Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Start of an Empire

Week 1 is no easier this time than the last. Although I do know Scott from a previous class, I do not know Mahvish or Ashley. I thought that the Facebook group would be a good start to our communication, and the others agreed. From looking at the group, I can tell not everyone is checking it often. I think that the group is a vital connection to delegate tasks and to collaborate while not having to meet. With the short time span to make the game and all our lives' other tasks also taking our time I really do not see a way for us to meet often, so it is important to check it often and to voice one's opinion. I will emphasize this at the next group meeting.

 I can only speak for myself, but I did feel like we are a little overwhelmed with the task at hand. While we are no longer complete novices at making games, we have not worked with each other and also have not made a board game before. The initial task will be to get a workable system of rules out to get the mechanics down. A map of Asia and some resource cards are all that will be needed to get the play testing going, but the rules will be important and probably will need to be revised several times as issues come up. The board game is a more complex game with much more player freedom so more play testing will be needed than the card game to find the situations that do not run smoothly.

One part I liked about the core concept of this board game is that it has a sense of freedom to it. Like Settlers of Catan our game is about setting up a location using resources, then using it to gain more resources. Scott's proposal was not very specific on mechanics, which I think will allow us to create a set of rules that has players interact and trade as much as possible. The game has trade in it's title, and trade is a great way to get players to interact. Trade can have both players walking away elated,  frustrated or indifferent and it is really what they want to make out of it. I feel that although a board game might be more labor intensive, the freedom of play can have a much higher payoff in the end. I suppose it can be compared to the Sawyer metaphor of a Jazz band. A piece may be difficult to learn and play, but if executed right it has the potential to sound amazing.


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