Thursday, February 24, 2011

Testing Day

The day was finally here for the groups to test their games and see if other people found them enjoyable or not. Our group was happy that we had the final grid game board printed out already, so we didn't have to worry about getting that done for the final product due next week. After different people tried out our board game, we came to the conclusion that there were still a lot of problems with our game. One of the major problems is that our game is very challenging for people who aren't familiar with the game. The force of the flick is hard to master, and the player chip and ball chip tend to go off the board. One of the solutions we came up with is to have the players put their arms at both ends of the goals, so that the player chips or the ball chip won't go off the game board. Another problem that we came up when people were playing our game was they started out not doing so well, mainly due to the fact that our game is based heavily on skill. One of the solutions we came up with to this problem was having a practice mode at the beginning of the game, so players and shoot the ball chip around without being put under pressure. One last problem that we encountered with our game was that the game was a bit too simple. The game didn't really involve using the grid, and that could be a big problem. We came up with an idea to incorporate a defensive player instead of just having an offensive player. The defensive player can help defend his team by moving up to 3 squares on the grid, and this would challenge the player's mentally, as well as physically. Another option we came up with is to add two defensive players instead of one. This would create more movement on the game board and allow for more strategizing among the players.

With all these problems and solutions, we were glad that people got a chance to play our game and give it some feedback. Without other people playing our game, we would have never realized these flaws in our game. Targeting a market is very important and in order for a game to be successful, it needs to be enjoyable and fun for many people and not just one person. The final game product is due next week, and we have a lot to work on, but at the same time we are determined to make this game work out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More and More Collaboration

Today, we focused on working towards the final project of our game. Two of us worked on the mechanics and rules of the game and instead of just sitting down and writing the rules, we used the materials we had available to play the game we've created. We realized that the rules we originally came up with were too detailed and there were too many things that players would be penalized for, which made the game have no flow. So, we decided it'd be best to only penalize players if their player chip lands on any bit of the black squares or is flicked off the board. Futhermore, the only way a player can get a bonus, we decided that they would have to land on the "+1" boxes. While playing the game, we realized that hitting the other players was not a good penalty, it caused too much confusion and we were putting too much detail into it. So, to make the game interesting we decided that players were allowed to hit their opponents and if that player is hit into a penalty box she would have to return to start, but, to that players advantage, if she is hit into a bonus box her team would receive a point. We did this so both teams are engaging in the game at all times and it creates more competition between the two teams. While those two worked on the mechanics, the other two worked on the design of the board using photoshop. We fixed the dimensions of the board to fit the project board we bought. We also added the bonus and penalty boxed to the design. To finish our game, we have to print out the board, glue it to the project board and revise the rules to make sure they make sense to anyone playing Golden Goal.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Get our Head into the Game!

Last Wednesday, our group tried out our game, and after doing so, made some necessary changes in order to improve it. We brought in the supplies we planned on using, but found that our original layout was probably not the best possibility. We planned on using a felt board and cutting each square of the grid, then realized that this method not only would be very difficult to duplicate, but it was also hard to make exact measurements by hand. After listening to Professor Goeller explain how to build a grid, we decided to use photoshop to make the board for our game. In making our game less "crafty" and more computerized, it makes it easier to duplicate and easier to make exact measurements. We played around with different photoshop techniques, colors, and designs for the board. We decided on a basic square grid, with a grass design so that it would resemble a soccer field as closely as possible. We were unable to finish the board, so we saved it and will hopefully have it perfected after next class. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's Freezing Outside, but the Game Design Class is Still On!

Today, in the shorter than usual time we had in Collaborative Writing, our group made some very important and productive tasks for us to accomplish before the next class. We have decided and finalized the necessary equipment to build our game. Also, we came to an agreement to use a long shoe box for storage and the lid as the game board itself. Realizing that no one in our group possessed Photoshop or knew how to use it, it was a relief to hear that there is a free, online, and downloadable version of it that we can use for our projects called GIMP. With all these tasks and plans confirmed, all that is left to do is put it together and see how the game works and what we can do to improve it and make it better. One good point to make is that even though a game cannot be too simplistic, it also should not be too complex to the extent where another individual will not be able to replicate our game with minimum difficulty. For this reason, our choice to utilize the lid of the box as the game board and playing field is both convenient and innovative. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A New Beginning!

Last Wednesday in class, we did something that was quite new to me. My group was very excited to be able to share our game ideas and decide on which game was the best one to develop into a real board game. I've never created a game throughout my entire life, and I have never taken a class where we work collaboratively most of the time. I was excited, yet a bit nervous at what this new experience would be like.

I found each group member's game ideas to be really interesting, and we all got to look at a whole variety of unique ideas from each member of the group. In the end, our group decided to use my game idea! I was surprised and happy that they thought my game idea would be interesting to develop into a real board game. The game is called Golden  Goal, and it involves flicking a soccer chip into a goal. The objective of the game is to try to be the first team to earn 25 points or more to win the game. The amusing thing about the game is that it involves a skill element. Players have to be careful of where they flick the chip because the landing of the chip determines how many points players earn or lose. Even though my game was chosen, my group knew we would have to make a lot of additions and changes to the game. The game needed to be a bit more complicated and clear, so we discussed on how we would make it better. We decided to have the soccer chips represent people, and the goal is to flick the players and try to hit a soccer ball into the other team's net or get the soccer ball into bonus point squares. We are still not sure what other rules and additions to add, but hopefully we will figure it out by this Wednesday.

During the three hours I spent in class, I realized how much I got out of just working with other people. Not only did I get to know my group members better, but I have broadened by knowledge on games and how to deal with trying to come up with a good game idea. I realized how challenging it is to make a game that would be enjoyable for a wide range of people. This class was definitely a nice beginning to a new experience!