Game Construction: Minecraft

Hello Reader!


With the great success of Minecraft behind us now, I have always wondered how they managed to develop a random 3D world.  Generating a cube is fairly simple, the difficult part is how they were able to adjust the terrain level.  I did a bit of research and I was able to find out that this is called “procedural generation” of a world.  Heightmaps can be generated using some noise function like the Perlin noise in a pure mathematical process.  Once these heightmaps are generated they are applied to a series of voxel grids or objects.

Also, generating entire worlds at one instance is very processor intensive so many developers subdivide the area into smaller chunks and then generate.


My goal today is to gain a better understanding on how 3D worlds are generated and hopefully apply this to one of my future games.


Basic Terrain

First we must define what actual basic terrain is.  We need to cut our world up into a solid and open areas.  Solid areas will be where the actual terrain like grass, dirt and sand are.  Open areas will be the air and perhaps the water.

Perlin Noise

Here is a good noise function to use as a heightmap.  Since this is just an image we would be sampling from it is very efficient in terms of data storage.  The only problem about this heightmap is that it works well in a 2D game not 3D.  Games like Minecraft are volumetric, the have cliffs, caves, tunnels and overhangs.  We need a function that operates in 3D space to determine if the terrain is solid or open.


The next major step is to take a function that we can input (x,y,z) that references a single voxel cell in the world and we can apply a noise function to that point.  This function could also sample from a noise function and apply it to a voxel cube.

Noise applied to Cube

This is a basic heightmap applied to the top of the voxel cube.  If we were to take a noise function like this:


And apply it to each side of the cube, we can get:

Noise Applied to Each Face

Closing Remarks

I haven’t gone too much into the coding aspect of how they are generated since I am am not too familiar with the generation and manipulation of voxels.  The general idea is fairly easy to grasp.  One can create a bunch of noise samples and apply each to a subdivision of the world to get the desired effect.

Minecraft Map

Looking at this map of a Minecraft world we can see the different types of terrain and “Biomes” that they have.  The developers probably sample different noise functions for different hightmaps of different types of biomes that they want to generate.  As for the rarity of gold/diamonds/iron under the terrain, they most likely use another noise function that affects lower subdivisions and places them over their respective terrain.

For example: Diamonds would only spawn once the player is at a low enough elevation and they normally spawn near lava.  To do this I would have different noise functions for different elevations and areas using some nested “if” and “else” statement.  If everything was completely random we would be having desserts appearing underground.  So by having set elevations for different biomes the game is a bit more realistic and it creates a better player experience.

I was able to find a good noise generating open source software for C++ online called libnoise that would be great for a project like this.  It even has a few tutorials that help you create terrain .bmp files for heightmaps and what not.


Next week I will talk about the 2D level generation of Terraria.


Thank you for reading
– Moose

Game Opinion: Art Games & Games That Make You Think

Good Evening Reader,

I didn’t think these games were going to make an opinion on me, but they did and here we are.  Our professor tweeted a link a few days ago to a blog containing 10 indie/art games that are worth the play.  I am going to do a little review on some of the ones that impacted me the most.

Once Chance

This game was amongst the shortest of the ones I have played.  The controls were very simple, the real meat of the game was in the decisions you make as a player.  You are a scientist that “thought” he cured cancer but instead put the world in danger of extinction.  You have once chance in 6 days to save humanity.  While I felt the decisions were fairly obvious in order to save the world, they were actually very difficult.

In games like Mass Effect or Fallout, in order to be good or evil the choice’s are like night and day.  Where in this game the choices were much more real and difficult to pick from.  For example, if you choose to skip out on work and go spend time with your family you can still find a cure.  However if you were like me and decided the world was bigger then your family, you would have gone home to see your wife dead.

This game actually had difficult yet meaningful choices and the whole point was that you only have one chance at the game.  However you can just clear your cookies or “Ctrl+Shift+N” on google chrome to play the game again.  But the idea of only one chance to play the game adds to the severity of your decisions.

