• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
  • entries
    3
  • comments
    2
  • views
    6555

Making a Board Game (Part 1)

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
japro

596 views

I just started my first attempt at designing a board game. This is the first entry in hopefully a series of journal entries that takes me from the very start to a fun to play prototype.

[subheading]Motivation[/subheading]
I was spending time lately watching some of the presentations in the gdcvault including the ones about board games (here and here) which made me think about non-digital games again. I always had phases where I was thinking about board/card games from a more abstract perspective, especially back when I was a very active MTG player. So yesterday when I was walking by a toy store I decided to buy some material and give board game design a try.

[subheading]General Idea, Guidelines and Principles[/subheading]
Since this is the first time I am actually doing this I decided to not search for a super unique game idea/concept. It's going to be a rather generic dungeon crawling game and I will focus more on the details/rules. I always liked the idea of "realistic" board games where you are playing as an actual character as opposed to abstract games (I consider settlers or dominion abstract in this context). My main problem with existing games of that kind is that they tend to have relatively complex rules. While games with complex rules are completely fine for me, they just don't fit into the more "casual" circle of friends I usually get to play boardgames with. My goal is to get complex/emergent gameplay from rules that you don't need a whole evening to explain.
So since I already spent some time thinking about problems I'm trying to solve and things I want to achieve I figured I should build a set of constraints and guidelines as a mental tool. So every time I introduce something or make a decision I can also make a sanity check against "my rules". So here is the first one:

Constraint: The rules have to fit on one side of a A5 "rules card".

Clarification: That is the rules about the game you need to know during play. Setup and examples are allowed to go on the back of the card.

Another important aspect is that I don't want to keep players waiting. So there should only be a minimum of "mechanics". With mechanics I mean the part of the game where you are doing calculations, throw dice, move around stuff and such to figure out what happens as opposed to the part where you make decisions and are actually playing. As an example: I don't want a player to make the simple decision "attack" and then stall the gameflow by a plethora of dice rolls (hit, damage, dodge, armor etc.).

Guideline: Prefer (instant) deterministic behavior over time consuming mechanics.

Also waiting for your own turn shouldn't be boring. Having very elaborate turn structures or allowing players to in principle do an arbitrary amount of things in a turn (Dominion) can make watching other players turns very annoying.

Constraint: Turns have a constant upper "action" limit.

Guideline: Allow all players to contribute to the game every turn.

I'll probably add more of these as I go along.



[subheading]What I have done so far[/subheading]
I bought a pack of blank memory cards (6x6cm, 60 pcs) and lots of empty playing cards. I already knew that I want the playing field to be built from tiles (there just isn't any reason not to besides maybe setup time) so I painted dungeon walls on most of the memory cards.

In the rules department I so far decided that the interaction will revolve around playing cards. So this going to be kinda MTGish in the sense that apart from maybe some sort of health and level, all the stats will be determined by cards attached to characters/monsters and that it will be possible to play "spells" (during your own and the opponents turn).
At the moment I imagine the turn structure to look something like this:
  1. Draw a card
  2. Either move to a neighboring tile, attack a player/monster that is standing on the same tile or do nothing
  3. Starting with the active player each player may play a card
  4. Combat takes place (each monster on the same tile as you automatically attacks you)
This will possibly change, but I don't want it to get significantly more complicated. Obviously most of the action will happen during the card playing phase.

Combat will probably look like: Use the players/monsters level as base damage, apply any modifiers on cards, reduce the amount of health points by the resulting damage.

I'm not yet sure what the goal will be. Possible something as simple as "reach level 20 first" or "reach level 20 and escape the dungeon". Another possibility I am considering is to give every player a unique win condition at the beginning of the game. This makes it more likely that some sort of actual story unfolds.

Here is what a 6x6 dungeon with the prototype tiles looks like.
dungeon1.JPG

1
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0


0 Comments


There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now