Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IVP2 Chrissy DiNicola


The Directions:

The Idea:

I wanted to create a space themed game, because I have always loved astronomy. At first, I thought I would make a game where aliens tried to conquer earth. However, I wanted to give my game some characteristics of sky maps. In order to do this and keep the arrangement of the planets relatively accurate, I decided the aliens would try to reach the sun.

Instead of overlapping circles, I used overlapping ellipses, because then the game board could be square. Each corner of the board features a picture of a different galaxy and its code (like M83). Players can start from any corner of the board.

The game has a primarily navy blue, black and purple background with a yellow game path, because I wanted to use the color scheme generally found in space photographs. The background of the game is a collage of space photographs, and there photographs planets, the sun, and a black hole strategically placed on the board. I wanted to use a collage of photographs because space images are generally interesting and visually appealing, and because they would create a nice, textured contrast with the yellow game path.

At first, I wanted to use a collage of many different space images. After testing this idea, I found that with lots of pictures, the collage background seemed gaudy and distracting, so I settled for a few.

To play, each person chooses an alien. I wanted all of the aliens to be unique, which I thought would be a fun aspect of the game. People can fight over the cutest one...etc. Players roll dice to figure out how far to move forward, and follow the instructions on their square. These are all space themed. Many of them go specifically with the plant to which they are closest. Squares range from "Find a jet pack. Move forward 3 spaces." to "Retreat to home galaxy to escape death by supernova." Players' aliens can get stuck in orbits of some planets, ride comets, and get mauled by hostile life forms on earth.

The goal of the game is to land on the square that lets you take the shooting star to the inner ellipse. Once there, players must roll a 2 to reach the sun and win the milky way (the game). If they roll a 10, they get sucked into a black hole and have to start over. This allows for exciting upsets, and can be funny for players.

The Process:

I thought it would be really neat if the box for the game was like the box from Jimanji (the movie). Also, I thought having a large, sturdy case would suit the nature of game, because it is called Universe, which is a strong, rather majestic title. Luckily, my friend's boyfriend has a wook working shop in his basement and helped me use it to build this box. After almost choking my hallmates out of their rooms with spray paint fumes while the box dried (a learning experience), and adding hinges and a latch, I finished it.

I made the path for the game first, on Illustrator. I chose Illustrator because I was working primarily with lines and shapes. Then, I cut out photos for the board's background collage and scanned them. I added those to the Illustrator document as well. Also with illustrator, I made directions to go in one side of the box when it opens and a space for all the alien characters to sit for the other side of the box. Each alien has one square with its name on it. I printed the board and the directions at Kinkos and glued them to the box with spray-on photo-paper adhesive. I chose yellow dice to go with my color scheme.

The End:

The completed game looks like this.

My friends like to wear costumes, so I let them dress up like aliens (or just like strange people) to play my game. I will incorporate this into my creative representation of the project.

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