Game Challenge #12: Digital 2 Player Game

April 27, 2009

For this challenge, we had to construct a digital game which two players can play. To do so, we had to use a simple coding program, either Scratch or Game Maker.

I created my game using Scratch; it is an extremely simple game (due to my vast lack of knowledge in the coding field). At first, I wanted to try something rhetorical, and having to do with mill dogs (I volunteer for a mill dog rescue, and I believe it’s something that really needs to be emphasized and brought to the public’s attention; I felt I’d attempt this through gameplay); however, I couldn’t find a way to do so. Not to mention, I had difficulty with the program (again, lack of knowledge).

I created a game on Monday during class, and thanks to the professor’s help, I was able to create something. Of course, my game file was corrupted during the emailing process, and so I had to put the game together a second time. But at least the second time around, it was faster since I was then familiar with the code.

The game I created I called “Dance! Dance! Dodge the Cheetos!” It’s more of an amusing game than anything else. The rules are very simple:

And here are some more visuals from the game:

Overall, I think my game got a positive response. No one seemed to complain, and all thought it was a “fun little game.” 🙂

I don’t know how else to really improve on this game, since it’s such a simple concept; anymore work on it might be overworking it and making it complicated. But if anyone has suggestions, I’m more than happy to listen to and consider them!

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Game Challenge #11: Game Revision

April 19, 2009

For this last week, we were asked to revise an older game rather than construct a new one. I went back to my “American Beauty” game, to work out the kinks and give it another whirl. After all, I’d put so much work into it, and I felt it had more potential than most of my games…

So the rules generally stayed the same, except I cut out the math entirely. Game play seemed to flow much better with the math removed, since players didn’t have to pause to calculate a score. The whole “player with the least amount of points wins!” concept was changed, since the math/point system was removed. Instead, players had to move their age stone to the end of the board; the first player to reach the end of the board ended the game, but didn’t necessarily win. Rather, once game play is ended, the player with the most distance between their age stone and their beauty stone (that is, with the age stone being higher and the beauty stone being lower, not the other way around) won the game, since they were able to look the youngest according to their age.

Another major change to the game was in regards to the die roll outcomes. Instead of one die, I added two dice. The white die affected the player’s age stone, and the red stone affected the player’s beauty stone. That way, there was more variety to a turn, and both stones were affected rather than just one. This seemed to balance out the movement of stones a little more, and I gathered this from the way stones moved more often this time around as compared to the first play test.

Overall, I felt a more positive reaction with the second play test than I did with the first. Players seemed relieved that the math aspect was removed, and therefore they were able to engage more fully in the game rather than spend their time doing math and having to roll the die again as soon as they finished. Players got to observe other players play their turns this time;  it no longer seemed like an individual effort.

One suggestion players had this time around was a way to differentiate the paths on the board. Since everything is so uniform, players had a difficult time in remembering what path they were playing. I thought I could easily fix this by pasting images of popular media figures on the currently blank starting squares (since they’ve become completely obsolete otherwise); i.e. Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Halle Berry…people applauded for their beauty according to American standards. That way, players just have to remember what “character” they are, and they’ll know which path is theirs.

Overall, I felt the revisions really improved the game, and got some positive responses from play testers. Just a few more kinks to work out, and I’m on my way to finalizing the game contents and rules! 🙂

Game Challenge #10: Socially Conscious Game

April 19, 2009

For this challenge, we needed to incorporate some sort of commentary on society and put it into game play. In brainstorming for this challenge, I got to thinking about the media and all the pretty women plastered on billboards and influencing the public. I think I was watching Dr. Phil (haha) one day, and it discussed how girls are trying so hard to be “sexy” like the women on tv. But Dr. Phil (and a really awesome commercial made by Dove) proved that women don’t really look like that. (The commercial took an everyday American woman and transformed her into a super model, showing all the work that goes into making her look so, including the Photoshop touch-ups!)  This got me thinking on how people spend SO much money just to defy the natural aging process. There are SO many surgeries, products, and procedures available to women (and men) in order to make them fit with American society’s idea of “beauty.” And so, I felt I needed to make a game on this, since I feel so strongly towards it.

And here are the rules to “American Beauty” :

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Of all societies, America places significant emphasis on physical beauty. With the discovery of numerous plastic surgeries, cosmetic surgeries, and chemical products, there’s nothing a person can’t do to alter their physicality to look more “beautiful.” This vast pool of products and procedures is America’s very own “fountain of youth.” Every day, people tap into this fountain to deny the aging process—to “look your age” has become equivalent to a cardinal sin under the critical eye of American society.
Your goal is to be an “American Beauty,” aging in years but never in looks. Try your best to defy the natural aging process, remain youthful and beautiful, and avoid the ever-critical eye of society.

