Friday, August 26, 2011

anthrophobic chess piece

King's Cross 

This is a two player game where the object is to trap the King before he eats all of your pawns.  The two players take turns moving four defending pieces and eight pawns, while the King moves around by the use of two die rolls.

The game begins set up like so:

The white King starts in one of the four center squares, while two pawns and one defender stem from each of the four corners.  The King can only move North, South, East, and West (board either says which side is which or players agree on the directions); same with the pawns.  There are two knight defenders, and two rook defenders, and they retain their range of movement from the original game of chess, except that they can also move backward. The movement of all pieces, including the king, can go off the side of the board and continue on the opposite side, as long as there is nothing blocking the move.  For example, if a player moved North from the top left corner, the next space it would enter would be the bottom left corner.  If it moved West from the top left corner, it would move to the top right corner, and so on.

The game starts with the King's move, which is two dice rolls or two die.  One roll determines the number of squares it can move (1-6), and the other roll determines the direction it moves (1=N, 2=S, 3=W, 4=E or any agreed upon arrangement).  Then one player moves, and they move first their defender and then a pawn (if they so choose).  The object of the movement is to either block the King from eating a pawn, or to try to trap the King by surrounding it on all four sides.  The other player then moves; they can move the same pieces as the first player if they wish.  Then the King moves again in the same manner.  

If the King runs into a defender, it's turn ends in that spot.  Neither piece is otherwise affected, they just can't move past the other.  In the below example, if the King rolled to move 6 spaces West, it would only be able to move one square before it's movement was stopped.

The game continues on in this way until the King encounters a pawn. In the example below, the King would encounter a pawn if it was moving West as it made this move.  The King only eats a pawn if it is in the path of its movement.

When the King hits a pawn, it eats it and the pawn is gone from the board.  After it eats a pawn, the King earns a new roll.  After the first pawn it eats, it then has two moves per turn (two separate rolls of the two die).  When it eats another pawn, it earns a third move per turn.  The King will continue to move three times per turn until the game is over, even if it eats more pawns.

If the King is blocked on any side at the beginning of its turn, it can't complete a move in that direction.  If it has more than one roll per turn, it has another chance or two to move in another direction. Thus, if it is surrounded on three sides, it has to wait until it gets a roll in the one direction it can move in. 

The game ends when the four defenders successfully surround the King and it can no longer move.  This can appear a number of different ways, since movement can go off the board. All the examples below show a winning board.

Anthrophobic Ball

2 player game similar to Labyrinth.

There is a maze with multiple paths that have player controlled "gates" which stop the ball from rolling down a certain path.

Both players are trying to manipulate the paths (through gate closures) so that the ball ends up in the player's space/hole/void, while Attempting to circumvent each other. In this picture, the light-blue/teal colored blips represent the gates. The white lines represent the different paths.
The white fog at the bottom is a game over condition, I'll explain that further on.

The maze is a plane on a central axis, which tilts randomly and suddenly.
The shapes and sizes of the mazes could be varied, but there is always at least one edge where the ball could fall off the map completely --a losing condition for both players. So both will have to coordinate gate closures, in this circumstance, until the axis tilts again. It's a sudden cooperate or die mode.

Different points and angles where the axis could shift:

The image that comes to my mind is of a somewhat slow, very large, sagging-bloated mass. Like a semi deflated plastic ball. Which at steep tilts could be tumbling and rolling, and flatter slopes could be sort of sliding along...

Other Variables: (Just brainstorming)


-another idea; the map could be dynamically reorganizing itself. A difficulty increase.
It could also have a topographical surface coupled to some physics, to complicate
the balls movement. In this picture, the lines represent paths, the intersections of the lines are a bit more bold--this is where the gate closures would be, one for each path radiating from the intersection:

tilt of the axis.
-or a player could control the change in axis through some gameplay mechanism.
-one player could exclusively control gates while another controls the axis only.

The End

Friday, August 19, 2011

PONG appraisal


Student Name Kevin Roth

Today’s Date 8.18.2011

Game Title Examined PONG

Year of Publication 1972

Game Publisher ATARI

Game Developer ATARI

Game Genre (e.g. shoot-em-up, racing, sports, puzzle, MMORPG, ‘sandbox’, music sequence following game (e.g. DDR, guitar hero)

Table Tennis Simulation. I suppose that makes this a sports game...

Type of game ‘world’ or environment (e.g. flat environment, puzzle/maze space, 3D world?)

Flat environment with oblivion on left and right edges

Perspective taken by player (e.g first person, third person perspective, top down, isometric) in relation to main player controlled character.

Top Down

Gameplay – what does the player have to do?

First there is a black flat plane divided left and right evenly where two white paddles bounce off a white ball. The paddles can be moved up and down along the y axis only. The ball is in constant motion from the left to the right on both x and y axis. The ball’s diagonal movement can be manipulated via the positions that the paddles receive it. Any time a paddle does not receive the ball, a score is gained for the opposing side. The goal is to reach 10 points, then the game is won.

Is the gameplay intuitive? (i.e. is it easy to understand what to do without instructions?) describe.

The game is easily understood, almost instantly. The simplicity of the visuals makes the physical relationships between objects unmistakeably clear. Before the game is actually played there is a demo mode running which demonstrates the gameplay mechanics.

Is the gameplay patterned (game does the same thing over & over) or is it random (happens differently every time?)

The game is different every time, only in the sense that the ball is moving in a set of predetermined directions. The player’s “paddling style” controls the directional movements. In this sense, no two games could be entirely alike.

What does the type of graphic approach used as well as the audio tell you about the limits of the technology at the time the game was published?

The limits were a pixel based graphics system which left little room for any visual expansion on the idea. Programming must have been done from the bottom up. As opposed to having engines or specialized languages today. Which would mean that all the content on screen had to be programmed without any precedents for the physics, or even syncing audio to onscreen action. In short it must have taken a great deal of effort just to accomplish simple things. (simple in retrospect)

Describe your views about the game from the point of view of

  1. ease of play
    The game is easy to understand but can still be very challenging. It exemplifies one type of an ideal game mechanics balance.

2. enjoyability
I could say that I do not enjoy the thought of playing pong. But when playing, it takes some effort to disconnect from game. So there is an addictive stimulus working on my brain.

3. level of engagement/immersion
It has an instantaneous immersion, the gameplay is unambiguous and the goals are clear. But to achieve them your attention has to be on the movement of the ball. The success in the game with a distracted player is I would guess somewhat similar to texting and driving simultaneously.

Had you played this game prior to this time? If so, when?

I played it early in my childhood and other variations on it since then. I cannot remember a time when I was not aware of it’s existence.

Describe other games it reminds you of. How does it do this?

It reminds me of tennis. It also reminds me of tossing a ball against a wall and having it bounce it back but in a different direction depending on how I threw it. Pong really reminds me of actual physically interactive games as a youngster. More so then other electronic games.