Game Design Blitz #19

And today’s card is…

The Card

Color: Black

Number: 9

Piece: Chess Pawn

Mechanic: Drawing

The Definition

Line Drawing – Games using the line drawing mechanic involve the drawing of lines in one way or another. Lines may be used to connect objects as in Sprouts, to isolate objects, or to create areas as in the classic Dots and Dashes, also known as Square-it.

Pencil-and-Paper – The game is developed using paper and pen to mark and save responses or attributes that, at the end of the game, are used to score points and determine the winner.

The Idea

This time we’re closer. At least the word drawing is in the Board Game Geek mechanics list. It seems fortuitous, and I should stress here that I did not stack the deck to get this card, that I am currently working on three roll and write games. Roll and Write doesn’t have a category specifically, but in BGG parlance “Paper-and-Pencil” are probably what most people would consider roll and write. But our card doesn’t say write, it says “Drawing”. Because of this I’ve included both definitions above.

That said, I am not sure that either of these definitions would fall under anything more specific than the most general possible definition of the word “drawing”. My initial thought was something akin to Pictionary… though on BGG Pictionary falls into the line drawing category.

One of the roll and write games that I’ve only just started to conceptualize is a tower defense game. I think that tower defense lends itself perfectly to the roll and write experience, partially because it is a great type of game to play solo, which is how I find myself playing most roll and write games.

In this game there would be a grid of squares. There will be an entrance on one end of the grid and an exit directly across. Aside from that the grid is blank. The player will have a number of different towers to choose from to build, and they would each have slightly different statistics. Additionally there will be different types of attackers, again, each with different characteristics. The goal is to stop the attackers from reaching their goal.

Dice Phase

On their turn, each player will roll three dice. The total value of the dice will be the amount of points the player has to spend that round. However, one of the dice will also be used to determine the type of attacker for the round and one die will also be used to determine some kind of restriction on the player. In other words, the player will want to balance high and low numbers, because while high numbers gives a lot of points to spend on towers, it also means stronger attackers for the round. As is typical in these types of games, some amount of re-rolling will be possible to try and mitigate the chances of a completely crappy roll.

Drawing Phase

Once the dice have been set the player will use the points that they have for the turn to build towers. Points can be saved from turn to turn, but non-spent points will also contribute to the attacker numbers. (Example; I have 10 points to spend so I buy two standard towers at 4 points each. I have 2 points left over that I can’t spend. These are banked for the next turn, but they also increase the attack wave from 5 to 7 units. Towers that I purchase are drawn on the grid. Ideally these will block the attackers from a straight line to their goal. Once I have drawn all of my towers, I will move on to the attack phase.

Attack Phase

In the attack phase the attackers enter the board. Each tower has a range, damage and speed statistic. Range is how far from the tower the tower can hit an attacker. Speed is the number of times it can hit a space in one turn. Damage is how much damage it can do. Each attacker has an armor value.

Attackers will enter the board from the start space and their default mode will be to move in as direct a line as possible to the goal. Placing towers strategically forces the attackers to move in less efficient ways.

I don’t know the best way to describe this, but essentially the player will compare the damage and speed of their towers, specifically the one or more that have range to the furthest open spot (or spots) that the attackers will enter. DTTD SketchDetermine how many of the attackers the tower will be able to take out and then fill in the rest of the spaces with “X”. Attacked spaces can never be removed. In the example, I have two basic towers, each have an attack of 1 and a speed of 1. Each attacker for this round has a defense of 1 and a speed of 1 (I’m not really sure how the speed aspect will play into it yet), and there are 8 attackers this turn. My towers each take out one attacker on the first space, and the second tower takes out one attacker on each of the next spaces that they would go to. This does not include the space orthogonal right of the second tower, as the attackers would move in a straight line towards the goal (which is not drawn, but is the exact opposite of the entrance). So the towers take out a total of 5 attackers, leaving three to fill in spaces.

The next round then begins. The game is over when the player either survives 10 rounds or when the attackers get to their goal. I think each column on the board would have some point value associated with it, the further the attackers get the less points you have at the end of the game.

The Pitch

Immune is a tower defense game in which your white blood cells have to fight off all manner of contagions! In this roll and write game, you use dice to determine how many white blood cells you can muster up each turn. Those cells are spent and formed into towers by which the contagions have to pass! The towers will take out a number of contagions each turn, but be careful as your dice rolls not only determine your white blood cell count, but also determine the type of contagion that will be attacking you. Can you hold off the contagion long enough to survive?


One thought on “Game Design Blitz #19

  1. It is estimated that the predicted benefit from each user is all
    about 20 times higher-than other styles of interpersonal
    gaming; but, that has but to be tested.


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