SET UP
At least two players must play, and the game allows for up to six players. Begin by placing your age stone (clear) and your beauty stone (red) on the black starting space on the “blue” side of the board. Players then roll a die to see which blue age space they begin on (16-21). If a player rolls a 1, he or she starts on 16; if a player rolls a 2, he or she starts on 17; and so on with 6 being 21. Place your age stone (clear) on the age space rolled. The player landing on the youngest age space begins, and turns continue in a clockwise direction. In case of a tie with ages, the players roll the die again; the player to roll a lower number then goes first.

GAME PLAY
For each turn, players roll a die. The number on the die corresponds to one of the following actions:

1 – pick up and play an Age card
2 – move your beauty stone forward one space
3 – choose an action! (1, 2, 4, 5, or 6)
4 – move your age stone forward one space
5 – play one of your Beauty cards
6 – move your beauty stone back one space

If a player picks up an Age card, he or she must follow the directions on the card. If an Age card has a purple dot in the corner, it means the player receives a Beauty card. Beauty cards are kept in the player’s hand, while all Age cards are returned to the bottom of the deck once played.

POPULARITY POINTS and WINNING THE GAME
After a round is completed and all players have rolled the die, players collect their Popularity points. (Please keep track of popularity points on a separate sheet of paper). In order to calculate your popularity points, do the following:

Popularity Points = Current Age as Indicated by Age Stone Space x the Number of Your Colored Area as Indicated by your Beauty Stone Space

So, for example, if a player’s age stone is on 54, but their beauty stone is on 25 and within the green area, they would calculate their Popularity Points as follows:

54 (age stone) x 1 (beauty stone) = 54 Popularity Points

Players solve this equation after the end of each round (when all players have rolled), and accumulate points as they go. When all players reach the ending black space on the “red” side of the board with their age stone, they have finished their part in the game, but the game is not over until all players reach the end. At the end of the game, the players who accumulated the least amount of Popularity Points is the one who was able to look the youngest despite their age; therefore, the players with the least amount of points wins the game and conforms to American society’s idea of beauty!

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So these rules SERIOUSLY changed during game play, especially the die number results. Players seemed to have fun, and discussed the social aspect a bit and gave their own input on the idea of “beauty,” but I feel players also got a little…I wanna say, bored. And I blame this mostly on the math aspect. Perhaps cutting out the math entirely will help make the game flow a little better, and players don’t have to strain their brains with such high numbers (they DID get pretty high, in the five-digit range for some, I think). There also was some confusion on the starting space, and whether you needed to return to it if you had to go back a certain number of spaces. I may just cut out the starting space entirely…

Overall, the biggest issue was getting a balance between moving the stones, and gaining cards/die rolls that allowed players to move back with their age stone. I’ll be revising this system the most, I believe…

Game Challenge #9 continued

April 6, 2009

Play testing in class went fairly well this time around–much better than the first version. Players seemed to have initial issues with grasping the overall rules, but after a few times around the circle, things became more clear and seemed to go more smoothly. In general, players seemed to have a good time (I gather this from the laughs that ensued :D). Players seemed more interested in this version of the game than the last. There seemed to be issues, however, with the Theme Collections–not necessarily “issues,” but players didn’t adhere to the themes as a narrative was constructed. This may stem from a misunderstanding of rules, or the competitive edge of wanting to get rid of all cards in one’s hand to end the round. Either way, a silly narrative was constructed, and I personally think that the silliness works better than any coherent, serious narrative. I’m thinking of cutting the Theme Collections altogether, or just keeping them as they are–as an option.

My group wanted to put up this one sentence we constructed. So, here it is (bolded words are actual word cards played):

A haggardly drunken ninja reading masochistic porn economically cleaned his wee hubris.

…kinda silly, but that’s the great thing! Everyone had fun. 🙂

Response to a Socially Conscious Game

March 31, 2009

A few weeks ago, Prof. Monnens asked us to play a socially conscious game on the Better Game Contest website and post a blog on it. Well, here it is!

The game I chose to play was called “Points of Entry: An Immigration Challenge!,” and I chose this game because my mother currently has a green card and is not a US citizen because of this. Ever since my parents’ divorce (exactly a year ago tomorrow, actually), it’s made us both wonder just how “safe” she is now as a resident alien no longer married to a US citizen.

