Pirates n' Plumbers-Asynchronous turn-based board strategy

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Post » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:02 am

DISCLAIMER: I appreciate ANY feedback, but what I'm looking for primarily is tips on how to improve the gameplay and thematic aspects of the game. As you will see, the aesthetic side of things is nonexistant, since all my sprites are placeholders at the moment.

Hi everyone,


This is our first project and I'm looking for feedback. The game is simple in concept. The objective is to destroy your opponent by hitting him with a projectile. Every turn you have to perform 3 actions: Build, Shoot and Move. You build a mirror (mirrors make bullets bounce) in any available space (that is any space that isn't occupied by your character), you choose a direction in which to shoot your bullet, and choose a direction in which to move your character. The catch is that turns are simultaneous, so your choices are invisible to the other player until both have made them. Then comes the resolution step where the choices players made are executed.

Right now I haven't implemented multiplayer so both players play on the same device and you have to kinda look away while the other player is deciding his actions, but once I decide that the gameplay is solid and entertaining enough, I will start to work on actual multiplayer.

Some basic rules:

- Bullets move up to* 4 spaces per resolution step, so they behave like actual pieces on the board, making you able to react to them
- You can walk into an adjacent mirror to destroy it
- You can place a mirror on top of an existing one, replacing it
- If both players place a mirror on the same space, they both get destroyed
- If both players walk into the same space, the game ends in a draw
- Colliding bullets cancel each other out, and if they both collide with a mirror at the same time, the mirror also gets destroyed

*: they can move less if they get destroyed or go outside the board

This game is intended to have a similar dynamic to games like DrawSomething or Trivia Crack, where you can play various simultaneous matches against different opponents, so my intention is to make it engaging and addictive, but to also make the player think. Right now I feel it is lacking something in the 'engaging' front.

Also, we had decided on a theme for the game. It was Pirates n' Plumbers. We had this bogus backstory about how Abraham Lincoln had declared all plumbers to be enemies of civilization after his firstborn son died on a Super Mario related accident, and so plumbers had to resort to piracy. Pirates shot and moved through the board, and instead of mirrors we were going to have plumbers place pipes from outside the board that redirected bullets, but we found it impossible to make a visual representation of a 4 way pipe that wasn't confusing and awkward.

What I'm trying to say is that I'd love to hear suggestions on a theme for the game. It can be a rehash of our old theme or something completely new.

Without further ado, here's the playable prototype: http://jinwe.hi-score.cl/montz/bsd2/ (sorry about the plain text URL but I don't have enough rep to post URLs yet)

Please forgive the awful visuals and thank you in advance for any feedback.

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Post » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:59 am

I think you have all the basics going. If you are seeking game variety you can use the board itself to introduce new mechanics like traps that bind the players, special squares that make the players safe... or add mines which may also be built an be invisible... or npc monsters that move around randomly hurting players...

But I think the more basic such games the better. Sometimes when you create such simple mechanics the replay variety blooms up. Though you could create some kind of scoring system and keep them in a server, and try to appeal to the competitionary feelings of people. Like a facebook game for example.
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Post » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:24 pm

Thanks for your reply :D

Actually, we were thinking about doing exactly what you said. Within the Pirate theme, we wanted each player to have a certain amount of 'Plunder' (points), and to get more you had to 'Board another ship' (challenge another player), and if you won you would get some of the other player's plunder (I was thinking about using ELO as a ranking system).

Our initial concept involved bullets advancing indefinitely until they hit a player, were destroyed or left the board. We changed it to discrete bullet movement because otherwise it made the game too chance based (if you just guessed right where the opponent was going to move, you could win in the first turn), but now some people are complaining that the matches are too long. What do you think?
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