I’ve recently been experimenting a lot with OpenGL as a part of an assignment in the programming course I’m taking right now. Playing around with lighting has really captivated me. I love creating visuals through code, the instant feedback that you get when the smallest code change entirely transforms the feel of a scene is simply intoxicating!
We recently finished the course Advanced Game Design during which I and three others have developed a board game that we named Buccaneers. The game has a pirate theme and lets players sail around the game board searching for treasure and fighting sea battles.
The movement system in Buccaneers is centered around the ever changing wind. Players sail along a hexagonal grid at a speed dictated by the wind’s direction, if you sail with the wind, you get further in one turn than if you sail upwind.
Players hunt for treasure using treasure map cards. By identifying and sailing to the area marked with an X on a treasure map, players are rewarded with the game’s currency, gold coins, that can be traded for cannons and voodoo cards with magical effects.
The combat system in Buccaneers is at it’s heart an arms race. All players start the game with one cannon each. During the game, the players can upgrade their ships by buying more cannons and placing up to two cannons on each of their ship’s six sides. The more cannons you have on one side, the higher your chance of succeeding with (or defending against) an attack in that direction.
Among the treasures are four pirate relics, in order to win the game, a player must get a hold of all four. These relics can be aquired, either by treasure hunting or by defeating those that carry them in battle.
I’m very pleased with what we managed to create in just four weeks time and I feel that the game became engaging and intuitive. But there are some things left that I would love to improve upon. I would especially like to work out the balance between positive and negative feedback for leading and trailing players as well as experiment a bit with the win condition in order to narrow down the game’s duration, as one session can last for anything from half an hour to two hours as it is today.
We’ve recently started working on our final assignment in Advanced Game Design. We’ve been tasked with making a board game, or rather a well polished system to be used in a board game.
One of our first priorities has been to set an aesthetic goal for the project. We got kind of hooked on a pirate theme where players sail their pirate ships into a thrilling sea battle, but in order to focus on polishing the core system (ship movement), we later abstracted this to an aesthetic goal of delivering the experience of sailing. It is, however, very likely that we’ll return to the pirate theme later on. Because pirates are awesome.
Our Alumni days have come and gone.
The lectures were great, but the what stole the show was probably the miniature 6 hour “Everybody is a Noob” game jam that was held. The reason why everyone was a noob was because we were required to build our games in Game Maker Studio, a tool that most of us knew about but had never used.
The theme of the jam was “Everyday Doom”. I teamed up with an alumn, two first year students and a classmate. Together, we made simple sorting game where you play Paris Hilton as she’s flipping burgers in her own personal hell.
My personal favourites among the games that came out of the jam were these: (more…)
I’m Simon and this is my blog.
I am a Game Design student with a minor in programming at Uppsala University – Campus Gotland in the medieval town Visby, Sweden.
This semester has so far taken me to Tokyo Game Show where we promoted our university, the swedish games industry, japanese/swedish collaborations in technology and research, and some of the games produced by us students.
Next up is our Alumni Days, packed with guest lectures and mingeling with industry people. Fun times. After that, at the end of the month, we’re going to Gamex for another round of promotion. Me and my team from last year will be showing off our project King of the Thrill that won Best Innovation at the Swedish Game Awards back in June. So if you’re attending Gamex, stop by and say hi!