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.