Joy & Games: Marbles

For this assignment, I made a list of things I wanted to learn that I had missed out on the last time:

  • Camera movement and controls

  • Use of collision detection

  • Timing, scores and end game

  • Enemies

For my marble game, I came up with a simpler idea: Collect multiple boxes as fast as you can while navigating the floor which was made of different textures. However, I ran into major issues trying to get my onCollision code to work. I have tried rigidbodies, isKinematic, tags and every script online but still can’t seem to get the shapes to detect collision. It was frustrating and I had to leave my sketch half-done as I could not proceed but here is the sketch. Warts and all.

Link

Joy & Games: A game about rules

For the first game about rules that I had to make, I came up with a simple game that is essentially chess on steroids. The board was as below:

The rules were as below:

4 pieces that can move as shown in the diagrams on the right. (Triangle moves diagonally, squares move at right angles, circles can move in any direction and rectangles move 1-1/2 blocks every time)

The 4 pieces can be placed anywhere on the first row at the start.

Players move all the 4 pieces simultaneously.

Players draw a line over the squares they pass. If a player crosses over a line previously drawn, it turns into a stronghold (team color block)

To attack another player lines, both players roll dice twice. The one with the higher count wins. If its a stronghold, attacking player rolls once. Defense rolls twice. If its destroyed, then the land turns into a no mans land owned by the winning player.

One can destroy their pieces and any 3 nearby areas turn into a no-mans land of the players color.

Winning:

If there are no moves left, the scoring is as follows:

  • 1 for every line

  • 4 for every stronghold

  • 8 for every no-man’s land

  • 16*no of blocks for largest streak.

I played this game over 2 iterations. After game 1, I realised people were bored and quickly destroyed themselves so we reduced the size of the board and instead of moving 1 block, players could move the circle and triangle for 2 blocks every turn.

Here are the images from the 2 playtests:

IMG_20191015_031253.jpg
IMG_20191015_031247.jpg

Manifesto

I have always loved games. Ever since I can remember. As a very sickly, single child, playing outdoors and participating in events that involved physical exertion was almost impossible for me. I had to spend most of my time indoors and needless to say, I was pretty restless which would result in fits of anger and frustration. Games came as salvation for me in those trying times. Through board games, computer games and building kits, I would be able to channel my hyperactive brain and it came to me as a salve in the middle of a very confusing childhood. I have formed lasting friendships around games, whether it be digital or analog, games have been an important part of my life.

However, in the past few years, as I have seen the game industry explode, there is something missing. All the joy has been sucked out of games to turn them into Sisyphean endeavors which have no deeper meaning. The connection I felt to the player, the world and its mythos has now be replaced by fast-moving, bit-sized junk. And as I have grown up, their charm seems to have faded upon me. So, my stake with making games is:

  • Can I make games that rekindle the joy that I felt during my youth?

  • Can games be vessels to something larger than click farms?

  • Are games alternate forms of protest?

I wasn’t very sure where I was going with this principles but ‘Pleasure Activism‘ helped me narrow down my thoughts. The specific ideas that I want to explore are to create a safe space for players where they can experience a moment of quiet eroticism. I have always been fascinated with silicon and soft interfaces ever since I started at ITP and I think that interfaces for games that are soft, squishy and oddly satisfying have the potential to unlock moments of quiet eroticism. The experience of two people touching a shared piece of silicon from either side can feel oddly personal and intimate. I want to explore the breadth of this interaction and build a game where 2 people are quietly intimate.