A Mother In Festerwood

Son Dies at 26 😦

This was an interesting game.  Minimal controls (mouse cursor) to move a lady.  Art style was too my liking (anything with pixel art I will most likely enjoy) and the game idea was very simplistic.  All the player had to do was to move their avatar (the mother) around their child.  If you hit the child he moves toward the house and is safe.  If he leaves the safety of your house he gains fighting experience but he might die.

What was really amazing was all the unknowns and the restricted freedom the player had.

Restricted freedom:

  • Free to let your son do as he pleases
  • Freedom of movement in a space around the house
  • Freedom to watch or play the game

The unkowns:

  • What happens if my son goes out in the wild?
  • How long does it take for him to grow?
  • Why does my son keep running to the wild?
  • Am I playing this game right?

After a while I began asking myself questions when I stopped and said, “look what this game has done to me.”  After a few minutes of play, I might have been in the “flow”.  I began asking questions as if I was the actual mother of this child.

During my first playthrough I ended up confining the little guy in the “safe” spot until he was about 16 years old.  After that he left to the wild and killed a few monsters.  When he was about 26 he was on his was back home and he died.  I first laughed, then the screen of his death popped up and I felt a bit uneasy.  I played as this virtual characters mother to see him die at a fairly young age.  The eerie music helped convey this feeling as well.

For the next game I decided to give my son freedom.  That ended badly.  When my son was 4 he decided to try to kill a troll and died.  Irony.

For the next game I tried to be both a supportive mother and give my son freedom.  So I ended up turning him into a mama’s boy until the age of 18 because he managed to slip away from me.  He never came back home and ended up dying again at 26.

I learned quite a bit from this game.  First I learned how such simple mechanics can get you to symbolically think about things like being a mother and how it feels to be in their shoes.  I also realised how terrible of a parent I would be.  When I get a chance I will try to get one of my parents to play this game and see how they do.  The game had points when I was frustrated being that child’s mother.  When he was trying to go kill a dragon I remember shouting, “Idiot! You are only 16 stop going for the dragon!”  This feeling of parental frustration is most likely similar to the real life version.

I have played the game a few times after and I have not yet passed the 30 year mark, can anyone beat that or am I just a horrible mother?

American Dream

My Nice House

This game I really enjoyed.  I am about 90% positive that I was in the “flow” considering I played this game for about half an hour without noticing.

Again, this game had very simplistic controls but the end message or feeling that I got out of it was great.  The player only has the freedom of using the arrow keys and ‘z’ for actions.  You play as someone with one goal: make a million dollars.  Essentially the game revolves around you buying items for your crappy apartment and trading stocks.  The game mechanic is fairly simple: buy low and sell high.  This is basic business.

How this game manages to invoke a feeling is actually really cool.  The idea of making lots of money is sort of a secondary objective.  It was actually very easy to make money using common sense and the “buy low, sell high” mechanic.  The key to making lots of money is to fill your house with lots of great furniture so you can throw parties in it.  When I first started, I decided that was stupid and thought that it was better to invest my money in the market and make more money.  By the time I had bought all good furniture and threw a party I saw someone gave me a recommendation for a stock.  So the next day I took that persons advice, cautiously, and bought on stock that he recommended and also bought another stock I thought would be good.  The next day his stock shot up through the roof and I knew what the game was about.

After this point I ended up spending all my money on furniture to wait for a stock tip at this party and spent loads of money maxing out that stock.  Immediately the amount of money I was making skyrocketed.  This game was pretty much telling me, “if you want to make money you must make friends that can help you.”  On my own I can generate a decent revenue, but those tips generated so much more revenue.

This whole “party” system was a bit of a cheat.  On my second play through I ended up throwing a party everyday and made a million dollars in about 30 weeks.  The first time it took me about 70 weeks after using the tips on my 60th week.  I ended up becoming a bit of a robot just using the tips I got at the party.  Sure I reached my goal faster, but I didn’t do it by myself.

That was why I really liked this game.  Depending on how you play the game, you end up feeling two different things.  You could feel a sense of pride by making a million dollars honestly, or feel like you didn’t really achieve anything and you cheated your way to a million dollars.

