BCM212 Reflection

BCM212 Reflection

My research project was Loneliness: Making Friends at University, how students struggle with meeting people and how that affects their University experience. The subject I’ve chosen is one close to me as I know people that have struggled with this and that its negatively impacted their studies. Many people I’ve heard of drop university or defer their studying because they feel so isolated.

Throughout the duration of this subject I’ve learnt a lot, mostly about ethics, interviewing, and collecting various forms of data. I’ve also found that people including me feel like its necessary to make lasting friendships or at least have someone to talk to in classes as it helps you adjust to the uni lifestyle.

Another thing I’ve learnt is just how much work goes into a creating research report, all of the planning involved and how much more difficult it would’ve been if I wasn’t in a subject that organised shared surveys and focus groups during class. Also the amount of data you need to collect is insane. If this research was even extended to students outside of bcm212 the data and work put in would need to be so much more.

 

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Cyber Surveillance DA and Contextual Essay

Digital Artifact Posts are here: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

 

In the Digital Artifact ideas in the Cyber Surveillance topic were experimented with, a series of blog posts were made the first three being about how everyone in society is being monitored by these Smart devices and how this surveillance shows itself in the form of Targeted Advertising. The first three blog posts posted included screenshots of a multitude of Advertisements from three social media websites, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Then sentence answers were put for why that ad might’ve been targeted specifically, the answers involving: Mentioned the product in a message to someone, Searched for that product or brand, saying it in a real life conversation with the phone nearby.

Other ways people are being monitored is discussed in posts four and five, where how Google and Facebook stores data on people was investigated with the help of Twitter Privacy Consultant Dylan Curran. Post five in particular has information on downloading data from Facebook from my personal account in the past five months, so all from 2018. Even in that small time frame there was an abundance of data collected, approximately 759MB. From Google the information available comprises of every single thing someone searches, all the times things are searched, what social media sites are used and when, every video watched. Absolutely everything.

Facebook was the same deal but even more data, anything someone can possibly think of is logged. Every time someone logs on and off, the location they log on from, every message they send and receive, gifs, videos, pictures, audio messages, comments even when deleted from the actual website or app, it’s possible to get back all that data just by downloading it and it doesn’t take long at all. Post five which is “In Downloading my Facebook Data”, shows instructions on how people may find the downloading data page if they might be curious as to what Facebook has about them.

One part in post five also mentioned is Ad Interests, this is a section in the data that includes a long alphabetical order list of Interests Facebook associates with that person. The data on this collected every minute of the day, a simple mention of a celebrity and suddenly that person is in the list.

This idea of Cyber Surveillance has been drastically normalised in the past few years alone, people are constantly creating content of their own lives and posting those online in the form of Vlogs, on the other side even more content is being produced by Reality Television and as this quote suggests “We watch people go about their lives under surveillance” (PBS, 2014). So relating this back to the topic it makes people think, are they as aware of how much Surveillance is truly going on in the world? Or do they just not see it as strange and something to worry about? In the Digital Artefact this is another part of the topic being explored.

In conclusion Cyber Surveillance is just another part of this future culture that everyone coexists in, it doesn’t seem to be something people can change and this concept of privacy is blurred which is contributing to the normalisation that’s currently occurring, this is just seen as a normal aspect of being alive in the 21st century. While there is more awareness on the topic there isn’t full complete awareness, many people do not know just how deep Surveillance goes and the extent of the monitoring.

 

References:

Allmer T, Fuchs C, Kreilinger V, & Sevignani S, 2012. Critical Perspectives and Empirical Findings. Social Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society, Pgs. 57-60.

Alphr/Vaughn Highfield. 2018. How to see everything Facebook knows about you – but be warned, it may not be pretty. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.alphr.com/facebook/1003521/see-everything-facebook-knows-about-you-here-s-how. [Accessed 18 April 2018].

