Final Character Redesign!

The Five have been redesigned by the talented Angie Guevara.

I’m excited to reveal my newly designed characters!

cards 2017


Sabwa of Holt: The Zealot


Jez of Maru: The Arcana


Mam of Gashia: The Obeah


Sapphire of Raa: The Beserker


Welf of Rica: The Radical


Redesigned Villains coming soon!







Game Mechanics



The game uses two 6-sided dice, but can use one.
The Character Cards give the Players abilities.
The Terra Cards help choose the planet of the adventure.
The Crystal Runes represent each character.
The Shield represents the order in which each Player will fight in the Battling System.
The Brown gem tokens represent the number of Health Points each character and villain character possesses.
Black Encounter Disks represent the possibility of encountering enemies in the dungeon.

Player Character Selection:

The game begins with a single dice roll. Highest roll gets to choose their character first. They will then select a face down Terra Card and roll the dice again. The number and the planet on the Terra Card will correspond to the adventure in the Story Booklet that the team will embark on. Then in order of highest roll to lowest, everyone else gets to choose their character. If a team is experienced, they may skip this part and select the character they are best at.


Interaction System:

The person who is a resident of the planet and thus a local is Team Leader.

(On Maru? Jez of Maru is Team Leader.)

When navigating the local area, the team will be prompted to choose between two options per interaction. Either the leader will be individually asked, or the team will have to decide. When they decide, they skip ahead in the Story Booklet to their choice and continue the interaction until their next choice.


Some choices lead to conflict which will activate the Battling System (see below).

Battling System:


If the Battling System is activated in reconnaissance, it will hinge on a success or failure system, and players are welcome to retry the encounter at their own risk.Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 1.02.42 AM.png

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First, all Players must roll for initiative. Highest roll gets initiative, and the players must put their corresponding runes on the battle shield, which maintains the order in which the group will fight for the entire encounter. You must roll for each initiative.

The Villain will always strike first with or without minions. The team will take damage, then go as a whole.  Weak attacks of through automatically, all other attacks require a +3 roll to go through.

A successful roll adds the roll to the attack of the Character and deals damage to the minion of the Player’s choice. The Boss cannot be directly attacked by anyone by Sabwa of Holt who possesses the ability Iron Skin. When all minions are defeated, all Players may attack the Boss.

If fighting a boss, the Players must take down the minions by the fourth turn or the Boss goes into a secondary power state. The Boss also goes into secondary state if health drops below ½.


Balancing the Stats

Initial Abilities and Stats:

1st Iteration

  • Basic Blocking Out of the Differences in Strength and Durability


1st Iteration 2nd Iteration Current Iteration (4th)

HP 50

Attack: 15+


HP 50

Attack: 15+

Skills: Impenetrable & Absorb, 2nd Negotiate

Sabwa: HP 40

Light Armor: +10

W: Long-Sword Close Range

Weak Attack: 4

Skill Attack: +12

Rune: Justice, Leader, Authority


HP 20

Attack: 18+


HP 20

Attack: 18+

Skills: Spellbind & Seduce, 2nd Flirt

Jez: HP 30

Arcane Armor: +15

W: Fire Whip Long Range

Weak Attack: 4

Skill Attack: +5

Rune: Sexuality (Wild Ox)


HP 40

Attack: 20+


HP 40

Attack: 20+

Skills: Rage & Scathe, 2nd Intimidate


HP 40

Reinforced Fur: +10HP

W: Double Scythe Close Range

Weak Attack: 5

Skill Attack: +15

Rune: Disaster & Loss, Hailstone


HP 80

Attack: 10+


HP 80

Attack: 10+

Skills: Poision& Empower, 2nd Chase


HP 30

Enchanted Shawl: +20HP

W: Staff Mid Range

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +7

Rune: Protection, Defense


HP 60

Attack: 8+


HP 60

Attack: 8+

Skills: Drain & Scapegoat, 2nd Sneak


HP 30

Steel Breastplate

W: Throwing Daggers

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +9

Rune: Need

2nd Iteration:

Problems: Jez keeps dying too easily. The strategy has not yet been implemented in tactics unique to each character. The reconnaissance stage is not interactive aside from two choice decisions.