The End Of Us

It is really difficult to write about what I felt when I played this game.  After writing and deleting for a while I have decided that this game is essentially a metaphor for lust.  What this game does great at, is providing a lack of context but creating huge meaning by the movement of your “comet” and the NPC comet.

When the second comet flew into the window I thought it was an enemy at first so I tried to attack it.  After a while I saw that it was harmless so I left it alone and started swerving around with it.  Once it started collecting all the stars in the window I saw it as a threat and started to attack it again to gain all the stars.  The ending was the most confusing for me.  I don’t know if I was supposed to feel sorry for the other comet or if I had won the game.

This is a very simple game, but I still cannot wrap my head around what exactly its meaning was.  I have a few other ideas but I feel like they are just wild guesses.


Overall out of the 10 games I believe I played all but the ones above were the ones I felt were the best.  As for an honourable mention the game Distance deserves a mention. Its essentially a long distance dating simulator with minimal options.  The only reason why I found this one interesting is how they portrayed the actual dating.  While it did not invoke any huge feelings for me, I did connect with the game on some points but the game was too short to build any strong emotional bond to anything.  Also the game took place in the third person point of view so that the game can be played by both men and women.  I thought this was a pretty interesting design choice rather then picking male or female.

Thank you for reading
– Moose

Week 6 Objectives and Game Construction: Character Customization


Quick update of what happened last week and other shader-related stuff.

So the homework questions got a base XP!  This really made my weekend happy, I can now attempt more questions and be motivated to complete them other then the normal intrinsic psychological motivators the added XP gives me that extrinsic motivator I needed to drive me to complete those questions.

I put a slight hold on the future reading of the CG book to get a few easy questions complete for class or the tutorial so that will fill my shader appetite for this week.  Aside from that I will try to finish the CG text over the reading week in between my preparation for the 3 mid terms.  I am extremely thankful that we do not have mid terms for Game Design and Intermediate Computer Graphics.  That would have been brutal.


Game Construction: Character Customization

Last week I said I would blog about Procedural Animation, however I did not get a chance to get any example’s to share to help my blog.  In any case my short attention span found something more interesting, this awesome video of character customization from EVE online! (watch in HD)


  • It seems like the player hovers their mouse over control points to modify the mesh
  • The player is able to drag, pinch and pull vertices to effect the mesh
  • The hair seems to be another model on its own while having its own physical properties in terms of adjustments and colour
  • The body customization is pretty amazing, being able to adjust so many human proportions so easily.  This is the best character customization I have seen in a game yet.
  • The clothes also seem to be an object on its own

Here is another example that I would like to breakdown from Skyrim

  • The part that we care about starts around 2:20
  • In comparison to EVE’s customization, Skyrim’s system uses sliders for pre-sets.  It seems like they just load new models for each physical change to the model and modify the texture map on other sliders
  • The Skin tone slider adjusts the texture map while the weight slider makes the mesh look bigger and scales it up
  • When the player adjusts more physical features of the face, it seems like he just applies a transformation to control points on the face mesh that are saved to a default state when playing the game
  • Skyrim’s customization is mainly on the face of the avatar as opposed to the entire body


EVE’s character customization is similar to a terrain editor or a modelling program where users can physically edit the mesh of an model.  However the user interface is much less complicated then a modelling program but still has several tools like SPORE’s creature creator tool.

 The developers would place control points in areas and have a minimum and maximum of edits the player can do to each control point.  While this is similar to a slider, it works well only on PC’s because of the mouse input and not so well on console because of the analog sticks and d-pad.

In terms of how they did it, for areas where they wanted to pull geometry closer together, the control point would push vertices closer together or farther apart depending on the user input.  The more complicated thing is how they managed to get the texture map to edit with the model.  When the user edited the lips and eyes, the texture moved along very well with the model.  I think that the same control points were mapped to the texture map to produce these results.

Closing Statements

As we can see, a simple tool like a mesh editor can be used as a tool for character customization.  If someone were to get a skeletal animation system working, all they would have to do is create a joint system for editing the mesh and make those joints the control points for the user.