Engadget. 2017. Public Access – Cyber Surveillance – Friend or Foe?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/23/cyber-surveillance-friend-or-foe/. [Accessed 14 March 2018]

Lyon, D, 2001. Issues In Society. Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life, [Online]. 2, ix. Available at: https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aXXlAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=surveillance+in+everyday+life&ots=LwSYwdf54l&sig=cUcBG2S3_sD1y6trD1O1yrFmsNw#v=onepage&q&f=false[Accessed 14 March 2018].

Nick Bilton. 2013. The Pros and Cons of a Surveillance Society – The New York Times. [ONLINE] Available at: https://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/the-pros-and-cons-of-a-surveillance-society/. [Accessed 15 March 2018].

PBS Idea Channel. (2014). Does Reality TV Affect Our View On Surveillance? | Idea Channel | PBS Digital Studios. [Online Video]. 15 January 2014. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMLCZAKfEsk. [Accessed: 20 April 2018].

Podesta, D, 2015. Media in the Age of Cyber Surveillance. Watchdogs Under Watch, [Online]. Pgs. 3 & 4. Available at: https://www.rnw.org/sites/flagship.rnw.org/files/cima_cyber_surveillance_paper_web.pdf[Accessed 12 April 2018].

Stefanone MA, Lackaff D, 2009. Reality Television as a Model for Online Behavior: Blogging, Photo, and Video Sharing. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, [Online]. N/A, Pgs. 964–987. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2009.01477.x [Accessed 21 April 2018].

 

 

Twitter Thread: Data Part 2

In Downloading my Facebook Data

 

In this post I am going to explore my Facebook data from January 2018 to May 29th.
To see the previous post please click here and thank you for joining me again!

So when I downloaded my data the file was 759MB, in just 5 months that seems like a lot. Seeing as though I don’t write any Facebook statuses or really post pictures, it feels like most of this data will be from posts I like, comments I make and conversations with people. Quite a lot for just those things, but we’ll see as we go.

First I’ll let you know how you can download your data, it’s very simple.

You go to your settings then go to your Facebook Information which is in the sidebar, the second option says Download your information. Click that and you will get to this page.

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Select the options you want then press the Create File button.

Now we are at the Downloading stage, press download. Depending on how much data you have and your downloading speed this shouldn’t take too long. (Mine took about 5-10 minutes)

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So now we are at the exploring stage, I’ve extracted the Zip file onto a hard drive.

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There is a disturbing amount of folders there, looking at all the options I was a little bit spooked out but interested in seeing what it’s collected on someone who doesn’t even post.

Going into ads since that’s the main focus of this project, It gave me the option of looking at all my Ad Interests. Now I can’t possibly go through them all but this is very intriguing and way more specific than the Google Ad Interests in the Previous Post.

Here’s a small look into what it has for my interests.

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1990’s music I wouldn’t say is the only genre I listen to but it is my usual flavour. So they got that right!

Facebook weirdly knows me way better than Google which is surprising it has almost all my interests down. Cultural studies, music, travel, all the Youtuber’s I watch regularly, Animals, dogs mostly is written multiple times in different ways.
In my interests it also has a bunch of locations I’ve either been to, live in or want to travel to which isn’t too weird but certainly feels a bit invasive. Although if this means my ads can find me good things happening in those areas then I’m all for it.

But wait there’s more, a couple that made me laugh were:

Click (2006 film) – I mentioned this one in another post where I had asked someone in real life where they got their Click shirt and got ads for the shirt company, in this case my interest is just the actual movie.

Betty White – Reasonable.

Danny DeVito – Makes sense since I’ve said that I am Danny Devito to a few people and follow a FB page called the Church of Danny DeVito.

But back to the facts. In your Facebook data you can see your conversations word for word with anyone in your friends list, you can access all the videos, audio files and gifs sent, you can view deleted friends, people that have called you. Even if you delete this information from your actual Facebook the data can still be downloaded, so just imagining the possibilities in that is insane. I can even see my responses to any event I’ve said I’m going to or not, or comments I’ve left on things, my reactions or likes on comments, absolutely everything.

