Game Mechanics

Board

20161215_012755

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.

character.png

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.

Options.png

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

Battling System:

Reconnaissance

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

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 1.03.01 AM.png

Dungeon

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.

sensua

Balancing the Stats

Initial Abilities and Stats:

1st Iteration

  • Basic Blocking Out of the Differences in Strength and Durability

STAT BALANCING CHART

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

HP 50

Attack: 15+

Sabwa:

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

Jez:

HP 20

Attack: 18+

Jez:

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)

Sapphire:

HP 40

Attack: 20+

Sapphire:

HP 40

Attack: 20+

Skills: Rage & Scathe, 2nd Intimidate

Sapphire

HP 40

Reinforced Fur: +10HP

W: Double Scythe Close Range

Weak Attack: 5

Skill Attack: +15

Rune: Disaster & Loss, Hailstone

Mam:

HP 80

Attack: 10+

Mam:

HP 80

Attack: 10+

Skills: Poision& Empower, 2nd Chase

Mam:

HP 30

Enchanted Shawl: +20HP

W: Staff Mid Range

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +7

Rune: Protection, Defense

Welf:

HP 60

Attack: 8+

Welf:

HP 60

Attack: 8+

Skills: Drain & Scapegoat, 2nd Sneak

Welf:

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.

Solutions:

  • 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.

Solutions:

  • 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:

Problems:

  • 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

Solutions:

  • 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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Sapphire

HP 40

Reinforced Fur: +10HP

W: Double Scythe Close Range

Weak Attack: 5

Skill Attack: +15

Mam:

HP 30

Enchanted Shawl: +20HP

W: Staff Mid Range

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +7

Welf:

HP 30

Steel Breastplate

W: Throwing Daggers

Weak Attack: 3

Skill Attack: +9

All Iterations

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rules/How to Play:

STEP ONE: SETUP

20161215_012755

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 

Standard:

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:

Acronyms:

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.

MAIN SKILLS:

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 CHARM:

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.

ON COMA:

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.

TO WIN:

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,

Design:

Art and Character Design

Fabrication

User Testing:

Feedback

Academic Thoughts

Awards:

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

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

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

CONCEPT ART: Ideation

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

First Gen

ogcards.png

2nd Gen

cards-01.png

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)

20161126_163433

PLAYER BOARD:

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)

board

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

20161215_012755.jpg

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.

INITIAL SKETCHES

THE CREST:

20161126_163421

20161126_163449

Terra Cards

1st Gen

planets

Planets Back

card-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.)

*******

VILLAINS

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

and Minions

Gen 1

evil cards back-01.png

Gen 3

sensua.png

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.

UPDATING THE ART, CURRENT SKETCHES:

(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).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Update 3/13/2017

Ai Japan: The Japan Saga

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

So, for longer than I can admit without sounding insane, I have admired Japanese culture. It’s been my dream to go to Japan one day, and recently that dream came true.

I wrote a rather idealized version of what my time would be like and added a smattering of angst to create a short story I affectionately named “Fuk-u-oka.”  If you didn’t get the pun, I went to Fukuoka, Japan.

I know what you’re thinking, Ghibli, Pokemon, and Maid Cafes. I didn’t go to Studio Ghibli (despite being obsessed), I didn’t go to the Pokemon Village or Harajuku. Instead I stayed in the humble Fukuoka prefecture, which is located in the Kyushu.

fukuoka japan

For a person seasoned in knowledge of the major cities like Kyoto, Tokyo, or Osaka, it is essentially in the middle of nowhere. It is closer to Seoul, Korea than Tokyo, and it takes an hour and 40 minutes by plane to get to Tokyo.  I know. That’s how I got there.  I won’t complain though, I had a fantastic time and it was something of a miracle. I could have never afforded the trip on my own. Thanks to a few lucky breaks, it was practically free.

Going off the beaten path gave me a unique vision into what “real” Japan looks like, what real students and people see, what it’s like without a huge tourist twist. Not saying that Fukuoka doesn’t have it’s tourism, the main city Tenjin was quite a treasure trove, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start here.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

I arrive in Japan on July 6th 2014. It’s raining like crazy. Turns out we arrived at the tail end of the rainy season.

“It’s going to rain like everyday.”

I turn to the side and look at Ayumi, the girl who had been trapped at the airport, waiting for my arrival.  They planned to make one trip to drop us off at the dorm, and one trip only. Ayumi is from Australia. Her hair is long and red-tipped. I can tell she’s got a wild-streak, no pun intended.

“I don’t think it’ll rain everyday,” I say/hope.

She shrugs and we sit in the back of the car. Did I mention my airline left my luggage in Paris?

“Are we the last to arrive?”

“I think so,” she says, stifling a yawn.  “They want to take us out to dinner. You going?”

No.

“Yeah, probably. After I rest a little.”

Twenty-six hour flight? No sweat.

I become incredibly aware of the fact that I only have two pairs of underwear an an extra shirt in my carry-on. Well, it sucks to be you doesn’t it sweetheart?

The driver is in front of me on my right, which as an America is flat out terrifying. Every time he makes a right turn I think we’re about to die. The driver is relatively zen, a calm round man with glasses, who is completely silent. It’s not because he can’t speak English though. He spoke to us before.

“How is your Japanese?”

I turn to Ayumi, her sharp eyes looking at me curiously.

“It’s alright,” I say. “I’m still a beginner so I only know the basics.”

She lets out a curse. “Well I don’t know any. That girl, Analese, she’s like fluent or something.”

I recount her texting us in Hiragana and nod. I had spent considerable time consulting my textbook and Google Translate before my patience wore thin, and I resigned myself to not knowing what she’d said.

We let out a sigh and I look out the window. The rain trickles down the box-shaped car. I stare out at a red, blue, and yellow sign, branding it into my memory. It’s written in Katakana and I can make out a few sounds. An “oo” and a “ka.”

I’m in Japan. I’m actually in Japan.

I don’t care about the rain, nor do I mind the gray sky and the fact that I don’t have clothes. For now.

For now, all is right with the world.

And for now, this world is all mine. ^_^

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

-End of Part 1