Another way to do this using morphing between OBJ files is to use a slider like in Skyrim and have a combination of models to use as a canvas.  Buy adding more adjustments to that model the user can save them and export that model to to used for the main player avatar.


Thank you for reading


The Labyrinth: Remixed


Our old game, The Labyrinth of Tanaii was first created as a race to the end game, then remixed to become a resource collection game and once more it will now be turned into a full tabletop RPG without using dice.

The original game was about several factions of variable races that are trying to recover an artefact from the Labyrinth.  Players start at 4 corners of a board and must move around the board to move up levels.

This is a variation of what the board looked like, except there were coloured spots for treasures, monsters and chance spaces as well as the ladders to move up a level and the artefact in the middle.  The idea was to roll a dice to move spaces and get to the centre while fighting monsters and other players.

Gameplay Changes

First we need to remove the dice so that all that is left are monsters and equipment cards as well as the chance cards.  Since the cards that are face down add a bit of randomness we can add a few mechanics to remove ALL the chance from the game.  We can remove the chance and item spaces and add more monster spaces as and add rewards for defeating the monsters.  Defeating the monsters will give the player money and he can buy equipment at the store.

Since the players will no be using a die to move, they will all pick races at the beginning of the game  and each race will have its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Humans – Average, start with 3 attack, move up to 2 spaces per turn.  Access to almost every weapon and armour type and receive a 2x multiplier for cash rewards.
  • Orcs – STRONG! Start with 6 attack and gain a bonus when using heavy armour and weapons.  Can only move 1 space per turn.
  • Elves – FAST! Start with 2 attack and can move up to 4 spaces per turn.  Can only wear light armour and gain bonuses when using daggers and bows but get 4x cash reward multiplier
  • Dwarves – TOUGH! Start with 5 attack and can move up to 2 spaces per turn.  They can only wear dwarf armour and have a bonus attack for all weapons
The game can be played in a few ways
  • Race to the end – Each player must reach to the centre of the board to get to the artefact before anyone else
  • Survival – The game only lasts up to (XX) turns and the player with the most attack at the end wins
The new board will have 4 spaces
  1. Monster spaces – each level has its own monster with their own attack power.  They start at 5 attack for level 1 and gain 3 attack for every level you go up.  Defeating a monster will give the player a cash reward
  2. Treasure spaces – cash reward to buy items in the shop
  3. Magic Sphere – gives player magic points for spells to use in battle
  4. Ladders – let players move up spaces to the next level.  Must fight that levels monster.
The way battles work:
  • First player attack is calculated
  • Players can then play spells to buff  or de-buff characters or monsters
  • If the battle is a tie then the player moves back to his old position
  • If one player wins, they get kicked down one labyrinth level.  If they are on the bottom floor they get kicked back to their respawn point (corner of the board)
  • Player then gets a cash reward
Before the player moves to the next space they can enter the shop to spend magic and gold for items and spells.
The spell system will have battle and world spells.  World spells can only be used once a turn unless their effects say otherwise.  For example, a movement increase spell can only be used once every three turns.  Lastly battle spells can only be used in battle once.

Why This Will Work

By removing the dice and random equipment and chance cards every player knows what each persons attack, gold and magic are leaving no hidden information.  The dice and cards remove the chance of luck and magic spells can be used to give their previous effects.  For example, before there were chance cards that increased a players movement for a turn, now a spell would do that.

The game revolves around character development and player vs player conflict.  The development of your character is entirely up to you rather then rolling dice to move to spaces and picking up equipment by chance from  deck.

Thank you for reading

– Moose



The original game of Tic-Tac-Toe is easily solvable game based on pure skill.  Chess is a solvable game as well, but the numbers of moves that can be played are so large that we cannot easily comprehend every situation.  My task is to add luck into this game and make it more playable for adults.  Adults like complexity, but I personally don’t find chess very riveting and fun to play. TO MUCH THINKING!  Adults like some complexity and depth, as well as drinking.  I have already seen someone go along the ‘drinking game’ route, so I might as well go with the strategy route.  Playing an intense game of chess at a party doesn’t seem like it will happen in anywhere but the Sims.

