Blog 3 - Detailed Settings and Layout Design
In order to come up with a playable version of the game, we started the detailed design this week. The most important task was completing the "luxury items" list and "pats" list. As discussed last week, to make the game more playable, most of the "parts" must be used on more than one luxury items. Otherwise, the game would be all about luck. So we made a list of 11 luxury items and tried to write a list of parts based on that. Why 11? This game is designed to be a 3-5 player game. The game ends when all the luxury items are created. A prime number of items can insure that players won't have the same amounts of items at the end.
To make more parts compatible with more luxury items, some parts are more like basic materials such as gold and water. The game is supposed to be a parody game that makes fun of the super rich and we thought these cards were a little too serious. So we added some random things in the list. They can still be used on multiple items though. For example, "Nicolas Cage" is one of the "parts". You can use him to make a golden Oscar statuette with Nick Cage's face. Or, you can put him in your very own NBA team along with other players. He can also serve as a member in your exotic animal zoo.
After completing the "luxury items" list and "parts" list, the next challenge for us was deciding the abilities for each character. In our game, they are called "executives". This was not an easy job because there were so many factors to consider. Firstly, the abilities cannot be too powerful or too weak for the sake of balance. Secondly, the abilities must fit the characters in some ways so we have a little story in our game. Thirdly, we still had "initiate chaos" cards design so the abilities cannot overlap the effects of those cards. By the end of our discussion, we had a list of five executives, just enough for our players.
During the class discussion, the professor pointed out that the mechanics of the game still depended on luck. If we want to make the game more strategic, the players must know more about their opponents so they can make better judgement. We thought the character selection rules in the game Citadel was very interesting as each player knows some information about the characters in the following round. So we did a similar design with the parts card. Now players can know a little about what parts other players have so they can come up with better strategy to win the game.