Assignment 4: Board Game
The fourth assignment is to create a board game for two players. The educational goal is that you learn how to design a complete, consistent, and balanced set of rules that leads to interesting game play. You should aim to design a board game that is in line with the concept you made in the previous assignments.
You must create a board game that can be played by two players. To make judging and testing easy, the game should use simple colored pawns, dices and a checkerboard of 8 by 8 cells (you donít need to provide these). It is fine if a player needs paper and pencils for playing the game.
The game should not be based on pure luck but must have an element of strategy in it. Players should be able to follow different strategies in the game. The game should be fair in the sense that players have an equal a priori chance of winning and players should be able to improve their playing skills. The various game features should be balanced. You must provide a document indicating why the game is fair and balanced. It is especially encouraged to design a game that is not symmetrical but still balanced, and you can obtain extra points for this.
The game should not be a copy (with minimal changes) of an existing game. However, we of course understand that it will be difficult to come up with a completely original game. But make sure that at least the rule system is different from existing games. Originality will give bonus points.
You must provide a clear, complete and consistent description of the rules of the game. As this assignment is primarily about creating rule systems for games and balance, these will be key elements of the judgment of your game. The rule set is not allowed to be longer than a single (!) A4 paper.
First do some creative thinking to come up with a concept for your game. When you are in doubt about the feasibility and adequacy of your game, contact Arjan Egges or Arno Kamphuis; see below. Write a short document describing the basic concepts.
Next write down some initial rule set. Play the concept game with a number of people and refine the rule set. Also look at the rule set from an analytic perspective (as discussed during the classes) to determine whether the game is indeed fair and balanced.
Finalize the rule set and write down a booklet for the players of the game, describing how to play the game and the rules. Do some final testing and adapt the rules if required. Based on your concept description, the rule set and your analysis of the balance, complete the design document that you must also hand in.
Handing in the assignment
You finished board game should consist of the following elements:
- A design document for the game (maximum 2000 words). This document should in particular also show why the game is balanced. A detailed proof of the balance in the game should be provided.
- The rule set (maximum 500 words).
- The game description/rules booklet as you would provide it to the players (maximum 750 words).
Please make sure that the documents look very nice. Handing in a simple text file (ascii) is not permitted.
The documents you hand in should be in the PDF file format.
You can write it either in Dutch or in English.
If there are any questions or problem regarding the submission please contact Arno Kamphuis (email@example.com).
The three documents that are required should all be in a separate PDF file. They should be submitted before the deadline using the Submit system.
The mark for your board game will primarily be based on the following elements:
- Rule set (25 points). In particular whether it is consistent and completely described.
- Balance (25 points). How you made sure that the game is indeed balanced. You will get extra points when you create a non-symmetrical game that is still nicely balanced.
- Design document (25 points). Your design document should clearly describe the design decisions you took and should give convincing arguments why the game is balanced.
- Originality (15 points). Your game should not be a copy of an existing game.
- Design of the documents (10 points). You get 10 points for the design of the documents.
We will not judge documents which
- have more than the stated number of words for each element
- are handed in after the deadline
- contain more than 2 spelling/grammar errors per 500 words
- are in plain text
- are not in the PDF file format
For questions about the assignment, please contact Arno Kamphuis (firstname.lastname@example.org).