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Subject: GCSE Graphics - My Idea For A Board Game rss

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Dalton Williams
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Hello all.

I have to create a board game as a project for my GCSE and I have thought of an idea but do not know what people think. For a start I am avoiding any licensed content so no legal issues occur if any.

My idea is a 2-4 player game that involves 4 kingdoms or empires as land and a no mans land in the middle that cannot be taken over, just played in. The aim of the game is to get to the castle or government building of the other empires or kingdoms while avoiding and defeating the other teams military.

There would be money and a peril card system where you get bonus missions and outcomes similar to the community chest/chance in monopoly. You buy different military units at different prices and power levels.

Players would get money for getting into other kingdoms/empires or defeating military units, some cards would also offer monetary and military rewards.

Players can also buy some properties and place them on their kingdoms and empires, captured or not.

A kingdom/empire is captured by surrounding the government building/castle on each side with any unit. This puts the captured player out of the game.

The board would not be based on the world or any countries inside it, just a fictional country.

So what do you think? I want this game to include elements of monopoly to get funds, risk on invading countries and chess by the strategy.
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LautreSault
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ddjw123 wrote:

(...)This puts the captured player out of the game.

Will it be a long game?
The player elimination is a thing to avoid in long games.

ddjw123 wrote:

(...)I want this game to include elements of monopoly to get funds, risk on invading countries and chess by the strategy.

IMO you're going in the wrong direction.

I imagine you have deadlines, however, if you have time, play more games with different mechanics. And then choose.

If you already did it (that is, played different games), and you still want to base your game in monopoly, risk and chess, then forget this post.

Best of luck, and enjoy the ride, of board game designing.
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Rob Ryan
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What is a GCSE?
 
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LautreSault
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Probably

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Certificate_of_Secondar...
 
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MLeis
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Way too complex, considering that it (sounds like it) is your first serious design and that you'll have limited time to test it. I suggest you either concentrate on military and lose everything about money and buying properties, or vice versa.
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Fred Heis
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Yes I agree it does sound too complex, but I love that you're building a board game for GCSE - how cool!

So what is your objective? I guess it depends on the GSCE subject that you're doing it for. Life Studies, or History maybe, or possibly Economics? That might help focus on what you need to be doing.

If it is too complex, and you might well disagree, choose the area that serves your purposes best. Unless you plan on it going viral within your school and it reaching legendary status that the exam board will have already heard about it, then you would have to explain the rules to a presumably non-enthusiast examiner, and the more complex the more at sea they would be.

So as the Fielmann says, choose the best area. If you want help from this forum then military would be your best bet, but if you want to appeal to the mainstream examiner, then chess or monopoly would probably be a better inspiration.

Either way hope it goes ok and if there's any specific questions then fire them up, but your current thesis is a bit too broad to be able to help much more.

Cheers,

Fred
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Luke Denby
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There seem to be a lot of details you didn't include, the main thing I'm interested in would be "what does a single turn look like?"

Do people move every turn, do they always have a chance to buy stuff. How to battles/confrontation work?

I know you said there are 4 empires and a free zone in the center. You mentioned Monopoly but hopefully it isn't just a square kingdom with an empire in each corner. And with a 1-4 player goal placement needs to be fair for all players (or at least asymmetrically balanced) So if you are playing a 3 player game one person isn't always stuck in the middle of the other two forces.

Sounds like a good first draft but seems like a really complex game to try and pull of if this is your first design.
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Dalton Williams
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It is our Controlled Assessed Task for GCSE Graphic Design. I have had a bit of experience in creating board games as I do it as a hobby. I have not started the project in school yet but have been brainstorming ideas for a couple of months now and came up with this complex idea while visiting the bathroom.

I will ditch the properties but I think I might keep the currency because it gives the illusion that you have a government and control the spending that your empire has. I do need more and better ways to gain and lose currency however.

A GCSE is a qualification in the UK, excluding Scotland and I think Northern Ireland that secondary school pupils aged 14-16.

Thank you for the feedback guys!
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Craig Somerton
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I concur with the previous posters, too complex. Try to think simple and try to think of different mechanisms you can combine to make the game work. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/mechanism

What is your end goal? What happens on a turn? What strategies span from turn to turn? How do players interact or conflict with each other's goals?

Choose a theme and try to keep mechanisms to a minimum as much as possible, but linked closely and logically to the theme.

If you're still mentioning Monopoly, it is evident you haven't played enough games. The best way to learn how to design your own game is to play lots of different types of games, the wider your breadth of experience, the more you will be able to draw upon.
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Dalton Williams
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lukedenby wrote:
There seem to be a lot of details you didn't include, the main thing I'm interested in would be "what does a single turn look like?"

Do people move every turn, do they always have a chance to buy stuff. How to battles/confrontation work?

I know you said there are 4 empires and a free zone in the center. You mentioned Monopoly but hopefully it isn't just a square kingdom with an empire in each corner. And with a 1-4 player goal placement needs to be fair for all players (or at least asymmetrically balanced) So if you are playing a 3 player game one person isn't always stuck in the middle of the other two forces.

