Citizens vs Police

The Playtest:

To set apart our project from “Mafia” and “Werewolves” we tried testing it this time giving the players a “characteristic card” which they were able to keep throughout the game and show to others. A deck of cards is created at the start of the game which states the characteristics of the killer. After the game begins, at key moments like when the killer targets a new victim, players may reveal more clues. However, depending on who was asked to give the information, the clues could be true (normal citizen) or false (the killer). This provides a growing pool of evidence for players to act on, creating dynamic interactions based on roles and the individual players’ personalities. With this game, we want to  build another bridge between citizens and police. As they are playing different roles in this game, they may change their perspective and rethink about others impact on the whole society.

The results:

We found out that the approach to randomizing the cards we had created only worked with bigger groups (15 being our target) so the first few times we tested it the killer was discovered on the first round making the game dull. After we selected the cards better and made the first clue not trustworthy the game started developing better. In general they said the game was fun and interesting but our target vision of making people change perspective about the police role in society was not passed through.

Some suggestions we got were to make the “characteristics card” hidden from the other players and/or make the players act out/present themselves according to the cards they got. We are eager to try these different variations as we believe they help communicating the idea of changing perspective. Other elements we’re looking into revising include the way we randomize the card (was too dependent on group size), and perhaps fleshing out more of the role distinctions between citizen and detective (maybe the detective can spend a turn to verify a clue).

By: Ben Miller, Qianjing Liu & Karen Mercado