Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Playtesting 2

Had our second playtesting in the Cyberart Studio yesterday. Basically, we adjusted and confirmed the basic rules, but we're still thinking of some changes and additions and how they will affect the gameplay or make it more interesting. The length of a game is a big concern for us also. We're thinking of making it about maximum 30 minutes average per game or less. So the hit points and attack power of the pieces will have to be constantly revised.

Ahmed has a very vivid and humorous description. Something along the lines of - NUS in 2100 AD - there are too many faculties and they have nothing to do. So the dean gives you a chance to prove yourself worthy - wipe out all the other faculties!

4 faculties to choose from - Horticulture, Cow Milking, Plubming, and Untruths.

(At this point all faculties are identical. We're thinking of whether to make each have its different strengths and weaknesses, and perhaps different special units as well)


Students are the youngest and most energetic, but least powerful forces. They move horizontally or vertically, 3 squares per turn. The can only attack the 4 horizontal or vertical squares immediately around them. They use the 8-sided dice for attack and defence.

    X S X         Hit points: 45

Lecturers are slightly slower due to their age, but yet more influential in the university. Hence they move like students, but only 2 squares per turn. They attack like students too, but with the added range of one more square, hence making them have 8 possible squares to attack. Lecturers use the 10-sided dice.

   X X L X X        Hit points: 40

Deans are even older, therefore they only move one square per turn, vertically or horizontally. Due to their often cross-eyed view of the real world, they attack only the 4 diagonal squares around them. They use the 12-sided dice. (Stats for the dean are currently being discussed, in order to make it a balanced but unique unit)

    X   X
      D         Hit points: 30
    X   X

Special Forces "Alex" is the most powerful unit in the game. (I have to be politically correct) He attacks in L shape formation, much like the Knight in chess, and he uses the twenty sided dice.

     X   X
   X       X
       A         Hit points: 25 (haha)
   X       X
     X   X

P.S I had initially wanted his attack pattern to be something like:

     X X X X X
     X       X
     X   A   X
     X       X
     X X X X X

or even,

     X X X X X
     X X X X X
     X X A X X
     X X X X X
     X X X X X

but yeah, yeah right...


2 or 4 players.

Players proceed in clockwise direction. On each turn, the player moves all his pieces once (as opposed to chess), limited by the movement rules for the individual pieces.

Suppose a student piece is allowed to move three squares. However, you can choose to move one or two squares, or not even move at all. It's up to you.

Note that each piece has a arrow which indicates where the piece is facing. The pieces turn only when they move, and they turn in the direction of whichever square they are moving. Exactly like how we humans would walk. But standing and turning without moving is not allowed. The exception is when you attack - you turn to face the piece you are attacking.

Only after all movement has been completed, then the player processes the events in the following order:

1. Random events - some squares are event squares. If you land on them, you get to draw random cards that have events which affect the player or all players.

followed by,

2. Attacks (detailed in section below)

P.S - I'm currently wondering if it makes any difference if the player processes attacks after moving each piece, or after moving all pieces. Well suppose in the first case, I know this target piece has low health and is gonna die. If it dies, I can then move another piece into this previously occupied square. Is this strategically advantageous or otherwise?

Combat System

Simply, the attacker and defender roll their respective die. The value on the attacker's dice will be subtracted from the defending piece's health, and half the value on the defender's dice will be subtracted from the attacking piece's health.

Back attacks - if a piece gets attacked from its backside, the damage he will take is double. I did think of reducing his defending damage to half as well, but I think that's plain evil. (Alex only has 25 health you see)

Oh yes, a piece is not allowed to turn to face his attacker after he has been attacked. He can only turn to do so, when it's his player's turn, and the player decides to counter-attack. To put it simply - pieces only turn when it's their turn and during attack.

Imagine if pieces had to turn to face their attacker immediately after being attacked. All I do is to sandwich that poor guy, back attack him, and then back attack him with my other piece again.

Random Events

We haven't confirmed where the random event squares would be placed on the board, and how many of them. And it is better to make them easily available or hard to reach? This will modify the amount of control the player has on the system, therefore affecting the dynamics and gameplay.

Some "events" include -

School vacation - all students of all players not move for one turn, but lecturers and dean work as usual.

Missed online registration - all students of this player not allowed to move for the next turn.

There are many more.


To remove a player from the game, either:

a) Kill the dean.
b) Kill everyone else except the dean.
c) Go sit in the dean's office

The last person standing wins.

We're still deciding on which of these 3 to use, or to use all, or to use a combination, or to give the player a choice for 3 exclusive types of gameplay.

Each objective has its flaws, like for instance for objective (c), people would simply camp in the office. And since students can move 3 squares while dean only moves 1, a dean leaving his office when a student is nearby is certain suicide.


Suppose we don't use objective (c), then one possible way is to have the player gain a certain advantage, like for example one extra turn, if any one of his pieces steps into the dean's office of another player.

And the dean is still far from being a balanced yet unique (yet hillarious) unit. One suggestion is to let him use a 4-sided dice for attack, and multiply that by perhaps 4. So he'll only deal 4, 8, 12, 16 damage. And perhaps reduce his hit points further.

We are still implementing Ahmed's idea of LTs - where students go inside to sleep and recover health.

And one more - maybe student pieces can satisfy certain criterias and get promoted to Graduate Students with extra powers!

Hey, how come Alex only has 25 HP? :P
hey, probably you still want to consider changing your gameboard layout.
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