Hopescotch 2: Elements
Hopscotch 2: Elements
Hopscotch 2: Elements is an 'unnecessary sequel' designed as part of a ludology class. The task was to design and play a sequel to a game that is over 50 years old. We were asked to pick and examine a game. We then had to determine what we thought were the weak points of the game and come up with solutions.
Why 'Elements'?
The group and myself started off by playing and examining hopscotch in order to find the flaws and weak points. We found that hopscotch can be repetitive and so, quite boring, especially with its simplicity and detachment from other players. There wasn't much player interaction. So our goal was to add more variety into the game as well as incorporating player interaction into the game. Our solution was to make the "track" movable and adding elements to the game. This introduced more play-ability, strategy and difficulty.

Gameplay
The track for the game is made up of separate pieces, this can be pieces of card or foam which is associated with one of the four elements. The track is then constructed in a randomised pattern and each player is assigned one element. The first element on the track indicates which player's turn it is. The player must hop to the end of the track but only their assigned element. Once they are on their second piece, they must pick up the first (they can stand on two feet but must not fall of their piece) and carry it with them till the end of the track. Once they are there, they must place it down at the end. Therefore, creating a new pattern.

Each player also gets one "stone", this is a small object that can be tossed. They may only use this once during a game. The player is then allowed to step on the piece that the stone lands on, aiding them on more difficult patterns. If a player falls or steps on the wrong element, they are eliminated along with their elements on the track. The aim is to be the last one standing. Only four player playtesting took place but two to three player variants can be made.

Project Role
Hopscotch 2: Elements was a group project between myself, Aisling Flynn, Philippa Kelly and Diana VoLovei. The game was researched, designed and playtested collectively. However, the artwork in the images above was provided by Diana VoLovei.

Results and Experience
We found that the new elements (pun intended) added to the game made it more fun and much more engaging. It created more interaction between players as other players' actions affected how you would have to take your turn which also added strategy into the game. The changing of the tracks also made the game more challenging as difficulty levels would increase as players were eliminated. Player elimination didn't become a problem since games were often short (and it's fun watching people struggling not to fall too). Hopscotch 2: Elements ended up being a fun way to spice up Hopscotch!

The project was an interesting exercise in game design. Being able to examine a game, find the weaknesses and come up with solutions is a skill that is extremely useful in game design and this project was a great start. I learned that dissecting a game like that and rebuilding it is great practice for game design and I look forward to working more similar projects for personal practice.

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