Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wrapping Up

Last class everyone in my group, with the exception of Ian, went around and played other groups games.  Funny enough, doing so made me more confident about our game, Kitchen Chaos, because I felt our game was more workable, fun, and had the just perfect amount of challenge for a relaxing game.  When the class was over, however, I discovered that there were 2 specific problems that needed to be addressed.  First, our game really needs a reference card.  And second, we should likely incorporate a diagram in our reference card so that players know how many cards they can pick up from each pile.  Fortunately, these problems are relatively minor and the huge bulk of our assignment is over.  Because the core of our game stands strong and we are saved from the dreadful panic of making major changes towards the end.    

Moreover, Ian thought that the final version of the assignment was due last class, which is why he pushed us to complete everything fast.  Although it was hectic to design, print, and cut the cards in such a rush, we have more peace of mind now since pretty much everything is done.  Finishing up early also benefited us when other students reviewed our game because they really got the full flavor of how we designed it and thus, were able to provide more substantial feedback.      

Lastly, Henry and Ram were busy last week so this week they are doing slightly more work by trimming the cards.  This is a factor that I really liked about my group: we work as a team.  If someone can’t make it – we are trusting and understanding.  But, at the same time, we try to split the work evenly, if someone has to do the work later. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blog Week 4

As we started out class on Wednesday we were not sure if the game we designed was going to be a success or not. Reason being that we were not very clear on how to actually play the game successfully so that it makes it a fun experience for the players. Even though we all had the basic outlook of what the game objective is, it was pretty confusing to get started. That’s when everything changed, as we progressed in the game and made some minor modification the game actually seemed fun. The first round that we played it took us awhile to get the hang of it, and we started to solve the problems that the game might have.

The first game gave us a overlook of how the game is played and what can make it more interesting. It also showed us how long does it take to play one full game. The game takes somewhere between 15 to 30 minutes, which is a kind of game that people play when they are waiting for food. Other few minor details that we thought to change were like how many cards does a player starts with. We all decided upon 5 cards at the beginning of the game and 2 cards when the player runs out of cards in his hand. We also changed the number of cards a person can draw from the refrigerator, for example: the main dish card will get you a main dish or 3 cards from the refrigerator, and other cards will get you two cards from the refrigerator or a card from their own category. So now we had fixed the trading problem and the number of cards in the hand of a player.

After the end of the second round, our group saw a problem towards the end of the game. As to end the game you must make a complete meal but than other people can sabotage the meal to stop you from winning. Our observation was that once the meal is complete other players kept destroying the meal of the player and the game kind of got dragged on. So our solution was to do some thing called a locked meal, which means once someone gets their whole meal complete other people cannot sabotage that player’s meal as it is locked down. With this modification we played our 3rd game and it turns out that we had just created an awesome game.

Overall the class session was a really good productive session as it was more of a time for our group to reflect upon the issues in the game and come up with a solution for them. I think by end of this week we are in a good shape, because we basically have our cards layout and the layout for the game leaving us with just making the cards. I look forward to playing the game again this Wednesday and show others how it is played too. Also we are thinking of changing the name of the game from “Epic Meal” to “Kitchen Chaos.”


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pushing Forward

During class on Wednesday we discussed some of the problems we had with our core concept of building a “meal” of an appetizer, salad, main, dessert and drink. We concluded that as it stood the concept was lacking as there was no real strategy a player could take if the only goal was “build a meal” and “get bonus points if it is ethnic(which is an attribute of each dish)”. After some confusion on what each of us actually wanted the game to do we were able to finally able to come up with a solution to the too simple and too tactical problem. We came up with the idea of “order” cards which would represent a customer's order to each “chef”. The theme was coming together, each player as a chef that had an order to fulfill by building a meal of 5 courses with different dishes.

