Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Week 6

Today, we were able to play our board game with the guests that Professor Parks had invited. Similarly to the card game project, we were able to receive feedback from professionals. Through three game plays with the professional game designers, we were able to receive a lot of feedback. There was a lot of constructive criticism given and plenty of compliments on the game. Some suggestions that we were told and realized after the play tests were that the coin bonus should be removed and replaced with a different mechanism. This would be allowing the first place player and thereafter to gain a coin every turn after they reach the finish line. This would be an incentive for people to get to the finish line as fast as possible. Our first play test involved many people idling and moving backwards to collect more coins instead of finishing which made it seem as if first place finish was pointless. Further play tests proved this to be a great feature. In addition, we implemented a discard hand feature which allows a player to discard all the cards in their hand and replace their hand with the same number of cards. The player would also use up their turn with this and have to wait for their next turn to make a move. This addition also proved to be a great mechanism that made players more satisfied with the game. Other critiques include the clarification of crossovers and the direction of forwards and backwards on the crossovers. We also received plenty of compliments such as the successful and unique adaptation of the iPhone/Android app into a board game, the mechanism of moving another player, and the quality of the project. Throughout the experience, we were able to receive feedback from professionals who provided many different opinions on the game. We felt some games played better than others depending on the people who played and how much they were into it which influenced the opinions of the players and guests. However, it was a great experience once again and made our efforts seem rewarded.
Over the past week, Derek had finished finalizing and laminating the movement cards, Phil finished finalizing and laminating the special effect cards, and Ray had gotten a colored and laminated final board and adhere it onto chipboard that was ordered. Although the board game required a lot of work, time, and over $100, it was well worth it as we had learned elements of collaboration and created a successful board game.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Week 5

Today, we had completed two play tests of our board game. Again, these two play tests were crucial in narrowing in on specific game play flaws and adjustments that would need attention. Suggestions from classmates include:
-consider adding a trading mechanism
-drawing each turn should only be applicable if you have less than five cards
-2 actions must be done
-coins should be able to regenerate
-more coin spots
-catch up mechanism
-mechanism where if you make another player collect a coin, you do also
As group discussion will follow in the next few days, we plan to determine what aspects are in need of change. Derek also included that we should add a card space on the board where the card decks will be placed. Another kink that arose in the last play tests were that the spaces with fire and tree branches had the same effect (moving backwards two spaces). We decided we would change this so that the fire would have the same effect but the tree branch only moved a player back one space. In relation to the ability for coins to regenerate, we decided that a turn counter would be made for next week.  In addition, we will discuss how we can solve these problems. As for the final project, we will print the design of the board game in full color in 18x22 and adhere it to a chipboard. The chipboard will be cut into fours to allow for easy transportation. We will also create a box and polish the final cards for the final presentation. Although we had believed that all of the problems were figured out from last weeks play test, a second and third round of play testing with different play testing reveals that it is necessary to conduct further tests with a different group.

Edit: We decided that coins will not be removed after someone lands on a coin spot. This will take out the need for a turn counter and will add a catch-up mechanism as players behind will still be able to rack up coins. In addition, a trading mechanism will be introduced where a player can request to trade on their turn.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Week 4

Today, we play tested with various group members from the class. Throughout the testing, we were able to receive a lot of feedback that will help us polish the game. Although we were expecting many changes to be brought on, we were pleased with the results. Some of the changes and advice that we were given were to:
-change the coin bonuses
-implement wild cards
-adjust the paths/steps to make the journey more perilous towards the end
In addition, other aspects that we were already planning to fix up for the final version is to print a full colored poster either bigger or the same size and to laminate/polish the cards. We already ordered character pieces which are four colored pieces off of ebay and coin pieces (gold buttons) so hopefully they will arrive ready for next week. We will also plan on the final presentation of the game in terms of aesthetics in addition to a final box for the board game. The play testing has brought to our attention many different aspects of the game and points of views that we will use to improve our game.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Week 3

On Wednesday, we made major improvements to our game after play testing it. Phil had brought in the effect cards and Derek brought in the movement cards. Aniesh came later and produced the board. After we began play testing, we realized plenty of things would have to be changed. By the end of the play test which could not be completed all the way because of the challenges we encountered were signs that our game needed improvement but that it showed that these improvements had produced ideas that would make the final product very intricate. The changes we decided to make are as follows:
-Add tree stump/move back steps on the board
-Changed the starting card amount to five cards
-Took out default move one step rule every turn
-Added the ability to do two actions per turn in addition to drawing a card
-Decided on color coded character pieces to easily identify characters to movement cards
-Decided on higher movement cards
-Decided to raise the boost step card
-Made movement cards less value
-Made the outside paths with more coin values
-Created "duck" cards where players can dodge certain setbacks in the movement deck
In addition, we were able to come up with more ideas for the final design of the board in terms of aesthetics and planning for printing production. Ray began starting the design of the layout of the board game via Photoshop. In addition, questions to clarify the Douglass Printing process were asked and further roles were assigned to each member such as the creation of new cards, new board layout, and the gathering of other materials. We were able to accomplish a lot during this class because of the play test. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Week 2

Today, we determined many different roles for each of the members in order to speed up the creation of the actual board game. Derek was assigned to make the movement cards, Phil was assigned to make the special effect cards, Aniesh was assigned to make a prototype of the board and Ray was assigned to work on the designs of the final product in terms of cards and board. We determined that the menace aspect of the game which would be the monkeys, would be implemented in the movement cards. Specifically, movement cards that involve the backwards movement of a player would be described as being attacked by monkeys. In addition, we were able to order the coin chips that we would be using for the board game and the actual chipboard material. We also were able to determine a general guideline for the amount of spaces that would make up each route in addition to how much the first place winner of the race would get (20,000 coins). In terms of the special effect cards, we were able to determine the four special effects that would exist in the game which were the speed boost, invisibility, mega coin, and triple coin. We delineated what these cards would do and how many of these cards we would make. If all goes as planned, we will have a working prototype by next week in addition to further ideas on the final product of our game.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week 1

Today, we did a considerable amount of brainstorming and planning for the development of our board game. We were able to figure out the majority of the mechanics and sorted out many problems that arose. From our deliberations, we decided the layout of the actual board and the different routes that will be placed on the board. In addition, many of the finer details of the paths and start and end designs were thought out. Many aesthetic aspects of the board were determined. Furthermore, we were able to determine what exactly the card decks will be composed of. These cards will be a mix of various character-controlling effect cards. For instance, one card may say "Move Football Player backwards 3 spaces". In addition, there will be a special effects card deck where there will be special boosts as seen in the temple run game. These special effect cards include "speed boost" which will allow a player to pass through a number of steps quickly. These cards can be attained by trading in 3 normal movement cards. However, we have decided to cap the limit at three special effect cards one can attain in a game. We also decided on the coin system where along the board, there will be points at which you will be able to collect coins. Instead of the game being based on a finish line style marathon, we decided to have the game based on collecting the most coins in the end. Coins will also be a reward for the placement of the race to the finish line. Therefore, first place will get a considerably large amount of coins compared to the rest. This will allow for players to debate whether to get to the finish line first or spend their time trying to collect the most coins along the way. Other aspects of the game include the ability to switch pathways in order to vary the game play. Although today was the first official day with the group, we have completed a considerable amount of planning and deliberation. Hopefully this will allow for an easier and more smoother process for creating the actual game.