Synergist

Week three of the this game project, and I’m very glad it’s done. I enjoyed working on it, but it was an incredible amount of work. I’d like to introduce Synergist, the 1v1 competitive match-three game!

This game was more ambitious than I planned it to be. Designing it was supposed to be as simple as actually playing a match-three game, but I got a bit overzealous. I originally wanted to include only a singular ability for each class, but ended up providing each one with three abilities, one passive and two active.

The part where I struggled the most was balanced, and I’m not sure that it’s even at the right point. One thing other match-three games never have to worry about is balance, because they’re all single player. At the end of the day, the game doesn’t have to be balanced to be fun to play. However, it was a big issue for Synergist. How many tokens do I have in the deck? How many unique abilities can I create? How balanced are each of the classes against each other? I couldn’t answer all the questions that I had to a satisfactory point and just conceded to finish the game as it was. I think I was at the point where even playing it more wouldn’t have helped me come to a proper conclusion.

I’m really pleased by how it turned out regardless of balance though. It’s one of the higher effort games I’ve worked on in quite a while, from the balance to the graphics department, and I rose to my expectations on all accounts. It explores what I consider to be unfulfilled niche in the match-three world and I’m extremely proud of it as both a project and a product.

I’m proud to present Synergist!

Click the links located below to download the pdf files for Synergist, one of which is a readme.

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Drop Zone

Welcome to week three, which means a new game! I’d like to introduce Drop Zone, the abstract dexterity-based game that asks you to destroy the game pieces!

Design-wise, this one was reasonably difficult. I originally planned for the destruction of the game pieces to have a larger importance to they way you play the game and to be a much more cathartic experience, with more of a zealous tearing method, rather than the more strategic style which I ended up using. I simply couldn’t figure a way to make it a game mechanic without being completely unwieldy. Additionally, tearing paper is not as cathartic as I initially believed it would be, at least when tearing a single sheet, but I’m not going to ask someone to purchase an entire sheaf of paper each time they want to play Drop Zone, as funny as that would be.

I ended up doing away with a few needless things that I mentioned last week, such as the point system. Such a thing would incentivize strategic placement of your tokens but would distract from the interplay between marking squares and preventing your opponents from claiming squares, which I believe already encourages smart token placement.

Overall, it’s a simple game, but the concept is a solid one. I wish I had a little bit more depth to the idea, but that’s the issue with focusing fitting a game to a gimmick. For all you gain in ease of conceptualizing, you lose an equal amount in the depth of the concept. That aside, I’m happy with the result and am pleased to present Drop Zone!

Click the links located below to download the pdf files for Drop Zone, one of which is a readme.

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Tangled Web

Tangled Web is a pen and paper game that’s relatively simple. It follows Snake’s elements of not crossing certain areas and Pac-man’s mechanic of going across the board via the outside, with a hexagonal board.

Located below is the file for Tangled Web.

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Placeholder

Yes, that’s the actual name of the game. I willingly chose it during the design process because I feel it fits the game.

I actually really love the simplicity of this game. The entire document isn’t even 10 sentences long. Most of the design practice here was a ton of playtesting. When a game has rules as simple as this one does, any number of things can go wrong, such as being completely unable to win the game depending on your first move, which was actually a problem at some points of the design process.

I look at it as one of those game theory heavy type games that mathematicians like doing papers on, ridiculously simple but a lot of options that spawn from it. It’s designed for two players and requires a 4×4 board, which you can draw yourself, and nine tokens per player. If you’re looking for an easy game that has relatively high depth, give Placeholder a try.

Located below is the pdf file for Placeholder.

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Duelist’s Wager

Sorry that this game is a week late, but life happens sometimes. Expect to see the normal game this upcoming Sunday though. I’m also rewriting the Luckbinder, because it was dreadfully weak, so that should be out soon as well.

I’ve had this game idea for a while; ever since I wrote Powerdome, I’ve had an obsession with ability-based bluff games, and this was one of the concepts I wanted to try. Drafting characters with special abilities in order to create interplay between both choosing them and empowering them later on was the basic idea. I think it went pretty well all things considered. The character tokens and Boost system are quite elegant in my eyes.

The hardest part of this game was coming up with character abilities that had three qualities: ability to influence how you play your Boosts, ability for your opponent to predict how you’ll play your boosts, and different functionality from the other characters.

Duelist’s Wager is a bluffing game that focuses on your ability to outplay your opponent. With elements of prediction and strategy in both choosing which characters you bring to the fight and how well you’ll equip them to win with your limited resources, you’ll be sure to enjoy how much you can really get into your opponent’s head. It’s designed for two players to fight each other in a duel of pure wits, and with each game only taking around ten minutes, you’ll be able to fit in that “just one more” game in order even out the score.

Located below are the pdf files for Duelist’s Wager, one of which is a readme.

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