We also decided how each chef would build their pantry of dishes to build their meals with. There were three “shelves”; one shelf with appetizers and salads, one shelf with main dishes, and one shelf with deserts and drinks. The other way to build a pantry is by using the the refrigerator. We also decided we would have cards called “Meal Sabotages” that would start in the Refridgerator along side Spoiled food. Spoiled food would be worth less when put back into the refrigerator and Meal Sabotages would let a chef directly affect another chef or their meal. By the time class was over we had a better idea of the direction we were headed.

We met at the Douglass Campus Center to complete our prototype deck. We templated out the dishes first, deciding on 6 ethnicities, and also deciding that each ethnicity would have 7 dishes. We also looked up actual dishes from those ethnicities to use for the cards. We then assigned some dishes in each ethnicity special powers when they were added to your meal. This gave advantages and disadvantages to each dish. Once the dishes were done we finishes the order cards and meal sabotage cards. Our prototype deck was done and we all split for the night. I volunteered to take the deck to play through during a study break. After a quick run through it worked, although not optimally. We look forward to playtesting so that changes can be made to make Epic Meal even better. 

Ian Berman

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Blog 2

At the beginning of class on Wednesday we were shocked to find ourselves with two new partners. Our original idea had been spearheaded by one of the group members that dropped the course. This required us to have to start from scratch once again while updating our peers on the course and all of our individual card game ideas. Ian and harry seemed to take the most interest in the food game “Epic Meal” so we decided to carry on with that idea.

We decided to meet up at Alexander Library in order to start working on the prototype cards. The meeting went well for we were able to begin constructing the playing cards that included appetizers, drinks, meals, and desserts. Our group communicated well. For a group that lost two of its initial members, the two new group members, Ian and Harry, were very enthusiastic and assisted Mahvish and myself diligently which helped further develop our game into something more compelling than when we had started. We decided to include different ethnic meals within our game. This allows a wider range of players to feel emotionally connected to our game. Instead of just having traditional meals we eat here in the United States, the players can also construct ethnic meals from different backgrounds in order to earn bonus points.

Ram Patel 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

First Meeting

            During class last Wednesday, it was a bit of a challenge figuring out what game we liked best and wanted to go forward with.  We had to pick a game that had an interesting theme, was practical to play, didn’t have too many complications (or wasn’t too simple!), and we felt that we could collectively design as a team.  To start off, Mita had an absolutely fantastic idea.  She thought of creating a game whose theme everyone could relate to: the RU screw.  In her game, everyone is a first year student that is trying to overcome challenging obstacles at Rutgers – such as being late for the bus, having webreg shut down, not having good professors, etc.  However, although the theme got everyone excited and put everyone on common ground, I felt this game would be much better and enjoyable as a board game.  It took some convincing but we decided to put this idea on hold.  Ram, on the other hand, thought of creating a card game that centered on the Lord of the Rings.  Though I can’t recall every detail of his game – we all thought it was just too simple and relatively quickly dismissed it.  He didn’t take it personally though, which is good of course, and we moved on fast.   

Moving along, my card game was a children’s game that I designed to help young ones identify and spell different community figures that they should be aware of (i.e. the police officer, mailman, nurse, etc.).  Though the idea we felt was good and cute, we dismissed this too because it will be a challenge creating this game when we are young adults that aren’t all too familiar with children and their specific mentality and needs.  I’m perfectly okay that my game was let go though because I understand how this might be too difficult and even boring to create – even though the rules would have been relatively simple.  Lastly, Sam, who was our leader, thought of a very unique card game where players create meals by matching cards.  When she mentioned her idea, we quickly started brainstorming different ideas that we could incorporate into the game, such as creating meal cards from all different ethnic backgrounds and have them carry different point values.  Though all the details have obviously yet to be established, we felt this game would give players the perfect amount of challenge, zing, excitement and fun.  However, Sam didn’t feel the same way because she thought her game was silly and the theme (food) couldn’t be taken seriously.  But we felt quite the opposite!  Food gets everyone enthusiastic and her idea is awesome!  Still, she seemed shy to have her idea accepted so we ultimately put it into a vote and Sam’s creative idea deservedly won and I’m really looking forward to making this game a reality!