Thinking Out Loud

So, what is a fun type of game that includes strategy that adults would like? RPG’s.  The original Tic-Tac-Toe is a 2 player game, Tic-Tac-RPG or TTRPG  should be a group party game.  The original game of TTT is essentially a basic territory acquisition game, once someone acquires a bit of territory in a line they win the game.  Bingo has similar mechanics but it is enjoyed by older people.  In order to make this game fun for younger adults we need to add some social and team elements in there.

One team will be the X’s and the other the O’s.  Rather then rolling boring dice to decide on which team gets the right territory, players will use trivia cards.  These trivia cards will contain positions of X’s and O’s that can be attained by answering a trivia question or performing some action.

Gameplay Changes

TTRPG Trivia Cards

This would be one type of trivia card, where the back would be the space where the X or the O would go

As soon as one team member performs the above action they would be able to place their avatar on that spot.  For example, if one of the items was Planking, each team would tell one team member to start planking, if they manage to beat the other person then they can place their marker on that spot, if they lose then the other team places their marker on that spot.  This idea of risk vs reward along with the randomness of the trivia cards would be the twist this old game would need to play this game.

The trivia and physical challenges can be any number of things.  For the History Trivia the other team would select one person to pick a question, if they manage to get the question right they get the spot, if they get it wrong the other team can get one member to try and save them to earn the spot.  If neither can get the question then the spot remains neutral.  This would add a spice to the game, players can try to mess up the other team but if they pick something too hard then they end up messing up their team as well.

Also, it would be helpful to add a few new mechanics to the territory acquisition. During a mock play test I found out the game can finish in 3-5 turns which is a bit fast for a party game.  There should be rules for contesting spots and fully capturing them.

TTRPG Territory

This is an example of ways people can contest and capture territories to make the game longer.  Each team can place their markers on each square up to 3 times, whoever reaches 3 markers first gains the spot permanently.  If both teams have an equal number of  markers on the spot, then it becomes neutral.  If one player has more spaces then the other, then they maintain control of the spot.  The first player to get a line wins.

Why It Will Work

The idea for making it team based with trivia will entice older people (18+) to try this game.  Strategy is involved in the trivia and deciding where you want to place your marker and teamwork is a huge part of the game.

I didn’t get a chance to test the game on a large crowd, but from what I saw the original TTT tactics were not in effect.  People tried to use them but the new contesting rule for the territories made them sway from that tactic and gave the other team several chances to fight back

TTT Original Tree


  • Make the game acceptable to adults
  • Team based gameplay
  • Trivia cards
  • Contest squares and let opponent fight back

Thank you for reading

– Moose

WAR! Needs More Skill


War essentially plays itself, as soon as the players shuffle the deck the game is predetermined.  In order to make this game more compelling and skill based we need to change the rules to allow for skill.

The main problem is that the players have no idea what card they are going to play next and every battle is decided by pure luck.

Thinking Out Loud

In order for the outcome to be determined by skill, we need to make the players make more meaningful decisions.  Instead of completely redesigning ‘War!’ and getting away from the core mechanic, I have a few ideas on how to keep that core with a some few rule changes.

I think the core of ‘War!’ is to become the victor in a battle between two people by presenting a better card.  In order to give the player some choice in picking which card he wants to play in the battle we need to give them a pool of cards they can see and choose what they want to play.  However, rather then playing one card at a time, I think that players should play between 3-5 cards per ‘battle’.  If we were to only let them play one card, the players would only be playing their highest card and there would not be much strategy involved, and the player that lucked out by getting higher cards in their part of the deck would have a huge advantage.

Gameplay Changes

By having more cards in each battle we can add special rules to give added value to lower cards to balance the gameplay a bit.  For example, players can play a variation of poker hands in each battle like sending armies out to a battlefield.  The type of army sent would be the poker hand.  For example, a group of pikemen can be represented by a 4 and a siege unit can be represented by a Jack.  If that battle were to play out the player with the Jack would win and then claim the others card in his pile.  However if the other player played three 2’s against the other players 1 Jack, the player that played the triple two’s would win because a triplet is stronger then a single high card.

