Friday, October 28, 2011

Boardgame Cover Concepts

We sketched out some boardgame cover ideas for Game Design. I decided to stick to my underworld territory battle theme for my game, and the two armies battling each other are demon monsters - one side is goblin-like and the other side are hairy demon-monsters.




All of these are just concepts and not finished yet, but I'll post the final cover when it's done 8)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial Practice #2

In preparation for the concept art we're going to make for our board-games, the class is continuing to do Photoshop tutorials. For the second tutorial from another student's blog, I chose to do the tutorial Clay found for blending: http://www.ctrlpaint.com/home/2011/6/21/brush-technique-blending.html
Since I'm not entirely used to different blending methods in Photoshop, I thought this tutorial would be really beneficial, especially since the artist doing them, Matt Kohr, is super awesome at digital illustration (http://www.mattkohr.com).


The instructor's apple is on the right, and my mine is on the left. I was kind of frustrated in the beginning because he never explained what brush he used, so he had this soft, blendy brush with a special texture that made things blend really nicely, but never showed what settings he used to make it 8(  I didn't manage to replicate his brush so I used the closest I could get to it. Besides that, the tutorial was fun and a great practice in observation and blending with various brushstrokes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Modular Pieces

I took some screenshots of the modular building pieces I made that can be assembled into a building for the Space Egyptian map. They're pretty much finished except for the windows that I have to make glass for, and a few tiny things I have to fix.


We're starting on modeling props now, and I'm going to do a marketplace stall kit that includes various stalls, crates, sacks, vases, various alien fruits, and hanging alien meat parts, as well as some hanging potted glowy-plants, vines, and a twisty alien tree. I actually got first pick of what I wanted to model for props, so I'm extremely happy to be modeling all this stuff I've been planning to do. It's a pretty long list, but I'm super excited for it!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Photoshop Tutorial Practice

For Game Design we're coming up with the overall style and look to our board games, so to help us our teacher had us research some Photoshop tutorials/demos that teach us a new technique and practice using the techniques demonstrated. I used this tutorial: http://www.3dtotal.com/team/Tutorials_2/bird_catcher/bird_catcher_01.php   and started with grayscale before coloring. Even though it seems like most professional concept artists start with grayscale before they paint colors over, I didn't really like the method that much. It was nice to be able to play a little more with the colors I wanted, but it seemed to take a lot longer for a result that didn't seem much different than just coloring normally without placing the grayscale shades first.


I did a dragon-monster thing because I was thinking about making all the Stratego pieces into different kinds of monsters instead of soldiers, and to make it a survival-horror LOL. I'm not entirely sure yet though, I still have to play with the ideas I have. I'll definitely keep trying to practice with this technique though, and practice painting in Photoshop more because I'm used to using Paint Tool Sai for digital painting and I like it a lot better 8(  Oh well. Here's to new painting techniques!

Since all of us in the class are doing these tutorials, we also had to do someone else's tutorial, so here's a tutorial Tyler Lariscy did involving FIERY EXPLOSIONS. That's all you need to know, right? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1dAedHmsuk
And here's the fiery explosion I made using the tutorial's techniques, haha:
SPACE EXPLOSION. Explosions are a little difficult to paint, so I wanted to try this tutorial and see how it worked out. Unfortunately, it could never take the place of a nice hand-painted explosion haha. It was fun to experiment with, though!

One New Thing

My "One New Thing" was to start a web-comic, so here's the first page 8)  It took a lot longer than I thought, haha. I'm definitely going to work on quickening my process so I can churn out the next few pages.

     To full-view, right click and open the link in a new tab to bring you to the full-view page.


If you want to follow the comic, I'll be posting updates consistently at my comic blog: http://molly-comics.blogspot.com

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stratego Mod Playtesting

    The list of modifications I created for Stratego are as follows. I wasn't able to play-test all of them, but wrote notes and play-by-play play-throughs of the modifications that were tested.  Note: These mods were not played in the order they are listed. The order was Mod #4, Mod #9, then Mod #2.

