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,