In this post, I am telling about the second week of the design and development process of my small-box board game. Please make sure to read Board Game Project | W1 post, before starting to read this one.
As I mentioned in earlier, after playing with the first prototype I was encountered with several problems. Thus, I created a better prototype of the tiles. I drew more precisely, and cut the new tiles in even shapes. I also used pencils instead of markets to color the squares, so that the colors were not visible when the tiles were facing down.
I was thinking of prototyping the game for 2 people, and if it functioned well enough, then I would increase the number of tiles and recalculate the odds to create a version for 2-4 players. - Although eventually, I ended up making a game for only 2 players.- I designed to have 24 tiles this time, each had 3 different colors (squares) on these tiles. There were 6 types of colored squares. There would be a Green square in every tile (light green or dark green), and also they could also exist together on a tile (making 16 tiles with squares of each green - 4 tiles with 2 type of green color). There were 4 other colors used for coloring the square pads (making 10 pads of each color).
The tiles were forming hexagons when the ends were connected. In addition to just looking beautiful, this formation could be integrated into the game. If the players could start from the same tile, it was possible for them to connect to the routes of each other, and have some kind of a interaction. This could solve my issue with overlapping tiles, which I described in my previous post.
Idea 1: There is a base (starting tile) where both of the player character will begin the game. They willgo to different directions and try to reach a point at the opposite side of the table.
Idea 2: The players will begin the game from the starting tile and return back to it -Hexagon formationsmake this move of the character possible and convenient.- They will start from separate squares ofthe tile, go to different directions, and try to build their way back to the tile, only going forwards.
I decided to try out the second idea. Instead of having a linear movement of the characters would have a circular movement, which would decrease the playing area needed for the game, andmake it more compact.
The players would still be assigned a color, and whenever their opponent plays a tile with theircolor on it, they could progress on the route that they built.
I played the game with the new prototype and updated rules with the MA students in the class. I played it at home with my roommate and her friend several times. I listened their feedback, and made some important changes accordingly. I realised that the character movement still was not functioning smoothly. The players did not have a motivation to move the character until the end of the game. Some of the players even suggested me to take out the player characters and the tokens, which I was trying out at the time the suggestion came, and create a game only with the 3-wing tiles. Another player feedback was that the game was ending too quickly, and it felt too simple and needed some spice.
I did not want to take out the player characters, because even though it would solve the character movement issue, it would not help to solve the second feedback/issue I got.
In an attempt to fix the design, I decided to add 4 kinds of tokens to the game. The player can use 3 of them against his opponent, preventing him to progress, and 1 of them as an aid for himself. I thought that they would add some excitement, and provide some extra challenge for the players.
In addition to the brand new tokens, I also decided to change the colour and movement relation. I decided to let the player move as many squares as he wants, but only forwards. The tokens and being able to move only forwards would lead the players strategise on how far to progress on the route. I liked the mechanic of assigning colours to the players. (When the player’s color is played by the opponent, it has a positive affect on the player’s progress.) Therefore, I changed it, but did not take it out completely. In the updated version of the mechanic, when the color of a player is played by the opponent, then the player gets to pick a token from the pile.
After a time consuming consideration on whether to have a game board which shows a path for placing the tiles, and trying the board out with play testers, I decided not to add a game board. Players did not like it, and it was inconvenient for a small box game to have a large board.