Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Final Product

This week in class we play tested our game with our classmates. This proved to be very helpful. Our classmates provided helpful feedback. They told us that we needed a way to indicate that our missions were complete. We decided to use toothpicks and once a mission was complete the player could stick a toothpick into that city.

We met up again this week to finalize the project. The first thing we did was make the rulebook using a template of a brochure. We split the rulebook up into three sections: the set up, the travel, and the safe house. Then we finalized the cards and sent those out to Kinko's to be printed. The only thing left do do now is pick up the cards. Our board was created a week ago and we decided to write the names of the cities, thus making it easier for players to be able to tell the cities apart. Hopefully all will go well tomorrow when we play test it.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Play Testing

This week we came in with a rough copy of our board and all the cards in order to play it. For the safe houses and player pieces we used push-pins. We realized that while this may be an ideal piece for the safe houses, it would not be ideal to use as player pieces. Players will be moving from city to city and sticking the pin into the map would ruin the flow of the game. The game was playable from start to finish, however we decided we needed more interaction. Joe and Justin came up with the idea to use character cards. We decided to use real characters from the movie and each character would have a special action that a player could perform. Dwayne pointed out that it might be unfair for the player who goes first since he gets to pick the character first. We solved this problem by deciding to create about six characters. The player would choose a character on the next round and only then would he return his character card from the previous round. This would eliminate any unfairness.

For the upcoming class we need to have a complete playable game for our classmates to play. We decided to make the map bigger for our classmates and have the complete card design (front and back). When class ended we stayed behind as a group to complete the backs of our cards. We divided the cards that we each would make and print and Joe fixed up the map and got it enlarged. Hopefully the play test will depict what is wrong with our board game.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gathering Intel!

This week was quite a productive week for The Expendables group. In class, we had a small lecture and were then allowed to work on our games. First, we gathered Intel about our game and its progress. We needed to tackle a few problems to get far into the game design process. One problem was spreading the cities across the globe. We did not want to have cities too close together that tracks will not be seen, safe houses will cover two cities instead of one, etc. Reviewing the cities list that we had previously made, we discovered that we indeed did not have an even distribution of cities across the globe. Without a doubt, that would have caused major playing problems as it would be easy for players in a busy region to build many safe houses while other players on more remote areas will have a hard time progressing through the game. Dwayne suggested to use the map first as our guidance on where cities should be and from that we can correlate with actual cities. That idea worked great. We were able to spread the game across the globe and utilize many familiar cities as well as cities that might not be commonly known. Those less common cities will entice players to learn more about them and thus, in a way, make the players more knowledgeable. Justin proposed an idea of putting a picture monument or a place of interest from that specific city under its marking. I disagreed based on the fact that those pictures might take up a big part of the map and in turn might overlap with some of the cities or tracks. We decided to put that idea on hold until we print an actual size game to decide whether that would work or not. Next, we faced another problem concerning the markings. Initially I came up with a strategy to allow the players to gain points at the end of the game if they have acquired missions or build safe house on cities of the same color. Although this strategy would be very beneficial in the game, we were facing a conflict involving color-blind players not being able to differentiate. Dipika came up with an idea to change the markings to different shapes and colors; that would accommodate for both types of players. Over the weekend, I worked on building the board and constructing the tracks. Each city will have three different tracks on it which will give each player the same number of options on each turn. Dipika worked on the designs and printing of the special and mission cards, while Justin worked on the resource cards designs. This week the group worked collaboratively through different problems. Even though that process was not exactly smooth and we did not always agree, we were able to eventually reach common grounds on each problem.

Monday, April 8, 2013

First Mission Complete!

During our last class, our group came together to play the board game, The Hunger Games. The game was very different from the previous games we were introduced to and showed us some important features a board game should have. The main one we took from the game was having many options. In the Hunger Games each player had to make a choice where to move their piece and after each move an action occurred.  In our game, The Expendables, we too have tried to create options for the players to make. The objective of the game is to score as many points possible by using two different main strategies: Building safe houses and completing missions. Players also have the option to choose what route to take during the game, so everyone can take a different route. Players would start out with one safe house and the game would end when a player loses their last safe house.
            During class our group also decided on a couple key details. We decided that we are going to have our game board be the map of the world. This map would include 20 countries on which missions and safe house can be present. Different countries lead to different tracts so the player has to choose wisely. We also decided each player would need resource cards to complete missions and destroy safe houses. These would consist of resources such as food, medicine, and weapons.            
            Leaving class we still were unsure of an exact design we wanted the cards to be, especially since I didn’t see the movie yet. After seeing it I know we should incorporate a lot of action and excitement. For class we planned on having a mission and resource card available to see. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Expendables Assemble!

During our last class meeting, each student was assigned to present his or her board game proposal to the class. Students were required to write down and rank the board games from 1-4 that they liked. 1 was ranked for the most points, 2 the second-most amount of points, and so on. My group and I were assigned to create "The Expendables", which was proposed by Joseph Ibrahim. 

Our group members got together and started throwing out a few ideas for the game. Professor Parks suggested to incorporate the characters since they drive the story and the audience. Joe, Dwayne, and I brainstormed of using action cards with signature weapons that pertain to individual characters. For example, the shotgun for Terry Crews' character and the knives for Jason Statham's character. Joe's proposal had safehouses that were for use for protecting area for each player. We decided to add a mechanic that allows other players to destroy safehouses for more player interaction. 

We left class with the task of determining designs for the gameboard and to develop mechanics for the game. Being a big fan of the movies, creating this board game will be fun. Our first group meeting had a large amount of energy and we are looking forward to working together!