Thursday, December 3, 2015

Week 5 - Finalizing the Game

Finalizing the Game

This week, we finalized multiple aspects of the game. At the same time, we have reached a consensus in terms of design. Together, we were able to bring Deliver It to life and we are proud of the final product.

When we met this week, we put the finishing touches on the game. From a mechanical standpoint, we decided to make a rule that allowed a player to sacrifice two of his/her 4 actions in order to receive a tip card (to lessen the rich gets richer effect). We also put a limit on how many tips cards a player can have to avoid hoarding of the cards. We also agreed that it would be far less complicated if we are to avoid the use of "customer cards" as they mimicked the tips cards way too much. Instead, we opted to have certain iconic features of NY already painted on the board to simplify the game and to avoid replication of card ideas. Finally, we decided on final value points for each order card. Based on a number of mathematical calculations and factoring in the difficulty of each location, we have adjusted the value of each order card to make it fair for all players.

In terms of the design, we decided on 14 road pattern cards, 14 order cards, and 30 tip cards. We reviewed all the tip cards and made sure the wording was accurate and unambiguous in anyway. We also made street signs (stop signs, one way, etc) that are needed to complement the tip cards. We also received the monopoly cars which we have painted to make them fit our game. Each person of our team was responsible for a specific aspect of the game. I designed the order cards and road pattern cards and then took them to print and laminate. Toni created the tip cards and purchased the necessary tokens for the game. Shady created the board design and and printed that. Finally, Adam created the rule book and reference card and we all helped edit them for errors.

All in all, I believe we were able to create a successful game. We initially struggled to match the game them (parking) to the game mechanics. However, we were able to modify the game and find a solution to this problem (now it's Deliver It!) This idea makes sense thematically and works well with the design of the board. Admittedly, this board game project was slightly more challenging than the card game because more components were involved. However, after working on this project for a long time, I am looking forward to presenting it to the players in class.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 4 - Is it yet a functional game?

After a lot of meetings and discussions about the game, we were able to, finally, come up with wonderful rules and functions for the game. However, we went through a lot of problems and argues. It was tough, frustrating, and stressful, but eventually we were able to get through those problems. On our last meeting we discussed few issues that we didn’t notice until we did our play testing. It was hard to figure out how many cars we will actually need to use for each player. Also, it was hard to come up with a method to balance out the points on the order cards. Adding to that, it was really hard to find a small size cars for the game.

Thankfully, we found cars on Ebay, which costed $4.99 only. We kept the pattern functionality going, because it’s our main function of the game. Adding to that, we combined the customer and action cards together, and gave them a new name, which is power cards. Power cards are considered the heart of the game. They give enough benefits and actions to the player to have enough fun to enjoy the game. As much as those cards can be help, they’re sometimes harmful for other players, which helps in delaying some customers in reaching their goals (finishing their deliveries). Tomorrow other players will be trying our game and hopefully they will give us feedback to help us work better towards our final production of the game.

During our group meeting, we were more concerned about the issues discussed during class, among ourselves, and also between ourselves and the professor, and figuring out solutions for those issues. One of these issues, was whether we should give the players extra orders or not, whether we keep two cars or just one car, or whether we should keep the traffic signs on the board for a longer durations, all these issues were tough and stressful; however, our group is full of smart and intelligent and we keep passing those obstacles and successfully create an overall enjoyable and fun game, which can be played by many players and different ages. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Week 3 Refinement

This week we played the first prototype of our game. Surprisingly we were able to get through several turns with the working prototype. We came up with a some basic rules for the game before beginning which determined the amount of moves a player could make, when they could take action cards (now called tip cards) and objective cards.

 Before we began our first game there was a disagreement about the function of customer cards and tip cards. I initially suggested that players would get a tip card after delivering to a customer on their objective card. However this would make the secret objective card useless because it caused player to reveal their secret objective. Adam, who was in charge of designing the cards, designed the customer cards to double as action cards. This then eliminated the need for having action cards. Players could potentially use the action on the customer card and draw an action card, however this may create an imbalance in the game. After deliberating over the functions of these two cards Shady and Adam suggested that we eliminate the customer cards all together and instead have fixed buildings on the board to signify delivery spots. However Bishoy and I wanted to keep the customer cards because we felt that they would add to the thematic element of the game and create more varied playing experiences. We eventually settled on keeping both the action cards and customer cards. Players are only able to take an action card if a customer card that they have obtained gives them that ability. Customer cards can also give other advantages besides allowing player to take a tip. Tip cards will be designed to encourage player to player interaction. They can also be used to gather points or extra moves during the game.

We had trouble defining the boundaries of the secret objective cards. The main questions regarding their function were, "How many will player be able to take in a game?" "How will the cards look?" "Will there be any negative consequences for not completing an objective card?" We want player to play purposefully with a strategy in mind. Therefore we set the boundaries of the objective card based on this player experience goal. In the beginning of the game, players will draw two objective cards and keep one. This adds an element of player choice and may reduce negative feelings towards the game if the player is not able to complete their objective card. Players that do not complete their objective cards will lose the amount of points indicated on the card. The objective cards themselves will picture a map of the board with the locations of the deliveries highlighted and numbered.