  • Created a skill set for each character and a secondary skill that would help the Reconnaissance stage feel less passive and more an active investment in the mission. Secondary skills are used to get information. Characters specialize in specific abilities and those abilities if used are automatic, but a one-shot only. All other characters have to roll +3 to do that specific skill. I let the stats be, but created abilities that would help the team shield the weaker players and stronger characters do more damage, dividing them into melee and arcane classes

3rd iteration:

Problems: No way to refill health in dungeons unless you’re Welf who has Drain.

–          No ability to attack multiple enemies. Jezebel keeps dying.

–           Welf has no cap on her drain.

–           Mam’s health never dips 65 HP.

–           Actions are overly dependent on +3 rolls.

–           Nothing happens after death.


  • Divided HP between standard Health Points and a New Armor class. The Armor is the first to take damage, but can be replaced with armor picked up in dungeons or fixed in local towns. Welf can now give the health she drains to other team members.
  • Jezebel’s skillset is updated and makes her primary Fever, which attacks multiple targets.
  • Welf’s drain cap is no longer necessary now that she can share, the Players are more likely to heal than horde the HP.
  • Mam’s health is dropped to 30HP, but her Armor is 20, giving her the highest durability, but a manageable amount. Redesigned Mam’s skillset to include Empower which sacrifices 5 HP to give an ally +10 attack or defense (on armor) permanently. This is helpful strategically, but also encourages Mam to lower her HP.
  • Weak Attack implemented which is an automatic attack, and all rolls are strong attacks, however the villain card interacts encourage strong attacks. This was players are still required to roll for the best outcomes.
  • After death, two states introduced: Dead Man’s grip (After 3 turns come alive with double your base attack to take one last swing at the enemy, rendered inactive at the end), and Resurrection, after 5 turns (return to the field with ½ revived HP). The decision of which state to enact is up to the deceased Player and cannot be discussed

4th iteration:


  • Turn based system is weak
  • Characters need stronger identities
  • Secondary skills require little strategy and don’t relate to the character’s world’s and personalities


  • Each character is assigned a Rune which is a personal identifier to their personality and way of thinking. Runes are made playing pieces and mark using a shield the position of engagement, which resets each encounter. Each character also receives a personal quote, so Players get a snap shot of who they are.
  • Characters colors translate into a banner that is the same as their home world.
  • Secondary skills are translated into “Non-Battle Skills,” and instead of all characters having to roll +3 for a skill that is not their specialty, they now have varying degrees or ease and difficulty depending on their personality and strong suite with of the skills. Also, no skills are automatic, now the better you are at the skill, the lower your roll requirement. +1 is the lowest roll requirement. (Each character has +1 req for their “specialty”, then a +2,+3, or +4 stat for the other skills. Teams must now decide who should roll for what based on their character’s strengths.
  • EXTRA: Specified the weapon each character carries and the range in which they can act in confrontations that occur during the Reconnaissance stage.

–           Example: Welf has Long-range Throwing Daggers, which means she is more useful to attack a fleeing opponent than Sabwa who can only yield her Long Sword Close Range, (though she’s got great reach).

Current iterations:

  • Implementing Custom art. Artist Angie Guevara currently redesigning the Characters.
  • Raa Saga is being written.
  • Maru Saga is being converted to audio.
  • Stats remain the same for now (Maru is the easiest planet, Raa is the hardest, so after Raa missions I’ll have a good indication of the weaknesses and strengths of the current balancing system.

Current Abilities and Stats:

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Sabwa: HP 40

Light Armor: +10

W: Long-Sword Close Range

Weak Attack: 4

Skill Attack: +12

Jez: HP 30

Arcane Armor: +15

W: Fire Whip Long Range

Weak Attack: 4

Skill Attack: +5


HP 40

Reinforced Fur: +10HP

W: Double Scythe Close Range

Weak Attack: 5

Skill Attack: +15


HP 30

Enchanted Shawl: +20HP

W: Staff Mid Range

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +7


HP 30

Steel Breastplate

W: Throwing Daggers

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +9

All Iterations

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Rules/How to Play:



Shuffle the Terra Cards and place them face down, and spread out the Character Cards face up.

