For BCM300’s group assignment project, myself alongside Isaac Percy, Isaac Allen, Nicole Papadimas and Hayden Curley, have began developing a game set to revolutionise table top games… well maybe not but we are certain we will give our players an overall fun game experience.
Collectively, our group has created a great dynamic, we have been quite on top of schedule, having meetings via zoom every week for about a month with most of the calls lasting 3+ hours, and have been able to cooperatively brainstorm ideas. From the way we get along, it was easy to bounce off one another and we didn’t have to separate story and mechanics, we collectively allowed the mechanics to feel like the story and the story to teach the mechanics Holcomb, J (2017).
While we primarily worked as a team, we allocated certain aspects and research areas to each member in order to correctly cover all parts. We discussed different games that we have played and enjoy and from this I decided to focus on the 1949 classic, Cluedo. To no surprise Cluedo is the 6th best selling board game of all time due to its combination of chance, deduction and the murder mystery theme. The game is also so popular that it has fan clubs and a movie based around it evidencing it is clearly a great game with a unique concept that would perfectly inspire ‘Alien Invasion’. I liked the grid movement and the overall layout of the board as it would fit into the game mechanics we have already discussed, as well as be familiar to our audience. We then came back together, as used the Cluedo board as inspiration for ours but removed the secret passage squares that allow one to move from one room to another.
In order to ensure all areas of the game were fully explored and covered all bases, we divided the work load. I started making sure the rules and objective were easy to understand and linked without leaving misunderstanding from my knowledge of the story so far.
We discussed that the best way for the game set up to work would be to have instructions read out before playing. I did some research into Avalon and formed my own instructions similar to theirs:
We are still in discussion about the rules, refining it to ensure they “balance the game and communicate clearly”. However, so far I developed a story line objective:
Now our next goal to complete is develop the fundamental rules. We have been in constant discussion about the way in which we will have it set out but are still undecided on certain aspects of the core game loop and ways to overcome some bumps such as how to allow the alien to infect others without giving away that they are the alien. My suggestion was to have an individual pointer mechanism that all characters have with “infect” and “not infect” written on it so that upon entering a room where there is another player they adjust the mechanism so they pointer is on either of the two options and can be kept a secret. This is an idea we will play test this week and decide upon if it is something that works well with the game or if we need another idea.
So stay tuned for how our game turns out as we continue editing and play testing until it is just right!!
Adams, E and Dormans, J 2012. Game Mechanics. Berkeley, Calif.: New Riders.
Holcomb, J (2017) ‘Story or Mechanics’, The White Box Essays, Gameplaywright, Minnesota.
IMDb. n.d. Clue (1985) – Imdb. [online] Available at: <https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088930/> [Accessed 8 May 2020].
Lee, A and Parker, G 2019. The 20 Highest Selling Board Games Of All Time. [online] Money Inc. Available at: <https://moneyinc.com/highest-selling-board-games-of-all-time/> [Accessed 8 May 2020].
Rollins, B 2019. How To Make Board Game Rules. [online] Brandon the Game Dev. Available at: <https://brandonthegamedev.com/how-to-make-board-game-rules-dev-diary-050517/> [Accessed 7 May 2020].
Sicart, M 2008. Defining Game Mechanics. the international journal of computer game research, [online] 8(2). Available at: <http://www.caseyodonnell.org/files/TC839/Defining_Game_Mechanics.pdf> [Accessed 10 May 2020].
Ultraboardgames.com. n.d. How To Play Avalon | Official Rules | Ultraboardgames. [online] Available at: <https://www.ultraboardgames.com/avalon/game-rules.php> [Accessed 8 May 2020].