Androids VS Mutants: Tabletop Warfare Game

In the last couple of weeks Ben, Rachel, Leo and I have designed a turn by turn-style tabletop war game for our class of BCM300; Game Experience Design. Each of us contributed to the assessment by formulating ideas, presenting background research, and experiencing playtesting.

Here’s our video:


I enjoyed the design aspect of this assignment as it allowed for my creative mind to express my ideas freely and slowly narrow down on one idea to refine and work on it consistently which had been an issue with my creativity fluently. This was spiked by one of the games we played in the class called “Sparks” which I enjoyed as it ironically sparked the inner creativity in me to shine.

Our original premise of this board game was inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s movie “The Last Samurai” and the videogame series Total War to create a tabletop war-based game starring America Vs Japan with no characters in mind just yet, just the themes and story for the world we were creating for our consumers.

But upon further reflection, Rachel brought up that our idea could be seen as cultural appropriation due to the lack of knowledge in this field we collectively had.

Through this failed idea we had the basis of our mechanics and with help from our tutor to avoid incorrect political decisions. We looked for other media from videogames and movies that we had an interest in.

Our primary inspirations were the fallout franchise, Terminator movies and the left for dead videogame series which is why this board game is set on a battlefield on futuristic earth in a post-apocalyptic setting where human beings were overthrown by Artificial Intelligence who nuked the earth and created a mutant strain to wipe out the rest of the survivors but has ended up creating a monumental battle between the man-made androids and man-destroying mutants for the battle for earth. 

Character Development

The main characters and weapon were developed with inspiration from the Fallout videogame franchise, The Terminator movies as well as Left for Dead franchise. For example, the Exterminator character is inspired by the terminator character in Left 4 dead 1.

Mechanics I Introduced

  • The tragic departure of old japan culture, (philosophy) 
  • 5 characters on each side (Japan and America) with a random shuffle at the start with the characters you get to play the game with different
  • 4 areas of play – split by a mountain in between (River, Forest, Village, Snow)
  • Character cards on both sides that are shuffled
  • Added special abilities to the heroes.
  • Item cards to be random places on the battlefield to in site battle or tactical abilities
Our Initial Brainstorm
The initial board game design

Contribution To The Group Video

My main contribution to the group video was to pitch was the game overview, genre and the intended audience part of the presentation.

To complete this aspect of the task this I took upon the advice that was given by my tuts and marking criteria to successfully outline the set and setting to intrigue potential investors and or players of our game. I also used the advice of giving a reason why someone would want to buy this game by explaining our inspirations instead of an age group.


When creating the prototype, I suggested drawing up each character to figure out what we should call them and the abilities they should have and what weapon they should use, this was then supplemented by giving the character a strength and defence rating to simplify the game mechanics. As for representing the character we just used simple Woolworth’s figures and poker chips to represent how many hearts they had left.

The pictures below show our initial beta of this board for the strengths and weaknesses our characters have. Our components included the use of paper and simple drawings.


With our initial beta both Ben and played tested the game to figure out if there was anything wrong with the core mechanics and how the flow of our turn-by-turn style game would work.

The first issue that I came across was the star representing the direction of movement was quite unpolished as I would forget how my stars would dictate how the movement of the character would work. To fix this issue I suggested drawing arrows for the directions the specific character could move to simplify this mechanic of the game.

Another issue that Ben, Leo and I notice is the balance of strength to defence ratio did not work as one character would not be able to do any damage to another as their defence was too high to fix this issue we collectively decided to increase the star damage on all characters and ability cards.

After all these changes we were quite satisfied with the final product and am happy to say that we all made an amazing collaborative effort.

Ben’s Blog – Click Here

Leo’s Blog – Click Here

Rachel’s Blog – Click Here

Code Names – Analysis: Can You Guess The Spy ?


Players: 4 – 8 competitive or 2 – 8 non-competitive

Ages: 10+

Genre: Party game and Mystery

DeveloperVlaada Chvátil

PublisherCzech Games Edition

IllustratorTomas Kucerovsky

Game Mechanics

After a quick read through the rules, the game seemed quite convoluted, but we slowly got the hang of it more as we played the game; looking back at the rules if there was anything we weren’t sure on. For example, we didn’t know when to use the one-minute hourglass that was placed in the box, we didn’t end up using it unless it was in a passive-aggressive way if the other team took too long to think of a clue or guess. The game is recommended for 2-8 players and has been suggested to play with 4+ but we felt it worked well with 4 and maybe too stressful with more players.

There are 25 cards laid out in a 5×5 rectangular grid, randomly with a different word on each. The game aims to have two rival spymasters who know the identities of 25 agents (agents being the words on the cards), and their teammates only know the agents by their ‘code names’. The spymasters give their team one-word clues along with a number with how many cards match the clue word. Their teammate points to which word they think the spymaster has chosen. If a word is chosen that belongs to the opposing team, they get the point. If an innocent bystander card is chosen, there are no points for anyone, and that team skips their go. If the assassin is chosen, the other team automatically wins the game.

After each round, we changed teams which made the game more interesting as you had to try and find words that your new team player would make sense of. To know which code names belong to each player and which cards are the innocent bystanders/assassin, there is a map card that can be shown below:

Response to the game

I enjoyed this game for several different reasons. One of these being the game’s mechanics, they were simple and logically, making the game very easy to pick up quickly which is perfect for the party game genre. I also felt as though the mechanics allowed for you to focus your energy on using your imagination and strategy when it came to creating and guessing clues, this harmonious relationship made the game flow very nicely. Although the game can challenge you at times you never feel overwhelmed because the game is so simple in its mechanics.

I also felt the rules did a great job explaining the game mechanics and setting the boundaries for the game. One thing I did notice was that the story of the game gets a bit lost when playing, though it is established well in the rule book and reasonably in the visual imagery of the game, the game’s story isn’t as strong as many other games with a mystery theme. I don’t necessarily believe that this harmed my game experience but perhaps if the story was more prominent throughout the gameplay my response to the game might be that bit better.

Another part of the game that for me made it that much better was, getting to play it with a great group of people. Of course, I am going to have a good response to a game when the people I got to play the game with made it that much better, everyone got into the game and got competitive and that is the way I like to play my games.

One annoying aspect of the game that is didn’t enjoy though was the ability of the field operatives to guess the correct spy’ and be able to win the game on chance. 

I could point the exact point to the thing that made this board game so fun was that there were two levels of hidden communication, with the cards themselves and the clues that are given and that is what made me really enjoy and highly rate this game, rather it is the cohesive relationship between its mechanics, strategy and imaginative elements and players that make up my fondness response to this game.