List of Stratego Mods:
  1. Less different kinds of pieces – only 6 (plus S).
  2. Less different kinds of pieces – 7 pieces in all (without an S).
    The Spy is taken out, as well as the 8, 9, and 10. That is 4 pieces taken out in all – there is only one of each of these ranks. 
    Dan is Red
    Aaron is Blue
  • Dan comments that he's fine with not having a Spy because he's worthless. Aaron agrees and says he's useless unless the opponent is going on a rampage with a 10 and the Spy happens to be right there. He mentions that the Spy could follow around the 10 for a revenge kill, but then admits that that won't work.
  • Since there are 4 pieces taken out, they still have to place their ranks on the first 3 rows, so there are 4 open spaces in their ranks – ominous, but allows more movement options.
  • Dan's flag is in the back left-hand corner, alone with no bomb protection. His bombs are all clustered to the right side of the board.
  • Dan moves his 2 first, advancing up the middle.
  • Aaron moves his 7 first, advancing up the right side, one row in.
  • Dan attacks Aaron's 6 with his 6 in the middle of the board.
  • Aaron attacks with 5, kills Dan's 2 in the middle. Then attacks another piece with his 7 on the side and wins.
  • When asked how they felt about the 4 empty spaces they had and how they felt about the extra movement options, both say that they didn't really know what to do with them and didn't utilize them at all.
  • Aaron attacks Dan's Scout in his first row with his 7. Knowing it is the highest piece now, he's going across the first row and dominating Dan's pieces.
  • Dan advances his 6 down the middle. Aaron attacks and loses, then Dan attacks the piece beside him to the middle.
  • Aaron's 7 attacks Dan's bomb in his second row.
  • Dan advances his 6 to right in front, is killed.
  • Dan's 2 zooms forward and kills one of Aaron's, spotting it.
  • Dan's 2 is killed by Aaron's adjacent 3.
  • Aaron kills one of Dan's Spotters.
  • Aaron zooms forward and attacks Dan's 7 in his front row, is killed.
  • Why are Spotters being utilized so much more this match? Unafraid since there's less ranks to lose by?
  • Aaron says having the higher-rank pieces removed raises the value of the pieces you do have. The player has to make do with what they have. Dan says it doesn't change much for him. Aaron says it feels like “game over” when you lose your 9 and 10, but it's not as devastating this way. Dan feels like it makes it a little bit more boring, because they feel like they don't have to be as careful. Without as much potential to be blown away by a powerful piece, there are less climatic moments in the game – it seems almost easygoing. There aren't nearly as many stand-offs and less avoidances of conflict than before. If the highest-ranking pieces are removed like this, I think there should be another element or mechanic in the game to replace them to inject more excitement.
  • They are almost mirroring each other's moves (not intentionally) – their highest powers are facing off on the left side, and three turns in a row they attack with the same pieces and both lose.
  • Aaron says that if you lose your 8, 9, and 10 it would be fun if a player's 4, 5, and 6 gained special abilities, and then the 7 became the heavy hard-hitting piece. He said it's more fun when pieces have special abilities and aren't just attacking for damage. I also comment that if they all had special abilities, the lower-rank ones with their specials wouldn't be as valuable. Aaron comments that the Spy is pretty worthless and should be able to take out the 8, 9, and 10 in order to be considered not worthless. I think being able to take out the 9 and 10 would be enough, and all three would be over-powered. But would there be anything wrong with the lowest-ranking piece being over-powered like that? I think giving them the power to overtake 9 and 10 would make them valuable enough.
  • This game is going much faster than previous games, and they've already wiped out more of each other's pieces in the relatively short amount of time they've played.
  • The game seems less intimidating and somewhat more boring despite being faster – there are less highs and lows, since there's less to lose. Both players are playing an equal mix of defense and offense.
  • Pieces are spread thinly on both sides – it's obvious where the bombs are because of the large clusters in the back rows.
  • Aaron fell for the bait of Dan's clustered bombs off to the right – Aaron has his 6 (his highest piece) over there.
  • Aaron suddenly realizes where Dan's flag is (in the opposite corner of his 6 piece), realizing that all 6 bombs are clustered to the right. He attacks one of the bombs with his 6 and loses, confirming it.
  • After a couple moves to get into position, Aaron zooms straight across the board with his Scout (2) and attacks the flag, winning.
  • Dan admits that he doesn't know how to use or place Miners, and thinks that's why he keeps losing.


