Archive for March, 2011

Board games, board games, board games.

Thomas Vigild threw alot of Lego Dices (dices you can build at your own liking) and other cards at us this morning. Since then the task has been simple; create a board game with dices, chance and probability within one hour. That’s one hour brainstorming, developing, setting up the gameplay and game testing. Puts some strain on your team. Restricting yourself is actually the hardest part of this step – we immediately set out to make a large scaled battle where 3 players with different characters and different abilities would set out to destroy the last player playing a huge and omni-potent robot. Creating a board and giving each player three different dices, one for movement, one for power-ups and one for abilities. We used 30 mins discussing the different rules, variables and loopholes only to use 20 mins figuring out that it wouldn’t work. The last 10 mins we threw everything out the window and followed behind ourselves.

This sums up how important it is to restrain yourself and all your brilliant ideas. So we sat down starting from scratch again with only few minutes to deadline and rushed in a quick socializing game. We wrote down 6 categories like Sport, Politics, Education, Family, Travels and Hobby. 6 categories and a loaded dice with 6 sides. Allright breath now. That’s all we managed to do before the deadline was actually met. So at this stage our game wasn’t even finished brainstorming and we had reached the deadline, not good. The gameplay was simple; you’d roll your dice and pick a category, for instance sport, and you’d tell your co-players something about yourself in that category; “I play hockey regularly”. As you could imagine there’s not much game to this and anyone can sit down and talk about this without any dices.

One of the game testers when talking about drinking games mentioned Meyer (Mia in english) and we quickly stole this idea and attempted to somehow use it in our own socializing game. The idea now is to lie about yourself, you’ll have a score-system (a dice which illustrates your score), a colored truth-lie-dice (which tells you whether you have to lie or tell the truth your turn), and finally a normal dice (which indicates the category you have to tell a lie or truth in). So for example: It’s my turn, I start out rolling the truth-dice and I get black which we’ve agreed is the “lie”-color, I then roll the category-dice and I get 3 which could be Travels. I then go on about how I have been river-rafting in Canada and roadtripped through the States when I am done with my little tale it is now up to each player to decide for themselves whether I have been lying or telling the truth. Each player seeing through my lie will receive 1 point and if everyone is wrong I will get 1 point.

That’s the basic of the game so far and we are looking into creating perhaps some sort of round-system so we can rotate categories and not get stuck in some boring category. I’ll get back later when we have tested the game while boozing, which I hope will create some awesome stories. We’ll see. I’ll return with some pictures of the game as well hopefully. TTFN.

Board Games:

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

So this week we went offline so to speak – we are exploring the world of board games and slowly in the progress of creating our own piece. We’ve been working in groups of 3-4 to make the progress both easier and faster. Thomas Vigild, our Game-Maestro, gave a brief introduction to the history of board games, spanning all the way back to several hundred years B.C. with games like dices, Go, Chess, Backgammon and Kalaha – to name a few. Beyond all the classics Monsieur Vigild also gave us a small glance at other interesting games like Train which was a game that especially caught my attention.  Careful with the “Train”-link as it contains a few spoilers. Train is one of those games which most likely and hopefully gives you a proper knock-out, with a big red flashing sign at the end of the game, making you think of real-life choices and what you would do when or if you are just following orders and rules – in this case the board-games’ rules.

After this brief introduction to various ways the board games have gone, and the effect gambling had in 1900’s, we said hello to Martin Rauff Nielsen (link’s in danish) who is one of the brains behind the live roleplaying game BARDA from Danish Television and founder of the Baaring Stories Studio. He walked us through the basic of the BARDA gameplay and other roleplaying games and then went on about players’ motivations and drive in a game illuminating this through tests and theories made by both Nick Yee, Standford University, and Richard Bartle, Essex University (follow the links to take their tests). To understand the thoughts behind the tests we also looked at Nick Yee’s motivation model. The reason for showing us these motivation-models Martin Rauff went on about some of the troubles one might encounter as a developer meeting a marketing or publisher who come in with one specific type of player-base for their game. Using the same model we establish a common language and the communication between game-developers and publishers will improve. Publishers will of course be looking for money and developers will look to preserve and take care of their baby – the game. Martin Rauff stressed the point that it is, after all, possible to make a game which appeals to more than one type of players (achievers, immersion, exploration, killers etc.) and that might be something a developer will have to communicate through to their publishers in a proper and sensible way.

We also had a short visit from another dane who had invented a game called STAKiT which I won’t talk much about this time. The others have been trying out different board games like Dixit and Apples to Apples. I didn’t get the chance to test them out but from what I can tell the later of those two wasn’t a huge success.

Watch out as I return with news of our own board game which we are designing now. TTFN!

News games

Posted: March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

Like promised I want to talk abit about some of our ideas we’ve had on the whiteboards over the last couple of days. We’ve been focusing on News Games and looked at several danish examples of this, specifically from DR (Danish Radio&Television). A news game is a short-lived, often relevant to a specific audience, game which is so simple at its core that it can be designed over a couple of days. Of course being simple also means your audience will lose interrest fairly swift, but if the game manage to etablish enough hype around a particular newsflash and that event keeps rolling on television or the livingrooms you’ll have new people coming in to check out the game every day. Etablishing an awareness of the news and squezzing out every bit of it, before the public’s interrest moves on, is the name of the game.

We’ve been working on flash with photoshop, importing pictures of me running into flash. We’ve just been fooling around with the tools. It’s been good – I’ll try and get some pictures of it at some point. It’s hilarious watching yourself run around on the screen. TTFN.