This game really emphasized just what Americans deem “important” to be allowed residence in the US. In the game, the player is an INS worker handing out green cards to would-be alien residents. The game’s goal is to change an immigrant’s “stats” in order to have more points than your coworker, and beat the timer in adjusting these stats ten points or lower above the stats of the coworker’s current immigrant. The stats one could change ranged from the immigrant’s age range, to his education status, to any family currently residing in the US (a stat that couldn’t be changed unless the overall point accumulation was 55+).

As unrealistic as it is to change the stats of a real person, I think it really commented on what Americans find to be important as a person representing America. It really goes to show how shallowminded this country really is (sorry to any really patriotic readers out there), how important it is whether you are a native speaker or not. While it’s important to speak the language, I don’t think someone should be denied the ability to live in the so-called “land of the free” just because they were never allowed to learn the language. But before this turns into a debate on immigration itself, I’ll go ahead and focus on the game play.

This game was fairly simple, clicking buttons to change the number at the top of the screen, and thinking about what you had to adjust in order to have your number in the range of “ten or less” above the number of your computer opponent. The game wouldn’t have been all that great had there not been a timer involved, which adds a competitive edge. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of clicking buttons to get a number above your opponent’s number. With the timer, you hurry to get the number in the correct range, as well as pay attention to what buttons you’re clicking in order to achieve that goal. Putting a timer in the game was a good move on the designer’s part.

Overall, it wasn’t the world’s most compelling game; I think the focus of this game was less on the game’s structure and dynamics and more on the message it portrayed to the player on immigration laws.

Game Challenge #9: April Fool’s Day -OR- Revision

March 29, 2009

Again, for this challenge, I decided to go with the revision of an older game rather than throwing together a new one, seeing as I have a few games already designed that could really use some more testing and touch-ups.

For this revision, I went back to my narrative game, “Word Play.” I feel that, from play testing the previous version of the game and finding it to be close to failing, as well as having so many other ideas for possibly using the cards to play, I should try a different route with this concept and see if it succeeds this time around.

One of my ideas, which I mentioned in my blog on the narrative game challenge, was to use the concept of a popular theatre game in which players sit in a circle and go around the circle, each person shouting out a word to form a coherent (though often silly) sentence and, overall, creating a short narrative of their own. Taking this concept and giving it my own spin by adding cards and a point system, I could easily turn this game into a fun way to create a narrative, as well as a game with a competitive edge. Or so I hope…generally, the rules would go as follows:

SET UP: Players sit in a circle. Shuffle the deck of word cards, and shuffle it well! Deal out five cards to each player.DO NOT SHOW YOUR HAND TO OTHER PLAYERS. Players then decide on a Theme Collection (ten themes to each collection). And let the games begin!

~Theme Collections not only give players a bit of direction in their narratives, but also allow for a definite ending to a game (once all ten themes are narrated, the game ends). Note: Theme Collections are optional, only there to give players guidance if they’re not sure where to go, or want to construct a somewhat coherent narrative.

GAME PLAY: The player to start will be the player with the closest birthday to the current day. The first player will start by saying a single word, any word, but it MUST make sense grammatically! Players then continue, one at a time clockwise, by adding to the word before theirs to create a sentence. For example, if there were five players, a sentence they could construct would go something like this:

(1)Once (2)upon (3)a (4)time, (5)there (1)was (2)a (3)pretty (4)princess (5)locked (1)in (2)a (3)castle.

In the example above, ending with player three, player four would then start a new sentence. Player three would indicate that he or she is ending the sentence by slapping (or lightly tapping) the surface in front of him or her, signaling to player four (and all other players) that the sentence is ended and a new one will now be constructed.

CARDS: When it comes your turn, and you are able to grammatically use a word in your hand, you may play that word; however, IF A WORD IS PLAYED, THE NEXT PLAYER IN THE CIRCLE CANNOT PLAY A SIMILAR PART OF SPEECH (FOR EXAMPLE, IF AN ADJECTIVE IS PLAYED, THE NEXT WORD CANNOT BE AN ADJECTIVE; IT CAN, HOWEVER, BE A NOUN). The round continues until one player plays all five of his or her cards. Once all cards in a hand are played, that player must try and end a sentence COHERENTLY in order to end the round; otherwise, the round continues, allowing players to continue playing their hands, as well. If all players play all their cards, the round immediately ends (unless players choose to continue their narrative and end it themselves).

NOTE: If a card is played, the initial play is the one that deals out points; players can repeat this word in the narrative in order to keep the story coherent, however repetition of the word DOES NOT award points to the player who repeated it.

POINTS: Cards are worth different points! It is up to the player to keep track of his or her points in some way, shape, or form. Adjectives are worth 1 point; nouns, 2 points; verbs, 3 points; adverbs, 4 points. Points are awarded according to the difficulty of playing a card.

