Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Coming All Together

Week 4 began and our group felt pretty confident that we had a playable game especially since we started from the bottom each week. This week was different because we were finally play testing our game. Joe was a trooper and came in strong with his artistic abilities for the card design. In the beginning of class we had began playing the rules based on our judgements of the game last week. Little did we realize, it wasn't enough to just have a circle of friends. I had proposed the idea of having acquaintances, friends, and then a circle of friends because realistically, acquaintances just don't become close friends after meeting them once. Therefore, our group created a pyramid looking triangle that incorporated acquaintances at the point and friends in the middle, all leading up to the big circle of friends.

When we first began to actually play the game, Joe had spun the wheel because he didn't want to use any of his RU transportation cards. He had landed on a Friend Alert, and this was automatically seen as a problem. Friend Alerts are only geared towards people with acquaintances and since Joe did not have those the game wasn't playable the first round. Running into this dead end allowed us to expand on our game even further. We found it useless to use bus passes because it would make navigating on the board too hard. So, we decided to make the RU transportation move smaller distances and have the wheel only be for longer distances. This allows all players to have pros and cons in utilizing the spinner or the cards. As we were playing I also noticed that people were landing on the same spaces, so I also proposed the idea that every time a person lands on another person's space, the person who got there second is allowed to take an acquaintance away from the other person. 

After incorporating the pyramid for our friends and acquaintances and realizing we couldn't have the friend alerts on the spinner, we decided to make the friend alert cards be something that occurs every 5th turn. We also created acquaintance cards that also give people the option to utilize these on their turn instead of spinning the wheel or using the RU transportation cards. These acquaintance cards are what will allow every player to move their acquaintance up and progress them to eventually make it in their circle of friends. 

The game seemed to have a lot of cards integrated in it so we decided to eliminate our original idea of the dean card challenges, and added in diploma cards, which will be given out to each player during the start of every game. Every player will get 3 diploma cards and have the option to eliminate one of them. These are the challenges that every player has to complete in order to end the game. The overall winner is not the person who get their diploma's first, but the person with the highest points. We had distributed the point value system so it is a fair shot for people to gain points. Points revolved around the most diverse friends within a circle, the person with the most acquaintances, the person with the most consistent type of friends, etc. 

Joe has been working on the physical board and Uroosa, Alex, and I got together and created challenging yet entertaining cards for all of the different types of cards. We are excited to see our almost-finished final product tomorrow in class!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Meeting 3

     Someone from the outside looking in could say that week 3 did not start off with a bang for the "circle of friends" crew.  When we got into our groups we felt that we ended the previous week on a good note and were excited to get this meeting started.  That's when we started to have some problems.  Joe worked hard on the board design of our game, but it really didn't fit with the direction we were headed.  Since the board threw us off it caused some havoc in the group and we felt like we were back at square one with nothing.  We worked as a team and Joe was very cooperative with our rejection of the initial board design.
     After we figured out the layout for the board, our prestigious minds came up with some ideas to bring some more player choice into the game.  I had a dream that no student should have to walk to places and so transportation cards were formed ( idk if I was actually the one to come up with that idea lol).  Transportation cards are what a player can use to move around to make "aquaintence" friends.  A player can also choose to spin the spinner for a chance to move larger distances instead of using transportation cards.
     We added "friend alerts" onto the spinner, which when landed on a card will be flipped and your "close" friends will either help you or hurt you.  We decided that when you complete a task towards the degree that those friends used to help you move from aquaintences to close friends which would be placed in your circle. And the friend Alerts are things that your close friends will ask of you or help you with, that someone who is just an aquaintence wouldn't ask.
   We made serious gains to say the least and I look forward to the next meeting with my group, in our circle, of friends... Our circle of friends!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week 2 : The Negotiations Begin 

Today was the first day that we, as a cohesive group, tried to hammer out the foundation of our board game. The first decision, the naming, was the easiest. We (Angela, Alex, Joe, and Uroosa) dubbed the game "Circle of Friends". We all unanimously agreed on the goal of the game: players must make various decisions (comparing the risky choice to the safe alternative) to gain  certain amount of "friends". The person with the most "friends" win. We whizzed through the small decisions. We all even agreed on having little real people to represent friends for the aesthetic nature of the game. It seemed it would be smoothing sailing from then on, where we could all just agree on a topic and move on.
            That was not the case. We found that the rest of the decisions were not so easy. For instance, Joe felt very passionate about his game mechanics (of utilizing corners as starting points,  in a player vs. player game ). However, we had a hard time deciding how to fit it in the game thematically as well as mechanically. Did we want “Circle of Friends” to be a more intense game (which Joe’s mechanic would ultimately allow) or a more easy going game ( that may not allow for as much interaction)? This issue took a good chunk of our time deciding. However, in the end, for the success of the game it was decided that Joe’s mechanic could only play a small role in the game so that“Circle of Friends” could have the light atmosphere that three of the four of us wanted.  Joe was a great sport about the decision and automatically embraced our new common goal; to make “Circle of Friends” a fun game with interaction that would not result in a hostile gaming environment.
We, happily, came to realize after our first meeting that we, as a group (though very invested in this game as well as our grade) are not pushy. No one person speaks more or gets to contribute more, which is a difficult feat when such varied personalities have to work together.  There is this beautiful element of blending of egos that I have never witnessed before. We have no doubt that with  this productive and positive group dynamic we will be able to tackle many a problem so that this game will, one day, be interesting and playable. One day. Until then, we guess we’ll just continue to negotiate. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 1

During class today we all presented our board game proposals and got placed into new groups. Alex, Joe, Uroosa, and I have all been placed into a group and we are working on Alex's game. He had made it clear during his presentation that his game is very "negotiable" so we have a lot of factors that we quickly discussed. One of the most important things brought up when we met in our groups was how the physical design of the game would look. We discussed it having a strip of decisions one can choose from when at college. It was also brought up that we could make the decisions on the board branch out to other ideas. This game is most definitely very negotiable and we are all excited to work on it because we are all a bit more experienced now.