The individual game that I am developing in class is a card game designed for 4 players. It is relatively simple as there are not many moving parts, mechanics or themes. This is not to say it is boring, just simply that anyone can pick up and play the game easily while having the most fun possible. The current title of my game is Colour Chain (work in progress).
After play testing my game in class and receiving valuable feedback from classmates and my tutor, my game went through another phase of iteration from my own original criticisms, which I conclude to be positive changes. The final concept for Colour Chain is as follows:
Rules: 4 players, 1 colour per person. Place cards along the 6×4 grid until no cards of your colour remain in player’s hand. Placing cards on top of and removing other player’s cards is encouraged.
Aim: Win the game by having the most points at the end. 4 points are earned by having 4 of your coloured cards in a horizontal or vertical but NOT diagonal line on the board at the end. Additional points are given per 1 ‘enemy’ card you have taken during play.
As regards to narrative, story and theme of my game, it can be considered Abstract. Although due to the simplicity of mechanics and theme I feel it would be easy to ‘re-brand’ the game with another theme while keeping all of the same rules and mechanics. For example, replace the colours with names of Countries and it becomes about territory control and player conflict in a similar fashion to ‘Risk’.
After play testing there were a few things I changed thanks to the feedback I received:
Originally I awarded 1 point per card on the board at the end, with 1 additional point being awarded per card you had connected adjacent, as well as 1 point per card taken. i.e 4 cards in a row would be 8 points (1 per card and 4 for a ‘4-chain’). After feedback the point scoring was changed to only 4 cards in a row were to award 4 points, and taken cards were still to award 1 point each. This fixed the issue of too many points being awarded, making the movements around the board kind of pointless. With this system, players are encouraged to play aggressively and overtake other player’s cards while trying to chain 4 cards in a row themselves. This is what I wanted originally, fun conflict between players.
I had a ‘protection’ in place for the last card placed by a player where this card could not be overtaken by anyone else until the ‘turn order’ had progressed back to this player. I intended it to be an ‘anti-grief’ mechanic but it ended up limiting fun during play and was removed.