The player who collected the most points by the end of the ten rounds wins the game!

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And those are the rules! Let’s see how they test out in game play tomorrow during class. Hopefully, this version of the game will be more successful than the last…

Prototyping Articles

March 29, 2009

According to the two articles assigned by Prof. Monnens, I’ve gathered that prototyping is defined as a process in which a game is initially created and tested before a design team dives into fully dedicating themselves to the creation of the game. Prototyping is basically what we’ve done in class thus far: creating game concepts using items that we can easily find around us, such as paper, tape, scissors, beads, cards, etc. …Prototyping is a time- and money-saving process, overall. A group uses prototypes of games to test an idea initially and see if it’s worth pursuing. Paper prototypes, in general, save a lot of time and and a lot of effort when it comes to digital design and programming, for design groups can work out the kinks and issues of an idea before putting all they’ve got into programming the code for a game concept. Overall, in the game world, prototyping is a lifesaver.

Prototyping seems important because, as I stated above, it saves a lot of time, money, and “needless frustration” in the overall design process. I’ve never created a digital game myself, but I can understand, from my own experience in this class, how prototyping is very helpful. In class, we’ve done nothing but make prototypes of games that we test every Monday, to work out the problems with our ideas. Had we dived into a full-out final product of our games, only to be faced with tons and tons of issues, that’s a lot of time (and a lot of money, if expensive materials were used) wasted on a failure. Through prototyping, we can avoid this problem by creating a simple design from household items and office supplies…and if the idea fails, at least it doesn’t leave a designer with the regret of hours wasted!

It seems that, from the articles, paper prototyping can be used to create digital games by…well, designing the concept through paper! The first article, “Paper Prototyping: 5 Facts for Designing in Low-Tech,” really hit on this with their designs for the Apple iPhone. It was interesting how they always had to keep in mind that the game would eventually be converted to digital form, as well as the limitations of the iPhone itself (such as transfering their 11×8.5 in designs to a 5×3 in notebook–a size which reflected the iPhone’s actual screen size, to see if the paper prototypes would work on a smaller scale once programmed). The discussion of a “digital divide” was also interesting, how programmers had issues with real-life objects being converted to digital form, and the consequences which came with such a conversion. It seems as though, overall, paper prototyping is difficult for digital games (especially when trying to design something like a fighting style game), for there is such a gap between the paper prototype and the actual digital design and play process, that it may just be easier to design a simple code for testing ideas and seeing how they work out on a low-tech scale. I have yet to design a digital game in class (it seems to be rapidly approaching, though), so I’m not sure from personal experience how this conversion may or may not work, but it would be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks when digital game design is introduced, and how paper prototyping or other simple prototyping may come into play.

Game Challenge #8: Theme and Message

March 28, 2009

For the next game challenge, we had to design a game with a theme and a message that is illustrated through game play. My partners for this challenge, Stephanie and Elizabeth, came up with the idea of a dating board game revolving around the theme of Internet dating, a form of dating that has skyrocketed over the years. I recall watching the news a few years ago, around this time, stating that more people hook up nowadays online than at bars or in the real world (funny enough, I had met my boyfriend at the time through MySpace, so I can vouch for this). Our game illustrates this contemporary form of dating, and touches on ideas of compatibility. If you meet someone online, is it better than meeting them in real life because you get to know them from the inside out to see if you’re truly compatible?

The name of the game is Illustrator Dater. The rules are as follows:

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About Us
Illustrator Dater is a game that has been around since March 2009, helping fandoms get their fill of crazy dates with their favorite characters. Players of all backgrounds will enjoy the experience they have while playing this game. They will discover how personality and appearance play a part in dates and how compatibility does not mean a permanent and unbreakable relationship. Feel free to explore the game and contact us for further information.

Game Contents
1 game board, 6 game pieces, 100 Compatibility cards, 50 Date cards, 30 Perfect Match cards

Getting Started
When setting up the board, begin by laying the Illustrator Dater board on a flat surface, and shuffle the three different decks of cards (Perfect Match, Date, and Compatibility). Place the Date and Compatibility cards on their designated links at the top left corner of the board, and place one Perfect Match card FACE DOWN next to or on the leaves; place the remaining Perfect Match cards to the side for later use. Each player places their token of choice on a Cherry Blossom starting space lining the bottom of the board, and the game is ready to be played!

