Category Archives: Game Design 1

Game Design – Double Whammy Playtest 3

We made a few adjustments to the game board for this playtest by expanding the shooting area and applying a point system to see who would win the game. The decision to make these changes came out of feedback that we got from the second playtest we did in-class, which was to provide more opportunities for competition in the second round.

Previously, there was only the goal to knock the Slammies down, but with the addition of a point system, there was more meaningful choice for the players in the second portion of the gameplay. By being able to decide the points you could possibly earn (and the difficulty level), players could better alter the outcome of the game.

We also adjusted the rules so that the player with the least amount of Slammies would go first during the second part of the game.

Here is a video of the in-class critique we received from Josh DeBonis after he playtested the game. He enjoyed the game and had fun playing it, and his feedback about process and weaving a tighter connection between the two game modes was really helpful. Our decisions to incorporate position into the gameplay came out of our discussions after this critique.

Here is our final iteration of the rule set.

Childhood game from memory

For Game Design 1, we were asked to write-up the rules to a simple game we played as a kid, and I chose “I Spy Something”. As a child, I can remember taking road trips with my parents to visit family and sitting in the back seat of the car playing this game with my brother.

Here are the rules as I remember them:

Purpose: The goal for this game is to pick an object and provide accurate but minimal information so that your opponents cannot guess the object you selected.
Ages: 4 years old and up
Number of players: 2 or more (but you shouldn’t try to play with more than 6)
Location: Anywhere (preferably while you are in something moving with windows, like a train or car)
Equipment: None

1. First player looks around their immediate and not so immediate surroundings and chooses something as their object of choice.

2. First player gives the other player(s) a single, visual clue (typically a color or texture) that can identify their object of choice by saying “I spy something [visual clue].” (ex. player one chooses the trees lining the roads and states “I spy something green”).

3. The other player(s) is able to make guesses as to what the object is in the form of a question (ex. “is it the grass?”).

4. First player is able to respond with yes or no answers.

5. Each round ends when either the other player guesses the object or runs out of options to guess.

6. The next round begins with the next player selecting their object of choice for the other player(s) to guess, and so on.

There was no clear way of determining a “winner”, but typically my brother and I picked the winner by who it felt had done a better job of stumping the other player with their choices, as opposed to being a good guesser.

Game Design – Double Whammy Game Board

We will be play-testing our game, Double Whammy, this week in Game Design, so we wanted to do one more iteration on the game board before this test. There are other issues that need to be resolved with the game mentioned in the play test post, but based on time constraints, we felt the game board was the most important of these improvements to complete.

I have made a few stencils using the lasercutter in the past, so I created a stencil based off of the sketched version we had before. I then cut a piece of clear plexiglass to an 11 X 17 sized sheet and spray painted the game board stencil onto the plexiglass. It has a rough edge to it, which I like, since this is a prototype as well as the fact that the game should be seen as competitive.

Game Design – Second playtest and revisions

For our second play test, we first sat down as a group to review the game rules, make a few reference sketches, and redraw the game board. The key elements we dealt with were the number of game pieces that should be used, naming each of the game element in an effort to drive a larger game narrative (however shallow the narrative is at this point), as well as name the game itself.

It was difficult to include the correct number of plastic discs because we wanted enough pieces in the first part of the game (connect four-inspired portion) without compromising the difficulty level of the second part (tiddly wink-inspired shooting portion of the game).

Naming the game pieces was some of the most animated and exciting dialogue we had during the whole process. In the end, we came up with names “Wammers” for the plastic discs and “Slammies” for the plastic statues. We also named the game, and it is now called “Double Whammy” in a effort to describe the 2 portions of the game.

Here are a few of those sketches from that meeting:

We playtested the game ourselves to make sure the new rule set worked (ex. number of game pieces was correct, accurate drawing for the location of game pieces, etc) and then asked a couple people from the 10th floor lab to play the game and offer up comments. Here are a few shots from these play tests:

We recorded video when the other students were playing our game, so here are a few excerpts:

We learned a number of things from the play test, such as needing a better game board (the lines were not clear so players had issues recognizing that they had gotten 4 in a row at times), providing some meaning to the Slammies that get knocked over (why do we have the players line them up in a certain order if there is no consequence for it?), and adding a better backstop to catch the flying Wammers.

Next step, make the 3rd prototype of the game board!

Game Design – Initial Game Idea

For Game Design 1, we were split into groups, provided a set of game pieces and then asked to create a game with the random pieces.

Brian Bernhard, Andrew Knaup, George Bixby (who is now in a different game design section), and I brainstormed for a while on games in general. After opening up the package that help our pieces (shown on the right), we immediately began setting them on the table and firing them at the “targets”. With this affordance in mind, we developed a game that is mash-up of connect four and Tiddlywinks.

Here are a few stills from the initial brainstorming session where we played a series of quick sample games using the game pieces that involves territory protection or attacking strategies:

Here is the first playtest we did with the few sketchy rules that resemble the game we have since developed. You’ll hear comments and suggestions that each of us made as we played.