“Gaming” The System

Kyle Ott, Staff Writer


Hello everyone and welcome back to the forum as my dedicated readers (all six of you) know we have covered a lot of fun movies and games throughout the course of this year but this time I wanted to talk about something else that can be pretty entertaining but doesn’t require a computer: Board Games! While the advent of modern technology has made it harder for the gaming community it has changed and become something that can be enjoyed by many and has started to challenge both our brains and entertainment. One of the things that I’ve gotten the chance to do this semester is to make my own board game for a class.

Throughout the process I’ve learned a little bit about making games and what it takes to make something really fun for others. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be writing a series of articles about what its like to make a game and some of the things that go into making a game as awesome as humanly possible.

  1. Simplicity

This is a trait that I found enjoyable in flashgames but its something that I realize carries over into the realm of board games as well. While any game can have an untold amount of complexity within in it everything in it should be centered around a simple goal. That goal can be anything that you want it to be. Maybe the goal is for one person to seize the most amount of territory (like in Risk) kill their opponent (Dominion), gain the most amount of points (pretty much anything from Ticket to Ride to Settlers of Catan) or be the first to a pattern (Connect 4). Regardless of what that pattern a simple goal is essential to the success of any burgeoning game. It has to be simple enough to draw someone in, and easy enough that new players can pick it up without a problem.

From there you can add complexity and increase the number of paths that a player can take to get from where they start to their intended goal but the goal should never be anything complex. For example, let’s look at one of the most complex and amazing games ever created: Chess. On the surface chess may look pretty complicated. In that game there are literally endless combinations of ways to move your pieces, unfathomable amounts of offensive and defensive gambits, and a kind of flexibility that has allowed the game to survive for as long as it has. However within the complex folds of Chess there is a simple, overarching goal that dominates everything: take your opponent’s king. That’s it. All those trillions of strategies boil down to one simple goal, take the piece with the crown from your opponent.

Well that’s one lesson for one week! Join us next time where we’ll break down other important facets of game creation!

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