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:

Design

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.

Prototyping

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.

Playtesting:

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

Live Tweeting – BCM 325

This post will provide a critical self-reflection of my live tweeting ability during the movie screenings in BCM325 – Future Cultures, and the levels of engagement I achieved in my tweets. Despite being new to live tweeting while watching, I felt that I missed key aspects of  dialog or story as I was trying to make a meme or ask a thoughtful question to ask my peers. But I slowly improved through put the weeks.

Most of the engagement on my original tweets and comments on other’s came from discussion about the film and it’s ideas about the future. I believe these tweets do well because a key component of the BCM325 sessions is to continuously unpack future cultures tropes from these films.

Other tweets that were based on funny comments or memes gathered little to no engagement. They were based on funny and relatable moments to my peers. I believe these tweets didn’t do as well due to them having to be rushed while watching the film which didn’t allow for much thought due to the time constraint to move on to the next tweet.

During the sessions I also live tweeted additional interesting sources about the films. Which received mixed levels of engagement, due to my peers were unlikely to read an article while also attempting to live tweet about the film as the same time. Posting additional sources is something I need to work on and do more often in the next round of live tweeting sessions. I often get caught up in the film or Twitter and forget to search for extra information.

Finally, I found engage with other people tweets very interesting as we posed questions to one other about the movies we watched which lead to my own further research into what was being questioned furthering my knowledge of the topic that were being discussed about the film. I also engage in the tweets of other viewers through replies, retweets and likes. This is something else I need to improve on as I often only see the tweets from the people I follow, or the most prominent tweets being shared by the people I follow. I tend to forget about clicking on the BCM325 hashtag and viewing all the most recent tweets as they come in.

To conclude I plan to watch the movie before the tutorial in order to prepare for the live tweeting exercise better, as well as making memes beforehand to hopefully increase the relevant and humour of them to hopefully encourage more interaction. I also plan on engaging with the lecture content and set readings to increase the integrity of my live tweets for the next block of movies.

BCM241 Research Project and DA Pitch

My topic is travel content, I am researching Jay Alvarrez a USA lifestyle and travel influencer. This media niche ranges from travel, photography, videography and extreme activities (e.g. sky diving). Most influencers have a strong connection to their audience “by sharing details of their personal lives, interacting with followers across social media platforms, and encouraging a sense of community” (Lawson, 2020).

Jay Alvarrez has a broad field site, he is a business owner for an online digital assets company called The Creator Studios. In addition to this he posts regularly on instagram, youtube. Over the years, Jay has expanded his network and become popular by keeping his followers up to date with his lifestyle and travels around the world 

My ethnographic research is a “methodology for studies of cultures and peoples, with the assumption that they have something in common” (Sobolewska, F. Smith & Turner, 2009). By researching all of Jay Alvarrez’s social media platforms, I believe that there will be similarities. 

A common ethical issue for lifestyle influencers is authenticity. Wellman, Stoldt & Ekdale (2020) identifies that “ethics of authenticity is premised on two central tenets: being true to one’s self and brand and being true to one’s audience”. 

My DA will be a travel Instagram @aquilahproductions, This will be a fun experiment to see how much I learnt about his lifestyle over the semester and see if I can replicate his Instagram feed. I will also attempt to edit the photos and videos in a similar way and use the same aesthetics he does.

References:

Lawson, C. E. (2020) ‘Skin deep: Callout strategies, influencers, and racism in the online beauty community’, New Media & Society. 

Sobolewska, E., Smith, C.F. and Turner, P., 2009. Auto-ethnography: problems, pitfalls and promise. HCI Educators 2009-playing with our education, pp.91-97.  

Wellman, M.L., Stoldt, R., Tully, M. and Ekdale, B., 2020. Ethics of Authenticity: Social Media Influencers and the Production of Sponsored Content. Journal of Media Ethics, 35(2), pp.68-82.