Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Pressure is On!

As game day is approaching us in just two weeks, the tension is building up. There were many technical changes we needed to make on our mini games. Professor Goeller explained to us that constructing our own games would not be a profitable or smart move because we want to present a game that will be attractive to everyone and avoid several form of criticism. Initially we thought that by developing our own games we are adding a creative element and that the game would be a result of our efforts. However, we realized Professor Goeller's proposition was the correct way to go. So now our tabletop basketball and Sharpshooter game will be purchased and incorporated to our overall game. Financially speaking, our game will probably be the most expensive out of all the other groups. Along with purchasing the min games we will need to save extra money in designing the overall game board, which will have to be excellent in order to enhance the presentation. Overall we are happy to invest our money into this project because in the end we are hoping this will all pay off. No pun intended.
Finally we worked on our title because "Journey Through the Stars" did not really explain the theme of the game, so we decided to improve the name and came up with "Space Race". Although this title might be changed by next week, we are hoping to come up with something along this basis. For next week, we are planning to have most of our purchases made and add finishing touches on the game board. We are planning to spend this whole weekend on this project because we are so determined to make it the best.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ideas on the Table

The concept of the game has been created, the back story formed, and the planets all paired with a table top game. For the next stage of development, it was necessary to gain player feedback. The first objection noted was with regards to the game’s title; the players must travel around planets, not through stars. The new title is currently being worked on, although it will probably focus on the key collection aspect of the game. Planetary Key Quest was put forth by Professor Goeller, although no final title has been decided upon. The next objection focused on the tabletop basketball. Although a considerable amount of effort was put forth into creating a viable homemade version of the game, the triggering mechanism did not fire the ball at a viable angle. The ball either arced too high and landed behind the game or it fell short of its goal. To fix this, it was suggested that the group should simply purchase a professionally made game. Not only would this solve the trigger problem, but it would give the game a better appearance. After researching tabletop basketball games, a link was found to This version was compact and inexpensive. As such, it fits in with the tabletop theme but is not an economic turn-off to the target market. Then, not to make a bad pun, the idea of sponsorship was placed on the table. Because the game incorporates several mini-games, a company that sponsors the game could promote several of its products. Perhaps the game could have add-ons; the starter pack would have three or four planets and the others would be sold separately. Then, the additional planets with their respective games would have to be purchased from the sponsor company. Children could mix and match which games they chose to play in their pursuit of the treasure. Adding versatility to the game by giving the players choice would make the game more alluring. As development progresses, the game continually looks more promising.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Today's class time was used as a play testing session. Jason, Steve, Krishna, and I switched games with another group in the class. We actually got to play the game, make suggestions and offer advice or comments on their games. The following are pictures from the beginning of class, when we set up Journey Through the Stars.

Krishna playing tabletop basketball!

Steve playing sharpshooter!

Jason playing ring toss!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Constructing The Game

As we continue to create the game, our greatest obstacle so far is constructing our mini-games with only limited resources. Jeff and I went to four stores on Sunday afternoon in search of materials necessary for our four mini-games. We were able to purchase most of the items needed, however there were some that could not be simply purchased. Fortunately, Jeff had the opportunity to find the remainder of the materials at his house.
Another problem that had arose was our limitation on the amount of money we can spend. This problem mainly applies to our abilities to get our game board consisting of the eight planets to be professionally printed. The cost of this process is overwhelming; we estimated the cost to be hundreds of dollars. Because our initial plan was to get our game board professionally printed, we had used twenty by twenty inch playing surfaces for each planet. Due to our situation, we now have to rescale these playing surfaces to fit a standard sheet of paper. Once this reconstruction is completed, we will print the planets onto photo paper using our own printers. This will save us both time and money. Hopefully, our final project will look just as aesthetically pleasing as we intended it to be.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Week 4: Rules

As week four rolled around our group began working vigorously on finishing up the eight unique game boards. Jason and Steve continue to show off their photoshop skills by enhancing Neptune and its' shuffleboard, as well as Earth and its' charade mini game. Krishna and I began making a final draft of the rules of Journey Through the Stars. Here is our final draft of the rules:


Eight individual game boards, each of which represents a planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. The equipment provided for Tabletop Basketball is the basketball court complete with hoop, launcher, and planet shaped balls. Sharpshooter includes the sharpshooter scoring box, marbles, and metal shooting tubes. The pieces needed for shuffle board are the shuffleboard scoring area, three bottle caps, and straws. The components of ring toss include glow stick rings and the ring toss stake. Miscellaneous game pieces consist of sixteen keys, four pawns, one die, a spaceship, and the hidden treasure.
The Boards shall be arranged as follows: Neptune......Uranus.....Saturn......Jupiter


Each player selects a pawn to represent their spacecraft. The player starts out on the space on Neptune marked "Start." The youngest player goes first and turns continue in ascending order. Unless specified otherwise, players will move across the game board by rolling a die.

Key Locations
The Pink Keys should be placed in the center of Neptune. The Blue keys should be placed in the middle of Saturn. The Purple keys should be placed in the middle of Earth. The remaining keys should be placed in the center of Mercury.

Spaceship Location
The spaceship should be filled with the hidden treasure and placed in the center of Mercury, next to the keys.

The game associated with Neptune is shuffleboard. In order to move around the game board and collect the first of the four keys, players need to play a mini version of shuffleboard. To start your turn, the player must take a shuffleboard disc and place it at the shuffleboard starting line. The starting line is approximately three straw lengths from the edge of the shuffleboard triangle. He then uses a straw to blow the disc into the scoring area. The player keeps shooting discs until one stops in the scoring area. Players move the exact number of spaces that corresponds to the space on the shuffleboard scoring area that their disc stopped on. For instance, if the player's disc stops on the area marked 3, then the player moves their pawn forward three spaces. Once the player reaches the last space of Neptune, they gain the ability to collect the first of the four keys needed to unlock the treasure chest on board the abandoned spacecraft on Mercury. After collecting the key, the player is then transported from the final space on Neptune to the first space on Uranus.

: The game associated with Saturn is Ring Toss. The glow stick rings are to symbolize the rings of Saturn, which the planet is known for. In order to move around the game board and collect the second of the four keys needed to unlock the treasure chest, players must play ring toss. The player must toss all four rings from an arm’s length away from the scoring area in an attempt to score a ringer around the stake. Based on the number of ringers thrown, that is the number of spaces the player moves across and around Saturn. For instance, if the player throws two ringers, then they move their pawn two spaces across the game board. Once the player reaches the final space on Saturn, they are rewarded the second of the four keys needed to unlock the treasure. After collecting the key, the player is transported from the final space on Saturn to the first space on Jupiter


The game associated with Earth is sharpshooter. Sharpshooter is a game that mixes elements of skee-ball and shuffleboard. In order to move around the board on Earth, the player needs to successfully play a game of sharpshooter. To play sharpshooter, the player must shoot three marbles, using a metal shooting tube, across the gaming surface at a box with different holes in it. To determine how far away to shoot the marbles, the player should measure six pipe lengths from the sharpshooter scoring area and mark the area. There are five separate holes marked 1 2 3 2 1. Depending on the hole that the marble goes into, the player moves that number of spaces. For example, if you shoot a marble into the hole marked number three, then you move three spaces. Once a player reaches the final spot on Earth, they receive the third of the four keys needed to unlock the treasure located on Mercury. After collecting the key, the player is transported from the final space on Earth to the first space on Venus.

The game associated with this planet is a form of tabletop basketball. Tabletop basketball is a miniature version of basketball using a slingshot mechanism, planet shaped basketballs and a hoop. In order to navigate around the game board on Mercury, the player gets to shoot the asteroid-basketball a total of three times. For every shot you make, you move three. For every shot that hits the backboard you move one space. However, if you miss all three shots, you move back one space. Once a player makes enough shots to reach the final spot on Mercury, they receive the last of the four keys needed to unlock the fallen spaceship and recover the treasure.

Venus ,Mars ,Jupiter, and Uranus:
There are no games associated with Venus, Mars, Jupiter, or Uranus. The method by which a player moves around each of these boards is by rolling a die. Players take turns the rolling die until they get to the final spot on each planet. After completing the board on Uranus, the player is transported to the first spot on Saturn. After completing the board on Jupiter, the player is transported to the first spot on Mars. After reaching the final spot on Mars, the player is then transported to the first spot on Earth. After reaching the final spot on Venus, the player is transported to the first spot on Mercury, the final board of the game.

