For the course I’m taking you have to build and design a commercial level hobby game.
The instructor (Dr. Lewis Pulsipher) doesn’t recommend starting out with a video game because it takes a while to learn how to program and it takes a lot more time than a table-top game.
I’ve had a little experience programming and building web based games. So I will build a game for tablets and personal computers. It will be turn based and feel like a table top game.
So here is a break down of my game idea considering the nine structures of game design:
The theme is set in the future when cats run the earth and develop laser beams that shoot out of their mouth. These cats are very good with technology too and can build towers and other military buildings.
The atmosphere is a little comical as well. It’s not a game that takes itself seriously.
2. Player Interaction Rules and Number of Players
Ideally this is a two player game. Single player would work, and multiplayer might get boring unless implemented as an online multiplayer game. The simplest and most fun for this game is a two player game.
There aren’t many two player games for tablets and sometimes when you have some downtime you just wanna grab your friend and play something other than chess on the tablet.
The players will interact by clicking or touching the screen and the characters and moving them around the map. Players can place units and towers in the game.
3. Objective/Victory Conditions
The objective of the game is to protect the shrine. If you capture the opponent’s shrine, you win!
4. Data Storage
The data storage will be in the computer. I want the user interface to be very simple. The map will also carry data, but not much.
It’s a turn based game. Player 1 makes choices, then Player 2 makes choices. And then the battle ensues. I have to be careful with this, as I don’t really want to give the first player the advantage. Lots of play testing will help me figure out how to balance the game.
Players can build one tower and put one unit on the map per turn. The towers and units must be placed within a range of the shrine/territory. Units and towers can not attack the first turn they are placed. However, they may defend.
Towers can not move or be sold. They can only be destroyed either by the controlling player or the opponent.
Units can move depending on what kind they are. They can move a fixed amount each turn on the map. The map will be a square grid based map to keep it simple. They can move in all directions.
7. Information Availability
Again, the information will be limited. Health bars will be on the units, and during the turns, some information on the amount of power, the cost of the unit and the hp of each unit/tower.
8. Conflict Resolution/Interaction of Game Entities
Conflicts are battles. Battles are resolved simply by power and hp. There will be very little chance in the game. This may change if I find the game to be too predictable or unbalanced.
You can build walls to gain more territory. You can only build on your own territory. The territories must connect back to the single shrine. In other words, you can’t have two separate slices of territory.
I’m going to have to test this territory thing out a lot too, as I’m sure there will be more problems and conflict working on the 2D map.
9 “Economy” and Resource Acquisition
The economy comes through the shrine. You can build clerics and towers to increase the production of energy with the shrine.
Again it’s going to be simple. You can’t steal anyone’s energy and looting energy from fallen units and towers.