Rule Changes

In order to accommodate the need for a pool of cards to play, the players must be able to create armies to send out.  The players should also get their own 52 card decks to make sure each person starts as an equal and no one has a clear advantage over the other.

Players should start with 5 cards, and then draw 3 every turn.  Players should also be allowed to discard any number of cards per turn only once to draw from their deck.  This rule would eliminate the positive feedback loop if one player continues to win in battles while the other player gets garbage cards.

One of the only rules that is the same from the original ‘War!’ is the resolution.  When one player runs out of cards he picks up and shuffles his discard pile and plays using that as his main deck, if the player completely runs out of cards he is the loser.

Rank of Poker Hands

Why This Will Work

By giving the player the freedom to play their own cards we allow them to estimate the value of each card and also let them weigh the risk or the reward for each battle.

When playtesting, I found out that people would not normally send out troops as cannon fodder for the other players stronger hands.  Instead they would discard them so that they would be able to use them later for a better hand.  People felt that this rule needed some tweaking but I personally felt that it was good the way it was.  Since the task was to make the outcome determined by player skill, drawing from the deck of cards seems a bit random and picking any card from the deck would put obvious choices in the game.  Players would obviously pick the best cards and it would be really easy.  However discarding cards  takes out winning by pure luck since every player can modify their hand each turn.

When playing the original ‘War!’ game, one of the great things about the game was how fast the gameplay was and it had a great flow to it.  This version slows down gameplay and makes the game last a lot longer for new players and people who like to create very deep strategies.

I also thought about adding the jokers in the game to act like super cards.  I debated on giving them either:

  1. If you play the joker you automatically win the battle
  2. The joker increases your combination rank by one.  If you have a flush and you use a joker, it ups it to full house.
  3. A joker is a blank card and can be used as a substitute
I thought 1 was pretty overpowered and 2 and 3 seemed to be viable options.  The third one seems fair like the white space in Scrabble.


  • Use two decks instead of one to balance the start of the game
  • Rather then playing one card at a time players can play a maximum of 5 cards
  • Battles are won using poker hands
  • Players draw 3 cards per turn and can discard and pick up cards equal to what they have discarded
While the hiding of hands and the flipping of cards is still considered random from the other players perspective, removing this element of slight randomness would make the other decisions meaningless.  Having an open hand would provide for obvious decisions.  The skill aspect of the game is knowing how to read your opponent and looking at their discard pile to see what cards they could possibly play.

Thank you for reading,

– Moose

Week 5 Objectives and Mesh Skinning/Skeletal Animation


I’d like to start by saying that I am behind on my work.  I am behind on not being ahead? Paradoxical.  I had hoped by this time I would have been fairly far in my understanding of shader programming, however I have only managed to finish up to chapter 4 in the CG textbook after going at it from Friday till tonight.  However last night I did have a huge discussion with one of my roomates for about 5 hours about “Procedural Animation”.  I might blog about that next week since it is something I would like to research and implement in a game one of these days.

Skeletal Animation/Mesh Skinning

This week a spent a bit of time researching on how to properly rig some of our characters to a joint system so we can use an animation blending system using BVH files rather then keyframing everything.  Our end goal is to head into the motion capture area in the game lab and record some stuff to incorporate in our game.  Worse case scenario we will use Pinocchio to automatically rig our characters. However when we tried using it last semester we ended up having several problems with and ended up wasting time debugging.

That is a pretty big scope to measure up to if we don’t get skeletal animation working.  I understand the concept and have found some base code online for how to create a base for our skeletal animation which is not to bad, however the only problem is weighting the joint structure to the mesh.  We tried exporting that from Maya and that was causing some issues.  It would be best if we could export the weights/mesh from Maya, load the BVH and perform our mesh skinning.  However I ended up pausing that research since I read a few articles on performing the mesh skinning by using the GPU and thought it would be better to do that.

I did find a decent 2D Bone System tutorial on GPWiki, however their 3D one is not yet completed.