Winning the game:
The astronaut who reaches the final space on Mercury and therefore recovers the fallen spacecraft and unlocks the treasure is declared the winner. They are now known as the best astronaut in the Universe!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Week 3 Continued: Backstory

It is the year 3000 and you are an astronaut on a mission! NASA has just reported that satellites have spotted an abandoned space shuttle that once belonged to space pirates who plundered the world’s treasure and tried to sell it to “outsiders”. Further investigation showed that the pirates had to abort their mission and abandon the shuttle due to the lack of resources necessary. In addition, the abandoned shuttle contains a massive amount of treasure. However, the keys to unlock the shuttle were scattered throughout the different planets of the Milky Way Galaxy. In order to retrieve the treasure, you must first locate all four keys to open the hatch. You are competing against other astronauts who are trying to get to the treasure first. NASA will recognize and award the first astronaut who collects the keys and retrieves the treasure. They will entitle the winning astronaut, "The Best Astronaut in the Galaxy." The winner also gets to keep the treasure. You will start at the furthest planet away from the Sun, Neptune, and travel your way across the solar system in search of the four keys. The ultimate goal is to reach Mercury, where the fallen shuttle is located. Finding the keys won’t be a simple task as many obstacles can hinder your progress. Good luck on your missions, astronauts!

Week 3: Game board enhancement and mini game creation

As we are getting closer to the end of the semester, the game development process is beginning to heat up. Our group is getting a much clearer view of how our game is going to turn out.  A great deal of time was put into matching mini games with planets. Jason thought of matching Shuffleboard with Neptune. A key characteristic of Neptune is the rapid winds and ravaging storms. Our twist to shuffle board is instead of using a stick to push the disk into the scoring area, the player must use a straw to blow his disk into the scoring triangle. The straw, and ensuing air going through it symbolize the weather Neptune is known for. The Sharpshooter game will be paired with Saturn. Sharpshooter is a game that calls for the player to flick a marble across the playing surface into different compartments, which based on their size will represent different score values. The different compartments, in the shape of rings, represent the most well known characteristic of Saturn; its glorious rings. Mercury will be the playing field for tabletop basketball. The player must place their basketball into the launcher and fling it through the air into a miniature basketball hoop. Mercury is known for being bombarded with asteroids, which is evident by the planets' surface structure. An asteroid crashing into Mercury is simulated when the basketball hits against the backboard and hopefully falls through the hoop for a score. The final mini game, charades, is connected to Earth. Earth, being the only planet known to harbor life forms, is the logical choice for charades. Acting out different animals and actions represent the uniqueness of the planet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Week 2: Planning and Developing

At the beginning of today's class, the group started to rethink the basis of our game. A debate arose about whether our final game should be made up of four or eight mini board games - one for each planet or not. We realized that in today's world, children as well as older players are attracted to "pick-up and play" games, which are usually fast-paced and can be played without much difficulty. One idea was introduced by our instructor Michael Goeller, who proposed a marketing idea of having add-on pieces that players must purchase separately in order to extend gameplay.
After making a list of possible board games, we decided to utilize Photoshop to incorporate the pictures of the planets with the mini games that will go correspond to them. Learning to use Photoshop along with many other computer and internet tools helped us realize that there are many different elements in developing a game. Furthermore, we acknowledged that after collecting the images of the planets and  designing the board, we still need to fully develop the games, gather props, add further elements of creativity and finally make the board aesthetically pleasing.  Creating these elements of our game will be the main focus for next week. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Week 1: Brainstorming

Journey Through The Stars, as it is called now, is a board game that is made up of eight mini board games put together. Krishna, Jason, Steve, and I decided that we will base our game on space, and more specifically the Milky-Way galaxy. Each mini game boards represents one of the eight  planets. Each of the planets will have its own themed game. For example, Neptune will be a mini game board that may be similar to a typical trivia game. Even though we are still in the beginning stages of creating our game, we feel that our foundation is very strong and our game will excel in the end.