A few weeks ago I finished up designing a board game with two of my fellow students called Darkest Depths.
The board game involved 3 players having to work together to beat a boss at the end of the game, however, only the person who beat the boss at the end was considered the winner. Ideally we wanted players to work together to an extent, but still make conscious choices to screw other players over so that they don’t win, but not so bad that the whole team loses.
As a programmer, I was kind of unsure of how I could contribute, but eventually I managed to get pretty good at the design aspect of game development (in my opinion) to the point that one of my team mates would jokingly say “You’re such a designer” whenever I gave feedback on something or presented an idea. I enjoyed the process of designing a game (even though I missed scripting) and I definitely feel like I learned a lot about design that will help me with future games.
What Went Right?
I tried doing things I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. In the past I have had little to noting to do with the design of a game, so this project was initially off-putting, but still tried and eventually I was comfortable with helping design the game. So the first lesson I would take from this project is to try new things. In regards to code, this would mean finding new ways to implement systems I have done before or trying to do functionality that I haven’t done before. In regards to game development in general I will continue to apply myself in the design aspect of the project when I can.
What Went Wrong?
The project was over scoped. To get the desired gameplay we wanted we would have needed a lot more play testing than what we had. I wouldn’t say that it necessarily means we needed more play-testing sessions (as people showing up on their own free will was quite rare and more a case of an entire class being told to go play test during class time), Its more a case of needing to be more aware of what the team would be capable within the time we have and with the resources available to us, especially in regards to player emotions. For future projects I will make sure that projects with a shorter development length have simpler ideal player emotions and behaviour.
Overall Im pretty happy with the project. I think we made something thats was fairly well received during play tests, even though I don’t think we quite reached the level of “Co-opish” that we were trying to achieve.