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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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)
-La’ers

Five: Board Game-Week 2

For this week, I focused on the aesthetic aspect of the board game. In this instance it’s just the look of the game, and kicking around a few concepts.  Just to remind you, I want to make a board game that allows us to dispel some of the more popular stereotypes surrounding Black women.

No idea what I’m talking about? Check this first.

How you ask? Well obviously the answer is…

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-17-16-pm

These two board games are highly successful precedents that I’ll be using to organize my thoughts and how I want game play to be. For now, i wanted to get an idea of how to work through this.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-3-57-03-pm

Well, in order to make the concept subtle, I decided that the main characters would be Orc women from the vessel “Five.”

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-3-57-23-pm

(There are only four I know, but I was kicking around ideas)

The Five is named such because it can only accommodate five passengers. When the women of the Five leave a planet, they can take no refugees, offer no sanctuary, and no positions. Whatever issues take place on that planet must be resolved then and there.

In addition, each girl is a representative of her planet and they all work together as and intergalactic taskforce for the Galaxy of Sult.

Each has different abilities, and a different outlook based on where they came from.

The colors indicate the planets each character originates from.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-3-57-31-pm

I initially created a board that color coated each character in their role and the goal was that you roll a dice on the board and if you land on your color, you can perform an action. It was intended that all characters could equally move around because I wanted to create some frustration to reinforce the limited mobility Black women feel in these caricatures.

However, I later revised. I want it to be a bit deeper than that.

So I introduced the three cards.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-11-26-01-pm

Instead of a movement style game, I decided I want the players to be able to choose the Boss, Environment, and a Story accompanying each action. I was inspired by Sentinels of Multiverse and how every bands together to defeat a great evil.

At the beginning of the game, the players roll to decide who selects their character first.

THEN. That same player selects a Terra card, which lets you know which planet the adventure will take place. Then there is a story card that will explain how you ended up in that situation. And then you will select the boss card corresponding to that planet to tell you who the big baddy is.

In order to do this, that meant I needed to create some BADASS characters, that compliment each other.

So since this is still aesthetic, here are the concepts for my characters.

The art used is not mine, and was obtained through DeviantArt, Pinterest, and Google Images.Trying to pin down an exact artist has been a bit of challenge, but some of the art is signed, so I will leave it as be. This is after all for a class and not intended for monetary gain. Yet. Should it prove to be lucrative I will find an artist and commission new images. Until then?

THIS IS THE TEAM

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are their abilities as of late, and their attributes. Keep in mind each is supposed to have a subtle commentary.

Examples:

Sabwa can charge through anything, but it harms her internally  in the long run because losing HP is nothing, losing your attack power permanently? Not a small sacrifice.

Mam can’t attack directly. She can only do it underhandedly through poisoning or help others.

Welf can only suck the health out of the system and in best case direct all the attacks toward herself.

Sapphire can only attack and has no defense capabilities. She’s just an angry missile.

Jez uses her sexuality to make others fight her battles.

Starting to get my drift?

After forming the characters up a bit more, I updated the board.

Artboard 1.png

Sample Set Up:

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 4.17.24 PM.png

So now you can see the corresponding planet, but I’m still thinking about how to actually make the board more than pretty. What is it useful for?

I’ll be working on that.

-Tata!

 

Five: Board Game -Week 1

I am currently embarking on an 8-week journey to create a project that speaks to both my experience, and my design sensibility. With this is in mind I was inspired by my favorite pass-time,

Marvel-Logo

Reading comics!

Specifically, I became super interested in the newest hero, “Ironheart,” who in the Marvel Invincible Iron Man latest installment is supposed to replace Tony Stark with Riri Williams, an African-American, female, super genius. Here are some of the first drawings of her.

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 12.13.44 PM.png

These are pretty cool, until you take into account that she’s supposed to be a FIFTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL. These pictures are not appropriate for a character that is a child. They are sexy, and many fans including myself had a problem with it. While the sexualization of female heroes has always been a problem in comics in general, the real issue I have is that this echoes a deep inability for the general public to understand Black women. There appears to be a disconnect with what a Black woman really is. Is she an overweight sassy encouragement with endless advice that saves all the dumb young people around her? Is she a sexy siren that only a true man can satisfy, furthering the idea that a man can prove his worth by satisfying a SISTA? Is she a loud, angry, nag that emasculates the men around her?

It’s hard to decide with the media, and in instances that are intended to dispel these myths, i.e. the super intelligent 15 year old Riri Williams, you still see some of the stereotypes bleed through.

However, because Riri is a CHILD, it is lucky that the populace as a while rejected this, and the newer images are more appropriate.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-32-01-pm

 

However, we then see that her hair texture has been loosened and her skin has been lightened, which is a a shame considering her character’s look is based off of the Disney channel actress, Skai Jackson.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-14-06-pm

Even before the she was redrawn, when people discussed possibilities for her casting, these were some of the prominent fantasy picks.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-13-57-pm

Oy vey. Why is it so impossible to have a dark skinned black girl who looks like a GIRL, be a super genius? Why can these things not coexist? Why does something have to give in order to make the idea somehow palatable.

It is these things that bleed over that makes me realize that despite the strides we as a people have made to overcome stereotypes, we still have a far way to go, which is why I want to create my game.

Five

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-14-27-pm

Originally I had planned to make a digital game, but I have a time restraint of 8 weeks to make everything happen.  So the first stage of my work is research, so that I can better understand how to convey my ideas.

SO, HERE IS A LITTLE HISTORY.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-55-09-pm

mammy1

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-56-58-pm

jez1
screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-57-11-pm

welfarequeen

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-57-22-pm

sbw

 

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-57-30-pm

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-3-09-26-pm

 

Over the next few weeks I will be exploring these concepts more and how to make it into a game that is subtle, but powerful.

Wish me luck!

Research links:

  1. Ferris State University http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/jezebel.htm#
  1. A.V. Club http://www.avclub.com/article/iamos-n-andy-iwas-the-rare-representation-of-black-101275
  1. Alternet.org http://www.alternet.org/truth-behind-strong-black-woman-stereotype
  1. bitechmedia.org https://bitchmedia.org/post/six-annoying-women-character-tropes-in-black-romantic-comedies
  1. racism.org http://racism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1277:aawomen01a&catid=72&Itemid=215