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.

No comments:

Post a Comment