Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Final Week

This was our final week to work on our board game and we have made many changes in a shot amount of time.  We found that many problems arose as the due date came near, and this made all of us very anxious and worried.  However, with the time we took to meet outside of class we were able to brainstorm various solutions.
A major problem we ran into, which had much to do with the fairness of points amongst all of the players was solved by changing the colors of the pathways from building to building.  The pathways were a mix of three different colors, and by matching up these paths there are advantages like bonus points.
This was a major change to the board, but it was definitely possible.
After making our final changes in mechanics, it was time to add the lights.
Christian made the trips to various places to make this possible and ended up using tin foil and tap lights.  The tap lights were definitely a quick and effective way to add light to the game.

The game came out just as we had visioned it to, if not even better.  We are very proud with our hard work and hope our audiences have a great time playing Circuit Break!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Class Playtesting

 This week was dedicated to adjusting the rules of our game and also creating the board itself.  Our group worked very well together and we were able to collectively come up with appropriate rules for our game.  Issues with the amount of peg slots did arise but this was resolved through play testing. There was one major issue that came up early on and that was the fact that our game was not as interactive as we hoped for.  There was no incentive for players to place their pegs on someone else’s “pathway”.  After a lot of thinking, this issue was resolved and the game became interactive again.  In today’s class we had a different group of people play our game.  The major issue for our game was the mathematical aspect of the board itself.  The prices to buy the buildings were too high and the costs to place one peg on the board were also too high.  Players quickly ran out of money.  This slowed the game down and took a lot of the fun out of the game.  Once we adjusted the numbers, the game ran smoothly.  


playtesting week

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Putting Brainstorms to Work

The group has been coming up with a great deal of different ideas for the game.  We have been re-editing them constantly because of the problems we've been facing even though we haven't successfully played through it just yet.
Because of the complex nature of the game, there are many technical issues to need to be fixed.
For example, we were having a hard time deciding how players would fairly have priority over another player, and be able to light up a building.  We did however, decide on a more effective method that includes more player-to-player interaction and increases competition amongst players.  Also, the point system is not definite yet because we are unsure of how easy or hard it will be to obtain a certain amount of E cards, and obtain buildings in general.  There are many options to fix all the issues but we came to the conclusion that they will not be able to be fixed and finalized until we can successfully finish one round of the game.
The light bright piece were ordered off of amazon and luckily came just in time for this week's class. There were less of each color than we had originally expected but are hoping that there will be enough. In a worst case situation, we will probably have to order more to compensate for the lack of pieces.
Many aspects of the game are very ambitious and although they are very possible, some of us are starting to worry maybe there isn't enough time to accomplish all of the goals we had set for this game.  However, we are remaining positive and hopeful.
Meeting up has still been a bit of an issue, because many of us work and our class schedules consistently conflict with one another.  This has definitely caused there to be many gaps in our work and so we have decided to meet up twice in this upcoming week to make up for lost time.
We have yet to place the landmarks on the map, but a temporary general outline of the map has been created:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

First brainstorms..

Last week, Chris send the Circuit Break proposal to us each over the weekend so that we all had a chance to familiarize ourselves with the idea and brainstorm suggestions for class.  Overall, in class we realized we have a lot of work to do because we are struggling with figuring out exactly what we want the game to be. One of our challenges upfront is that we don’t want the game to be to similar to Ticket to Ride, so we are concentrating on making sure we have different ideas other then collecting cards to move your player. 

Some of our main brainstorming for week one included:
Should we allow other players to actually break peoples built circuits.  We don’t want to frustrate players who spent all that time building a circuit and then have another player just be able to break it.  We had a suggestion to simulate the way power companies work in real life, which paved the way for many other ideas as well.  For example, if we have each player be a company, for example like Verizon, and we use the idea of a company can buy or rent a building and then they own it. (like how one power line can be used by both Verizon and AT&T but Verizon may own it.  So instead of having other players break circuits, we had the idea to let other players pay that company to use their circuit or pass by. 

This helped us see that it would be a great idea to develop a currency system for our game.  We all agreed that having money in the game is a nice way for players to feel like they are working towards winning and everyone likes to get money! Similar to monopoly, except players don’t need to buy and dominate the entire board in order to win.  A player can rent a building and pay the bank and then a player can eventually buy that location.  We also felt it would be unfair if one player rented a building and then a new player came and purchased it, so the new player would have to meet the rent plus the building cost.  We have a lot to work out with the money and how we want it to work into the game, but buying and renting and borrowing power is our starting ground.  We also talked about the E cards, which will be worth $1 and we will also want to have 5, 10, 15, 20, ect which will represented by different colored E cards.  We also need to work out how many locations there should be.  To start off, we want to look at 15-20 and see how far that takes us. 

This week, we focused on the objective of the game to help us determine what we want players to feel while playing.  For example, we want the game to be interactive so the buying and renting will make players aware of what their opponents are doing and require them to work together and against each other at certain points.  We want the object of the game to be to light up as many locations as possible and the game will end once all the buildings have been purchased (fully lit up).  We also want to add in action cards and extra point cards, such as if a player lights up a certain location they will be rewarded additional points at the end. 


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Chosen Ones...

This week in class our second groups that will be collaborating together to create the board games were revealed. Our group consists of Nicole, Olivia, Lisa and Christian and we will be working on Christian's design proposal entitled "Circuit Break". The game has an elaborate yet interesting concept in which players will be challenged to build electrical circuits to various landmarks across the game board, which is modeled after New York City. Upon acquiring these landmarks, players are then allowed to provide electrical power to that landmark. Once the entire city is lit, the game ends and a point system will declare a winner. The concept drew from a number of inspirations including Monopoly, Ticket to Ride and Pipeline. The initial concept was well praised by the group and a number of beneficial suggestions were made right from the start. Nicole made a great suggestion to use a mechanism similar to Ticket to Ride's color cards, that allow players to build the circuit to certain buildings as well as a point system for each landmark (For example, the Empire State Building would require more "cards" to build a circuit to it however it will be worth more points). Lisa made another suggestion, instead of players making their own circuits and wires being tangled on top of the board, that they should be pre-wired underneath the board and all players would have to do is connect a light and battery. Additionally Olivia made another great suggestion to create another means for players to earn points similar to having the "longest road" or "largest army" in Settlers of Catan. Overall, it was a very successful first meeting and we concluded by exchanging contacts and creating a GroupMe.