  1. S piece has different abilities/factors.
  2. Remove both lakes.
      Mariana is Red
      Dan is Blue
    • Once told what the mod is, both players rethink their strategy, switching around pieces on the board.
    • Mariana's flag is three spaces from the last on the right, first row, surrounded entirely by bombs. She has an even distribution of rank with all her Miners in the back.
    • Dan's flag is in the middle row to the left side, two bombs on either side, a bomb in front, but no bombs diagonally. He also has an even distribution of ranks. First three bombs are placed every other square.
    • Mariana moved 2 forward three times, is in one row before his first, then moves 1 behind it. She advances another 2 forward over the lakes, beside the other 2.
    • Dan moves forward 5 pieces in his first row, each going forward one space. They are a 7, 3, 3, 3, and 3. Dan moves a 3 onto the lake, a 2 beside it.
    • Mariana attacks Dan's 3 on the lake with her 4.
    • Mariana attacks Dan's 2 with her 2.
    • Dan utilizes the lakes a bit more than Mariana.
    • Mariana likes not having the lakes, because she likes how she can move sideways and isn't restricted.
    • Mariana's 7 attacks Dan's 3 and wins.
    • Mariana likes camping on the lakes. She has a 4 and a 6 on each one.
    • Mariana utilizes the middle of the board even more now that she has lakes.
    • Dan's 8 attacks Mariana's 1, catching her bluff as she moves her Spotter into place to spot him.
    • Mariana's 2 is in the middle first row of Dan's line, and Dan's farthest piece up was in the row before her front row, but he moved it back.
    • Mariana's foremost piece (2) attacks, it's one of Dan's bombs (in the middle).
    • Both players utilize the middle of the board more, though they do not attack there often; it's mostly used for traversal, while almost every attack has been near the sides.
    • Mariana's front-most pieces are a 4, 6, and 3, the 4 is in Dan's middle front row.
    • Dan's foremost pieces are a 3, and then a 3, 3, and 8 on the lines behind it.
    • Mariana advances her 5 across the board on the left side, second to last square. It is now in Dan's second row.
    • Dan's piece on his left corner (4) is killed by Mariana's Spy.
    • Mariana's 5 kills Dan's Spy, which was next to her on the other side. She is now only one space from the flag, with a bomb between.
    • Dan's Spotter spots Mariana's 5, it's killed.
    • Mariana advances her 3 down the middle again, disarms Dan's bomb in front of the flag, then is taken out by one of his Miners (suicide kill, he's desperate).
    • Dan moves his 9 in front of the flag to protect it.
    • Dan's front-most pieces are a 3, 8 (on lake), and a 5 and 3 on the lines behind it.
    • Mariana's foremost pieces are a 9, and an 8 and 6 on the other side of the board, both on lakes.
    • Mariana has 2 pieces missing from her closest line, 3 from her middle lines, and only two on her front-line.
    • Dan is missing 4 pieces in his front line, 4 in his middle, and 4 in his front.
    • Mariana's 9 moves into his first row, and is next to the bomb to the left of his flag. She then moves back one, possibly afraid his bomb is a higher-ranking character that would kill her.
    • Mariana's 9 attacks his 6 and kills it. She then attacks his bomb in the front row, the one that killed one of her pieces earlier (forgetting).