Putting thought into who or more likely what also has access to this data is a little bit scary. I wanted to relate this to my original topic I discussed in my presentation and Surveillance Blog Post. I talked a lot about how we’ve normalised this idea of being watched by our devices due to constant content produced like Reality Television and Vlogs but even now I am producing content to add to all this data. Allowing you to see bits of my information, so I’m thinking what’s the difference to let some bot go through my info. But is that just me once again normalising this sort of Digital Trespassing.
What do you guys think, is this normal or is technology going too far?
Is there no more concept of Privacy if you own Smart Devices?

If this is something that interests you I suggest having a look at your own FB data and if anyone needs more help in finding how to download it feel free to message me, comment or dm me @Jingleblells on Twitter or here on WordPress.

Thank you once again for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter Thread: Data Part 1

 Data gathered from Facebook and google and how to see it.

 

In my last blog posts here, here and here. I talked about the targeted advertising on social media websites Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Why I thought certain ads were targeted for me, what I think triggered them, things along those lines.

In this post I aim to explore Dylan Curran’s tweet thread where he tells his audience how they can see a bunch of the information these sites store about us. I plan to explore each post he made in this thread of log what I find that’s interesting or even a bit scary. Of course approaching this from a less knowledgeable point of view.

The first thing I did was look at my activity on Google as he mentions below.

As you can see from this screenshot Google has taken note of everything I do on the laptop and separated them into categories based on the sites I frequent most and the features I use like Goose search, image search, google maps.

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This has really brought to my attention just how many YouTube videos I watch in a day but that’s a talk for an intervention not a blog post on surveillance.
So like Dylan mentions Google also seems to have stored information about which apps I’m using on the phone, I don’t know how this is since my phone isn’t connected to my gmail.

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Top two are from apps on phone.

 

 

 

 

 

And these two screensh=ots are from my google search history, showing you how literally everything even when you erase your history is still stored online and also showing the diversity of my searches.

Moving on to the next thing Curran mentioned.

Now as you know my last posts were on targeted advertising and why I thought those were targeted at me, but now we can go in and see just whats Google has collected on me.

Now if you go into this you can see the interests Google associates with you, here’s a look into some of mine. (As there is over 100 of them, quite a few are irrelevant but a lot are correct)

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While it has over 100 interests for me it only has one I apparently don’t like.

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I’m a little bit confused but I mean it’s not wrong.

So all the gaming related ones are a heck yes, fitness yeah, apparel of course I do wear clothes after all. Some are just cop outs at the end it just says “women’s interests” thanks Google you tried there.

I think I will make this into a 2 part thing, hopefully in the next post I can download my data from Facebook and explore that with you all. Please tune in for that and thank you for reading!

 

 

 

BCM325 Cyber Surveillance in Advertisements on YouTube

Hi people we are back yet again with Advertisements from YouTube. This is trying to show how often we are being monitored by our devices.

The Surveys on YouTube have a very obvious impact on the targeted advertising we get.

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So this ad being directly after the survey isn’t at all surprising.

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This city beach ad appeared right after I visited a City Beach store to peruse what types of bum bags they might have.

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After a lengthy conversation on a whole different app about how much I enjoy Up&Go, not at all surprised that I got this.

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The first two hotels on this ad I had actually looked at for a friends birthday, along with a search history of “cheap hotels in Sydney” and “3 star hotels that aren’t haunted or stinky”. So this is another ad that isn’t completely surprising, but this is something that would have spooked me before doing research on this topic. As having an ad so specifically tailored for me would’ve been slightly odd.

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Ok so I have an app called MFP: My Fitness Pal, which is used to log the food you eat during the day. Not to go into detail on that subject, I had recently logged some picnic block chocolate despite not being into peanuts of any sort. Then long story short I got this ad, even though MFP is on the phone not laptop and isn’t (or so I thought) connected at all to YouTube or any other social medias. So this one stood out as a bit odd.

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A generic way to get a targeted ad, Friend talked about selling things on Ebay then badabing got an Ebay ad.
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This Advert from Romwe I got after my mum said that I only seem to buy cropped Tshirts, this ad clearly shows only Cropped Tshirts.

