Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Week 5

This previous week in class some of the group got to play the other games created in the class and one person stayed to show our game to the rest of the class. Miguel did a great job explaining our game to the rest of the class and getting feedback from the players. The feedback we got from our fellow classmates was very helpful in making the game better overall. For example, one student told us that the game was a little too slow and should be changed to make it more fast pace for everyone to be more involved. We were able to make this possible by giving each player two actions on each turn instead of just one. This allows the players to still make choices by picking two actions out of a possible three and the players are able to do more on every turn. But without the criticism given from one of our play-testers, we would have never noticed this problem. That is why a new set of eyes is so important in game design, to create true criticism from a different perspective. In class this upcoming week will be the first time we have outside people coming in to look at our games. I believe these people are acquaintances of Professor Parks and will play-test our game and give advice and criticism to help improve our game. Similar to what we did last week but this time it will be from a professional and experienced point of view from people in the field of game design like Professor Parks.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 4

This week was the first time we had someone from outside of our group play test our game and give us feedback. Professor Parks likes the concept of our game but brought to our attention that the game relied way too much on randomness. Our game lacked a strategy aspect because of how random each turn would be. As Professor Parks stated, "Either you have the card that you need or you don't." This posed a problem for us because we all knew that solving this problem would come with major changes to the game.

Though we could not all meet up as one whole group any one day this week because of conflicting class and exam schedules, we were able to work out new rules and make the new parts of our game. We were able to take a few mechanisms from other games we played to help fix our game. For example, we took the big "location" cards idea from Camelot Legends and incorporated it into our game. We made similar location cards, one for each Rutgers Campus, and each side of the card corresponds to the building area of each player. 

In the end, we fixed the game the best we could this week. Though we were not able to play test the game with all the new features, we hope that we will get good constructive criticism tomorrow when our classmates play test our game.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 3

                                                                        Almost Home

This week evolved a lot of clean-up work for all of the group members. As we continued to make improvements on the cards our group worked very well together as a whole. I feel that everyone’s voice was heard and every idea was taken into consideration. These things were very important for keeping ideas going such as when we needed new ideas for our action cards, also called “Scarlet Cards”. Throughout the process we also met in the library one day outside of class to make work on the look of the playing cards. Little things about the cards such as size, look, shape, color, etc. were all taken into thought while making some crucial decisions in the design of our playing cards.

While most of our time was spent of the cards, a good portion of our period was used to make the finishing touches on the rules and objectives of the game. There were still many nuts and bolts that needed to be tightened before we could leave the library feeling accomplished. Various different scenarios needed to be considered to make sure there were no flaws and that our card game would run smoothly. One of biggest concerns was the possibility of our card game having replay value, making sure the game didn’t feel like the same thing was happening every time played and that the players would not get bored easily. Although our game is not completely finished, our group knows that we are close to the end of the race and only need a few more tweaks before our product is complete and ready to wrap up.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 2

Starting From Where We Left Off

We started off our group meeting, again going over what we decided the rules were from the last class. As we started going over the rules, all of the members of our team questioned most of the rules. As we started throwing new and old ideas into conversation, we all realized that some of the rules did not make sense or were not fair to some players. For example, we had one person each turn that would not get any points for that turn. We put that problem aside while we kept throwing ideas into the circle. When we came back to the idea, one of the members of the team, Justin had the idea that solved the problem and allowed everyone to have a chance to get points that turn. As our team kept contributing ideas and decided which ones worked and which ones didn't we decided to approach things in a different way. Our team decided to play the game and see how it goes. We took blank pieces of paper and ripped them up in a lot of pieces. We made simply cards out of the paper and started to simulate the game. After a couple rounds, we decided to add some more aspects to the game, to give a player the opportunity of strategy rather than it being simply based on luck. We added points to different cards, and added a whole aspect of building campuses up from the building cards that we win during gameplay. We also added more Scarlet Cards (Action Cards) that reflect more onto our rules. Last to make the card proposals for class, we decided to make the three different types of cards on photoshop so that we could present them in class. We also decided to type up the rules for our game as we decided in our last meeting. 

So far, our team has worked very well together. We have come up with some really great ideas, and are really excited to make this game. Not only is it just going to be our game that we made, but it also represents the university that we go to, making it more of an exciting project.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week 1

Being a game designer is not as easy as I have thought originally. I have been playing different types of games such as Dead Space, Starcraft II, and some others card games so I thought it would be easier for me to extrapolate ideas. I, nevertheless, never realized how complicated the game mechanics and balancing could get while concerning players’ emotion and gameplay experience. Coming up with original ideas from scratch is especially a difficult task for a beginner like me. Designing a game requires a group of people to bounce back and forth with ideas, and a leader to guide and execute the plan. It is a collaborative work that everybody puts their efforts toward the same goal with time and patience.

Last week in class, our group came to agree to adopt a game originally designed by Joe Skupinsky, who is one of the authors of this blog. His game allowed incoming Rutgers Students to get to know Rutgers campuses better while establishing great social relationships with one another. Before we came to this conclusion, as a leader, I attentively listened to everybody's game concepts and provided feedbacks within our group. It was not an easy choice because everybody had very sophisticated game mechanics and ideas that may spark a whole new series of game concepts. One might feel left out if I his ideas were not adopted. As a result, we listed down all the pros and cons in each concept, eliminated unnecessary criteria and formalized what we were looking for. As a leader, it was really difficult to pick one among others because it will affect how we, as a group, are going to execute our plans and ideas. Eventually, we reached the conclusion that we wanted a faster-paced game with no downtime and serves an ice-breaker.

In search of inspirations and creativities, I have learned to become more observant and alacritous to my surroundings. It is a very important skill to observe attentively surroundings, for they might provide inspirations and ignited great minds of creativities. Many renowned game designers like American McGee, Sandy Petersen and Bill Roper got their ideas from other gameplay experience. If I have the chance to meet them, I would love to get to know more about their perspectives on game design.