    • Mariana begins advancing her 3 along the left side.
    • Dan attacks her 6 and loses.
    • Dan attacks her 10 with his 3 in her third row.
    • Dan's front-most piece is an 8.
    • Mariana advances her 3 (front-most) to his second row.
    • Dan attacks her 3 with his 9 that's now in front of the flag.
    • Dan advances his 8 down the middle.
    • Mariana has an 8 and a 6 on the right lake (squares closer to her side). She tends to camp there since it is a mid-way point between sides, safe enough from front-line combat, but not too far to be moved in if necessary.
    • On the row after, she has a S, 10, 2, and 7.
    • Mariana advances her 10 one square forward, then another across the lakes during the next turn.
    • When asked, Dan says he likes the lakes because he thinks it allows more creative movements. More opportunities to intercept.
    • Mariana moves beside his 10 that was protecting his flag.
    • Dan's 10 attacks her 10 and they both die. His flag is exposed.
    • Having no lakes makes them more aggressive, but they also feel more vulnerable Mariana says because there is nothing you can block an opponent's piece with and hide behind. (So she likes having some sort of protection or shield...is it necessary though?)
    • Mariana advances her 8 across the middle. It's now in his second row, right side of middle in front of his bomb.
    • Dan's two front-most pieces are in the middle two rows, a 1 and an 8.
    • Dan's 1 attack's Mariana's 6 in her middle row. She then moves forward.
    • They are playing so that when a player attacks, they take the opponent's square if they win. When they played the other day, they played so that the winning piece stayed in its spot.
    • Mariana attacks his bomb beside the flag with her 8 in the front row.
    • Dan advances his 6 from his back row.
    • Dan attacks her 5 with his 8, his front-most piece in the middle of her third row.
    • Mariana advances her S on the left side. She keeps advancing only one piece up the side and slowly works her way through his ranks that way.
    • Dan moves his 9 in front of the flag.
    • Mariana advances two pieces (a 7 and a 3) on the right side of her board.
    • Dan moves back his front-most 8 twice, retreating.
    • Mariana has advanced her S into his second row, diagonal from bomb.
    • Dan advances his 9 to the space beside her.
    • Mariana retreats a space sideways away.
    • Attention is diverted – both of them move two middle pieces between lakes, attacking.
    • Dan's front-most pieces are in the middle rows on either side of the lakes, a 5 and a 4. He has left his 9 on the square off to the side of the flag for now, leaving the front exposed.
    • Dan's 8 attack's one of Mariana's pieces she advanced up the right side of the board, killing it.
    • Dan moves his 5 back, beside her Spy in his last row. He also moves his 2 up, beside the Spy.
    • Mariana moves her Spy into his back row, and he follows with his 5, but doesn't attack.
    • Mariana uses her Scout that was in her third row in the middle of the board to zoom across the board, attacking his flag. She wins.
    • Mariana says she knew it was his flag because she had attacked the bombs on either side, and it wasn't moving.
    • Overall feelings about the lakes: Mariana says no lakes makes it more intimidating. Lakes break up the space and she likes using them as protection. Dan feels like the lakes were restricting.



