Design Chit-Chattery

  • @Thenomain, @Arkandel and I are reading a book more or less concurrently, in order to discuss whatever pops into our head during the course thereof. It is: "Challenges for Game Designers: Non-digital Exercises for Video Game Designers" from Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber. We will be discussing whatsoever here!

    Anyone is welcome to join us in doing so. With the caveat that really we're mostly just yammering about how to apply principals to MU, so it's not particularly focused otherwise. :)


  • Nerds.

  • What happened with the The Aesthetic of Play book?

  • @Misadventure

    It doesn't have homework.

  • Pitcrew

    Well this looks fascinating, and I have access to an e-book. I'll skim along with you.

  • This week we're readying CHAPTER 2. And will discuss prolly starting next weekend, including how exercises went.


  • Chapter 2, Challenge the First: THE PATH
    For this game, you are going to explore the race to the end gameplay dynamic discussed earlier. The game should allow two to four players, be about progressing on a path, and make them go from point A to point B. The first player to point B wins. As the game’s designer, it’s up to you to figure out the theme, the game bits, and the mechanics.

    Components Required:

    • Materials to create prototype
    • Deliverable
    • Boardgame prototype or
    • Card-game prototype or
    • Tile-based–game prototype or
    • One-page write-up of detailing a potential game design

    Suggested Process:

    1. Determine a theme and a goal.
    2. Identify mechanics.
    3. Identify the conflict between players.
    4. Playtest.
    5. Create deliverable.

    Note, this is for fun-time discussion purposes, so no actual game bits or the like are actually expected. :)


  • This is all kinda hodgepodge rather than laid out neat and tidy. Brainstormin', yo.

    **To Grandmother's House **
    Forge through the overgrown Forest as one of the Granddaughters (Red, Orange, Green, Blue), searching for Grandmother's House. Try to get there before the Wolves eat you, and before the sun sets.

    Moving through the Forest is about finding a way through (slower but quieter) or cutting through (obvious to Wolves). The Granddaughters begin together in the Village in the morning; they can travel together or separately as player-interaction dictates. Each Granddaughter has a special trick up her sleeve to differentiate from her sisters. Movement itself is handled in grid-point, cardinal directions only. Grandmother's House is a random location in the outer edges of the Forest each game. The Village is at the center. When stepping into a new point, the Granddaughter can Peer one point in any direction. She can stay in place and Peer another direction the next round, but abandons movement forward to do so. 1 Wolf (for 2 players), 2 Wolves (3-4 players) begin in the outer edges of the Forest and may move at random (see Wolf movement below) until they come on a Granddaughter or a Cut Path to hunt a Granddaughter. If a Granddaughter moves onto a Wolf on her turn, she can sacrifice Peering to just run away. If a Wolf moves onto a Granddaughter on its turn, it eats her.

    X X X X X X X
    X X X X X X X
    X X X X X X X
    X X X v X X X
    X X X X X X X
    X X X X X X X
    X X X X X X X

    Each "X" is a card laid facedown at random. When a Granddaughter steps onto a point, she picks it up to see what's there. At the end of each Granddaughter's turn, she switches any one card on the board with an adjacent card (cardinal directions only) as Wolf movement.

    A round is one hour from sunrise to sunset (12 total, can be shortened for a shorter game). It's possible to lose the game by getting eaten or by not finding Grandmother's House by sunrise.

  • Here's my entry, written over lunch while thinking about how much I enjoy Tsuro, which is kind of the opposite of this challenge.


    Theme: Four bumper cars going from the start to the end. Easy, right? Well they are bumper cars.

    Goal: Make it 15 spaces on a board that is built with square tiles as you race. Each tile represents your path.


    Draw until you have three tiles in your hand. The face of these tiles are hidden from view of the other players.

    Lay one tile so that your token (bumper car) is moved along the path. Each tile has multiple paths and can be placed in any configuration. You must lay the tile so that one side lines up exactly to the tile next to it.

    If the tile puts you on the path of another player's car, you have run into them and sent them spinning. Move their car onto a different path on their tile and then follow it to the end of that path. This is where they end up. Do the same for your car.

    If any bumper car runs into another bumper car, you get to pick the paths the new cars end on until all cars stop moving at the end of a path.

    If a car ends up back at the start line, they can place a new tile next to any existing tile at the start and try to catch up.

    The first car over the finish line, after the track is 15 tiles long, they win.


    As long as the tiles are well designed, the players will weave and exchange positions, allowing someone who can follow all the existing paths to see the best way to get to the finish. As the track gets laid out, other paths will become available so that someone kicked back to the start can jump forward on existing tiles. Bumping someone off their current path should throw them back several tiles, or may put them in the way of another player, or may force them to place a tile sideways delaying their forward momentum.

    Stupid bumper cars.

    Each tile side should have 2-3 paths available with many ways to cross paths and a few, but not overwhelming number, of turns.

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