“Game Hacker” – A Board Game for Teaching Games Design. – Part 2

Okay, so remember my GameHacker project?

And that I had mentioned that the board pieces would need graphics

Graphics that needed to allow the same level of inference that a rule-less game suggested; i.e. open to the interpretation of the players that establish the mechanics for that version of the game.

An early example can be found HERE.

But, never having designed this kind of iconography before I found it tough going and have a new found respect for public infographic and road sign designers everywhere.

0 First Graphics Game Hacker

After having a couple of (what felt like) unsuccessful attempts with brush pens and drawing pens (and faffing in PhotoShop and Illustrator) one of the methods I tried was taking my initial sketches and trying to interpret them in 3D using SketchUp. I tend to think in 3D terms so thought this might be a viable option.

Sketch Up versions of Graphics

It wasn’t…

An old colleague, and fellow digital media lecturer, James Field, suggested creating them in Flash, based on the original sketches… He’s are his interpretations of two early designs… which I really like.

I’d shown him the crazy Japanese subway signs in which the designer had shown transgressors on the tube as regular people and the poor put upon passengers as blank eyed zombies, and he captured some of that to a “t”.

.tentacle of doom final

From there I went back to the original sketches myself and began playing with the doodles in PhotoShop once more.

Graphics for Gamehacker 001 Sketch

Resulting in these quick attempts above (click to enlarge), again which I’m pleased with (sometimes all it takes is a fresh eye to reinvigorate a project).

“Game Mechanics” Inferred include:

Roll again; Portal in/Portal out; Lose a Life; Attack; Miss a Turn; Puppet/control other Players; Shift Board Tiles; Co-Op, and Supernatural Power-boost.

I’d be pleased to hear from anyone looking at these, with ideas as to what they might mean to them… Knock yourselves out, interpretation and inference rules the day here.

…around the same time I began thinking about the Chance Cards for the game. Again they had to be exemplary of typical game mechanics whilst leaving the interpretation very much in the hands of the rule makers in the game.

Graphics for GameHacker 002 Sketch

“Chances” inferred include:

Supernatural Powerup; Lose a Turn; Portal In/Portal Out; Flight; Write a New Rule; Get out of Jail; Go to Jail; Gain/Lose Wealth; Cards to collect to allow free movement of board tiles etc.

I’m now well on with getting the final finishes done for this section of my Masters Project. I’ll post more of these as I complete them.


Next, getting the board pieces laser cut.

~ by hesir on March 25, 2013.

One Response to ““Game Hacker” – A Board Game for Teaching Games Design. – Part 2”

  1. […] When I first doodled out some of these way back in March I stil wasn’t sure what the final graphics might look like, I’d begun the process by making a list (outlined in red below) of all the key mechanics that move gameplay along in other board games and starting to assign basic symbols and signs for these actions… my intention to leave some level of ambiguity in there so that players could interpret the symbols after their own thinking or preference as well as the loose conventions I’d started with… […]

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