Holiday Update

Well then. Some time has gone by and I haven’t posted anything. More importantly, I haven’t done anything either. I pretty much just spent Christmas time eating too much and watching Hulu. I do have a small thing to show, and it is, as promised, from my new internet collaboration, Mules & Monks. The game is similar to Manic Mechanics, except the “vehicle” is chosen at random when the game begins, and isn’t changed during the game. Although we haven’t settled on designs for those cards, there have been some cool thoughts about the track layout being modular and double-sided.

This is how you could rearrange the boards, although the far left track uses 12 boards, not 8. We figured that we would use the smallest TGC Mats (4×4) for these, and that one side would be a corner while the other would be a straight. This would allow for all of these tracks and more, assuming we use 12. Zooming in…

This image arose when we talked about the actual appearance of the boards. These six represent all of the possible designs we talked about. The straights are, well, straightforward, but the corners present some interesting food for thought. Should there be an “inside track,” or should all lanes be equal? It’s something I have looked at, and people of game design forums have come down on either side of the issue. Some say that an inside track creates a “best route” scenario that takes away the player’s ability to innovate and design their own winning strategy. Others say that with a curvy enough overall track, inside tracks create exciting lane-change interactions and help to better simulate real racing. Unfortunately for us, both of those arguments sound great. We will have to think about it.

The bad news is that there isn’t anything to show of the Mules or Monks which make up the two-part player vehicle. It really is the meat-and-potatoes of the game, not to mention the namesake. I’ll see if I can get something for that soon. And oh yeah, about the French thing: my collaborator is French. That was the whole joke.

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