  1. Begin your quest by rolling to determine who chooses their Character Card first, second, and so on. The player with the highest roll chooses their character first, then second highest goes next, then third, until all players have a Character card.
  1. Once this is done, the Player who chose the first Character card must choose a face down Terra card. That will be the location of the adventure. Discard the rest of the Terra Cards.

TERRA CARDS NOTE: Terra Cards effect the player’s environment. You can only fight in one environment at a time, and each environment will have its own set of struggles, boss, and storyline.

  1. Once the Terra card has been selected, select the Terra Mat that goes with your world. (Ex: If you selected Maru, use the Maru Terra Mat), then, open the Story Booklet to the corresponding adventure, and have either an additional player or an active player read the journey.

STEP TWO: Gameplay 


Each character has a specific set of skills that are activated through dice rolls. The game is divided into three parts: Reconnaissance, Dungeon, and the Boss Battle.

  • The Reconnaissance stage details the events leading up to your team’s arrival on the planet, what your mission is, and forces you to make choices that will lead you to where the Boss is located. While some fighting may ensue, more likely skills like Negotiate, Sneak, Insight, Intimidate, and Chase will be used. Players will be promoted to roll to determine the success of their actions. Each character has a different requirement for a successful roll.
  • The Dungeon stage takes place in the lair or hideout of the Main Villain. In this stage players will work together to battle lesser enemies through the dungeon while trying to find the boss.
  • The Boss stage: takes place once the party has found the boss. Now the group must work together to defeat the all the boss’ minions and the boss themselves in order to win the game.

Accelerated: In accelerated mode, the players can skip the prologue and go straight for the confrontation with the dungeon and confrontation with the final boss.


STEP THREE: How to Fight:


HP: Health Points

How much health you have or additional health your armor gives you

Roll req: Roll requirements

For a successful attack you must roll over the roll requirements. Ex: +3 equals must roll over a three. 

Weak Attack: An attack that needs no roll.

Atk: Attack Points

W: Weapon

Useful for throwing and close range situations

Each player card will have an amount of health points, attack points, and a circle indicating which planet they are from. Their planet of origin will always be where they are strongest. In order to attack, the players will have to roll their dice and add the score to their attack points.

Non-battle SKILLS: Skills that can only be used in the prologue.


WEAK ATTACK: Requires no roll, is an auto attack.

TO SKILL ATTACK: Players must roll a minimum 3, in order to have a successful hit on the enemy targets, and then roll again to determine the attack power. Attack power is calculated with a card attack plus the roll. If the roll is unsuccessful, the player must wait a full turn for their next opportunity, IF they survive the enemy’s attack.


To cast a charm, the player must roll a minimum 3. If successful, the charm goes through, but the player must specify how they will use it.


If a player’s health drops below zero, they fall into a coma where they can do one of two moves. They cannot discuss their decision with their teammate.


Dead Man’s Grip: After 3 turns. allows the character to use the the last of their strength to deal a blow to the enemy that is double their attack points, and then become inactive for the rest of the game.


Resurrection: After 6 turns. She’s alive! Return from the dead with half your health points and all your attack points.


The players must find the boss, defeat their minions, and defeat their boss. The game end when either the boss is dead, or all players are rendered in a coma or inactive.

—For more information about the Process please check out these links!

First Iterations:

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3,


Art and Character Design


User Testing:


Academic Thoughts


Parsons School of Design: Design and Technology,  Best in Show (2016)

Parsons Playtech: USB Key Recipient for “Funnest Game” (2016)

5JT3: Fabrication

Five Journey to the Truth, or 5JT3, has been a lovely experience. Here are some of the background to the fabrication and graphic design elements.

Here are some details pertaining to my physical process making the game. Enjoy!

(Ps.  The text under the photo is what pertains to it)


Balancing Stats, abilities, and villains,  and trying to make Gen 2 cards.