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Now this Jack Daniels ad, well deserved I think. After two days (not in a row) of ordering Jack & cokes at bars and my friend mentioning that she believes I’m too into JD, this ad showed its face. Thank you YouTube, I do not have a problem but I appreciate the sentiment. Will be doing this pose next time I order one.

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I tested by talking about the Chicken and Cheese burger from Maccas for a period of days to see how long it would take to alter my ads from KFC to McDonalds. It took minutes, but getting the specific chicken and cheese burger ad didn’t happen. I did get chicken burgers though so a slight win. (I did this with real life conversations and also texting- I annoyed several people)

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Teaching in China ads started after looking at UOW graduate jobs, the teaching overseas ones always interested me. I’m not sure of the validity of the site it’s listed. But YouTube seems to know my interests well. (ignore the image in the background its seafood, Crab, etc)

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Here’s one of many examples of how invasive Advertisements can be, along with the pregnancy test ads, and anything reproductive health related. Maybe good for some, but it seems that if you list yourself as a female between ages 18-30 and over your ads follow along these lines.

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Thank you for reading my last post on Advertisements!
Next I hope to explore a range of privacy settings and data stored by Google and FaceBook and report whatever I find in the upcoming blog post.

BCM325 Cyber Surveillance in Advertisements on Instagram

Hi people we are back again with Advertisements from Instagram. This is trying to show how often we are being monitored by our devices.

After writing a series of blog posts I took a break and got this ad, very relevant to what we BCMs students do in classes.

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Roll’d food is great I’ve discussed that at length to many people so I’m not shocked that they are in my sponsored ads.

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This Exhibit a friend mentioned to me, once again real life conversation. Mentioned only once, I had ads for this on Facebook and Instagram for ages after that.

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I don’t like the Uow Unibar pages on any social media but maybe with being at uni 2-3 days a week. My location gives off that I’ve been there a couple times and now shows me ads for performances.

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More Priceline ads, as mentioned before in the Facebook ads post. My mum talks about priceline too much so I get these ads often.

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Another Cool Shirtz ad. (after a real life convo of me asking where someone bought their Adam Sandlers “click” shirt.)

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Possibly because Uni students seem to have a beautiful diet of frozen pizzas and instant noodles I got this ad.

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After I texted a friend that Boost has protein balls, this ad showed up.

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Once again Specsavers ads after mentioning glasses.

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Walked past this shop and checked my phone not long after, got this ad.

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After a lengthy in person conversation about friends travels to Japan and Matcha flavoured everything all of my Sydney eats tag turned into a Green Tea fanclub.

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Shea butter is a product that has gained popularity suddenly but in the African/ Half African community it is something we’ve sort of grown up with. After a talk about dry hair I went on Instagram and got this ad. The Shea butter bit I didn’t expect to see but doesn’t shock me as I also follow a few African/mixed beauty blogs.

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This ad is a bit generic, I signed up for SurveyMonkey for BCM212 and got these on all social medias. Having my email for SM be the same as my other social medias this is to be expected.

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I got this Crunchyroll ad after watching YouTube lets players Game Grumps play the new Dragon Ball Z game. As well as VideoGame Dunkey. Game grumps has been known to sponser Crunchy roll before.

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Thanks once again for reading this post! The next and final ad post will be about YouTube advertisements.

 

 

BCM325 Cyber Surveillance in Advertisements on FaceBook

Hi people I’m going to list a bunch of Advertisements from FaceBook I’ve gotten, this is trying to show how often we are being monitored by our devices.

This Sponsored Ad has most likely shown up because I met a friend at Single O cafe. I had to type in Single O cafe into my Google maps since I’m horrible at directions, and this ad showed up for a couple days afterwards. Not exactly related but the same name.

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After Googling Pole Dance classes this was advertised to me, pretty easy data collected there. Purely based on my search history, yet it’s also given me very specific locations. Possibly because I had recently gone to Parramatta.

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Once again the Single O ad, plus a Smirnoff sponsored post. Previous to this I had used my card to purchase pre-drinks with a friend involving Smirnoff. Which makes me think, do purchases made on card influence your ads, or did one of my friends mention the product out loud or via text?

