Survive: Results + Expansions

Between the game-testing and now, i’ve added a few new things into the game. Despite the thoughts I had about removing ‘The Judge’ role from the game and opening it up to anyone that isn’t the Survivor or the Devil’s Advocate, I’ve decided to keep the role as is, because I found through more game testing that it was less intuitive to have multiple people decide the outcome of the game, especially when they disagree with each other. Playing through the game without the Judge role, made the game a lot longer, and when people held their ground about a particular outcome, it caused more arguments between themselves, and essentially ruining the fun of the game.

I’ve had a lot of problems with the graphical design, with a lack of creativity and time being the main problems. I was originally thinking of doing some basic back-arts for all the decks, which would have been the easier part of the graphical design, but for the content of the cards, no matter what deck it was in, would have to be of a similar style, and so they would have to all be custom made. I did try and approach a graphic designer to get a quote from her, but she was unable to commit to the time needed to design the graphics, even when I offered a decent pay for it.

 

A month or so back, when I first pitched this game to Chris in class, he told me that I should consider the possibilities of expansion packs of ‘Survive’, and I loved this idea! The expansion packs would work similarly to the expansion packs of Cards Against Humanity, or Super Fight, where in the expansion pack, you can either play with just those cards, or add them into the stock deck for a larger and longer game.

So here are some idea’s for possible expansions that have been bouncing around my head and suggested by some friends; Space, University, Zombie Apocalypse, World War 2, Into The Future, Into The Past.

And so that sums up the results for my game! I’ve decided to not print out my game through a professional service, and I was just going to stick with my ‘hella povo’ paper version that i’ve been using for my play-testing. I’m not too sure how far i’ll take this in the future after this class finishes, but it’s a game i’ll always love to whip out and have a quick game!

Survive: Game Mechanics

So lately i’ve been researching multiple game mechanics, and by that I mean i’ve been playing a tonne of games and calling it uni work. There are some really interesting game mechanics out there, and they really (obviously) define how fun and enjoyable the game is. So i’ve decided to list some games and explain their game mechanics, and explain how i’ve taken my favourite ones and implemented it into my game.

Monopoly:

Everyone loves monopoly. It can define and destroy friendships and families. I think i’ve heard more people say that the game is ‘banned from playing’ than ‘we enjoyed it’ when playing with family members. The reason for the hatred of the game, is because of the negotiations of property and money, and that’s the best part of the game! If you’re a good negotiator, you’re in with a great chance of winning.

My strategy is to always target the people that don’t understand the value of certain properties (all train stations vs 2 properties I need to make a set), and basically be that guy that doesn’t trade certain properties so someone can get a set. The interesting mechanic in this game is the trading and negotiating with people, you can basically decide to team up or embargo players, not trade or make wildly not fair prices on your properties. I like the idea that the interaction between players can decide the fate of the game.

Louis CK explains how well Monopoly works in a family.

SpyFall:

SpyFall works entirely through talking with other players, and group decisions. The basis of the game is that you have 4 or more players, with one person being the spy, and the rest of the players having roles, depending on the location that’s randomly selected. The spy has no idea what the location, is, and to win he must guess the location. The other players have no idea who else is either a spy or a player with a normal role., but they know that the location is.

The game works by each player taking turns to ask other players questions, to gauge whether or not they know what the location is, but not asking specific enough so that the spy will be able to guess it. I love this game because it works through the interaction of other players, and they must form their own arguments/cases/thoughts/questions/answers, and how the game goes, depends on what each person says.

I really wanted to implement this kind of game, rather than a common board game/dice roll game where you have to follow specific rules which basically guides you to the same spot. These games where the players themselves create the storyline remind me of a story generator or “choose your own adventure”, which is great because everyone’s humour and personalities are different, so it’s like making a custom made game for everyone.

NODE really present the game well here, and it’s where I first saw the game.

Super Fight:

This game is similar to SpyFall and Cards Against Humanity, in regards that it requires the players to debate and talk to each other. This game is my main influence for project SURVIVE, because I had a similar idea to Super Fight that I planned to make, until I found out it was already a game 😥

The game operates by have two players fight each other, each having their own character, strength and weakness. They then debate with each other, until the non-fighting players decide who would win in a fight. The game mechanics of this game I want to directly mirror into my own, because it’s such a perfect game mode for what I’ve envisioned for my game.

NODE, yet again, had a greta play through with this, and it’s where I also found the game

 

 

Summary:

So taking all these games into account, I’ve found all of the mechanics from these games to be fun and enjoyable, and I’ve tried to place the best ones (or the ones i’ve enjoyed the most) into my own game. Through my game testing, it worked well, the only aspect of the game mechanic that I might need to reconsider if the judge position, whether or not to have one, or just let ALL the non-players decide on the outcome.

