Games, Design & Game Design

Archive for the ‘Sketches’ Category

Early Stages of Mayhem

In Design Process, Game Design, Product Design, Sketches on March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I’m working in a new board game. I’m pleased with how the first stage prototype is coming along, so I wanted to share! (click to embiggen)

Prototype 1

The first run-through

Prototype 2

First runthrough, the map at the end of the game.

Prototype 3

Second run-through, three players

Prototype 4

Second runthrough, three players, map at the end of the game.


In Vino Veritas (Custom Wine Rack)

In Design Practice, Design Process, Product Design, Self-Reflection, Sketches on December 17, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I have a little problem with ordering wine on the internet. I wish I could say that I’m a customer of discerning taste, but it’s more like I get coupons from totally unrelated purchases and figure that if I’m going to eventually drink 12 bottles of 10$ wine, I might as well get it delivered all at once and not have to shlep down to the liquor store every weekend.

At some point, I lost track of my purchases, and a couple different orders all came at once.

18 bottles of wine

18 bottles of wine, original storage solution

This, of course, demanded that I make a wine rack to hold these fine beverages in style. I think I have one more round of revisions to make to be totally happy, but this is the current solution:

In Vino Veritas mark 2

Current version of the rack. 18 bottle capacity + internal shelf.

Materials & Process: CNC machined .5″ baltic birch, blue wood stain (face) and Xact-2-Form .5″ cement form material (sides and back). Drawn in Rhino and Illustrator, cut with a custom Shopbot rig at my work. Machining time about 2 hours, plus another hour or so of sanding and finish. Pressure-fit slot construction, no fasteners or glue. Overall dimensions ~ 31″ wide x15.5″ tall x 8.25″ deep.

Full process, detail shots and more info after the jump. All images are click-to-embiggen-able.

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Thrones of Blood Character Ideas

In Design Process, Game Design, Roleplaying Games, Sketches on March 17, 2011 at 10:28 am

This feudal world is ruled by eternally feuding Vampire Lords, each immortal and terrible, each forever obsessed with gaining more territory, wealth and glory. Immortality itself is jealously guarded, and the Lords fear more competitors – thus, they require mortal servants to carry out their wishes. You are those servants.

The players of this game take on the roles of the inner circle of a Vampire Lords council, each playing a very specific part. Each Lord requires:

  • The Coffin, one who ensures the Lord’s safe rest. The protector.
  • The Fang, one who procures the Lord’s nourishment. The hunter.
  • The Sword, one who enforces the Lord’s will over others. The warrior.
  • The Eye, one who discovers plots and secrets within the Lord’s domain. The spy.
  • The Bat, one who carries the will of his Lord throughout the land. The messenger.

Each character is composed of four attributes, which concern the servants relationship to his lord, the people of the land, and his- or herself. Your Lord requires you to have all of these in some measure in order to serve as an effective intermediary.

  • Loyalty measures how truly loyal you are to your Lord. If you lose all your Loyalty, you lose faith and defect.
  • Humanity measures how much empathy you have with the people who make up your Lord’s holdings. If you lose all of your Humanity, your Lord turns you into a mindless Thrall.
  • Cruelty measures your capacity to inflict pain on others. If you lose all of your Cruelty, you become useless to your Lord and are destroyed.
  • Honor measures how true you are to yourself. If you lose all of your Honor, you take your own worthless life.

Currently, I’m thinking of a card-based system, with black cards representing you acting on the Lords will (spades for Loyalty, clubs for Cruelty), and red cards representing your personal decision-making (hearts for Humanity, diamonds for Honor).

Next up: sketch out what the GM does (oh yes, there is a GM), the framework for what you actually DO in play, and the role of secret knowledge, if any.

(What is this all about? Here’s the details.)

Food Court Frenzy!

In Design Process, Game Design, Product Design, Sketches, Thesis Work on February 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm
Food Court Frenzy! Promo

Food Court Frenzy! Prototype

Food Court Frenzy is my second game exploration that’s made it to prototype. It’s for 2-4 players (though I imagine it could have more, maybe up to 6). You have won a shopping spree at the local mall food court! Each player has 100$ and takes turns rolling 1 six-sided die and moving around the board. You have to buy and eat the food at the stall that you land on; money is handled with tokens, and food is represented by marbles. Cheaper food counts for more marbles, and vice versa. To eat, you place your marbles in your suspended balloon, representing your stomach. The first player who is unable to place a marble in their balloon, or who knocks over their balloon stand, ends the game. That player loses for sure, and then the player with the most money remaining wins!

There are a couple of other winkles (the circle in the center is the “Bully Circle”, with a chance of having a free turn, having money stolen, or being force-fed a marble), but that’s pretty much it. It is stupidly fun, at least for adults who don’t take themselves too seriously.

The next major design challenge (other than running some simulations on the board to see if the space distribution makes sense) is the actual units used as the stomach stands. I think anthopomorphic is the way to go, and just today started prototyping in acrylic.

Food Court Frenzy! Stand Prototypes

Food Court Frenzy! Stand Prototypes

I’m very pleased, and excited to keep developing this one! More pics (mostly from the initial playtest) after the jump.

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Working Title: Feed Us!

In Design Practice, Design Process, Game Design, Sketches, Thesis Work on February 1, 2011 at 5:10 pm

The first game attempt for Games About Food has made.


In this game, each player will be setting and and maintaining an industrial food chain, taking food from basic resources to retail. Each player will have a contrasting Goal concerning the overall Health of the system – Environmental, Economic and/or Personal.

The goal of the game is to achieve your Goal first, by creating conditions where the level of Health or Healths concerned with your individual Goal card are achieved. However, if ANY of the three Health tracks hits 0, everybody loses and the game is over!

A finished game of Feed Us!

I started writing it last Saturday, finished the mechanics skeleton yesterday, and finished a written rules document this morning. I played it with one person (it’s for 2-4 people), which took about an hour and shook out the obvious math problems, and a couple of less obvious emergent properties. So it took 4 days to put together, probably about 10-12 hours total if put all together in one chunk. This seems like a baseline pace that I’d like to keep up.

Now that I have one design really started (with a playtest and all!), I’ll be revising it in parallel to working on a different idea; possibly “Dinner Winner” (thanks to my classmate for the title) a card game where the winner is the one who makes the best recipe out of the cards, and the loser cooks dinner with that recipe.

Some more pics of the very first round of Feed Us! after the jump. Click to embiggen.

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Early Sketches

In Design Process, Product Design, Sketches on September 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I’m not a very talented 2D artist. But design is all about communication, and visual communication is usually the most efficient way to transmit information. So, we do a lot of sketching in my program. I’m really jealous of my peers who can sketch well (i.e. make a sketch aesthetically pleasing in addition to demonstrating an idea), but at least I’ve gotten to the point where my sketches (seem) to show what I want them to show.

I just turned in my initial set of sketches for the class that will be taking me to the International Furniture Faire in Milan (henceforth known as “the Milan class”). The point here isn’t to have a fully-developed product, but rather to investigate and explore an array of directions stemming from my core concept. I’m exploring the idea of re-materialization of value; in a world where money and hence value is increadingly immaterial, what does it mean to re-materialize icons of value into new, useful forms?

Check out some sketches after the jump (click to embiggen).

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