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This ad got almost all my details right besides gender. Maybe my regular food related talks prompted this, plus the assumption that people within the age range of 18-30 all own smart phones.

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After a talk on a whole different social media application about this game I immediately got these recommended live videos.

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This screenshot features two ads, the Cool Shirtz one I started getting on ALL apps after a real life short conversation where I asked someone where they bought their Adam Sandlers film “Click” T-shirt. And the Priceline ad was also from a real life conversation where my mum discussed the shop to an extreme extent.

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The Master of Social work ad I believe is prompted by my friend talking about social work, and General Pants Co. after another discussion on FaceBook Messenger about how expensive their clothes are.

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Once again another real life conversation with my phone nearby, I talked about animation movies and how I was interested in that field for a while.

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I talk a lot about the blog posts I have to write and also about how much I want to travel so it only makes sense that this type of ad would be suggested to me.

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This one confused me for a while, but after sudden realisation I found out that I’ve been to a club where this DJ performed in the past, possibly RSVPing via FaceBook made these ads pop up way more, or being tagged online with Location on.
The fact that its Afrobeats and rap being suggested to me is possibly because I am Half African, mentioning this because I often end up being tagged in African related posts, music, or me talking about these genres myself in chats. The interests associated with me in my Google settings could also be influencing this.

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Here you can clearly see in my chat with friend “Gremlin Girl” I have sent an ASOS link, refreshed the page and immediately got ASOS ads.

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Like the above another situation where I mention something and get a related ad right away, Specsavers most likely being the company suggested because I have bought from there before.

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Thank you for reading this post! My next one will be going through Ads from Instagram, more evidence of how often we are being monitored by our devices.

Mercenary Match : The End

Previous Blog Post: Here

Since the last post there’s been a lot to fix up, so this post is going to be filled with pictures of the progress I’ve made.

Mercenary Match- Rules document

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An example of how you would use an ability is to say “I’m going to use my Fire Ball spell on your Lizardfolk Shaman” Then roll a dice trying to get a 4 and over, Player gets a 5. The Fire Ball hits. If you roll under a 4 your attack misses completely, you don’t get to do a normal attack since you failed.

I then experimented with the map design.
The Before:
During a play test.

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Making Progress:
Using Inkarnate.com/ 

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Failing at recreating the map:
Bases don’t fit on the page, taped together anyways to show progress.

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The Map:
Featuring the new Hexagonal grid design I mentioned in the play testing post.
This will make game play smoother.

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This is the final edition of the map, it still has some bits that got a bit messed up, namely the tiles not lining up perfectly. But its way better than the first and second editions. There are eight bases in total so 8 players maximum.

With less people playing, players can use half the map by folding it over.

2018-05-22 (5)2018-05-22 (6)In the Dossier I will go further into each of the Merc’s abilities and spells in detail.

Extra Notes: Rivers have Dark and Light areas, Shallow and Deep. Everyone can travel in the rivers but only Lizardfolk and Undead can attack in the deep areas. (since Lizardfolk can swim easily and Undead have no need to breathe).

Key:

Mercenary / Merc : The Characters you play as.
Tokens : These have the initials of the Mercs Eg. Human Cleric= HC. Represents that character on the map and used in randomly picking your team.
Mercenary Profile Card : Has a picture of the Character as well as their Abilities, Health Points and Weaknesses.
HP : Health Points
Abilities : Spells and Special Attacks
Weaknesses / Bonuses : Usually minuses or pluses to attack damage

Anatomy of Game:
1-2 Dice
The Map
21 Tokens
21 Mercenary Profile Cards
Paper and a pen to keep track of your Mercenaries HPs

 

Ideas tinkered with and abandoned:
Area of Effect Cards, decided some of these could just be spells or abilities.
Different Areas (Wastelands, Forest) Affecting movement.

On BCM300:

This subject made me realise just how much work goes into developing a game, through ideas, play testing, experimentation and design. Even when making something simple the creation process is quite difficult, and making something that’s actually fun is even harder. But I enjoyed this subject a lot. Would not mind trying to make more games in the future.

