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Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:20 am
by kiwee
Day 1: Design Philosophies


Hi I am Kiwee, I have been around for a while, but I only seem to log on once a year, around this time :P

This is my first time doing SpeedGame in a long long time - I reckon it must be over 6 years since I last took part, but I have decided to give it a go this year.

I am doing something a bit different though, I plan on making a print and play board game. The reasons for this are two-fold.
  1. I love boardgames. The mechanics of most good video games can be translated into a board game, which in a way makes board gaming the pinnicle of gaming simplicity. Where there is a system, a board game can be made of it.
  2. I am no good at programming, and although I could possibly learn to use an engine that requires me to do little to no programming, I want to be able to focus heavily on making a game with strong mechanics - which would be difficult without making my own engine which I can't do.
So, I shall focus on Art, Layout and Mechanics, but first, I need to think about design and the initial step for that is to determine pros and cons of making a board game as opposed to a video game, particularly a print and play one. These considerations will determine the restrictions that my design has to fit.

Design Considerations
  • Narrative Limitations: Video games bridge the gap between film and board games in terms of narrative. By combining mechanics and systems with story arcs and character development, they can produce an engaging interactive narrative. Board games will always struggle with the latter, whereas they are very strong mechanically, bringing a story into it without producing a whole RPG campaign is very difficult.
    For this reason, I am going to focus primarily on the system used in the game, if the system alone can tell a story of sorts, then I have done a good job.
  • Single Player: Due to the nature of this competition, my board game will most likely have to be a single player one if I want plenty of people to give it a go. This raises issues that need to be addressed when it comes to making a board game. Most board games are multiplayer due to the fact that it is the simplest way to make a compelling and skillful game system, and so I will have to consider ways to make a fail state within the design that can be caused by the players actions or inaction. However, I want to be careful not to make player lose because of bad dice roll or bad luck of the draw (like in many traditional solitaire games.)
  • Printing: Print and play is a genre of board game defined by the confines of having to print out and assemble the game before you can play it. I want to minimize the amount of "crafting" the game need in order to make it more likely that people will give it a go. Because of this, I want my printed design to require no gluing and a minimal amount of cutting - to the point where scissors aren't required at all and the game can be assembled purely by folding/tearing the paper.
  • The Player's Equipment: I am going to make an assumption. Everyone will have access to dice, or a dice rolling app/website. I am also going to assume that every player will be able to conjure up some semblance of "player token", be it a coin, button, LEGO minifigure etc... That being said, I will restrict the design to only using 2 tokens (that way, a player can resort to just using two coins, each with a different face showing.)
This is what I have thought about so far, I haven't yet decided which verse I am going to use, although I have some potential ideas.

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:10 am
by muadib
Interesting idea for a game Kiwee. Look forward to playing it.

I am actually the opposite. I love to program and dislike doing the art/layout. If you want to team up on something when the speedgame is over the then let me know.

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:53 pm
by bugala
Thanks for putting your thoughts there about the basic restrictions of your game. It was interesting read your logic on how you are thinking this process through.

By the way, I ahve this board game called "Nations", it has a single player mode, and they have quite good system in it, for it gives sort of artificial intelligence which is somewhat based upon what other player could have reached by that time.

Idea is that in that game you go through 4 different times. For each time (and each round, which there are 2 in each age) you pick up a random AI tile, which will have figures of the other player. Like it might have warpower of 16, and stability of -1... Then different tiles balance differently, like one might have lot of warpower, while other one might have lot of stability. All in all i think they have based it upon what coudl have other player achieved by that time, had he chocen some certain strategy to play with.

In addition to this there is also dice throwing after each action which will result in 4 always same actions, and 2 random actions based upon tile.

For example it could be that each time you throw 5, warpower of AI players grows by 3, or even otherway round, that it starts with high Stability, but each 6 makes it one less. Even AI doesnt react to your doings, the whole system, including the 1-4 throws make it quite good boardgame AI, yet still quick to use.

That 1-4 is much harder to explain properly, but lets just say that each round there are 4 rows of cards, from which you can each turn buy one card. To simulate the possibility of someone else picking a card that you wanted, each row is represented by one dice number. if you throw 1, then remove row 1, if you throw 1 again, nothing happens, since sometimes player might not do anything concerning cards.

You also throw dice in some certain situations that dont remove card from any of the rows, if you put a man on your warpower card, or if you put architect in place. Basically when you throw same number twice, it simualtes the idea that AI player could have put architect in game or man in warpower card, since that doesnt affect the rows.

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:59 pm
by kiwee
That is an interesting idea bugala, I will have to consider coming up with some sort of AI. However, I would want to make sure the player is spending more time on their own stuff than they are controlling the moves of the AI.

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:08 am
by achild
[edit]I totally misunderstood what you were proposing to do.

This is awesome! Can't wait to try it. What are you going to do for avatars?

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:10 pm
by HanClinto
I've become a big fan of board games in recent years, and have had some success with print-and-play board games. I love the idea of doing one of those for this competition -- I really really look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:08 pm
by kiwee
achild wrote:This is awesome! Can't wait to try it. What are you going to do for avatars?
The game ideas I am playing with at the moment are quite abstract, so I don't think ill need to worry about that.

Dev blog update:
I've been very busy the last few days, and haven't had much time to sit down and design, let alone write blog posts, but I have a few ideas bouncing around, and have been theory crafting them in my head throughout the day at work. I shall post a blog update when I get the time (probably sunday).

Re: Dev Blog | Kiwee

Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:48 am
by bugala
Did you get any board game done? It would be interesting to see even incomplete one.