Game Play
After setting up the board, players roll a die to see who will move first; the eldest player makes the first move, and moves continue in a clockwise direction around the board. Players move one place at a time during their turn, moving their tokens across the “web page” and through the “Tree of Love” to reach a Perfect Match card. On their journey up the tree, players will collect “Personality Points” and “Appearance Points” by drawing a Compatibility card at the end of each turn.
When players reach the tip of a branch and land on a leaf/Perfect Match card, they turn the card over and reveal their date. If they have the same amount of or more Compatibility points as shown on the card, the player is able to date that person. (Each card has a boy and a girl, and the player gets to choose which of the two they wish to date.) If the player does not have the required amount of points to please the match, the match is shuffled back into the excess deck, and a new card is dealt to the open spot. The player, as a result, is sent back to the bottom of the board.
HINT: The average number of Compatibility points, for both Appearance and Personality, is 15, so it is wise to move around the board (or stay in place) and accumulate at least this much to each to avoid being sent back to the beginning of the board.
After finding a Perfect Match, players start drawing Date cards each turn instead of Compatibility cards. Depending on the action of the Date card drawn and the Personality of the match, they will lose or gain Date Points. Players cannot fall below zero Date Points; doing so will result in a Break Up and being sent back to the beginning of the board. Players all start with 2 Date Points, and must reach 5 Date Points to win the game.

Details
Compatibility Cards: ‘P’ stands for ‘Personality,’ and ‘A’ for ‘Appearance. ‘+’ adds one point. ‘Y’ is ‘Yes,’ and ‘N’ is ‘No.’ Answer the questions to get the points that you want.
Date Cards: ‘+’ adds one Date Point, while ‘-’ subtracts one Date Point. All points are determined by the personality of the match.
Perfect Match Cards: Each card includes a boy (top) and a girl (bottom) for the players to choose from. There are five personality traits on the bottom of the card that are used to determine Date Points. The Compatibility section determines how many Personality and Appearance points that players need to impress the match and win a date.

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During play testing in class, our group seemed to have a fun time with the game. However, that could be because all the members in our group are females and familiar with the “dates” chosen for the game. It would be a good idea to test the game with male players, as well as players who are not familiar with the “dates,” to see how it plays with a broader audience. Our group has worked together for a few weeks now, as well, as so we are more familiarized with one another; it would be wise to play the game with people we don’t necessarily know too well, to see if the game is as fun as it is with people we know.

Here are the questions we came up with for dealing out points to players. It was interesting deciding what sort of answers reward Personality points and which award Appearance points.