After playing the games for a couple of turn we began to debate the usefulness of providing player with a second car. I like having the second car because I feel it gives the player more options as far as movement and can be useful if for some reason the first car cannot be moved. However Shady and Adam would like to eliminate the second car completely because "it clutters the board". Bishoy suggested that we continue to play with the second car to see if it will ever be useful.

After working out some of the mechanics we briefly discussed the topical features of the game such as the size of the cards, the board and our car pieces. The final board will be 25 by 25 inches. The tip, customer and secret objective cards will be standard card size 2.5 by 3.5 inches. The road pattern cards will be 3 by 3 inches.
Moving forward our group should be able to define more solid rules and boundaries for the game. Right now the rules change with every turn. I hope that leaving that element of our game loose until now won't negatively effect our future progress.

-Toni Uzoho

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week 2: Structure and Concept change

By: Adam Beddia

This week we made significant changes to the theme and are now calling the game "Park It".  We also refined the core mechanics and the structure a little more.  We determined the components for our prototype and who would be responsible for creating each one.  Each group member helped push the project forward by being receptive to new ideas and criticism, and by showing enthusiasm about the project.

We had a solid idea of where to go with the mechanics and the structure of the game.  However, we struggled to relate the gameplay with the theme of the game.  The goal of our game was to get points for parking cars at specific locations throughout the city, but the idea of getting points for parking was too abstract.  To resolve this problem we decided to change the parking theme to a delivery theme.  This solution did not require any fundamental changes in the core gameplay; the idea is still to get your cars from point A to point B by manipulating the street cards.  As of now, each player runs a delivery company and must make sure their orders are delivered to the customer's location on the edge of the board.  Now the mechanic of rotating/sliding the street cards will represent how good a driver is at finding the best route.  Destinations that are far away will net your company more money and will subsequently be worth more points.

There will be certain locations around the edge of the board where players need to get their vehicles.  The further away the location is, the more points the player gets for a successful delivery.  Each of those places will have a 'customer card' placed on it. There are different types of customer cards which describe the specific delivery. They have special effects on them which can benefit or hurt the player who completed that delivery.  Customer cards are replaced with new ones from the deck after the previous delivery was completed.  Along with customer cards, there will also be action cards, objective cards and the previously mentioned street cards.  Action cards give the player ways to manipulate street cards, customer cards, and even their own vehicles.  Lastly, objective cards are secret goals or achievements that players can complete to gain additional points. Objective cards were inspired by the game "Ticket to Ride"  and work in a similar fashion.  For example, an objective card might require a player to complete two separate deliveries to the same location during the game.  Or it could require completing a certain number of deliveries to a specific type of customer.

The first prototype will consist of street cards, a game board, action cards, customer cards, objective cards, and vehicle models.  Bishoy will make the street cards, Tony will make the board, Shady is doing the action cards and I am doing the customer and objective cards.

We have a good foundation to build from now and a clear sense of where we want to take the game. During our next meeting we can begin to organize all of the content we want to include and decide what to keep/remove.  After our initial playtest we should have a much better idea of what works, what does't work, and how to balance each component.  The alterations we have made should allow our game to have diversity, strategy, and depth.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 1 - Game Choice and Initial Mechanics

Park It

By: Bishoy

After sharing all of our game proposals in class, five games were chosen to be brought to life for our board game projects. Fortunately, my game was chosen by my classmates and so together Adam, Tony, Shady, and I will design this game and produce the final product a few weeks from now.

The idea for this game is based on my love for the number scramble game which forces a player to reposition a set of numbers in order to align them in chronological order. This game is difficult because each step is dependent on the previous move and so, one must plan ahead in order to reach the final goal. This is the idea that we are trying to incorporate in Park It. By using the theme of parking in NYC, we will have players shift the lanes of the city and manipulate their direction in order to find the best possible parking location. Each player will be responsible for parking a set number of cars and/or buses in the best possible locations in order to achieve the maximum number of game winning points. 

As my group began to discuss the mechanics of the game last week, we thought about how the road pattern cards would be positioned on the board to allow for manipulation. I discussed with the group how each of the cards must have the same entrance and exit points in order to have the rest of the cards align with each other. The manipulation can be incorporated inside each pattern card to include loops, shortcuts, and bridges. In my original plan, I proposed that each player would have about five moves in order to move his or her car throughout the "course" in order to reach a parking spot. If a player is not able to do so in five moves, he or she would lose their turn. As we discussed this, Tony proposed that instead of losing a turn (basically starting over the next turn), each player can just stop where he or she ended up and just pick up where they left off on their next turn. I then suggested that we can put some sort of penalty on this such as a reduction in the number of points. 

In terms of the game design, Shady suggested that we use some sort of pins under each card that can allow players to spin the cards. I think we can also make use of some sort of magnetic strip under each card to help players move them around. Hopefully, we will add more to the game this week in terms of mechanics and structure as we work towards creating the first prototype.