Survive: Game Testing

Just before the uni break, I had time to play-test my game with some friends, and see if the game mechanics and cards played out how I imagined in my head. We played through the game twice with a total of 4 people,. and I found a few problems with the game so far;

  1. The timer needs to be enforced: I found some debates went for too long, so a 5min debate time needs to be implemented
  2. Scenarios: They need to be more specific, and less one-sided. For example, my “the floor is lava and you must survive for 24 hours” is too easy, because the argument was “I’ll just sit on the table for a day”
  3. More Cards: I need to create more scenario/advantage/disadvantage cards so there’s more variety
  4. Less bias strengths/weaknesses: I need to make these cards less biased, because some cards really outright determine whether you would win or lose without even a debate

So taking this all into account, i’m going to be updating my game to accommodate for these issues, and then play test them again sometime soon. I’ve hit a metaphorical wall when it comes to thinking of new creative scenarios for people to survive, it sounded easy when I first started the assignment, but actually sitting down and listing them off, I’ve found that it’s pretty difficult.

Another thing I need to invest some more time into, is the design of my game. I’m still yet to really think about or actually begin designing the aesthetics of my game, and I think i’ll leave that aspect of my game to last. I have some general ideas, but I don’t want to design parts of the game that i’ll later throw away or discard.

Survive: Upddate

My board game survive has practically been built in my head already. I have the aesthetics, game mechanics and design pretty well finished off, the only things I need to complete for the game now are logistical and production problems.

My intended audience for Survive is ages 13+ but I wanted to primarily target people 18+ so that more complicated scenarios and obstacles can be brought into the game. I don’t plan on advertising the game anywhere, but if I was to sell this game online, I would advertise it on game-related websites, and perhaps try and sponsor a video with some game-genre youtube channels to promote my game.

I’m considering making the game 18+ or 16+ to include more ‘entertaining’ cards in each deck

I’ve looked at this website which offers some decently priced cards, but with 4 decks, it would cost $48 per game, which isn’t exactly economical, especially if that means I would have to price the game that high if anyone would actually want to buy it.

Even though that website is pretty costly, i’m still probably going to buy it through there, unless I can find a cheaper website, just because I don’t intend of mass-producing them to make each individual game cheaper than $48.

While i’ve though in depth about the game mechanics and how it operates, I’ve only got some loose idea regarding the aesthetics of each card. Should I keep a consistent style throughout the decks, or should I just pick something that accurately portrays the event/character/object? I’ll probably pay for a graphic designer to design the cards for me so I can keep a similar look throughout and be confident in the work, that way I can focus on my other DIGC project Chattr and the production/logistics of my game!

 

 

 

Survive

 

It took me a while to really decide what kind of game I wanted to create for DIGC this semester, and i’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it throughout the holidays. During the long break, I decided I wanted to create a type of card game that requires an engaging and attentive participants, as I found these types of games particularly entertaining. I drew influences from multiple games throughout the holidays (with the lack of university work) including; Cards Against Humanity, SpyFall, Bohnanza and SuperFight. I also found a great Youtube Channel that uploads a type of “Let’s Play” with all sorts of games that I found pretty relevant!

So here’s my game: Survive

The idea of the game is for the main player to think his/her way out of a situation and survive whatever event is thrown their way by the “Devil’s Advocate(s)”, overcoming their weakness and taking advantage of whatever strengths they have. It is then up to a judge to decide whether or not the player survives, or if their arguments and plans would ultimately have them killed.

Players: 3+

Roles: (1) Survivor, (1) Judge (the player to the Survivors left), (1 or more) Devils Advocate(s)

Decks: Event, Weakness, Strength, Wild Card

Rules:

  1. Nominate a beginning Survivor (Then rotate clockwise afterwards)
  2. Clarify Roles (Survivor, Judge, Devils Advocate)
  3. The Judge draws 1x Event card, 1x Strength card and 1x Weakness card. The Judge must reveal the chosen cards and place them face up.
  4. The Judge reads out the cards, and begins the context and event for The Survivor, then asks, “How do you survive?
  5. The Survivor must give a detailed argument as to how they would survive the event with their particular strength/weakness
  6. The Devil’s Advocate then must question his argument and find flaws that would have him killed.
  7. The Judge determines the length of the argument.
  8. If no resolution can be found, The Judge may pick up a Wild Card and change the context of the game.
  9. The Judge then determines if the survivor does indeed, survive
  10. If the Survivor wins, they keep the Event Card
  11. First to 3 Event Cards wins

 

I plan on designing the cards myself and printing them through an online service in the next few weeks, but i’m going to be bringing in some rough paper versions of the game to see what the game play is like, and see if the game mechanics need any changes. I’m excited to make the game, and see who can survive!