Making a Tabletop Game

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Introduction: Making a Tabletop Game

Do you like games like Dungeons and Dragons where the bulk of playing is in a groups collective imagination? Do you find yourself having a good time with board games, cards and dice? These were some things I enjoyed when I was in the process of my tabletop game which the rules for can be found on this google link- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mjsr1EdG2ID7AW...

What's important when doing something like this is to have a firm grasp on the probability of certain rolls if you plan on using dice mechanically and the justification for your decisions in grander scheme of things. In my case which will be the example to look on my concept was to create a balance player v player tabletop game where each person could make a character that could win or lose any fight depending on strategy and a little luck. What's interesting is that despite a tabletop game being made solely with dice, pencil and paper luck is often not the full deciding factor in many situations due to the nature of the system.

Step 1: Resources

Starting from scratch may not be the best bet when trying to make something. If you have little experience you may want to modify something that already exists. If you have no experience whatsoever I recommend researching a few systems to see what traits you like and dislike. My exact wants were currently not being met but I know that two systems Wild Talents and Legends of Wulin both in the ORE (One Roll Engine) format were both close to what I was looking for. An interesting factor of the ORE is that it relies on only ten sided dice or d10s and utilizes the chance of rolling multiples of the same number among a pool of dice much like how you look for pairs when playing cards. From there I viewed all that was an option for both of the systems and what I wanted for my system. As I wanted to emulate the feel of a fighting video game I opted out of both systems use of hit box differences between the chest and appendages and united all health under a singular health. A unique aspect of the wave system utilized in Legends of Wulin was used and heavily altered to support an equal balance between saved and thrown dice which likely means nothing to many people reading this. Since the system I had in mind was solely for combat I solidified both systems stats into a more consolidated six main stats each with their own uses and varying degree of usefulness depending on how the character was built. In order to speed up the game I added a stamina number which can be cashed in to purchase movement.

Step 2: Testing

The first step in testing is to actually play the game. While I was working on mechanics I tangentially built a set of rules for creating fighters and by the time I was ready to play I had over eight characters with different moves and fighting styles. I have 50 d10s in different colors so it was relatively easy for me to test and view the results of the turns but in the event that the large need of dice becomes an issue many programs can simulate dice and a few of which have been made with the specified needs of the ORE engine. Whenever some combination of moves and stats became too useful I first checked their opponents to see if anyone else had similar options. In terms of game design I am under the belief of buffs before debuffs in most instances so I boost the capabilities of the competitors. I thought that there might be a need for a flashy backdrop so I added stages, and weapons which both add customization and unique features each game.

Step 3: Reflection

I started the project early in the 2017/2018 school year in notes as a pet project of mine but did not fully create the project into a full google doc until around February a that point it was a final project. I initially started with two characters, eventually added a larger roster for myself and included my methods for character creation to the public.

The game properly functions the way I intended it too. Properly studying the esoteric Legends of Wulin and the more basic Wild Talent took a large amount of time and properly transfering and redefining aspects took much longer. In both systems combat was created to allow very complex situations which led to me toning back many aspects in order to streamline each turn. Though adding single digit numbers together is the only form of math needed it is advised to have a calculator handy to speed up the game in certain instances. Also it is very easy to knock over saved dice so a pencil and paper should keep track of your current numbers of health, stamina and save dice as well as some other items of consideration to play at your full potential. I am fully satisfied with the results of the project and implore anyone interested in game design to learn tabletop and board games first in order to conceptualize the nature of probability in a way that is fun and satisfying. I am unsure how I would change the system currently as I lack a background in statistics. Possibly increasing the simplicity may be a useful way of making it more entertaining but I currently have no knowledge of a way to do that without hindering the amount of capabilities and strategies in the game.

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