Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Week 3 - Playtesting and Game Mechanic Development

After we settled on the fact that the board game should be played with octagonal board and character pieces, we playtested our board game for the first time. After a couple of turns, it was apparent what some critical flaws of our board game were. Some flaws that we noticed were that despite making the board smaller, the game was still progressing at a slow rate and that taking another player’s piece was quite difficult and tedious. 

A multitude of ideas were presented when we were trying to solve the problems that the board game had. Some examples of suggestions included changing the amount of attacks each character piece can do to two instead of the initial three at most. This suggestion could help give our board game a theme and give characters an identity. One idea to counteract the slowness was to give players an option of either moving two character pieces each turn or move one character piece twice in one turn. However, this idea ended up not working due to the fact that it was already taking a long time for a player to finish a turn when they were only moving one character a turn. If a player had an option of what to do each turn, it would only prolong the time it takes between turns as there are even more options for what to do. In addition, moving the same character twice each turn seemed like it could become quite overpowered. Another idea to help speed up the game was to make two characters with the same attack kill each other in that interaction instead of instigating a stalemate where nothing happens. We also decided on doubling the movement of all the characters. Instead of the one or two tile movement that we had initially, we changed it so that characters either have a two or four tile movement. While we did not play with that mechanic in place for long, it did speed up the game like we had hoped for. 

We also noticed that none of us were going towards the center of the board since it did not offer any kind of advantage and only gave us a disadvantage of having to tread through more tiles before reaching another player’s territory. Therefore, we thought of putting special tiles in the middle of the board that would give players that had a character piece land on those tiles either a special character piece or some other kind of advantage. A special character piece that we are considering putting into the game is a character that can rotate and thus, is quite versatile in its attacks and defenses alike. We also thought about turning the victory mechanism of the game into a point system rather than taking out all of the enemy leaders to win. Players could also use different strategies to win in contrast with before, where they had to use some of their character pieces to kill the opposing players’ leader. In this case, we could use the points that the characters have as a point indication. It also removed the problem that we had with player elimination as even if a player’s leader was killed, that player can still win and play as long as they have character pieces. 

We met together during the week and developed more of our game mechanics. We decided on making twelve classes of characters. In those classes will be multiples of characters that each player can choose from. We also decided on the movement, range, special abilities, and point value of each separate class in order to have an idea of how each character can be used in the game. During this phase of development, we changed the initial adjacent and diagonal movement that each character had to unrestricted movement in every direction. A new idea of energy was also implemented while we were developing the character classes. We determined that each player is given five energy points to use each turn. Moving a character one space or attacking requires the use of an energy point. If a character can attack two spaces away, he would have to use two energy points to attack that far. If there are leftover energy points, a player can use it to move another character or attack with another character as well. We also decided on some of the effects special tiles can give to a character that is next to it and that the effects would be randomly selected. When a player has a character next to the tile, they draw from a deck that contains the effects. Those effects can be used at any time and grant a buff to the character for one turn and one time only.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Week 2 - Mystingo Board Game
                After establishing the fundamental concepts of the game, our group worked on clarifying some of the game's components. The first issue we talked about was the design of the board. The original board was in the shape of a square so that the players could play on the edges. However, we realized that the square board would make the game too complicated since the game allows diagonal moves.  We came up with a new hexagonal board because the hexagon's edges would support diagonal moves. The new board also changed the amount of players from four to six.
                Our next challenge was to make sure that the players select their starting pieces in a fair manner.  We originally thought of allowing each player to choose a maximum of eight out of twenty pieces before starting the game. We liked this idea because it would create a sense of excitement since the players don't know what pieces the others have chosen. However, we were worried that this system may create an unbalance in power between players who select more powerful pieces. Therefore, we decided to assign values to the units, with more powerful units possessing higher values. Players would be able to select as many units as they would like as long as the units' total is under a set number.

                The final point we discussed was on how to distribute powers between the pieces. We decided to spend another week regarding this issue so that we could come up with ideas to create unique characters with a wide range of abilities.  

Areas to work on next week - Characters, cards, tokens, and balance

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Week 1 Development

Mystingo Board Game Development

Week 1: First we established the parameters of our game. The parameters are that there had to be four factions and there are equal characters in each faction. This is an established parameter so that there will be no advantages in choosing one faction over another faction. Each player also has the opportunity to choose a certain number of faction members to send to the game board. Each player will place their faction leader in one of three spaces located on the board. The battle system works like a game of a rock, paper, scissors where each approach of offense, defense, and strategy would replace rock, paper, and scissors. Each direction of attack or defense would represent a different approach so you need to be careful when attacking or defending.

In this first week, we decided to change the game pieces and spaces on the board to a hexagonal shape. This will simplify the fighting system by having 6 directions of attack and defense rather than 9 directions. It adds to a sleek design of the faction pieces as well. We also discussed the possibility of adding a bomb that sends a faction member back to their respective base when attacked as one of the two other spots of placement in each person's base along with the faction leader and decoy.


-Having certain spaces in the middle which can grant powers such as fireball(expands range x2) or regeneration(faction member can re spawn in base after destroyed). This could add incentive to not stay back in the base and instead go out.

-Should some characters be able to move more than one space with a penalty to direction of attack?

-Should characters be able to attack over walls into another person's base?

-Printing different hexagons out and simply using it for prototypes with the directions.

-Getting board game ordered as soon as possible along with the pieces of the game