Sounds like a good first draft but seems like a really complex game to try and pull of if this is your first design.


Oh yes, I missed the most crucial point, thank for arising this!.

The board would be square shaped but 4 triangular kingdoms with a square centred no mans land which is larger than the kingdoms.

Each kingdom starts with 1 foot soldier unit and an amount of currency which I haven't decided yet. A dice would decide moves where 1 spot is 1 space for every unit but same skill level units or higher must surround a unit to capture it.

Thank you for your contribution.
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Jason Kotzur-Yang
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If you're only being assessed on Graphic Design, I'd recommend finding a Print and Play games on the forums and doing the graphic design for it. Otherwise, you're going to get bogged down in game mechanics rather than actual graphic design. Search for WIP in the forums or have a look at this Geeklist. A lot of game designers would be happy for someone to have a go at beautifying their ideas.
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Andrew Rowse
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These sort of threads show up every year, and I get the impression that (as Jason suggested) they are graphic design projects, not game design projects - and they are graded by people who are concerned with aesthetics, not gameplay.

To that end, the designer's time is best spent on making the game LOOK great, and not to worry about playing well. For instance, if there are cards in the game, make the cards an interesting shape, such as a pentagon, and have them lock into the game board to form/complete shapes/circuits. Build a dice tower that randomly spits the dice into two or more pools, and call those pools 'production', 'warfare', trade etc.

Footsoldier units should be upgradeable by physically replacing their weapons with different weapons (ie you make a model footsoldier that can hold any of several different weapons and shields), and hats.

If there is a tower that must be scaled in order to save a princess, make it a 3d tower with ledges, or a rope with knots the soldiers can hold instead of a weapon.

If you have to assault an enemy castle, have physical catapults.

Note that all of these suggestions are likely to be terrible from a gameplay point of view, but remember that (unless I've totally got the wrong end of the stick) the goal of the design is to aesthetically wow people. It's likely that nobody will actually play it. Trying to make a game that plays as well as it looks will probably make your job a lot harder, and result in a lower-scoring product.

Focus on an amazing-looking product, then post your results here. I wouldn't be surprised if you blow away somebody (or several somebodies) who has a bit of game design experience but nowhere near your graphic design skill - and will reach out to you with ways to use your graphic design in a genuinely fun-to-play game.
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Jake Staines
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kotzuryang wrote:
If you're only being assessed on Graphic Design, I'd recommend finding a Print and Play games on the forums and doing the graphic design for it.


I'd second this - I know it's tempting to incorporate extra fun unnecessarily things into your school projects, and sometimes it can help keep you motivated, but often it just takes up a lot of your time with things that don't get you any marks, and marks - unfortunately and stupidly - are the only real measure of worth that you get out of your time at school.



Don't let this stop you designing your own board game, by all means go for it! But be careful about wasting your coursework time on something only tangentially related to your coursework. If you can find a good PnP design that you like then a nice re-theme or re-skin of it will leave you free to put all of your time into the graphic design elements but hopefully still be an interesting project.

(Also I'm jealous, my school didn't offer a Graphic Design GCSE. I did "Graphics", but that turned out to essentially just be printmaking...)
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Dalton Williams
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Although it is Graphic Design, the examiners are marking our games on gameplay too. Everyone else in my class just want to make for example Minecraft Snakes and Ladders. We are having a research lesson playing board games but the games will just be lame games for 5 year olds that EVERYONE has played, sorry for raging but I am passionate in what I believe in.
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Benj Davis
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ddjw123 wrote:
Although it is Graphic Design, the examiners are marking our games on gameplay too. Everyone else in my class just want to make for example Minecraft Snakes and Ladders. We are having a research lesson playing board games but the games will just be lame games for 5 year olds that EVERYONE has played, sorry for raging but I am passionate in what I believe in.


Good for you. Snakes and Ladders isn't a game.
 
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Ricky Dang
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While the project is mostly focused on the artistic design of a game, I applaud your efforts in going the extra mile for the game, even if you may not get graded from it. I echo Jake's thoughts, be careful about spending too much time on something you are not graded on. That said, I don't think we should be shutting someone down who wants to give game design a shot, whether or not it is the primary intention of the school project, so let's get this back on track.

What is your deadline for this, by the way?
 
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Dalton Williams
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NeoGenesisX wrote:
While the project is mostly focused on the artistic design of a game, I applaud your efforts in going the extra mile for the game, even if you may not get graded from it. I echo Jake's thoughts, be careful about spending too much time on something you are not graded on. That said, I don't think we should be shutting someone down who wants to give game design a shot, whether or not it is the primary intention of the school project, so let's get this back on track.

What is your deadline for this, by the way?


Well, we haven't started yet. If it is the same schedule as Resistant Materials, which I also took, it would be 40 hours to do it all. The teachers allow us to work out of lesson times so the time is not added on.
 
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