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Subject: Need help making a school project rss

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Zaine Wraith
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This is for a Game Design class

I've been assigned to make/design a board game. The past two weeks I've wasted hours and hours and hours thinking about what kind of game I'm gonna make and it's making me go crazy. I need some kind of starting point.

Can someone please point me to the direction of making an acceptable one in the quickest/easiest way possible?

The first thing I showed my teacher was a snakes and ladders clone and he said that clones are not allowed, although the project may be inspired by a certain game or a combination of games it should evolve into a game of its own with distinct mechanics.

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B C Z
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Is this an actual 'help me with my homework' post?
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Bryan Penrose
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Why not continue with your initial Snakes & Ladders clone, but modify/enhance it?

For example, in Snakes & Ladders (if I recall correctly) you spin and move, sliding/climbing if you land on the corresponding space. Provide a way to mitigate the luck in the game. Add some player interaction. Change the theme. It may be Snakes & Ladders "under the hood", but enough variation to make it a different/unique game.

That seems the easiest/quickest way to me.
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Rich Shipley
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Take three games, use the pieces from one, the style of board from another, and the general rules from a third. It might not work out, but may at least give you an idea for something.

Zooming out a bit, did the class have you play any modern games before telling you to design one?
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B C Z
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I'm curious what the previous 2 weeks of class have had to say about the process of making games.
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JPotter - Bits77
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DuskWitness wrote:
This is for a Game Design class

I've been assigned to make/design a board game. The past two weeks I've wasted hours and hours and hours thinking about what kind of game I'm gonna make and it's making me go crazy. I need some kind of starting point.

Can someone please point me to the direction of making an acceptable one in the quickest/easiest way possible?

The first thing I showed my teacher was a snakes and ladders clone and he said that clones are not allowed, although the project may be inspired by a certain game or a combination of games it should evolve into a game of its own with distinct mechanics.



Do you own any games?
Do you think any of those games can be improved on o at least iterated on?

Assuming the answers are yes and yes, get to work.

If either answer is no, buy a/o play more games until the answers are yes, then get to work.

Don't overthink it. Design what you would want to play.

(Are you taking this class against your will?)
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Quote:
The first thing I showed my teacher was a snakes and ladders clone and he said that clones are not allowed, although the project may be inspired by a certain game or a combination of games it should evolve into a game of its own with distinct mechanics.


Get on Facebook.

Find out what your teacher's favorite hobby is... cats, golf, antiques, cooking, whatever.

Create a mindless roll and move game focused on that hobby.

Problem solved.
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Joe Salamone
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New Game Advice.
 
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Brian McCue
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More context might help us give better answers.

For example, is this Game Design course in an Art department, a Math department, a business school, or what?

What have the lectures covered so far?

Have any games been given as examples?

Does this course have a reading list?
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Chris Robbins
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Two weeks of doing nothing is not a path to success.

Just imagine something you would like to be doing and simulate it.

And use copyright notices on all materials. It may be useless in court, but you can tell your teacher you don't want to be a source to be mined for someone else's profit.

(Keep that last part humorous, it just might make your efforts more memorable.)
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Chris Robbins
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Dang. Just sitting here I could imagine a game of President Trump's ... goings on. And you'd be caught up on current affairs.

Did I just say affairs? whistle

Backdate to Clinton if your politics swing that way.

And if this is too America-centric, you've not even identified what hemisphere you may be in.
 
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Paolo Desalvo
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bltzlfsk wrote:
Dang. Just sitting here I could imagine a game of President Trump's ... goings on. And you'd be caught up on current affairs. [...]

A note from across the Atlantic: avoid advice from politically obsessed players. ninja
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wayne mathias
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And there goes my idea for Donny Inch-Short Goes To D.C. (a farm mismanagement game). whistle

I once did a roll&move grasshopper game where you were mowing a lawn that had both fixed obstacles and card spaces. The grasshoppers would do things like turn mower off or even run backwards with it. If you avoided an obstacle you could toss it behind you or sideways to another row (mowers went up one row then down the next till lawn was completed).

Roll to start mower if it stops.

There you go. Steal the idea, modify it if you want, and do your homework.
 
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Brendan Riley
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DuskWitness wrote:
Can someone please point me to the direction of making an acceptable one in the quickest/easiest way possible?


Advice from a teacher -- when you ask enthusiastic people for help, don't give away that you're looking for a shortcut. It makes you look inauthentic. (We teachers would prefer that you embrace the assignment and actually BE enthusiastic, but part of school is learning to do things you don't want to do.)
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Robert Henley
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I found the first two chapters of "Challenges for Game Designers" (Brathwaite and Schreiber, Course Technology, 2008) helpful with questions like yours. For example in Chapter 2, Challenge 1 - The Path contains the following:

Quote:

For this game, you are going to explore the race to the end gameplay dynamic... The game should allow two to four players, be about progressing on a path, and make them go from point A to point B. The first player to point B wins.
As the game's designer, it's up to you to figure out the theme, the game bits, and the mechanics.

...

Suggested process:
1. Determine a theme and goal.
Where are the players going, and why are they going there? Choose a theme that involves some interaction between the participants, to make things interesting.

2. Identify mechanics.
Start simple. Visualize a track that goes from beginning to end that's broken up into a bunch of different sections. It may be 100 spaces or tiles or cards that ultimately build the track on which your players are going to "race." Now think of the mechanic that will get your players moving on that track. ... Next consider things you could do to make play more interesting. ... Does the narrative suggest any obvious mechanics? ...

3. Identify the conflict between players.
How can you screw up someone else's progress or accelerate yours? What's the trade-off?

4. Playtest.
Every time you add a mechanic to the game, test it. Does this make the game more fun or less fun? Does it support the core of the game? Does it work the way you originally thought it would?

5. Create deliverables.


I think that challenge (and the rest of the book) might add some scaffolding to your efforts to build your first game.

Consider using some of the excellent suggestions above: extend the game you started with, mix up bits from other games you know, revisit your class notes and texts, play some modern board games for ideas, etc. (Although, if you keep on with Snakes and Ladders, at least add some player decisions to it! Just rolling and moving with no choice is deadly dull.)

When you get a change, please reply to this thread: answer some of the questions raised, tell us what you found helpful, and let us know how it all comes out.

Finally, thank you for being honest that your questions were about a class assignment and your feelings of frustration with it. Hearing that helped me know how to answer you.

Good luck!
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