MechYard Let’s Play – Refined for DIGC335

As part of my Cybercultures and Digital Game Culture projects I have been creating a board game, which was the main component of my Presentation a few weeks ago. A quick run through of the game:

MechYard (name still up for contention) will be a passively competitive round based tile laying game separated into two phases: Scavenging and Travelling. The game is inspired by Galaxy Trucker.

During the Scavenging phase players will (in real time and at the same time) pick up tiles, one at a time, and decide whether to add them to their Mech or to place them back in the Scrap pile. The players will need to manage four sides of their Mech (Front, Rear, Left Arm, Right Arm) and try to fit pieces together.

Game Board Prototype

In a previous build, colours differentiated which pieces could fit together. During my pitch I was given advice that that would restrict my game from being playable by people with colour blindness, and I also have to admit that it was a bit complicated regardless. As such, I’ve decided to use lines; Vertical, Horizontal and Diagonal. Vertical attaches to Vertical, Horizontal to Horizontal, and Diagonal to all. A tile needs to be adjacent to at least one other compatible tile to be connected.
Each tile has one set of these lines in the background. The tiles that currently make up the game are Weapons, Shields, Boosters and Batteries. Weapons, Shields and Boosters all require Batteries to operate, and Batteries are single use only. After time has expired and players have scrutinized the other players Mechs (to make sure they only have compatible parts), the Travel phase begins.

Battery DiagRailgun VertShield HorizenThruster Diag

During the Travel phase cards will be drawn which are various challenges/encounters that the Mechs need to overcome, or take damage (Lose tiles). The amount of Boosters at the end of the Travel phase will determine how far players will progress on a game board toward the Drop Zone. After each Travel phase is another Scavenge phase, and new tiles/cards are added.

Card Prototype
A Drone has high firepower and is mobile, but is weak so it would take 3 Shields to take the damage, or 3 Boosters to outrun the drone, but only 1 weapon to shoot it down.

The game ends at the end of Travel Phase 3, and winners are decided based on who has arrived at the Drop Zone.

That is how the game is proposed to function, though prototyping and playtesting is still required. My Digital Artefact for Cybercultures is going to be a Let’s Play of my game. I have been researching various tabletop games and how people have approached filming playing these games. From this, I am planning on having a multi camera set up containing at least a front on shot and a top down perspective. To get the most out of the video I am planning on only having one other person to play against and I am hoping to utilise one of my friends who is quite a board game fanatic, who plays regularly and will be able to offer fun and interesting notes, while drawing parallels between other games and their inspiration and impact upon my game.

Currently I have the cards, board and tiles designed. I need to work with the materiality of the project and find a way to print/present the elements in a way that will come across during the Let’s Play.

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