Friday, April 27, 2012

Week 6

Just like for our card games, our board games were play-tested by Professor Park's colleagues as well. Overall,  they had a positive reaction to our game. One of the them was a fan of the book and television series, and enjoyed how the game remained faithful to the series.

However, the play-testers still pointed out some minor issues with our game. They felt that starting out, the rules were hard to comprehend, which in turn made the game difficult to play with in the beginning. They suggested using better language for the rules and using more pictures within the rules to eliminate so much text reading. Game-play wise, they felt that the retaliation rule upset the balance of the game and that the plentiful bounty card should be used twice by the initiator.

In the end, I feel that our game was an overall success because we were able to develop it within our parameters and it had positive feed back from our classmates and Professor Park's colleagues. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Final Week Dethroned

Second Play testing:

During our second play testing, we made some modifications according to the feedback we received.  Since Dethroned is a complex game, the mechanics may seem different to each player and therefore, many adjustments are needed in order to perfect the game.  For example, we were advised that there should be a limit to the number of actions a player can take against another player during a turn so we limited it to 1 action per turn.  We also wanted to create an incentive to go up north instead of staying at the other houses to take actions against them.  Finally, we divided our work again for the last time to include on special paper and make an attractive package.

After two play tests and several weeks of meeting, Dethroned has faced several major modifications all of which made the game much more interesting.  Throughout our journey, we realized it is important to understand the game from a third person' perspective so that the game is not becoming too complicated.  The board game design is definitely more challenging than the card game even physically.  Therefore, we put in many hours creating the final version of this game which we hope will be enjoyable to all players!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 4

After undergoing a round of playtesting, in which we received a considerable amount feedback, our group decided to make several changes to our board game. However, most of these changes were minor and did not require us to change the core mechanics of our game.

For example, during playtesting, we noticed that certain action cards were being drawn too often , were too overpowered, or were being used incorrectly. Thus, most of the changes we made were in the cards, whether it was reducing the amount or editing the actions they could perform.

Specifically, we decided to completely eliminate the crop cards because we felt that it had no significant role in the game and reduce the amount of barter cards down to three. We also decided to add a total of seven cards to the Banner-men and Village Raid cards, which are cards that allow you to "attack" other players, and edited their actions.  As a result, we reduced our total card deck from 73 cards to 69 cards. Other changes were made to the costs of cards and certain actions.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Week 3 - Dethroned

During our third meeting, we play tested the game with the prototypes that we created.  Our prototypes included action cards, tokens, and the playing board.  While playing, we came across some difficulties and developed some strategies to overcome those difficulties while also adding interesting aspects to the game.

Changes and Additions to the game:
- We believed it would be more interesting to get bonus points for each of the houses after every 3 turns. For example, House of Lannister is wealthy so it will get 1 extra gold tokens after every 3 turns. Stark will get 1 strength, Baratheon will get intrigue tokens and since Arryn does not have a specific power, it will get to draw a new action card after every 2 turns.

-We also thought allowing players to move their house tokens to other neutral territories, ie, those territories which are not being played against, would give the players more incentive to move around the board.  In order to move, they must pay a strength or gold token.

-For every action card that is "spent", one card may be drawn.

-Since everyone's tokens will be hidden, if a player is trying to destroy another player's territory and the other player does not have any tokens, the action card may not be used on another player.

-We will also have force trade cards in the action cards pile.

-We decided that the game will end when the end game card appears in the action pile, as suggested by Professor Parks.  This will be placed amongst the last few cards of the pile randomly in the beginning of the game.

We decided to split up our playable prototypes for next time amongst the group members.  The token shield card will also have directions which the players can refer to during the game. 

Map of Dethroned used as the board:

The Houses (example):

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Wednesday, March 21, our new groups met to discuss ideas about the new board games we will be working on. The members working on Dethroned are Anika, Matt, Max, and Derek. Dethroned will be a board game based on the original book series "A Song of Fire and Ice" by George R. R. Martin and recent HBO series, A Game of Thrones. 
Basic premise for our game will be to select one of the Houses from the first book and to build strength and intrigue, as well as accumulate gold/wealth, through both neutral action cards and interactive action cards that can be used against other players. The end goal will be to overthrow the king in the realm, thereby claiming the Iron Throne for your house. At this first meeting we brainstormed about what some of those interactive actions will be. Also, we thought about setting the goal for players to reach, a minimum of both intrigue and strength resources, that will set the stage for declaring the victor. The actual winning mechanism needs much debate still. 
Our board will be a large map of Westeros. An idea given to us by Professor Parks allowed us to figure out what we want to do with the board in terms of movement. We have come to a consensus that each House will have to place a token in another House's territory before they can take actions against them; placing only one token per turn. This will translate into some important early game decisions, choosing who you'd like to 'mess' with first. 

These are just a few of the ideas we've come up with so far. I'm really excited to see where we can go with this project!