Match the number on the card with the corresponding numbered question below:
1. Do you like kids? Y P, N A
2. Are you perverted? Y A, N P
3. Are you athletic? YA, N P
4. Do you know if someone likes you? Y P, N A
5. Have you kissed any of your friends? Y A, N P
6. Have you ever been arrested? Y A, N P
7. Have you ever kissed someone you don’t like? Y A, N P
8. Have you ever slept in until 5 PM? Y A, N P
9. Have you ever fallen asleep at school/work? Y A, N P
10. Have you ever held a snake? Y P, N A
11. Has a spider ever run over your foot? Y A, N P
12. Have you ever ran a red light? Y A, N P
13. Have you ever been suspended from school? Y A, N P
14. Have you totaled your car/motorbike? Y P, N A
15. Have you been fired from a job? Y A, N P
16. Have you ever sang karaoke? Y A, N P
17. Have you done something you told yourself you wouldn’t?
Y A, N P
18. Have you laughed so hard that something came out of your
nose? Y P, N A
19. Have you been caught smoking weed? Y A, N P
20. Have you ever kissed in the rain? Y A, N P
21. Have you ever played strip poker? Y A, N P
22. Have you ever had sex on the beach? Y A, N P
23. Have you ever been on a cruise? Y A, N P
24. Do you have any regrets in life? Y A, N P
25. Do you sing in the shower? Y P, N A
26. Have you ever sat on a rooftop? Y P, N A
27. Have you ever been pushed into a pool with all of your clothes
still on? Y P, N A
28. Have you ever broken a bone? Y P, N A
29. Have you ever shaved your head? Y P, N A
30. Have you ever blacked out from drinking? Y P, N A
31. Have you ever played a prank on someone? Y P, N A
32. Have you ever felt like killing someone? Y P, N A
33. Have you ever made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Y A, N P
34. Have you ever had sex in public? Y A, N P
35. Have you ever been in a band? Y A, N P
36. Have you ever been in a fraternity/sorority? Y A, N P
37. Have you ever shot a gun? Y P, N A
38. Have you ever tripped on mushrooms? Y P, N A
39. Have you ever donated blood? Y P, N A
40. Have you ever eaten alligator meat? Y P, N A
41. Do you still love someone that you shouldn’t? Y P, N A
42. Do you ever think about the future? Y P, N A
43. Do you believe in love? Y P, N A
44. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed? Y A, N P
45. Do you have any pets? Y P, N A
46. Do you get along with your parents? Y A, N P
47. Do you enjoy musicals? Y P, N A
48. Have you ever eaten worms? Y A, N P
49. Have you ever been in a limousine? Y A, N P
50. Have you ever read Cosmo magazine? Y A, N P
51. Have you ever drank alcohol while you were underage? Y A,
N P
52. Have you ever been overseas? Y P, N A
53. Do you like horror movies? Y P, N A
54. Have you ever daydreamed about being with a famous person?
Y A, N P
55. Have you ever walked out of a bad movie? Y P, N A
56. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? Y P, N A
57. Have you ever talked bad behind a friend’s back? Y A, N P
58. Have you ever put someone down to make yourself look
good? Y A, N P
59. Have you ever been skinny dipping? Y P, N A
60. Have you ever had sex in an elevator? Y P, N A
61. Are you a member of the Mile High Club? Y P, N A
62. Have you ever not told someone that their fly is open? Y A, N
P
63. Have you ever laughed so hard that you peed? Y P, N A
64. Have you ever been stung by a jellyfish? Y P, N A
65. Do you have any concealed piercings? Y A, N P
66. Have you ever antiqued someone? Y P, N A
67. Have you ever shaved a passed-out friend’s eyebrows? Y P, N
A
68. Have you ever set an ant on fire with a magnifying glass? Y A,
N P
69. Have you ever peed in a public pool? Y P, N A
70. Have you ever skipped school? Y A, N P
71. Have you ever shoplifted? Y A, N P
72. Have you ever been addicted to online chat rooms? Y P, N A
73. Have you ever laughed at someone who’s been hurt? Y A, N P
74. Have you ever been attracted to a member of the same sex? Y
P, N A
75. Have you ever been cow tipping? Y A, N P
76. Have you ever cheated on a girlfriend/boyfriend? Y A, N P
77. Are you religious? Y A, N P
78. Have you ever been camping? Y P, N A
79. Have you ever vomited on another person? Y P, N A
80. Do you play an instrument? Y P, N A
81. Do you like animals? Y P, N A
82. Do you watch soap operas? Y A, N P
83. Do you go tanning at a tanning salon? Y A, N P
84. Do you shower every day? Y A, N P
85. Do you hold a PhD? Y P, N A
86. Have you ever sued someone? Y A, N P
87. Have you ever been on a diet? Y A, N P
88. Have you ever been to Las Vegas?  Y A, N P
89. Have you ever loved someone that you knew you couldn’t be
with? Y P, N A
90. Have you ever dyed your hair? Y A, N P
91. Do you have any tattoos? Y A, N P
92. Have you ever done community service by choice? Y P, N A
93. Have you ever cheated on an exam? Y A, N P
94. Have you ever overcharged a credit card? Y A, N P
95. Have you ever been to a wild college party? Y A, N P
96. Have you ever taken prescription drugs that weren’t yours? Y
A, N P
97. Have you ever been told you look like a certain famous
person? Y A, N P
98. Do you play video games? Y P, N A
99. Have you ever punched someone out of anger? Y P, N A
100. Do you believe in an imminent Apocalypse? Y P, N A

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And here are the scenarios we came up with for dates:

