Creating my first game!

 

In this game making assignment I originally wanted my game to be a board game where it takes inspiration from classic board games like The Game of Life and mixes it with a medieval, fantasy world where you grow your characters from the lowest ranks to a higher place in the universe where who you play as and the life you lead affects the players around you. This game was a solid idea with a good premise but through the lecture i realised that making the best game I can doesn’t involve overcomplicating the mechanics and having all these different components that have a steep learning curve and from my own experiences the more challenging the game is to understand the less likely I would be to have as much fun as a pick up and play game. A good example of a game with a dense set of rules and a strong learning curve as the board game Abyss that we played in the tutorial. While it being enjoyable after fully understanding the rules the build up to it was less than enjoyable and took me away from emerging myself in the games stories and world its trying to create.

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Abyss board game. Source
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Abyss

Because of this limitation that exists within longer drawn out games that can slowly become tedious and boring to a casual player, I wanted to focus on having a fast, challenging game that allows the players to have multiple games in one sitting with the action and feel of the game to change with each game. Coming from a deep experience on competitive FPS games in where there is fast paced action, short games, different strategies and techniques which give each player a different experience however they chose to play the game. A game which requires practice and a level of involvement outside of the session itself can become extremely rewarding to some people as they see developing and honing their skills to be just as fun as playing the game, and through this is how i wanted to create a game in which people could get better at the game and allow new casual players and bigger fans a fun, fast paced game which they want to come back time and time again.

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Magic the Gathering cards. Source

The game draws elements from various games such as Magic: The Gathering, the pick up and play game Snap and other battle card games like Yu Gi Oh.

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Yu Gi Oh Cards. Source

The main mechanics of the game revolve around the players (2) competing against themselves and against a clock which I think would be an amazing addition to the basic card game as it gives the game a new level of challenge and makes the game more of a fast paced, action packed game. Akin to Magic etc, it will feature monster and spell cards but will do away with having to rely on a source to play the cards e.g. Mana/land cards. Cards will only last one turn unless stated on the cards as an ability and through this players have to cycle out cards and plan their next move ahead of time which adds a level of strategy. I still have to work out how the games will end, either being based off a health system, no cards in the deck or something different like collecting a certain amount of your opponents cards.

4 thoughts on “Creating my first game!

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! As a casual gamer, games that have a massive list of rules and intricate game mechanics completely overwhelm me and although, eventually, the payoff might be worth it, sometimes you just don’t have the time or inclination to commit to such an undertaking. A simpler game, while still having unique characters and circumstances would be a lot of fun and adding a timer to a one-on-one card game is genius because it adds urgency and pressure to a sometimes slow moving process. You should check this post out (http://geekdad.com/2013/12/microgames/ ) about microgames, which sounds like the direction you’re heading in.

    I think a health system is a good idea for the ending of the game – perhaps players could start off with so many health points and each turn, depending on what they are ‘hit’ by, their health decreases. Certain cards can add health, but can only be used once, hence the strategy? I can’t wait to see what you eventually come up with and watch it all come together. Hopefully I’ll get to play it one day!

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  2. I know exactly what you mean in regards to some games being way to hard to get into, that’s why games like ‘Cards Against Humanity’ and ‘Exploding Kittens’ are so incredibly fun and popular. I recommend you check out a microgame called Boss Monster, it’s reasonably simple yet provides a compelling game gimick and is very strategic. I think that should be a goal for your project, to maintain the depth of a full sized game just in a smaller form factor and time frame.

    https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/131835/boss-monster-dungeon-building-card-game

    I personally like a game’s endgame being based around player’s running out of cards, this in addition to a time limit could really compel a fast and intense game, which player’s making increasingly riskier moves.

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  3. I agree with you completely, picking up a game instantly and understanding the mechanics of the game and being able to play it, is much more interesting than struggling, getting frustrated and confused… then eventually understanding it. Steep learning curves aren’t fun at all. Here’s an interesting article on the design of the online card game Hearthstone, and how it lured its players in with its “Charm, intuitive design and reasonable depth”. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/26/hearthstone-how-one-game-developer-turned-30m-people-into-geeks-part-two
    The article also talks about how the game has less mechanics than other popular card games like magic the gathering, and how this is actually beneficial. I definitely think you should go along with the more simple game mechanics, as it is proven to work with big titles such as Hearthstone!

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  4. Hey James!

    I too have been thinking about using the game of life as inspriation for my board game, it’s really engaging, fun and for a board game its pretty exciting. I like how you understood that overcomplicating the board game, i too beleive that overcomplicated board games with long rules and regulations are too hard to engage with. I too have found myself trying to incorporate so many different elements into the mechanics of my board game but am coming to realise it will probably be too difficult. I love that you’ve considered the idea of being able to play the game more than once in one sitting. I find long board games very frustrating, maybe because I’m impatient but I think this is a good path for you to go down, making the board game not to lengthy to play. Hope everything goes well as you develop your ideas further and establish what your game will be about!
    How many players can play this game?

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