In out lecture with Rob, we were set the task of playing the well known game Battleships (seems simple enough,) the only request that he had was that we focused on what we were getting enjoyment from, which mechanic led the FUN (sorry Dave, i said it!)
So, my partner and I played a game and i found that there was a degree of "tension and relief" in the game, when you have survived until the end of the game and you are both clinging onto your final ship. The Two-space ship (which i shall refer to as the 'two-er'). Being the smallest ship on the playing field, it is usually the last ship to be found and throughout our game there were many near misses which were slowly building up tension until i finally found my enemy's ship and sunk it just in the nick of time. The Two-er was the thing that i saw the most fun in, this ship is what i focused on.
After our first game, we were then asked to make a change and iterate the game further. Seeing that the smallest ship was hardest to find, naturally I decided to enhance the enjoyment with more small ships. I decided to add three One-ers, these would be even harder to find, yes, but there would be an abundance of them, giving a release of joy in the player when they hit one.
The game-play however disproved my theory, the game just seemed to play the same way that it did previous to iteration. These ships were too hard to hit, my theory of getting more joy relied on them being sunk, which just wasn't happening and the game was just lasting much longer.
I would like to play around with this idea a bit more however, possibly adding more two-ers or linking the one-ers together so that you only need to hit one to sink them all. This is however a task for another day. Rob's task opened my eyes to the possibilities and potential in many games to be more fun and offer different emotions by changing the rules. Even old games can be changed and improved by iteration.