Monday, February 24, 2014

7:21 pm

Project Overview: TimeScape
Project InformationFeatures
Format: Board Game• Roll the dice to determine length of move
Style: Linear with dice• Revise your or another player's movement in secret
Dev. Cycle: 2 Months• Resolve all players' movement modifications at once



With time-travel now possible through a device dubbed the Temporal Hourglass, an "arms race" of sorts is taking place between the first people to make use of this technology.

Though traveling through time is possible, major changes are not; "time has a way of sorting itself out", or so goes the quote by the inventor of this device. However, it has been discovered that those who travel to key moments in history and retrieve relics from those time periods, will gain the ability to significantly affect the course of history.

You are one of these first few.. Will you let the sands of time slip through your fingers?

"Roll. Revise. Resolve."


TimeScape is the first board game I've created; through brainstorming, prototyping, gameplay testing, iteration, and graphic design. The concept I explored is the idea of complex, perhaps even chaotic interaction. Players roll a D6 to determine how far they move along the game board, however they also have the ability to modify their movement - or another player's - before it's carried out. Once all players have rolled and decided how they want to modify that roll, all actions are resolved at the same time. This results in unexpected player movement around the board.

For example; Player A might modify their roll to land on a square to get a desired item, however Player B decides to modify Player A's movement instead of their own, causing A to land on a different square. Player A could have tried to bluff their roll modification, or tried to anticipate how Player B might sabotage their movement. This can lead to layers of revised movement causing a player to land exactly where they intended by being adept at reading other players' intentions.

I also explored the ability to go in either direction within a linear board game style. "Linear games" are titles such as Monopoly, Sorry, and the game of Life. In TimeScape, there is no backwards or forwards: either direction is valid. In addition, moving more spaces or a high dice roll is not always the best outcome, similar to the end of the board in Snakes and Ladders.

A hard to solve shortcoming of this game, is how to convey the rules simply and succinctly. The game's mechanics can interact with one another in very complex ways, yet the gameplay itself is relatively simple and intuitive once a round or two has been played. In short, reading about the game is confusing, while playing the game is much simpler. There is a PDF of the rule sheet provided below, and coupled with the images above, should provide a decent idea of how the game is played.

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