Friday, October 16, 2015

Week 5 of the Card Game

   After many weeks of debates and reconstruction of our card game, the group has unanimously decided to name our game Nations. This title is fitting due to the actions and theme of our game. Our goal for this game is to have the players spend different style resources to build their own kingdom.  Different buildings that can be built within the kingdom include Palace, Courthouse, Citadel, Library, and Cathedral. The theme itself includes each individual player acting as a ruler or planner of his own nation. Due to these two factors, we decided the title of Nations is fitting.
    During the final week of play testing, we discovered several issues with the game.  One simple issue was that some cards were too over powered.  One card stole a building from another player and another card allowed for one player to spend a discount, gain too many resources, and play too many action cards. To fix this, both cards were dropped from the game because their individual purpose was not deemed necessary for game play.  Another, more complicated issue, was the ability to use mathematics to easily calculate the winning strategy of our game.  The spread between resources spent and point value of the building were too easily identifiable.  The game lacked any depth because the winning strategy of each play test was to buy the highest point value building and work your way down. In order to correct this, the number of starting resources was reduced from six to three in order to reduce large spending early. Also, lower point value cards were given a point combination to gain more points by buying each of a set.  This draws the players to buy all types of buildings instead of just the highest point total buildings.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 4 of the card game

This week we attempted to plat test our groups prototype game, though this was made difficult by the absence of one of our members, and therefor our entire set of action cards. To test our game, a handful of rough temporary cards were made to substitute the missing action cards. After those were made, we tested the play capabilities of the game and found a number of rough flaws that could make playing our game somewhat difficult. One of which was that resource cost of the building cards, which made it hard to actually construct anything during our turns, which we believe would make the actual playing experience of the card game to be very annoying and aggravating. Another problem we found with the game was how simply it was to acquire the resource tokens necessary to construct the building cards, leaving little in the way of a competitive experience to be had. In the end we decided to make a number of little changes that may allow for a better play experience for our project.

Firstly, we decided it would allow for a much better experience if the build cost of the resources were to go down, as this would allow for a player to begin the game with a few easier builds. We also decided to make getting the resource tokens a bit more difficult, as this is now only allowed by action cards, instead of being able to draw one at your turn. Each build will also have a larger variety and combinations of which type of resource would be necessary to build it, again to make building simpler constructions easier . We also removed character decision trading as that will also be done through action cards. We hope that these and a few other changes will allow for a better balanced game, and make it more enjoyable for the player.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Week 3 of the Card Game

This week we looked at several prototype cards. Sal and Adam had very aesthetically pleasing card prototypes. For our prototypes next week, we decided to use a combination of both. For our resources, Steffan made circular tokens out of clay that will be used as the various resources of our game. Additionally, we discussed several aspects of the gameplay for our project. We decided on approximately thirty action cards, at least fifteen building cards, ten event cards and four resources to test run our game next week. We believe this to be an adequate amount to play the game for at least two turns. One major aspect of the game we left up in the air was the theme. We decided that it was more important to solidify the gameplay and build the theme around it. Some interesting ideas that were brought up included being separate contractors for one country/kingdom as well as being rival kingdoms. Overall, the main objective of the game is to accumulate the most points by building the most/best buildings.

Several conflicts we ran into were the usage of action cards. We all felt action cards were necessary for player to player interaction. However, we were unsure how big of an impact action cards should have on the game. Also, we were debating whether to have action cards have a certain cost to use. Another issue we sought to resolve was limiting the amount of luck in the game. With the amount of randomness from drawing action cards and event cards, we decided to limit event cards to one event card every four turns. Next week, we will play the game under these guidelines and see what adjustments we have to make.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 2 of the card game

This week we focused on creating the core mechanics of the game.  We decided the game will require players to spend resources in order to build structures and buildings.  The goal is to gain the most points by creating the most successful city.  Each player starts by drawing five action cards from the action deck.  These cards will be used to modify the rules and allow players to use strategy when building their city.  Each turn the player will draw an action card, gain resources, and then spend their resources to build.  There will be different types of building cards or blueprints that are available to build, which give different bonuses to players. We were unsure of how to represent the buildings.  Either as cards that could be drawn from a deck, or as tokens that are available to build at any time as long as the player has the resources.  We also decided that event cards will be played after every other turn or so.  Event cards are random and can effect everyone.  They are draw from a separate deck, and are supposed to account for random environmental effects or social events. We still need to solidify the core mechanics before making any more major advancements with the game.  However, we decided that the game would take place in the past during the middle ages or before.

 We want to incorporate player to player interaction in the game. Something like trading resources or goods.  We were thinking that action cards could help play a major role with this aspect of the game.  We still need to figure out how buildings are constructed, how to gain resources, and what the win conditions of the game are going to be.  We originally wanted to incorporate the lands that buildings were constructed on.  We wanted these lands to be represented by cards, but as of now we have taken that aspect out of the game because it would be too complicated.  Next week we will decide how many types of cards will be in the game for sure and how the players will interact with each other.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 1 of the Card Game

   This week kicked off our campaign of creating a unique and original card game.  Each group member had the responsibility of creating their own idea for a card game and present it to the group. One of the ideas presented includes a version of baseball using the style of the famous card game War.  Another idea was a game in which each player's goal is to build his or her own civilization. The third idea is a game in which players attempt to rob a home and collect as many valuables as possible. Each member thoroughly questioned the ideas and structures of each game to grasp a better understanding of which card game idea would prove to fit the criteria best. Through cooperative group work, we decided to put our efforts into our civilization building idea. 
   Our decision for our game was based on several factors.  The first factor was the negative aspects of the two other games. The baseball game seemed to lull players into a game in which strategic decisions were actually insignificant. The house robbing game was discarded because of its bad message of stealing from a home.  Another factor that lead to our decision was the fact that the game is based more on a player's own progression rather than setting back another player.  We as a group agreed that a game can be more inviting to players if the goal is to create the best possible environment for that player, rather than destroy another player's environment.  Yet another factor is that this game allows for each member of the group to incorporate his own creativity into the game because it is an open world style game.  There can be different actions, consequences, colors, aspects, and styles of play. 
   As of today, our game does not have a title.  We currently agree that there will be three decks to draw from with each deck having its own purpose.  The goal of the game is to acquire as many points possible by creating the best civilization possible.  All ideas and rules are not final and are subject to change as we continue in our process of the making of our game.