Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 4

this week we playtested the game for hours and were able to pinpoint some of the problems we had with the game mechanics and rules. first, after a long time of playing, we realized that ending the game when one player reaches ten victory points is will make the game hours long. to fix this we cut down the number of required victory points to only three point. this would also entice more confrontation right away because the players are actually aiming for three points now. however, a good amount of strategizing would still be necessary to compete in the game. thus, we found that cutting the necessary victory points to just three speeds successfully speeds the game up while maintaining its strategic depth.

however, the game seemed to still be a little slow. to speed up the game even more we decided to grant each player one of each resource in the beginning of the game in order to allow them to spawn more units quicker.

another problem we encountered was the high cost of some of the units. the bear for example which costed three of each resource to buy seemed to way too expensive. so to fix this problem we started balancing out the cost and the ability (attack, health, and range) of all the units as we played until we reached a good good balance.

a third problem that was revealed with more playtesting was the fact that all players tended to try and spawn squirrels and deer only while ignoring the other three units. to fix this problem we manipulated the cost and ability of those "weaker" units to make it more attractive for players to spawn them. so far, the game seems solid with fun and easy to learn mechanics and only needs to be played by players who are outside of our group to ensure that there are not other problems with the game that we might have missed.

Mina Mikhail

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Week 2

We've begun working on Scavengers this week. In our meeting, we collaborated to come up with different ideas for the action cards. Some of these ideas included cards that would allow players to heal their units or purchase units for cheaper. These cards would help the player using them. We also decided to include cards that could harm other players, such as being able to move another player's unit to a different location. We felt that a card like that could balance the game by preventing players from becoming so powerful that they can control the game.

We also split up different tasks for the rest of the week. Megan and Jordanna chose to bring in various pieces, such as trees and animals. We had difficulty with figuring out what animals to use because it would be hard to find miniature pieces of the same scale. Mina and Omair chose to work on making the prototype cards. I, Waqas, will be bringing in hexagon pieces for the board layout. We decided to have large pieces with hexagon spaces so that we could figure out the design of the board by aligning the pieces in various arrangements. We also thought of the idea to let players arrange the pieces to create their own boards to add creativity to the design. We will meet this week to develop the mechanics and decide what the final pieces should be.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


On 10-30-2014 everyone in the team met and introduced themselves. Waqas's game "Scavengers" was chosen as the game that the team will work on for the next half semester.

The game's premise is that animals are gathering resources before winter to hibernate. The objective of the game is to gather resources and involves direct conflict with other players in the game.

We look forward to the development of the game. A summary of the game is available below.

"Game design can be a difficult but highly rewarding process. Creating something that others can enjoy is one of the best projects anyone can work on. Over the course of several weeks I have learned a great deal about card games, but have just began touching upon board games. My original board game idea was a direct combat concept, along the lines of Risk. However, as I played more and more, I realized that the best games involve the action of collecting resources and then using them for other tasks. I combined this concept with my original idea to conceive the game Scavengers. Unlike other board games that I played, this one focuses on destruction rather than building. Scavengers incorporates direct combat and resources to generate a strategic and fun playing experience.
            Winter is approaching and the forest animals must collect resources to prepare. They will work together with members of their own community but must fight off other communities to gain an advantage over the limited resources. It will not be uncommon to observe a squirrel working together with a bear to obtain resources for their community. Players will take on roles as community leaders. This will put them in charge of their area and the members that inhabit it.
            Upon starting out, players choose a location to place their tree, or home base, within their quadrant. They must be careful to choose a defendable location, but having it too far may prevent them from getting to resources quickly. Each player will also start out with two units: a squirrel and a jaybird. When a player chooses to spawn a unit, including the starting units, they must spawn it in a space touching their home base. There will be three card decks: food cards, wood cards, and mystery cards. Food and wood cards are resources and mystery cards have particular actions that are performed when they are played. The game can be played with four players, as either a free-for-all or two vs. two.
            There are currently five types of units: squirrel, bear, jaybird, woodpecker, and hunter. Squirrels are the standard units, with 2 attack and 3 defense. They also have a ranged attack of up to 3 spaces away, and themselves can move up to 3 spaces. Bears are heavy duty, with 3 attack and 5 defense, but they can only attack adjacent spaces and can only move one space at a time. Jaybirds are the medics of the game, so they can heal units or the base if they are adjacent to the space. They can also move up to 3 spaces like the squirrels. Woodpeckers only have 1 attack and 1 defense, but they can move up to 5 spaces. Hunters only have 1 health, but they have a ranged attack of 3 that can be used up to 5 spaces away.
            Players will take turns one at a time, starting with the last one to place their tree. Each player may do up to two things. They can move a unit, attack/heal, draw a card, play a card, or spawn a unit. Movement distance and attack/defense will depend on the type of unit. Players may attack opponents’ units or tree base. Bases will have a certain defense that the attacking player must diminish in order to successfully destroy the base. When a base is destroyed, the player who owns the base loses all resource and mystery cards they have in their hand and can relocate their base if they wish. Players may also draw a mystery, food, or wood card on their turn if they are on the corresponding space. For example, if I have a squirrel on the food space, I may choose to collect a food card if I wish. Players can also choose to play one of their mystery cards, and the action will be performed as soon as it is played. Spawning units will cost the players a certain amount of each resource, depending on the unit they wish to spawn. More powerful units will obviously be more expensive. If a player is occupying the center star, they may also choose to trade in five wood and two acorn for a victory point. Players also gain one victory point if they successfully destroy an opponent's tree base.
            The game will end once a player or team reaches 7 or 12 victory points, respectively. Some mystery cards may cause a player to lose some or all of their resource cards, but victory points are unaffected by any mystery cards. Even destroying a player’s base will not take away their victory points. This is a good way of pushing the game forward and providing players with a safety net for their resources. The different aspects of the game work together to compose an intense but enjoyable experience. Scavengers is a concept that will develop into an excellent strategic game."