Sunday, December 8, 2013

Wrap Up

            Last class we play tested other groups’ games. Everyone besides one member in a group stayed back to explain the rules and directions to the players. Sunny and I played the Harry Potter and the Empires of Trade games. The Harry Potter game seemed to have many problems such as the their board and the mechanics of the game. Sunny and I personally enjoyed the Empires of Trade game. The Empires of Trade is similar to the first board game we played in class, which was the Settlers of Catan. Similarly, their game had resources to set up a location. Moreover, trade was involved that is a great way for player interaction and strategy.

            As we were play-testing other games, Mihaly and Ian took turns in explaining the rules and directions to other groups. Our game received a good response. A lot of people were amazed by the 3D boats and enjoyed the battling of the ships. The feedback they received was really good. Everyone for the most part liked our game and strategy however said minor changes needed to be made. One of the things they wanted changed was the size of the resource cards because they were too small and easy to lose.  Therefore, we made the resource cards bigger so they can fit into ones hands. People were also very confused with the movements of the boats. So we decided to make diagrams for the movements of both boats and how they shoot from the nose. Overall everything was well executed, however some minor details needed to be fixed and I believe the four of us collectively came up with solutions to those problems.

            Some other new ideas we thought of was that whoever is the captain, the person who’s turn it is, has to wear the captains hat to distinguish his or herself. We believed the captains hat would add add a fun element to our board game. We look forward to present our game to the professional game designers next week.

-Hardi and Sunny

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Week 4

Since last class, my group and I have pretty much completed our prototype of our game: Shipwreck. In addition to learning functionality, completeness, and balance, Mr. Parks went over fun-ness and accessibility in class. We made it possible as best as we could to try and incorporate all five elements to the prototype thus far.
This time, in class, we had our full game board finished with all of our resource islands and ports, however the 3D boats still weren’t finished printing so we used paper boats. We also haven’t fully created our individual game boards, however we used the prototypes.  As we play tested we came up with a few solutions to the problems we had been facing in the past. For example, the problem we solved was what was to happen when a boat runs into land. Do we have it reverse or just have it deemed broken? We decided that if a boat faces an island it could flip around and start from the same spot it ended in, in reverse. We also decided instead of starting off with three boats, we would cut it down to only two since the board map isn’t as big as we thought and the game board wouldn’t be as cluttered.  We also decided to reprint the resource cards and make them bigger, for they were really small and could be lost easily. Also, instead of having ten and twenty resources per small boat and big boat respectively, we decided on cutting those resources in half. Each small boat gets a maximum capacity to hold five resources and each mother ship, ten. After play testing more we wanted to make it easier to rebuild a broken down ship so we decided we could rebuild at any island hexagon. We believe we still have a few more changes to make with game play so we are planning on meeting up at least one more time to finalize everything however for the most part our board game prototype runs smoothly.

Recently over break, we received exciting news that Mihaly has printed the 3D boats. We decided that the regular boats would take up two hexagons, while the mother ships will take up three hexagons. We also decided the boats will stay white but will be distinguished by an acrylic painted stripes. All the boats will have pegs to determine how much health it has during the game play. I’m looking forward to next week, and playing with the new 3D boats and the new changes we made.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013


We were having a tough time deciding what title to use but we all agreed with Sunny’s title, “Shipwreck.” In class we went over functionality, completeness, and balance. We tried to incorporate all of the three elements when developing our game this week. Ian won the game when we playtested it in class using the basic mechanics. During our playtest, I got stuck between land and another boat. Therefore, I was only able to shoot but not move. We were in a dilemma when the boats got stuck between lands and were not able to obviously reverse.

We decided on making two boards, one of a map and the other just a simple battleship board (battle match) with hexagons. We were having a tough time deciding the structure of the map. Therefore, we were deciding if we should allow boats to go on land or allow the boats at ports to move reverse. In the game, there are three possible moves for the boats: forward, left, or right. There can be six shots of which cannot be forward or backwards, unless you get a glass cannon reward. A glass cannon is a reward to shoot forward when a player destroys a boat. We decided on four health points for each of the ships in the battle match game.

In class we mainly went over the simple battleship game (battle match). This week, we all meet up several times to go over the board for the map with the islands. Mihaly and Ian first met up to discuss some mechanics. Then, Mihaly, Ian, and I met up to discuss core mechanics. At last, Ian, Sunny, and I met up for final touches to the game before playtesting it in class this coming Wednesday. The board with the islands map is a more complex game than the simple battleship/battle match game. In the simple board game, the main goal is for each player to knock down as many ships as possible. The board with the islands game has more strategies and tactics involved. Also, we included resources, ports, and buildings in the more complex game.      