Overall this week I caught up to the tutorials that we have done in terms of knowing what the CG code does, however I am not yet at a point to complete any homework questions.  In the next few days I hope to catch up with the lecture material (lighting/diffuse/specular) and demo homework questions M2 and M3 (toon shading and diffuse/specular/distance light in both vertex and pixel/fragment shaders).

I also feel I should be able to complete the E8 question to make an object glow like in Batman: Arkham City.  I assume that the professor means this ( when the enemy character has a green glow that ripples down his body.

I am probably undershooting my scope a bit here with the homework questions, but in order to accomplish them I have about 60 pages of reading to get through.  Unfortunately I am a slow reader, add debugging to the mix and that will take some time.  Now instead of writing about reading it I am now actually going to get started on it.


I need to be more productive and power through these CG tutorials to get some XP in the next few days. 3 chapters down 7 more to go!

Thank you for reading,

Board Game Adaptation: Qix

Hello Reader!

Let me start by describing what Qix is.  Qix is a retro arcade game that came out in 1981.  It’s core mechanic is territory acquisition while facing an A.I. that prevents you from claiming the majority of the screen.

The player is represented by a diamond like shape that can only move up, down, left or right.  The A.I. is referred to as the Qix and is a majestic rectangle that motions around the screen unpredictably. The goal of the game is to create box like objects to claim territory over the screen until the player boxes take up 50%-90% of the screen depending on the difficulty.

While this game concept seems old, it is most notably seen in many games as mini-games to help progress gameplay in a unique way.

This example is from Bully.  The gameplay is similar to that of Qix, except there are several new additions that add more depth to the game.

Board Game Conversion

Qix Board Game
  • Now imagine each of the stars are a player on a corner of the board.  This is how we simulate the main character (diamond in Qix)
  • The board is a 6*6 grid to allow for movement
  • The way the players are dispersed is by a coordinate system (X,Y)
    • Red is located at (0,0)
    • Green is located at (6,0)
    • Purple at (o,6)
    • Blue at (6,6)
Movement and Enemy Explanation

This picture will be used as a visual aid to help describe the mechanics and dynamics of the game

Each player can move one position each turn.  Blue has completed their first turn, red their second, green third and purple fourth.  This has been done to show how turns can progress.  In a real game all players would have moved the same amount.

  • The point of the game is to gain territories of the board by outlining rectangles using your marker
  • The skull and crossbones is the enemy.  The position of the enemy is determined by a roll of a die, one for its X and Y position.  After reach cycle one player would roll the die to see where the enemy lands.  If the enemy lands on your “tail” then that entire tail is destroyed and the player must start tracing again. If the enemy lands on the player they must go back to their starting point.
Territorial Acquisition

The main way to capture territories is to close at least 3 sides of a polygon on the edges, and when in the middle, all four sides must be closed.

If another player were close that last side, they could steal the box you were trying to make.

This is in essence how I believe a Qix board game should look like, if it involved multiple players.  Granted we can make the grid bigger if we have another random number generator like a 10 sided die, spinning wheel, electronic device or mobile application etc.

My team and I also need to play-test the game to see how the player collision works and if it needs to be tweaked.

Liars Dice Changes

Liars dice, more commonly seen in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and the Red Dead Redemption Mini-Game.

After playing a few iterations of the game on an online flash game and from my time in Red Dead Redemption, there is a clear positive feedback loop.  If a player manages to call another persons bluff, the opposing player looses a die and then the person who called the bluff gets to start a new round first.

The way this positive feedback loop works is by making the lairs weaker, by removing their dice and making the game easier for the caller by letting him place easy bets that he wont be called on.  By giving him the most amount of die, he can make an informed decision to see who is lying and who is telling the truth.  Since the bets keep increasing, if you got caught the last round, not only would you have fewer dice to make a decent believable bet but you would be last in the round to make the bet.

In order to remove the positive feedback loop to help give the game move longevity and not be so one sided, I would let the person who got caught cheating go first rather then later so he has an easier way of making a bet.

The last step is to play test this example to test if it does make the game better.


Thank you for reading,