  1. Remove both lakes and replace them with another factor such as a randomized Pandora's box (randomized with dice roll?) that can give them one of three things – a reward (special item?), a neutral factor, or something negative (like a curse).
      I asked about using dice for randomized elements I wanted to add to the game, and they agreed with my concern that it would probably make the game worse when it's based so entirely on strategy – why ruin something that works so well without any mundane luck-based factors? Stick to the strategy – that's what makes the game so strong.
  2. Keep the lakes but make them smaller (either one square taken out, or a line of them).
      Mariana says if only one square were taken out she would keep a piece hidden and protected in there, especially something like a Spy.
  3. Make the lakes more interesting by adding new factors to them, such as making them into swamps where a player can move their pieces and not be attacked, but can't leave for another turn and can't attack an opponent unless the opponent enters the swamp area as well.
  4. Make the lakes smaller and into volcano pits that pieces can be pushed into. A player can push an opponent's piece into the volcano pit if the piece is somewhere around it, killing them, but the attacking piece must move into the other piece's previous space.
  5. Add other elements to the map such as “speedways” on either side. The speedways make players zoom forward 2 spaces. Maybe add another column to the map on either side to make it wider and accommodate this. 

    Note: Did not add extra spaces/columns.
Speedways were added to either side of the board on the outside edge. They are two spaces and go both ways (towards both sides of the board). When a player lands on the first square of the speedway, they slide to the second square (moving two squares at once), automatically.
         Mariana is Red
         Aaron is Blue
  • Aaron's flag is middle right, back row, a bomb on either side and in front, and bombs distributed in a checker-board pattern (every other space) in front of his flag. His piece's ranks are evenly distributed.
  • Mariana's flag is middle left back row, surrounded entirely by bombs – two on either side, and three in front side-by side. Her Miners are all in the back row except for one in the second along the side. Her pieces are evenly distributed and almost mirror each other on both sides.
  • Mariana moves her 4 on the right forward first, utilizing the speedway.
  • Mariana moves her 4 on the left forward first, utilizing the speedway on the other side.
  • Aaron in advancing up the middle.
  • Mariana also advances two pieces up the middle.
  • Aaron comments that he would like to switch two pieces beside each other. He also wishes he could go diagonally. I tell him it would probably make it too complicated to have even more movements, and I've trying to simplify the game.
  • Aaron says he's made some stupid placements.
  • Mariana is mirroring her advances on either side of the board – she has the two 4's on the ends of the speedways, two 6's advanced beside them and one space back on either side of the board, and a 5 and 2 advanced in the middle.
  • Aaron's 5 and 9 are in the middle advanced spaces.
  • Aaron kills Mariana's 4 on the left sided with his 10 and takes her space at the end of the speedway. He then moves off of it to the right.
  • Mariana moves her 6 onto the speedway where her 4 was just killed. Aaron attacks with his 10 and kills.
  • Aaron attacks with his 8 and kills her 2 in the middle of the board.
  • Aaron attacks with his 9 in the middle of the board and kills her 5.
  • Mariana's Spotter attacks his 10 on the left and kills him. Aaron didn't know the Spotter could move and attack in the same turn.
  • Aaron moves one of his pieces on the right side, not remembering that that speedway moves the piece automatically and thinking he could decide whether it moves or not. Mariana uses her Spotter on that side to kill him.
  • Aaron has lost 7 pieces, Mariana has lost 10. Mariana has lost about half her pieces through attack, half by being attacked. All but 3 of Aaron's pieces have been lost by being attacked, except one where he attacked her bomb.
  • Speedways are not being utilized and haven't for awhile, since Mariana killed his 10 with her Spotter (it now sits on the end of the speedway).
  • Aaron doesn't like the speedways because his only interaction with them was negative – how he lost his piece because he didn't know the movement on them was automatic and not chosen. He comments that he hasn't used them at all and that it doesn't affect gameplay that much. He says that if they were going horizontal along the middle of the board (one on each player's side in front of the lakes) and if the movement along them was optional, it would probably change the game more.
  • Mariana comments that she likes the speed-ways, but that it only really made a difference in the beginning and she hasn't used them in awhile. (Novelty use?)
  • Aaron attacks Mariana's middle right bomb with his farthest fore-most piece, his Miner. He then attacks the piece beside it, the bomb right in front of the flag. He then attacks the piece behind it, the flag, and wins. Aaron says he pretty much knew her flag was there because he had killed his 9 on the bombs around it earlier, and she hasn't changed around her bomb set-up throughout all the games she's played.


  1. Add treasures/traps on the map.
  2. A different theme would give Specialist pieces different special abilities.
  3. Different types of “bombs” - possibly one that sends the opponent's attacking piece back to the last open space on their board (teleports the piece).
  4. Do you need a “revealing” piece (Spotter)? Remove the Spotter.
  5. Could the players be fighting over something in the middle of the board (one flag/treasure)?
  6. Making the board larger (more spaces horizontally).
  7. Players place the hidden piece that their opponent is trying to capture – could it be a set piece somewhere, or are they trying to find it? (use larger board).
  8. Add a weak Specialist piece whose special attack blocks enemy movement with a barrier.
  9. When one piece attacks another and they are both the same rank, a dice roll or some sort of mini-game will decide who wins and who is removed.
  10. Add a “push” element. Pieces can move, attack, use special attack (if applicable), or “push” an opponent's piece. This can be used to create new strategies and force your opponent backwards, into a trap, or into one of the craters in the map.
  11. Bombs cannot be disarmed, but once they are blown up once (on attack), are removed.


Radical changes I could try:
  1. Make one god-like “General” character for each team that has powerful special abilities and is somewhat difficult to kill, but still has an exploitable vulnerability.
  2. Make it so pieces cannot kill each other – they can only be killed by bombs or the craters/traps in the map. A player can only “push” their opponent around until they get to the flag.