-Hardi Shah   

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hardi wanted a title, so here it is ;)

During the last class we discussed a few different possibilities for our Naval Combat game. First we discussed the ship's movement and shooting. We discussed the movement on a board that we all decided needed to be fixed. The idea we had before was that you could build the board before each game with hexagonal pieces. After discussion we realized that this kind of board construction would be difficult and also not contribute to the eventual game modes in the way we wanted them to. That leads into the different game modes. We discussed different game modes such as: Cops and Robbers, Treasure Hunting, King of the Hill, and Death Match. We decided that we wanted to further develop the Treasure Hunting and the Cops and Robbers modes. Treasure Hunting was thought of with the idea of each player just having their fleet to find treasure and resources on different islands. There would be a home port for each player and then some neutral ports in addition to islands that had resources and crew up for grab. Each player would have a list of resources that they need to end the game and would be able to declare themselves the winner once they get the resources they need back to their home port. The Cops and Robbers game mode is more focused on there being three teams with specific roles and goals. There would be a Merchant team that is trying to move resources from port to port. There would be a Pirate team that tries to attack and steal from the Merchants. There would be a Navy team that attempts to protect the Merchants. Each team would get points by achieving their specific goals. We also discussed other possibilities for the game. We came up with an idea for each player being able to build a Flagship with wood they collect from islands. The Flagship would be one hexagon larger than regular ships and have a slower movement but they could fire more cannons and have a bigger hold for equipment, crew and resources. Resources were another big topic. We discussed Fruit being a resource that would be needed to stave off scurvy and starvation. Iron would be needed to have equipment. Gold would be needed to hire crew members. Crew members were also discussed. Crew could have different powers, such as a captain allowing you to choose a movement or a shot after seeing where everyone else went. Crew would give you different advantages based on their costs. We were unable to meet up outside of class this week because of the heavy exam schedule for our group, but their week we plan on meeting up and getting a 3D design done for the boats so that they can get printed in time for the final draft.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

First Post

This is the week we were split into groups for the board game project. This group is working on the boat battling project. In short, it is going to be a game about outmanoeuvring and sinking other players' boats.

We didn't have a lot of time to meet last class, but we came up with some ideas for things to eventually do:

  • point system for building a fleet, with different sized boats
  • representing captains, prisoners, flagships
  • think of a good game objective, in case players want to do more than just sink boats

 One good thing about our idea is that I can print out a basic map and bring basic boat place holders in, so we can start trying out ideas right away. That's especially useful because there are fewer weeks to make this game.

Here are some things that came to mind that we should solve:

  • I tried the game out at my dorm with lego pieces instead of board game pieces, and it worked well for 2 players with a square map instead of hexagons - we need to decide between hexagons and squares for the map.
  • the card thing for describing moves that I wrote in the proposal is cumbersome and will take too long - a player has to sift through two dozen cards in their hand, pick 6-8, flip them over, flip them over again. When I tried it the game worked because moving was fast - my friend and I drew our moves on paper and just revealed them at the same time. But I don't want to package a board game with paper and pencil, so the mechanism for describing moves needs to be refined somehow. Will probably involve a bit of hardware engineering. One idea is to use a slotted template card which is assembled facing the player and then revealed by laying it down face up when everyone is ready. Basically, the move template card is a double layered card stock with hexagon cut outs at each place where players are supposed to place moves, and they just place a hexagon with an arrow on it rotated in the direction they want to move into that hex slot. Might need to be thicker than card stock.
  • deciding which way, how much, how far boats can shoot
  • figuring out what islands should be for
  • how to place islands. Can let the players do it, give them rules to follow for it, package with predefined maps, etc.
  • how to make the boats? one answer that comes to mind is the CS department's 3d printer. Could be cool, if our low resolution, kind of imprecise printer is up for it, and I'm able to make a good 3d model with blender. We pretty much need custom boats to get shot indications and team IDs to work well. Possibilities are drilled and painted bought models, Blender (3d modelling software compatible with the CS 3d printer) modelled print outs, sawed boat-looking wooden blocks. This last idea is actually the least feasible - I checked the guards on the power saws at my house, and they're more for cutting table leg sized things than little boats.
  • Better name.

That should give us enough to think about to get started. I didn't really have that much to write about since we met for only a few minutes. Looking forward to getting started.