quinta-feira, 21 de março de 2013


Today I’ll talk a little bit about a recent independent work. I’m a researcher/teacher in a communication university from Brazil but also a game designer. I recently started a partnership with my friend Rafael Verri to develop mobile games, and I would like to talk about our first project: TÍZ, a game for iPhone.

TÍZ (“ten” in Hungarian) is a dice rolling puzzle with ten sided dice (D10). It’s a very simple game with very intuitive interface. In TÍZ, the player can play alone versus the computer or versus a friend. The goal is to arrange the dice in lines on the board to create sequences. A sequence without connection between the numbers (like 2, 5, 9) is worth 1 point, an ordely sequence (like 5, 6, 7) is worth 3 points and, finally, a sequence with equal numbers (like 7, 7, 7) is worth 6 points. The player who gets 18 points first wins the game.

The video below is the game tutorial where it explains the mechanics and dynamics of TÍZ.

I was responsible for the game design and creation of aesthetics. The original version of TÍZ is an analogic board game with real dice and the whole idea started with a simple prototype -- my attention was focused on the core mechanic.

As Fullerton says (2008, p.188) the core gameplay mechanism, or “core mechanic” can be defined as the actions that a player repeats most often while striving to achieve the game’s overall goal. Fullerton (2008, p.189 and 190) also stresses the importance of creating prototypes to see the “soul” of the game.

The core mechanic was the starting point of the project, but we have some additional features that complete the whole game. I want to highlight some important details about the creative process of TÍZ:

1.The internal logic of creating lines with three dice and a sequence of numbers came from tic-tac-toe, Sudoku and poker.

2.The score was created from the logic of triangular numbers (click here to learn more). This resource is very helpful and lots of games use this idea for scoring.

3.The layout was designed based on minimal abstract arts from the artist Josef Albers (link here).

4. The balance of the game was made with many playtests. I insist that this is a very important part of the creative process. (check this previous post about this subject here). It’s necessary to have multiple views on the gaming dynamics to detect errors.

There's no secret or mystery. We need to play and study a lot of games to create new ludic experiences.

Download TÍZ now! Go gamers!


FULLERTON, Tracy; SWAIN, Christopher; HOFFMAN, Steven. Game design workshop: a playcentric approach to creating innovative games. Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2008.

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