Hello party people,
A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at designing a board game, inspired by Brenda Braithwaite and Ian Schreiber’s book Challenges for Game Designers. The lovely Sande Chen then invited me to write about the process here at her blog, Game Design Aspect of the Month. It’s a game about building treehouses in a post-apocalyptic city, which hopefully will make the following images a bit more sensical.
Edit: By popular request (and because I can’t say no to Jason Rohrer : ), here are
Specs: 2-4 players, turn-based gameplay, playing time 20-30 minutes
Objective: earn the most victory points by building treehouses
Setup: Shuffle the 56 game tiles and place them facedown in a 7 x 8 grid. Players may choose which edge tile to start the game from when their turn comes.
1) At the start of the game, players select one of four female avatars. Play proceeds in a clockwise manner, highest roll goes first.
2) Each player has three “movement points” at the start of his or her turn. Each action in the game costs a certain number of movement points. To turn over a tile and move there costs one movement point (Note: players must move to the tile they turn over). To search a building costs two movement points. Building a treehouse costs three movement points.
3) Players may only move to adjacent tiles (no diagonal movement). They can also travel over tiles that have already been overturned; moving one tile costs one movement point.
4) Treehouses cost five wood to build. Players collect wood by searching buildings, and a die roll determines how much wood is found. Buildings may only be searched once, and they can be searched from the ground level or from the rooftop.
5) Treehouses built on ground-level trees are worth one “victory point,” while those built on trees on top of buildings are worth two victory points.
6) To climb up to a rooftop, players must first move to a “ruins” tile, which acts as a staircase. To climb down from the top of the building, players must return to the ruins tile. If two buildings are adjacent to one another, players may travel from rooftop to rooftop. However, players cannot search adjacent tiles from a rooftop, and must return to the ground first. Note: not all rooftops will be accessible, as ruins tiles are distributed randomly.
7) Certain tiles have special meaning, as illustrated above.
The game is over when the last tile is overturned, and the player with the most victory points wins.
Get ready for pictures of the game in action!
The illustrious newton64 considers his next move.
Me and Freckle chart a course to victory.
Funfact: that “Beer Doctor 1979″ pin in the background is actually from 1979. Props, newton.
Twee and Spider in an epic battle royale to the death.
Overturned tokens denote searched buildings. Eventually we switched those out for coins, which held down the tiles. Also, there’s an OCD bonus: the treehouse tokens actually align with the tree art.
If you’re feeling bored, or feeling like celebrating Canada Day by cutting out a bunch of little paper shapes, a pdf of the game is available here. If you happen to play it, don’t hesitate to let me know what you thought, party people.