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darkpegasus

Gameboard shapes

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So I'm coming up on my last chance to change my gameboard and the question I have is, how important is the shape of each gameboard location? The most obvious factor that would affect gameplay is the number of sides that are exposed. If I use a square only 4 attackers can participate in combat with the character at that location, a hexagon - 6, etc. By limiting the sides of the polygon I effectively reduce how many dangers a piece may face and limit their movement potential. So what would the magic number be? Also, do you think there is some pyschological difference in the way the board is shaped? Does a hexagonal layout look more daunting than the familiar chess board? What are good ways to indicate various pieces being present on a particular location without eating up a lot of space? I can do this in 3D or 2D, any off the way ideas that you always thought would be cool?

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Good question, I bet every game designer goes through this exact issue with one or more of their own ideas.

For your first statement about Sides = Exposure is really relative. What we do not know (your viewers) is what your game is like and what the pros and cons of having more or less sides would be, but lets be general. If you look at a regular sized person and had another person attack him, then two, then three, then four etc, when would the attackers have to wait their turn? In other words how many people could really beat up a single guy without taking turns? Analogies aside, how many pieces do you really want focusing on one other?

I personally am a fan of Hexagons, but my first board game was done with Squares. Consider also that when you use some shapes they don't fit together perfectly, leaving gaps or making for awkward movements. I don't like having to zig zag to much to get places but i also don't like boards that are just obviously unbalanced in shape (eg Risk!!!)

Your second statement/question asks about the psychological effect board shapes make, yet another good question. Once again this is all about the game, I feel the more shape it has the more dynamic, but then again Chess is one of the biggest games ever created. Consider whether or not the playing pieces are played in the shapes or along the lines (eg GO and Chinese Chess). Make sure the board and the pieces are easy to view.

I think older generation might take easier to squares where new generations would like more complete polygons. Post some more info and tell us what you think our came up with!

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My game is a turn-based strategy in which you use your avatar (levels up kind of RPG-like) to recruit allies and utilize resources to defeat your opponent. There is some movement, some battling, and some resource management.

Here is what I decided on board-wise. A fully enclosed hexagon allows up to 6 attackers to one target which is good for taking down big guys. It makes for good radial effects and it is still possible to calculate line of sight. Also, there may be some strategy to occupying the corner squares (or trapping someone there).

This is just a quick mockup that shows different "terrain" that may be traversed. With this model up to 64 resources can be on the board (not including weapons, equipment, etc) and each player can only have a total of 60 resources total to pool from so there should be plenty of room.

And with a little work on the graphical presentation, I think it can look far more interesting than a collection of squares.

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