As a matter of practice, it’s important to me that I keep demonstrating different ways to engage with games. Making games is a practice, and when you can look at game assets and consider ways to apply them, you’ll begin to see how much of game design is stuff you can do. Therefore, on this blog I’m making it a project to regularly grab some game assets I couldn’t make myself, that are made for game designers to work with, and see what ideas they inspire.
Let’s spin the wheel and find what shows up when I look at itch.io’s asset page. Ohoh, what’s this? Pixbattlers, they say?
For the purpose of this exercise, I’m using the pay-what-you-want asset Apolonia in all my examples.
First up, what kind of scope can I get if I made a game with these assets? There are seven of them in total. That means I can’t make a game with tons of characters in it… like, I may need to be able to do… say… seven.
Seven characters is a lot of variety for a board game. Something like (for example) Talisman, with cards like this:
The character art gets to take prominence giving a personality to the card; the mechanics then on the left can change the way the individual player progresses through the game. Honestly, I don’t mind the idea of making a print-on-demand Talisman-a-like game. I have thoughts on dice mechanics, and ways to replace them. This could be a really fun little adventure board game, maybe using something like a scaled down version of the Crossroads system.
Another thought, which is actually where I started on this one, is using them in the centre of a card that they then divide in half. So this could be useful for things like MOBA lanes, where this one hero is managing these two lanes, and you could line up multiple heroes, and their shared or separate lanes had particular effects.
These two lanes could either be additive (where each lane gives you the effects of both sides) or you get to make a choice of an overlap, like this:
While I’m dividing up the card into regions, it could be like this, where each corner represents a different mechanical keyword, or symbol or something. You could use a token to track each one, like moving around in a cycle, like each character is an individual mancala.
Okay, what if the cards each represent distinct actions, where the way they’re set up and the way they’re configured has a result? It could even be tactical – where each of these points represent (say) a vulnerability this character has, and covering them up with another character means that the character on top gets to determine what the person under them or behind them is vulnerable to.
One final idea that hangs around the back of my mind here though is the idea of revisiting a game like my Burning Daylight or Grifters. These games are ‘send and return’ games — you send a card out of your hand, and on some timer – regular or not – they come back to you.
One thing I do think based on these preliminary ideas — and it’s a fun brainstorm, so don’t think I’m setting this idea aside for good — is that it doesn’t scream Pride Month to me.