Match the number on the card with the corresponding numbered scenario below:
1. You have a can of whipped cream. Put it on a slice of pie, and
share it with your significant other. Shy +, Outgoing –
2. You have a can of whipped cream. Spread the cream on your
significant other. Outgoing +, Shy –
3. Your house is a mess. Sloppy +, Neat –
4. Your house is clean. Neat +, Sloppy –
5. You want to play ball with your significant other. Active +,
Lazy –
6. You watch a movie with your significant other. Lazy +, Active –
7. You yell at your significant other. Grouchy +, Nice –
8. You spill milk on your significant other. Nice +, Grouchy –
9. You read with your significant other. Serious +, Playful –
10. You tickle your significant other. Playful +, Serious –
11. You want to have sex with your significant other. Outgoing +,
Shy –
12. You want to cuddle with your significant other. Shy +,
Outgoing –
13. You burp and don’t excuse yourself. Sloppy +, Neat –
14. You go to the bathroom to burp. Neat +, Sloppy –
15. You go running with your significant other. Active +, Lazy –
16. You play games with your significant other. Lazy +, Active –
17. You display your road rage to your significant other. Grouchy
+, Nice –
18. You bake a cake for your significant other. Nice +, Grouchy –
19. You play-wrestle with your significant other. Playful +,
Serious –
20. You help your significant other with work. Serious +, Playful –
21. You take your significant other to a huge party. Outgoing +,
Shy –
22. You sit at home with your significant other. Shy +, Outgoing –
23. You make a mess and don’t clean it up. Sloppy +, Neat –
24. You organize your movie collection. Neat +, Sloppy –
25. You work out with your significant other. Active +, Lazy –
26. You dance for your significant other. Lazy +, Active –
27. You give your significant other a homemade gift. Nice +,
Grouchy –
28. You stub your toe and curse. Grouchy +, Nice –
29. You poke fun at your significant other. Playful +, Serious –
30. You comment on a piece of art. Serious +, Playful –
31. You go swimming at the pool with your significant other.
Active +, Lazy –
32. You take a long afternoon nap with your significant other.
Lazy +, Active –
33. You have a fit of spring cleaning. Neat +, Sloppy –
34. You throw your dirty clothing all over your room.  Sloppy -,
Neat +
35. You go on an out-of-town vacation with your significant other.
Outgoing +, Shy –
36. You have dinner at your significant other’s parent’s home. Shy
+, Outgoing +
37. You accidentally break something that belongs to your significant
other. Nice +, Grouchy –
38. You make fun of people you don’t like. Grouchy +, Nice –
39. You have a food fight. Playful +, Serious –
40. You go out to a fancy and expensive restaurant. Serious +,
Playful –
41. You run a marathon with your significant other. Active +,
Lazy –
42. You spend the day with your significant other just lounging
about your place. Lazy +, Active –
43. You scrub your bathroom until it literally sparkles. Neat +,
Sloppy –
44. You have a big dinner with your significant other and don’t do
the dishes. Sloppy +, Neat –
45. You ride a roller coaster with your significant other. Outgoing
+, Shy –
46. You spend the evening talking on the phone together. Shy +,
Outgoing –
47. You buy movie tickets for you and your significant other. Nice
+, Grouchy –
48. You throw a rock at someone who has upset you and your
significant other. Grouchy +, Nice –
49. You discuss politics with your significant other. Serious +,
Playful –
50. You discuss sports, movies, and other trivial yet fun topics
with your significant other. Playful +, Serious –

Game Challenge #7: Modifiable Game Board

March 16, 2009

This next challenged required us to construct a game in which the game board either changed before game play or during game play.

I decided on a game in which the board is constructed/altered at the start of game play, rather than modified during the game. An in-game modifiable board seemed very daunting to me, and so I felt it would be easier to come up with an idea for a game in which the board is modified before the game is played. However, one can consider my game to be two games in one–the construction of the board is a game in itself. I thought this an interesting idea (actually stemmed from the previous game, in which we had to construct a narrative). I thought, rather than using self-made spaces, I’d use cards and try to incorporate a sort of card game for the first half of the game, and the result of that game would end up being the playing board for the second. Thus, the prototype for “Create-A-Board” was born, and below are the full original rules:

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Contents

1 game board, 1 deck of cards, 6 game pieces

Set Up

This game can be played with up to six players, but no less than two. Players begin by shuffling the deck and then dealing out five cards to each player. Set the rest of the deck aside, and then decide who will begin first by rolling the two dice. The player who rolls the highest number goes first, and turns then continue in a clockwise direction.

How to Play, Part 1

The first part of the game requires players to construct a board themselves by using cards as play spaces. Player one decides which space will be first by drawing any card from his or her hand and placing it at one corner of the board. Players then take turns placing cards as their turns occur, placing their card either at the top of another card or next to another card.

Card Placement

There are a few rules as to which cards can be played. After the first player sets down an initial card, the next player must place down a card either of the same suit or number. If a player does not have a card meeting these criteria, he or she must draw from the deck and pass the turn on to the next player. Cards meeting the criteria are placed either above the proceeding card or next to it; if there is a space between cards as play continues, a card cannot be placed in that spot unless all surrounding cards match the criteria. Players could also play a Wild Card (the Jokers) in any space regardless of number, suit, or color. Otherwise, the space must remain blank—which does not negatively affect players, but merely causes variation in the board! If the last space is reached, and a card does not fit because there are cards on either side that will not allow for adhering to the rules, scrap the rules! and place any card down.

How to Play, Part 2

Card placement ends when a card is placed at the opposite corner of the starting card. Once players reach the end of the board construction sequence, players place their game pieces on the first card played. The player who set the last card down rolls the dice first. In order to move ahead to another card of the player’s choice (either sideways or forward, NO DIAGONAL MOVEMENT), the player must roll a number equal to or higher than the card on which the piece is placed (ace=1, Jack=11, Queen AND King=12, Joker=any number). If they do not roll a number meeting the criteria, the player does not move and the next player rolls the dice. Players continue this movement until a player reaches the end of the board.