Fabricating a physical piece to regulate who goes when in the game, and also a game logo to the backs.


Coming up with ideas for making the game pieces for the initiative shield relate to the game and it’s characters more deeply…Decided on Runes after research.

Fabricating tokens/counters for health because who does math for fun?


Not I! (Actually I guess I sorta do, but I’m trying to make it noob/newb friendly)


Cranking out cards with MA scissors!


Final design with board, tokens and cards, for Dec 2016.




At December 2016 IGDA: Game Forum at NYU Game Center, to get some advice and feedback on the game.

It’s been a fun year guys! Can’t believe this is only the third month or so. Can’t wait to keep working on this. ^_^

Five! Feedback


This is some feedback I got from my board game in production, “Five: Journey to the Truth!” It is a 3-5 player cooperative board game (players vs. the board) and has a great commentary underneath it. However, I wanted to know how people who played enjoyed it as a game, so here is some feedback I recorded.

Off to beg the people for playtesting! (If you’re in NYC give me a holler hoho)




There was a lot of feedback and constructive criticism that wasn’t featured here.

*Special Thanks to all my Playtesters!*

Final Thoughts: Major Studio 1

Final thoughts concerning the catalyst for my game, Major Studio 1. This class helped me come up with the idea for “Five: Journey to the Truth,” which was originally just “Five,” and so here are my final thoughts as I leave the class. Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 12.06.00 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-12-16 at 12.06.13 AM.png

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For more information on the specifics, I will be creating a separate tab on my website showcasing this particular project in its entirety. Thank you for your support. And if you know nothing about my motivations.


*Special thanks to Aya Karpinska, Parsons School of Design advisor.


Redesigned: Board, Cards, Look & Feel

So, this week I worked on changing the look and feel of my game. While the art is not likely to make it to the commercial version, it is important for easy playability to have a cleaner version.

So far here are the iterations. This is going to be the final version for my class, but is only the fourth generation of changes since original concept. Fun right?

CONCEPT: Character Cards

Five person female team, Orc Women, Spacescreen-shot-2016-11-15-at-3-57-23-pm


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First Gen


2nd Gen


2nd Gen Card Back

cards back-01.png

4th Gen

Character cards.png

4th Gen Back

GEN4 card back.png

If you’ll notice, each girl now has a symbol on the back of her card. These touches are not merely decorative. They are used as physical pieces on the board to determine initiative after rolling (aka, who goes in what order during a conflict.)

In addition, each Rune (which is an actual Norse rune) correlates to the character, and has a meaning that speaks more about who they are, and what they stand for/suffer from. (As this game is still a social commentary)



My issue with the board was functionality. At first it was intended to be a proximity board. Your character can only move on squares that share their color. Then it became more of a map in 2nd Gen, which pointed out level of difficulty in the world as opposed to functioning in any way, finally I came to the last iteration, which basically made the board useful as a dungeon devise.

First Gen

(Players can only move on the square that corresponds to their planet)


2nd Gen

(A map of the level of difficulty with players seeking to make it back to the Green planet of Rica from the Red planet of Raa.

Artboard 1.png

4th Gen: Full completed board

-On-boarding for Reconnaissance, Dungeon Paths, Final Boss Lair.

-Runes for turn based encounter markers, tokens for health counters


And you can also see that the story booklet and game documentation got an upgrade. We now have a lovely “Five!” Crest, which I collaborated with Anthony Kellaher to design.





Terra Cards

1st Gen


Planets Back


(Since the planets are intended to be hidden, thus making the terra or world selection a bit more exciting. (Unless you wanna cheat and just pick the world you know to be easiest or hardest.)



Sensua the Succubus (1st villain of Maru, Boss in “The Cycle”)

and Minions

Gen 1

evil cards back-01.png

Gen 3


incubus card.png

Gen 1

“Five!: Journey to the Truth” Poster

Five poster.png

So there you have it folks! That game is looking up! My next iteration is perfect the art using a custom style, and start extending the other worlds of the Sult Galaxy.


