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Monday, September 16, 2013

WIT Board Game

I've been working to create a Whisper in Time card game that emphasizes the title system to organize resources, build, and provide food and trade. So far, the mechanics all work to some degree except for the glaring limitations to time and resources. I find myself having to break off and do other things instead of polishing an idea. Aside from that, creating enough cards is also extremely time consuming. I'll be working on time efficient ways to create more cards which might even have descriptions and preceding and successive notations. Once I accomplish making enough cards for four players, getting through twelve rounds and achieving an endgame will be possible.

Unfortunately, while the board game prototyping is wonderful for finding surface flaws of the principles of fun that drive any game, there is still a huge gap between mechanics in a board game and mechanics in a computer simulation. While board games must have every action done by a human, computer game actions can be automatically completed by the program. I was told that this difference could be side-stepped by simply being patient and going through those actions over a longer period of time, instead of sacrificing rules and structure to compromise. I still feel that certain board game actions cannot truly replicate automation by computer programs, no matter how much time is provided.

The most glaring action that is being compromised in translation is finished goods. Once players learn each of the title mechanics, how to get food, and use food to accumulate more villagers, making and trading goods gets lost in the sea of complexity that every board game suffers from. Things that are logical and straightforward to us when described in context, such as trading iron bars for food, become bogged down when the action draws so much attention and time away from everything else each player has to manage.

So there it is. Micromanagement is the pitfall of any board game. Whereas micromanagement can be one of the most conceptually deep components of many computer games, with board games, micromanagement turns having fun into having a headache.

The summary of all that is, while it may bare the same name, the Whisper in Time board game will only accurately showcase one component of a game meant to have at least twenty-two. (Currently the job title system)