17 February 2013

I have finally got my hands on Police Precinct. I am very much excited to read into the rules, as the game seems to be very much similiar to a classified game project I did for the local police force. This is what is so exciting about games design, sometimes you think that games designers MUST come up with various different mechanics, new types of systems and so much more. But yet, when you think about it, a game is basically a controlled (mostly) environment in which we escape to enjoy our fantasies.

Maybe this is why I am extremely intrigued by economic games, such as CashflowPower Grid1830Wealth of Nations to name just a few. Each of these games are different in game types, objectives but all have one thing in common, which is to build the best system to achieve your goal. Many ways to go about doing it. Apart from Cashflow, most games have that healthy sense of competition, whether you are racing another player to grab that all important resource/objective/building/space/etc or the satisfaction of blindsiding an opponent!

Its not about how closely or realistically a game follows the economy. When you design a game, it should open up the ‘what if’ option, which players are then able to build into what they perceive as the best way they can plan the future. In Singapore, the sad thing is that most government agencies wants you to ‘follow a strict path’ and not about how different people can show their different ways of achieving their target. So would be games designers, just remember, if ou ‘skin’ your game early, choose the jump off point where you start your game and let your players create the future!

4 February 2013

Planning. Already February, as I start to see which games I need to push out. 29 games in line, and the different levels at which they are done, from just a title, to final playtestings. As an Asian gamer, yes, its 3 Kingdoms that I am full of passion for. And yet, it seems that of those I have played, seen the concept of, nothing seems to be able to capture the huge epic that Luo Gunzhong had created. Well, for those hundreds of budding game designer out there, its superbly pregnant with characters, events and wars.

But would the non Asian gamer be interested? Just as would Asian gamers be interested in the Napoleanic wars? Still, to all you non Asian gamer folks out there, 3 Kingdoms is an epitome of the Asian fantasy. Among all the different iteration of the game, to date, my opinion has been the Koei 3 Kingdoms strategy game that came out in the 90’s. That particular game was so well done, that I remembered sneaking into the polytechnic computer room to play it regularly, it was just so addictive!

The 3 kingdoms game I envision would show the epicness of the Characters. Yet each would have their own special strengths and abilities to balance out. Wait balance out? How do you balance out minor Lords against the stronger ones? In the end, does that mean only 3 strong factions? Wei, Wu and Shu? 3 player games? Nah. So it likely to boil down to objectives to win, balancing off their starting power base and growth base!

The very first version of the 3 Kingdoms war games that I envisioned and prototyped was based off another game, Succession Wars, by FASA Corporation. Jason, Justin, David (ex-Settlers founders and my polytechnic friends) spent our years just playing it non stop. And it was only 6 months ago that I found out we have been playing it wrong! In fact, we ‘re-balanced’ the game with our system, to allow the full intrigue, war and economy of the game to shine through. And today that formed the basis of what the 3 Kingdoms strategy game that I have done. So thanks guys, we have created a brand new system… 😉


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