Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Done! Complete Board Game

Wow, can't believe it but I guess it's finally done

Boxart!
In the box...

Player Pieces (Starter Pieces, Second Evolutions and Final Evolutions)
Board Tokens (Face-down, Child enemy, Juvenile enemy, Adult enemy, and Wild Card)

Player Token Cards (Starter, Second, and Final Evolutions)



Left & Right: Mini-Boss token. Center: King token.

This whole game-making process felt like an adventure; a mini-preview of what an actual game production pipeline might feel like. It was filled with difficult puzzles, unexpected surprises, and extremely insightful moments. I wish I could continue polishing the overall quality of the product, but it's time to let go of it! I guess that's how it might feel to ship off a game.

Despite seeing all the little things I could still work on, I'm happy as to how far I was able to take this idea. I honestly never expected to reach this far.

Welp, that's about it for now. Off to get some coffee and stare at polygons on a computer screen.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Print and Play Version

A print and play version of the game is now available! Click on the link below to check it out!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4vD5POQVAn2WFYwaGxpa3lUbjg/edit?usp=sharing

Box Art Illustrations

Every game needs a cool looking front cover. And that's what this post's all about! Here's my process on making the (semi)final illustration for my board game:

Thumbnails:






Rough Sketches:




After seeing a preference and storytelling possibility for one of the thumbnails (second page, bottom left), I decided to switch my focus to that thumbnail. Here's the progress:

A huge thank-you to Yaron Farkash, Danica Jokic, and Diana Castillo
for helping with awesome critiques.

Welp, that's it for illustration (now off to refine this).



Prototyping

When they say game testing's the most important part of creating a game, they mean it!

Before making a printable version of the game, there was a lot of preplanning involved. Developing player mechanics, brainstorming on board types and spaces, testing other boardgames to see how'd they function; it was a process that really branched out...

Literally:


Tree charts felt like the most comfortable way to approach idea generation, so I tried to make a tree based on basic elements of a games design. Due to time constraints (and honestly, lack of knowledge) this tree will remain half branched. 

After the preplanning came the first iteration which can be found on the link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4vD5POQVAn2eXdYbmpKTlFXWUU/edit?usp=sharing

Setting up for playtesting during Game Design club


This iteration consisted of many mechanics including but not limited to:

• HP, Attack, Defense, and Speed stats
• One stat benefit corresponding to each creature
• A miniboss that must be defeated in order to fight the final boss
• Zones that would activate miniboss' movement towards player

And other mechanics that ended up being scrapped

Common feedback from play testers:

•Acquiring creatures became too easy too quickly
•More player interaction ("Right now, I feel like I'm isolated from the player. I can't influence anything he/she's doing.")
•One of the characters was unbalanced. It could win the game too quickly.
•There were too many components for the players to take in. A lot of confusion happened between playtesters during gameplay.

Then came the next iteration. This included:

•Simplifying stats to Attack and HP
•Every player character had the same stats (no stat bonuses)
•Eliminating grounds blocked by guards
•Placing King at the end of the board rather than the middle

Still, common problems such as confusion due to the many components come about.
Also, another interesting feedback came about. The game felt like there was no risk to it. And I never thought it'd be such a challenging element to implement...

Then came the third iteration, a checkerboard drawn on graph paper with mechanical pencils while my inner designer cried forever:

Much thanks to Elisabeth Smith for the many play tests.
Streamlining the movement of the players (a suggestion given while play testing) really helped simplify a lot of the game. Things would start moving more quickly and player vs player had a higher chance of occurring quickly. Other system within the game, such as pvp, enemy fighting, and evolution requirements were also streamlined.

The current version can be found on the latest post. This includes the rules (which are still going through changes) and the current board game pieces.


Welp, that's it for my playtest adventures. Thanks for reading!