Mercenary Match : Play Testing and Fixing Up the Mess

Previous Blog Post: Here

Since the last post I have undergone a bit of the ole play testing and I have uncovered many many silly mistakes in the game. For me personally I found it difficult to know the next step I needed to make until I played the game, now I know what needs fixing.

IMG_8921The game was played with just me and my brother, who is a fan of D&D style games. So he really enjoyed finding ways to stack bonuses and break the characters, really helped me realise how overpowered I made some of the Mercenaries and how underwhelming others were. Also the fact that quite a few of the moves NEEDED some real adjusting.

Play testing was quite fun the game lasted about an hour mostly because I was writing notes, fiddling with the mistakes and weighing many options on how to improve. With better rules and fixing a lot of it, the game could last about 20-30 minutes with 2 people and possibly longer I estimate around 1 hour for more people. This depends on how they play though, if they hide away from the action the game could be a bit too long. But more people means less places to run.

So other than the Mercenary levelling issue another one that’s less of a problem but could help the aesthetics and movement is to consider switching the diagonal square grid map for a hexagonal grid map. For this I was suggested a website called Inkarnate for making maps.

Below is pictures of all the notes taken during my first play test:

Rules: (DRAFT) 
Still being play tested

Each player will roll a dice deciding who moves first.
Players draw tokens randomly this decides their party.
They pick bases and receive the profile cards for the Mercs.
Take turns and play

The amount of tokens / Mercs per player is 100% up to the players, 1 each for a shorter game. 2-3 seems easiest to manage. Above three for a longer more strategy intense game.

Game Loop:

The dice dictates which player has a turn when.
Each turn the player can move up to three tiles away and use one Ability or a Normal Attack.
Players don’t HAVE to use all of their three moves per turn, or an Ability or Attack. (Freedom to choose)
A players turn ends when all their Merc’s have moved three spaces each or they’ve all attacked, if they chose to not do any of the above or have spaces left, etc then the players turn ends when they say “I’m done my turn” Or something along those lines.
Players all continue to take turns until there is a winner.
You win the game by eliminating the competition.
Optional: Players can team up with other players.
Like 2vs2, 3vs3.
Or even do the unfair but fun, everyone gang up on one player.
I don’t have many limits in the game as choice is more fun to me.

Mercenary Match : Progress

Previous blog post: Here

For the Mercenaries I have made Character Cards which have a picture of the mercenary, their name, class, race, Health Points and the Damage they deal on one side. On the other side there will be the mercenaries abilities, these involve: Magic Spells, Special Attacks, and Weaknesses.

Examples:

There are 21 characters in total to be chosen in a players party, or the player can just choose one Merc. A party in RPG’s is basically just a team, in this case all under the control of one player (but usually not if an online game or a D&D style game where everyone plays as one character).
Source of Artworks: Pathfinder and DeviantArt.
Names of the Merc’s were randomly generated on This Website.

Tokens with the initials of each Mercenary were also made to represent that character on the map also to help in the random drawing of the players teams. (Eg: HC= Human Cleric, or UN=Undead Necromancer) The tokens can be jumbled around on the table or put in a bag, players will then draw a certain amount like 2 or 3 tokens and this will become their party. There are many options for this as players could just fight with a single Merc, or if they want a longer more strategy intense game they can opt for 4-5 Merc’s each.

The map:
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The Map has:

  • Eight Bases
  • River Tiles
  • Forest Tiles
  • Desert Tiles
  • Regular plain tiles

Different variables with the tiles will be play tested and then discussed properly later on. I listed ideas for what they could do in the previous post- Surrounding damage and movement speed.

In terms of Abstraction, my game Mercenary Match doesn’t try to represent reality much, but it is very heavily Fantasy themed. It isn’t exactly trying to make the players have a specific experience. It’s more on the strategy side of things rather than ambience and immersion side. But if players wished to attach more story to their characters as well as voices, or to even put themselves in the position of the Merc’s that will definitely add too the Abstraction. But if they choose to just go full on with the fighting, that’s great too since that was the main goal of the game.