What I've learned:
     The strategy is the central element to this game. Changing the game's terrain or the number of pieces doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, only allowing a slight variation in strategy, while the main game mechanics – the interactions between pieces and how a player places their pieces around the board – are still the most important elements of the game. People are set on the goal – capturing the flag – and nothing else. Players using a defensive strategy can still win, while most aggressive players tend to lose a lot of pieces by charging in blindly.
     People tend to stick to the same strategies with only slight variations when they play through multiple times. Aggressive players tend to remain aggressive, and defensive players tend to remain defensive, at least until the end-game. Because of this, the game must remain balanced and fun for both players, ensuring that any game-play style has a chance to win.
     Bomb placement is one of the most important factors in the game – once players get blown up a few times, they normally figure out their opponent's bomb set-up and can sweep through their ranks until they obtain the flag. Flags being placed alone may be witty, but because of the distribution of bombs, are often discovered anyways, and are left unprotected. An even distribution of some mid-range pieces should also be held back to defend the flag.
     Some elements of the game can be quite demoralizing, and since the nature of the game is intense and war-like, it tends to stress players out. Scenarios I observed being particularly discouraging were losing because of a few stupid mistakes, mistaking an opponent's piece (memory failure), losing all of one's Miners, and the painfully slow advance of an opponent once they realize where the player's flag is and the player is helpless to defend against the inevitable. I've found these factors causing a negative overall experience with the game more than once.
     If a player's Miners are all defeated and their opponent's flag is surrounded by bombs, the only way the player can win is by either “spotting” one of the bombs to remove it (if they have any Spotters left) and obtain the flag that way, or to defeat every one of the opponent's movable pieces. Since someone in this scenario has little chances of winning, this makes the Miner easily one of the most detrimental pieces to gameplay.
     People really like the Specialist abilities and become upset when they can't utilize them correctly. These pieces, despite having pretty basic special abilities, are what make the game fun and interesting. Even though they are the lowest ranking pieces, some (such as the Miner) are more valuable to people than higher-ranking pieces.
     People's opinions on what they like and don't like about each mod vary. It seems that every time the opposing players had nearly opposite views on the modification(s) put in place. Though the mods were made so that both players could benefit from them equally, play-style accounts for whether the player utilized the mod and how effectively they used it.


What are my next steps?
I still need to test out more modifications and experiment with them, because I have so many more ideas. I feel like the game still needs more radical ideas to change it completely and make it unrecognizable as well. My next steps would be much more play-testing and re-iteration, and trying to narrow down a list of the best gameplay elements to keep and add on. It's difficult coming up with mechanics when we aren't allowed to start thinking about a theme for our game yet, because I keep wanting to make up a story and already have a few themes in mind that I keep wandering towards. I feel like choosing a theme after we've decided on the most basic mechanics would help narrow down the modifications list much more, and allow for more re-iteration and integration of gameplay ideas.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stratego Modification Experimentation

After taking a two-week break from board games to work on our group project (Team Hexagon), Game Design class has returned to our chosen board games. For last class we had to write up another deconstruction of the game balance in our board game, and since my game is Stratego, it ended up being a fairly long essay haha. We're starting the experimentation phase of the main project of the class - the board game mod - where we have to heavily analyze our game, choose the mechanics we think are the most successful, remove or change less successful mechanics, add new mechanics by experimenting with them through play-testing, and weave it all together by creating our game with a new theme and story. In the end, we'll have created an entirely new board game that is unrecognizable from the one we started with.


 
Successful game elements I would like to keep:
  1. Players start on opposite sides of the board.
  2. Players set up their pieces beforehand, and the players cannot see each other's pieces.
  3. Each player has the same number of pieces which they place on the first rows of their side.
  4. One team (either red or blue) always goes first.
  5. Turn-based. A player cannot skip a turn.
  6. Lowest-rank pieces have special abilities that make them valuable.
  7. Able to place a small amount of “bombs” in order to protect something (or use offensively?).
  8. Both players have equal chances and are trying to reach a certain place on the board to attain some sort of flag or treasure.