How to Win

The player who reaches the end of the board (the card completely opposite to the first card played) wins the game.

___________________________________

When we tested in class, it seemed like the people in my class really enjoyed the game. I was afraid it’d be too bland to really play through, but someone (I believe it was Desirae) made a good point about the competitiveness of the game. Players wanted to keep going until the end, and kept secretly rolling the die even when the class came together to discuss the article and the next challenge (though we did still pay attention while playing…but it goes to show to some degree that the game is fun).

There were really no suggestions given for improvement, though we did notice a few problems as the game was tested. For one, it seemed like players had difficulty rolling a 12 (double sixes) in order to pass face cards; since the probability of rolling double sixes was SO low, the rules were changed so that players had to roll doubles on face cards, instead. That way, they had a better chance of moving on across the board rather than being stuck on the same spot forever. I also changed the rules so that the same went for Jokers and Aces, as well.

I’m sure this game would have played much differently had the players known the full rules from the start. I highly doubt that the first card played would be a face card, as it was with the play test. I’d love to test the game a second time, with the same players, now that they are aware of how the game goes–to see how they strategize and set up the board now that they are aware of the difficulty posed by face cards.

Game Challenge #6: Narrative Game

March 14, 2009

Sorry this post took so long for me to put up! I have to say that this was, to me, my least compelling game, and so as a result I had trouble writing up this blog…

Anyway, this next challenge required us to incorporate some sort of narrative/story aspect to the game.

In developing the game for this challenge, I thought back on a previous game: the “I Have A Dream” game which I created. In that game, I somewhat combined Mad Libs with Apples to Apples. The Mad Libs aspect popped into my head again, and I thought I’d try another modification for this challenge.

Rather than filling in your own words for the blanks, I decided to supply words myself for the players by using cards. With this, I created a sort of narrative card game. I took three decks of cards (162 cards in total) and divided them up into four parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. Nouns and adjectives took the bulk of the cards, with only a total of about 60 cards for verbs and adverbs combined. This made it more challenging to have certain cards in one’s hand during game play.

Following are the rules for the game, entitled “Word Play”:

To play the game, players shuffle the deck well, then deal out five cards to each player. Players are then given a list of parts of speech, similar to Mad Libs, and must “fill in the blanks” by laying down cards in their FACE DOWN on the table that match the part of speech given. For example, if a noun is required, the player who is asked to play the noun MUST play a noun card if it is in his or her hand. If the player does not have a card in his or her hand that matches with the part of speech, the player draws a card from the central deck and forfeits his or her turn. The player with the least amount of cards in his or her hand by the end of the round wins the round.

Once cards are played, a player reads the story, filling in the blanks with the cards laid down on the table (BE SURE THAT CARDS ARE LAID DOWN IN ORDER DURING CARD PLAY, OR ELSE THE STORY WON’T READ CORRECTLY).

I’m not too happy with this game myself, though it is one of the games I’ve put the most work into: with writing words on 162 individual cards…took about 4 or 5 hours total to choose some interesting words and throw them together on the cards. Needless to say, the cramp in my wrist wasn’t too appealing, either.

I played this game with my father and my sister (who were a BIG help with putting it together with me), and they seemed to really enjoy it. We played the game three times the night we constructed the cards, and they saw no issues with it. Overall, it was an amusing game that, obviously, they were willing to play more than once.

Things went a little differently during game play in class. I don’t know if it was because we played my game last, or my game was that terrible…but I didn’t receive any comments on the game following testing. I’m sure there was good reason for this (class let out or something), but I’m sure the lack of comments (good or bad) on the game shows it isn’t all too compelling at this point.

Some suggestions I have for myself in making this game more interesting is to maybe change up the rules entirely by cutting out the Mads Libs aspect altogether. Instead, I’d try and have a MUCH larger deck of cards and have players construct a story of their own from that. Based on a game we played in theatre class which helps with improvisation, I’d have players go around the circle and blurt out a word, any word, they want (so long as it’s grammatically correct!), and try their best to play their cards as they go to construct some sort of narrative. For example, we’d start with player one saying “Once,” player two “upon,” player three “a,” and player four most likely saying “time,” yet if he or she wants points he or she can play a noun card (since “time” is a noun) and insert something like “gerbil” instead. Winning a round would then be when a players has played all cards in his or her hand (this mode of play would also require more than just 5 cards in one’s hand…maybe ten or 15 for this mode).

Still a game based solely on humor, but I’m sure it could be more compelling if played differently.