(Art by Angie Guevara)

My next mission is to redesign the cards with more stylistic art that matches the overall feel of the game, but still harkens to the essence of what I found when doing my precedents and working with the original art of the characters. (That was prefabricated for noncommercial use).

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Update 3/13/2017

Five: Board Game-Week 3

For this week, I focused on the game play.

To keep it simpler this week, I included a slideshow of what I’ve been working on.

This week I play tested: “Five,” which I am thinking of renaming “Five: Journey of Truth,” with a living breathing audience.

And guess what? It was playable! Hot diggity!

While I have a lot of work to do, a party of five could get through the easiest level within one hour. I play tested three rounds, and got a good set of feedback and video which I will be converting into a small movie about the experience for my documentation.

For now, I’ll fill you in on some of the changes.

A. I inserted the stats of the characters on the backs of the cards, and conceived a boss and minions that were formidable and related to the first world I put the players in, “The World of Maru,” the homeworld of the Character, Jez.

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B. I split the game into three parts: Prologue, Dungeon, Boss. I also recorded how everything works, How to Play, How the Players use their abilities, etc, in some cohesive Game Documentation.


C. I made the board useful by making it applicable to the dungeon level. You have to choose a path and battle monsters if you are unsuccessful rolling for a sneak on the tiles.

D. I changed the Story Cards into a Story Booklet, very much like a D&D adventure module except more directed towards understanding the world and the characters. I did this with choices but kept the choices limited to two per encounter. (I sacrificed choice in order to keep the game to about an hour instead of it being a straight up 6 hour campaign with noobs. And the last thing you want is for anyone to feel like a game is above them.)

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E. I figured out the fighting mechanics. Enemies have initiative (aka they always attack first…for now), and then the team will retaliate as a whole, each rolling for above a 3 in order to activate their attack. Some of this led to triumph. Some of it led to very very sad 12 year old boys. Que Sera, sera.

Prototype 3 from Sydney Adams

I’ll add the edited footage later, but for now I’m going to be focusing on tightening up those game mechanics, balancing characters that are UNBALANCED. (Welf got up to 100 HP at one point and Jez is the most likely to die on her own planet where she is supposed to have the advantage. And Mam is a powerhouse, she didn’t drop below 40HP once!)
Want to check out the story I told? I’ll be incorporating the storylines as things that can be read for enjoyment into the main fold. But first I must edit that video and CULL the fat off the fluffy bits and give everything more reason.
In my desire to make the game easy to understand and quick, I took out a bit of the storytelling and did a lot of…TELLING. So I need to fix that. But in its final form, I’m hoping that it can be played with OR without a “Narrator” aka a DM.
And if you have started the journey late, get the story behind why I’m doing what I’m doing! (Other than a love of games)

Inner City

An html based text adventure game that explores the minute decisions of a woman in New York City.

Here is the Inner City trailer.

Inner City from Sydney Adams on Vimeo.

Music Credit: “Who Are You” by C2C ft. Olivier Daysoul

(All music rights go to C2C and Olivier Daysoul)

The playable FULL version will be available free by Dec 25th with extended storylines, and likely hosted on Github.


Current Project: Census 2016

Making a new game called Census!

Tagline: What do you mean you don’t remember?


So while I don’t know much about code, I am planning the gameplay of this game called Census. It was originally called Amnesia, but a friend (know-it-all) of mine showed that Amnesia was taken. Maybe Census is too, but it’s a working title and I’m sticking to it!


  • You awake in an unknown room with no memory of who you are.

This is an untimely bout of amnesia because the town of Purgatory is in the middle of The Census. Unlike other towns, Purgatory exists in an unstable dimension in which every summer the denizens of the town are ejected at whim. The only protection against this is the Census, in which every member of the town must write their name down into the Mayor’s Book before the solstice begins. The Book has magical properties that bind the person written down to the town. But beware, if you don’t write down the right name, you won’t save yourself. You have three days before the Census ends.

  • The Player will meet various characters of the unusual world each day who claim to know who they are, and provide identities.
  • Goal: Find out who you are or get ejected out the dimension and die.

So yeah! It’ll probably be free so…definitely check back in.

More to come! Keep an eye out ^_^