Games Design – Analogue Gameplay Design

 
In a group, design and create a prototype board game
based on a genre and existing IP.

 

Our group was given Bullfrog Production’s Dungeon Keeper II, to convert from digital to an analogue board game.

The Analogue version of Dungeon Keeper II that our group came up with consisted of four individual players building up their own dungeons over a quarter of the board each. The players can buy monster rooms, to place in either of the three set locations within their dungeon, to create monsters which can be used to attack or defend against other players.

In the digital version of the game a gold mining system is used for player to earn currency, this system was replaced in our analogue version to the roll of 2 dice, which depending on the number rolled would correlate to an amount of currency. This currency can be used by players to buy monster rooms, monsters and spell or trap cards.

A full description of the games aspects is detailed in the game’s manual, which is available to view here.

 

Here is the game board and cards we created:

 

 

Input Log 

 

Our original currency earning idea, was to have a board with an equal amount of rock pieces on each players section, meaning that all of the players could only earn the same total value from uncovering their rock pieces. This also created the problem that the board could be knocked accidently by a player, which would potentially ruin the game and placement of rock cards, so we decided against this being the way to acquire gold. The solution put forward was the idea of a system for earning money that comes from the amount that is rolled on the die, this gives a better variation to the amount of money each player would have, as before everybody would earn the same amount from uncovering the rocks within their sections of the board. Now a player who rolls good numbers on the dice will be able to progress quicker in the game, as they will have more currency to use. This system also keeps players earning money constantly, whereas before once a player have uncovered all their rock cards they would no longer have any source of currency.

From play testing the game we found we needed to limit the amount of monsters that could be spawned within each room, as there simply wasn’t enough room on the board. I was set the task of creating the monster pieces, I managed to find a sweet which had four different colours, so each dungeon player would be assigned a different colour. I then used permanent marker to specify the monsters between levels and attack or defence type.

Through more testing we started to see how the movement phase would work where players are able to move there monsters, we decided that defence monster would be non-moveable and protect the building against attacking monsters, which could move a set amount of spaces depending on the number rolled on the dice. With this movement system in the game each space counted for one move, but the buildings took up four spaces, so I devised a rule and addition that the building room as a whole only counts as one space, and doorways would be needed to tell from what spaces monsters could enter. The design I came up with was each of the four sides of the building pieces would be half doorway and half wall, therefore when placed on the board at any position there would always be two doors to enter the building and two blocked off.

From the main play test we found that there was two problems; the first problem was that monsters were too cheap to respawn and one person who was down to defending his last room could respawn monsters at a quicker rate than the other players could kill them. From this I worked on a few amount balances for the price of the monsters, which we then all agreed on after testing. The second problem was taking over the other players dungeons, once this had been complete by a player they already had enough money saved from previous rounds, so that on the build phase turn they would spend all there money and pretty much double their army in one turn, which would inevitable mean they went on to win an easy victory. I came up with the idea of doubling the amount it costs to build on some else’s territory and when the rule was put in to play testing it worked well, as the players second territory was quite vulnerable to start with and could easily be battle over amongst players until one had a sufficient army within it.