terça-feira, 5 de setembro de 2023

PHI: a print and play experience

In the game design field, there is a very common practice known as "print and play". As the name suggests, it involves making printable files available online so that people can test your game or enjoy something created specifically for these purposes. In this post, I will introduce a print and play project that my friend Rodrigo Cotellessa and I are currently working on. The project is called PHI; it's an abstract game that I intend to showcase in my online game design portfolio. I will be sharing the prototype files and rules in this post (always click on the images to enlarge them). Once the game's final layout is complete, I will create a new post with the final content. By now, you can download the gaming board by clicking on the image below (it’s an A4 format for an easy black and white print).

Let's talk a little bit about the rules and the creative process.

1.Every game draws inspiration from a place.

The PHI number originates from the Fibonacci series, a sequence in which the sum of consecutive terms equals the next term:
2 + 3 = 5
3 + 5 = 8
5 + 8 = 13
8 + 13 = 21
And so on, to infinity.

However, the PHI number rises from the division of adjacent numbers in this sequence that gradually approach the number 1.618:
3 ÷ 2 = 1.5
5 ÷ 3 = 1.666
8 ÷ 5 = 1.6
13 ÷ 8 = 1.625

The PHI number appears in architecture, nature, geometric design, and many other areas. It is also present in this game. The inspiration and foundation for the mechanics of the PHI game stem from the PHI number.

PHI is a solo abstract game - a themeless game that you play against the board. It's a print and play game created by friends who are passionate about games. Let’s check the rules!


Print the board file available above. Prepare 20 tokens of one color (which will represent your tokens), and 13 tokens of a different color (representing the board pieces). Additionally, you will require five standard D6 dice.


Each round, you must roll the five dice and set aside—at a minimum—one die to create divisions as described on the board. If you roll a 5÷3 combination, place one token on your side; for 8÷5, place two tokens on your side; and if you roll 13÷8, you'll add four tokens. Any unused dice are placed on the side of the board.

Let's consider an example - the rolled dice gave the following result:
The dice separated in this round were 5, 3 and 3:
The remaining two are rerolled:
The die with 5 is set aside, and another one is rolled for the final time:
Here are the generated results, and now it's time to assemble the combinations.
The optimal scenario is an 8÷5, which enables you to place two tokens on the board. However, two opposing pieces will also be placed (due to the two unused dice).
Time for a new round! If the opponent's pieces enter the board before yours, the board wins. The goal is to place all your pieces first. To add a challenge, aim to have the fewest possible opponent pieces entering the board. The fewer, the more epic your victory!


quinta-feira, 27 de julho de 2023

Coming soon: ARENA OF DREAMS

Since last year, I've been working on an amazing project: the mobile game ARENA OF DREAMS by the company Fanatee. I worked with the narrative and UX writing part of the project.

The game will have various modes, and in the following video, you can already check out a preview of the production. The release is scheduled for the end of this year!

Check the official ARENA OF DREAMS' site by clicking here.


terça-feira, 25 de julho de 2023

Four quality tests for games

Once your game prototype is ready, and you are about to start assessing your product, it is essential to keep in mind some processes that can help your team bring the idea to life. In this post, I have listed five of the most common tests employed in the world of games (which I personally use on mine).

Functionality testing: focuses on verifying if the game's features are operating correctly and as expected. This type of test is performed to identify potential issues, errors, or failures that may affect gameplay or the player's experience.

Performance testing: aims to assess the performance and stability of the game in terms of speed, smoothness, frames per second (FPS), resource loading, memory usage, and other aspects related to technical performance.

Usability testing: this topic evaluates various aspects of the game, including the clarity of game objectives, understanding of game mechanics, intuitiveness of controls, efficiency of interfaces, readability of texts and instructions, navigability of menus, and the player's ability to complete specific tasks easily and unmistakably.

Compatibility testing: ensures the game is compatible and functions correctly on different platforms, devices, and hardware and software configurations.

Localization and translation testing: involves checking and validating the quality of translations, cultural adaptations, and localization of a game for different languages and regions.


quinta-feira, 13 de julho de 2023

DEATH RACE: one of the first canceled games in history.

A hit and run game where you drive a car and run over people depicting cannibalistic zombies and sometimes gremlins. Basically, this is the earliest known controversial and violent video games.

Thanks Raul Tabajara for the hint!


quinta-feira, 1 de junho de 2023

Core gameplay

If you are studying games or are an enthusiast of the area, you have probably already heard or read about core gameplay. It is an essential gaming concept for any kind of game, be it analog or digital. Core gameplay refers to the central mechanic idea of the game. It's the set of mechanics that, if removed, would cease the existence of the game.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to identify the core gameplay amidst the complexity of a gaming system. In the card game Magic: The Gathering, for instance, there are numerous possibilities that arise from combining multiple effects from cards that have been released since 1993. Each new card collection adds new mechanics to the game. However, the core gameplay has remained the same since the beginning: you start the game with 7 cards in your hand, play a "land" card of a specific color, "tap" the card to generate a type of "mana," and use that mana to cast various effect cards such as creatures, spells, enchantments, etc., with the goal of reducing your opponent's life from 20 to 0.

To better understand the subject, check the example below: 1) Player 1 starts the game with seven cards in his hand, he has a mountain (a red energy card) in their hand and puts it on the table; 2) He taps the card to indicate that it has been used and this action generates one mana at that moment; 3) He plays a "Lightning Bolt" card that costs one red mana and has the following effect: "Lightning Bolt deals 3 damage to target creature or player". In the end, Player 1 chooses Player 2 as the target and deals 3 points of damage (Player 2 now has 17 life points).

There are more subtleties to the system, but, essentially, this is one of many ways to describe the game's core gameplay.

An important exercise to always practice is analyzing a game that you really enjoy, trying to identify the main components that make the system function and, of course, make it enjoyable for multiple playthroughs.


segunda-feira, 1 de maio de 2023

This week I will be giving a lecture in Sarajevo!

One more epic win! This week I'll travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina; more specifically to Sarajevo city to give a lecture at SSST (Sarajevo School of Science and Technology). I'll talk about the Brazilian gaming scenario and the opportunities to create boardgames and videogames in this ecosystem.

Try to read the title in Bosnian language!

I'll share the content as soon as possible here. Keep visiting my site!


segunda-feira, 3 de abril de 2023

Defining "experience"

In many posts on this site, I deal with the subject "user experience" in games. However, I have said little about the term "experience" per se. And I believe that a brief discussion about this topic is essential to expand possibilities in the gaming field.

Different words, terms, expressions, and ideas are so common in our daily lives that we rarely stop to pay attention to their meanings; “experience” is one of them. Much because we live in a world in which this word is used in excess, we end up not paying attention to what it means. Today, we talk about "gastronomic experiences", "entertainment experiences", "educational experiences" etc. We can find "experience" everywhere.

However, if we have a dictionary in hand, we will find that the word “experience” is related to two great fields: the scientific and the philosophical. In the scientific field, “experience” is a term directly correlated with an experiment to prove a hypothesis. We have – for example – experiments in laboratories to scientifically prove something that arose from an empirical hypothesis. In this sense, “experience” derives from the Latin “experientia”, which is the action and effect of experimenting with the aim of discovering or proving certain phenomena.

But the word “experience” analyzed under a philosophical bias has a slightly different meaning. This meaning defined by the Oxford dictionary says, “any knowledge obtained through the senses”. In the game design field, we discuss both definitions, as they are good points for us (game designers) to architect memorable experiences for game users through experiments with prototypes, wireframes, beta versions and so on.