4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Capstone Update 4: Unleash the Sandworm!
Hugues Ross

10/1/15

Capstone Update 4: Unleash the Sandworm!


Bet you didn't see that coming!
Our stage challenge was delayed for a week so that we could get more testing in, which gives me a good opportunity to keep improving Sports Game. The prototype now features 3 new strange rules, including the sandworm pictured above:
  • Tumbleweed:  The chairs are no longer held up by their legs, and flop about as they move
  • Endangered Bird Watch: Endangered birds fall to the ground and must be avoided. Anything that hits them causes them to explode in a puff of cartoon blood, and hitting them with a chair results in losing a point.
  • Unleash the Sandworm: A sandworm beneath the ground chases a random player, telegraphed by upturned earth. The worm then pops out of the ground for a moment, eating anything beneath it.
Suffice it to say that the game is a bit more hectic now. The sandworm also introduces player death, a new mechanic. When a player dies, they explode in a puff of cartoon blood (like every other dead thing in the game). Their team loses 1 point, and they respawn a few seconds later. We'll need to test this for balance purposes, but for now it seems fine.

On the subject of rules...

When our team showed off Sports Game at the last meeting, there was a bit of confusion about the game due to some poor wording on my part, so I think I should give a quick explanation here in addition to the one I already gave: Rules in Sports Game are not "Rules" in the traditional sense that people might expect from sports. Rather, rules are mechanics that the game randomly introduces during play. Some might take the form of rules (Such as the one where you have to avoid running over endangered birds), but this is not a requirement. Likewise, the game isn't meant to play like a real sport, it just bears a strong resemblance to them and is referred to as one. I wonder if most of the confusion is coming from people trying to make sense of the concept, when it really isn't supposed to make sense. If we decide to go forward with this, we'll have to think hard about what to do to avoid future confusion from players.

What's Next?

My main development goal before the next presentation is to get a total of at least 15 rules into the game. In addition, I want to draft a list of several hundred rules/potential rules. This kind of game will live or die by its replay value, so it needs a lot of content to be successful.  Even if we don't manage to implement the entire list into the game, it gives us a good blueprint to work with.

With any luck, we'll challenge next week and then I'll write a post about what happened!
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