesson we learned was that our mechanic was complex enough to merit a relatively simple/minimalistic look and feel.