Today I finally got around to reading the first lesson in Ian Schrieber’s Game Design Concepts. I figured I should post my thoughts here as I read through the lessons, so I can actually have something going with this blog. (Everyone else is stuck in the hell of AP/Finals week, while I am busy being a NEET, so…)
So, what is a game? Eh, to be honest I’m not that interested in this question. Usually I tend to ponder what the true nature of something is, but for whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to really care to have a working definition of ‘game’. I guess it helps free me from having to obsess about whether I’m really making games with the visual novels I’m working on, or if I ought to just accept the whole ‘reading’ and ‘main character’ language instead of the ‘playing’ and ‘player character’ paradigm. Really, as long as there’s some kind of choice…
Is Three to Fifteen different from Tic-tac-toe? I’d say yes, if the game board isn’t set up in a magic square, but just as a list of numbers 1 through 9. It’s possible that the players imagine it as a magic square in their heads, but they can be imagining two different placements of the numbers, thus the game takes on a new element where the players have to think about what each other is thinking.
Let’s make a game! Well, I’m already working on two games right now. But I did follow the instructions and ended up making two board games. The first game has players rolling a d6 for themselves, and a d4 to move a monster around the board. The monster eats any player it shares a square with, and the last player uneaten wins. The second game, which I like a lot better, has players building bridges between the spaces of the game, allowing themselves to go faster, but also potentially letting players behind them use the bridge they just made to go faster too. They both have the four elements that the games are required to have: a path, an objective, rules, and conflict.
Thinking about those four elements and applying them to the TTG games, I think both TWCC and Ibuki have those elements. TWCC has a path (bake bread, hang out with boys, repeat), an objective (make money, seduce boys), rules (plan out your baking in certain ways, and be careful with what you say to the boy you like), and conflict (the potential for failure). Ibuki has a path (track down witches, kill witches, repeat), an objective (kill witches, other things I can’t reveal yet), rules (a battle system) and conflict (fighting witches and the possibility of death). So, I guess we’re on track to make games. I suppose the next lesson will help me determine if we’re making good games. See you then!