The Board Game Design Workshop Design Contest is an open contest for designers to submit prototype games to get feedback and exposure. Volunteer judges review the submissions, providing written feedback and rating the submissions in several categories. I signed up as a judge so I could help the design community and improve my game critiquing skills. While judges have a bare minimum they are expected to do, I challenged myself to be very involved in the process.
For Round One, I judged all 106 entries. Each entry consisted of a single paragraph of text and a two minute max game pitch video.
I plan to continue being very active in judging the contest which continues through the end of 2019.
Puzzle Fun is a selection of some of the casual paper puzzles I created over several months. I enjoy puzzles, and this was my first serious attempt at creating some on my own. Many of these puzzles were initially created for and used by the BARD Games social media team in contests, for general engagement, and incentivizing email signups. The puzzles in the project file have been reformatted to be more consistent.
Head Under Water is a short interactive nonlinear story about a new mayor trying to secure a bank loan for his underwater aquasphere community. The story was created as a requirement in the application process for Telltale Games (most known for their narrative based games such as Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Batman). In preparation for the application process, I took it upon myself to heavily research narrative games by playing through the Telltale Games catalogue, researching many similar games and experiences, and attending a special private event at Telltale for hopeful applicants where we got behind the scenes info on how their games are crafted. This project was created with the interactive story editor Twine, which I learned to create the piece.
Heroes of the Storm is a popular Hero Brawler developed by Blizzard Entertainment, in the likes of DOTA and League of Legends. The game consists of a 5v5 battle for dominance on a variety of maps, with each player controlling their own unique hero. Each hero in the game is based on a character from another Blizzard franchise, such as World of Warcraft or Overwatch. For this project, I chose 4 characters from different Blizzard franchises and created a detailed design for each of them to fit into Heroes of the Storm. I paid particular attention in keeping the flavor and distinctness of each character when adapting them. Sometimes this involved adapting existing abilities from the original franchise's game system to the hero brawler game system. However in most cases I was creating new or extremely modified abilities that still fit with the theme of each character. This project involved a heavy amount of research of the game's existing nearly 50 heroes to ensure the play style and abilities of my creations were unique, interesting, and roughly balanced.
Hearthstone is a popular online collectible card game, in the likes of Magic The Gathering. For the goal of this project I wanted to immerse myself in designing cards for such a game. Over the course of several months I created over 200 unique cards that could fit into the game. Some were terrible, and a lot were mediocre in hindsight, though some were quite clever and well received when posting them in forums. From that initial set, I rebalanced and selected the top 30 cards to showcase for the project. Partially Guided Rocket won a weekly card design contest with over 40 entries on a related subreddit. Arcane Giant was identical to the later released official card, suggesting a similar design thought process between myself and official developers.