Today at GDC instilled in me an even deeper desire to design games, only now I'm thinking more along the card/board game variety. We started off the day continuing our robot training by adjusting the world destroying robot's programming so he was stoppable. The biggest twist of that exercise was once he was tweaked to the point where that game was dramatic, we took our robots and faced them against other groups' robots. This was very surprising because we were changing the robots with tanks in mind, not other robots, so it was interesting to see how they all fared. R.U.F.U.S. (our robot) was doing very well in our 4 way battle royale until BPPT-3000 fired a rocket at another robot, which self destructed and killed everyone playing. So in the end, none of our robots one. I think that's the best ending for a mad scientist destructo-bot battle royale movie.
Then we came back for another exercise that everyone in the workshop was involved in where we took an existing video game and deconstructed it into a paper game version, so the controls, graphics, sound, and music were all gone, but the essence of what made that game a fun game was still there. As a challenge, our group chose Rock Band as our game. There was much debate and little playtesting at our group (which was counterproductive), but eventually we came out with an incredibly solid experience that's like a weird co-operative game of Simon. I wish we had more time on it so we could add some other key Rock Band elements like the Overdrive score multiplier, but we did accomplish what we set out to do. We even got a ringing endorsement at the end of the entire tutorial by the guy in charge of our group. Hopefully next year our game will be on the slides as a good example of this exercise.
Then after lunch we had another elective where I joined the 100 Zombies group. In this exercise, you start with a pair of people, one random character, and a 7x7 board with 24 zombies on the outside edges of the board. The zombies would move every turn based on the roll of a die. If a turn ends with a zombie on your character, the character dies. Our job was to create a set of rules for our character that fit the character's stereotype and was possible to win or lose with. My teammate and I got the Farm Girl, so every turn she could do two of the following things:
1. Move: If zombies are adjacent to the farm girl, movement is determined by the roll of a die, otherwise she can move one space N, S, E, or W
2. Lasso: Pulls one zombie N, S, E, or W of the farm girl to the spot right next to her
3. Attack with shotgun with accuracy based on distance to zombie:
- Zombie is adjacent: Roll a die, 4, 5, or 6 is a hit
- Zombie is 2 spaces away: Roll a die, 5 or 6 is a hit
- Zombie is 3 spaces away: Roll a die, 6 is a hit (Shotgun is more effective at closer ranges)
- Zombie is on top of farm girl: Roll a die, 6 is a hit (She is too freaked out to aim properly)
Then we joined Farm Girl up with another team's character making a 7x14 board with two characters surrounded by 48 zombies. We were suggested to make combo moves for the two. So Farm Girl joined up with Math Whiz who is a kid in a wheel chair with a potato gun that he must spend time making ammo for. The twist we added is that if the Math Whiz was 4 spaces away from Farm Girl, he would be forced to move near her (because he liiiiikes her). If she was on the same spot as him, Farm Girl would be forced to move because she finds him disgusting. So one turn, a zombie ended up on top of Farm Girl, so she moved away (so she could get a good shot at it), but landed on the Math Whiz, at which point she had to move away again.
Then we joined our two characters up with two more to make a 14x14 board with 4 characters and 96 zombies. Sadly, Farm Girl did not survive this game. She lassoed a zombie to try and get a better shot at it, missed, and subsequently freaked out, running into the mass of zombies and never coming out...she wasn't too bright.
Sadly, the rest of the week has lectures and roundtables instead of tutorials, so there will be a lot less interactivity on my part, but now I have some good ideas of some side projects I can start working on in my free time. Plus, tomorrow morning I get to hear the president of Nintendo speak, so that should be exciting.