Game elements that could use improvement:
  1. The pieces. There are so many pieces, ranks, special abilities, and rules for play that I definitely want to simplify the game a little. New players have to consult the game manual often throughout the game because there's just too much to remember at first.
  2. The two lakes in the middle of the map. Though they add a little interest and strategy to the terrain, they're boring elements that could be improved.
  3. Strategic situations. Though there is potential for lots of strategy in Stratego, the nature of the game makes it a guessing game where little strategy can be applied effectively. I would like to add more strategic situations, thereby creating more tension and memorable moments.

Game elements I would like to add or change:
  1. Less different kinds of pieces – only 6 (plus S).
  2. Less different kinds of pieces – 8 pieces in all (without an S).
  3. S piece has different abilities/factors.
  4. Remove both lakes.
  5. Remove both lakes and replace them with another factor such as a randomized Pandora's box (randomized with dice roll?) that can give them one of three things – a reward (special item?), a neutral factor, or something negative (like a curse).
  6. Keep the lakes but make them smaller (either one square taken out, or a line of them).
  7. Make the lakes more interesting by adding new factors to them, such as making them into swamps where a player can move their pieces and not be attacked, but can't leave for another turn and can't attack an opponent unless the opponent enters the swamp area as well.
  8. Make the lakes smaller and into volcano pits that pieces can be pushed into. A player can push an opponent's piece into the volcano pit if the piece is somewhere around it, killing them, but the attacking piece must move into the other piece's previous space.
  9. Add other elements to the map such as “speedways” on either side. The speedways make players zoom forward 3 spaces. Maybe add another column to the map on either side to make it wider and accommodate this.
  10. Add treasures/traps on the map.
  11. A different theme would give Specialist pieces different special abilities.
  12. Different types of “bombs” - possibly one that sends the opponent's attacking piece back to the last open space on their board (teleports the piece).
  13. Do you need a “revealing” piece (Spotter)? Remove the Spotter.
  14. Could the players be fighting over something in the middle of the board (one flag/treasure)?
  15. Making the board larger (more spaces horizontally).
  16. Players place the hidden piece that their opponent is trying to capture – could it be a set piece somewhere, or are they trying to find it? (use larger board).
  17. Add a weak Specialist piece whose special attack blocks enemy movement with a barrier.
  18. When one piece attacks another and they are both the same rank, a dice roll or some sort of mini-game will decide who wins and who is removed.
  19. Add a “push” element. Pieces can move, attack, use special attack (if applicable), or “push” an opponent's piece. This can be used to create new strategies and force your opponent backwards, into a trap, or into one of the craters in the map.
  20. Bombs cannot be disarmed, but once they are blown up once (on attack), are removed.

    Radical changes I could try:
  21. Make one god-like “General” character for each team that has powerful special abilities and is somewhat difficult to kill, but still has an exploitable vulnerability.
  22. Make it so pieces cannot kill each other – they can only be killed by bombs or the craters/traps in the map. A player can only “push” their opponent around until they get to the flag.

Some of these changes will be accomplished by creating new pieces and editing the map. Every game will test only one mod at a time. The results of each experimentation will be measured through pros-and-cons for how successful or unsuccessful it is, and game play-by-plays as well as notes will be written for each modification.
 
     It's a good thing my friends love playing this game, haha. On to observing and playing games!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Team Hexagon Alteration Conclusions

After two weeks of working on our experiment, today all the Real-World Alteration Mod groups presented their observations to the class. Team Hexagon GOOOO!

  Day 1:
 

  Day 2:
RAINNNN. It totally skewed our results. The vast majority of people avoided the tiles because they were slippery 8(

  Day 3:


  Day 4:
Done setting up for the last day! We were all so tired, but so happy. We ended up going through all twelve rolls of tape we had bought though (except for some packaging tape, which is dangerously flimsy, as mentioned), so we didn't end up putting as many tiles on the walls as we had wanted 8\



I'll spare you guys all the graphs we put in our presentation |D  After class I also found out that Eric Gingrich (our teacher), Robert Cooksey (my amazing GAD teacher from last year), and Bryan Shannon (a well-known Junior GAD) had all come across the game at the same time the other day and discussed it curiously and were playing with it together LOL. He said they all really enjoyed it too, haha. I wish I had seen it! Hearing that pretty much made my day.