Inspired by board game Bang! and SanGuoSha.
If you don't know about the two games I mentioned above, here are some links:
wikipedia page of Bang!: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bang!
Game rule of SanGuoSha: http://sanguoshaenglish.blogspot.com/2010/07/game-rules-part-1-game-set-up.html
The basic idea will be followed in my game but are subject to change for better game play.
Transform the original card game into board game. Players' characters are fighting over a 4*4 battlefield. There are more terrain-related skill and distance-related strategy will matter more than before.
Brand-new characters will be introduced. A character falls into one of three categories: leaders, warriors, mages.
Leaders have 5 health points and usually 1 skill for either tanking or supporting. Warriors have 4 health points and 2 skills for assaulting and defensing. Mages have 3 health points and have either 2 or 3 skills for subtle and sometimes weird effects. No two player in a game will have the same character, and every character has his/her own unique skills.
If a player is good, he is going to stand out no matter what role he plays. In this strategy game, "good" is defined as cooperative and creative play. A mage can only take 3 direct hits and a leader alone won't do much with only 1 skill.
Original Game Mode
I did implemented the game mode from SanGuoSha and Bang!. This game mode is best when played by 5/8 people. When the game starts, every player is assigned an identity out of four: King, Knights, Bandits and Renegade. The King and Knights win by taking out all Bandits and Renegade. The Bandits win by taking out the King. The Renegade wins by taking down everyone, and the King has to be the last one Renegade defeats.
Once the everyone gets his identity. He is supposed to hide his identity and only the King reveals his identity. This game mode is extremely fun because other than the King, every player's identity is such a mist. You may be a Renegade or Bandit but act just like a Knight. Or you may be a Knight but pretend to be a Bandit to get deep inside your opponents' circle... Tons of possibilities of strategies.
More than the original game mode, I also created a new game mode, which I call Dynasty.
In this mode, there are king, left/right bishops, left/right generals, left/right knights, and queen, 8 roles in total. Each character will be given one role. No role will be given to two players.
Other than the character skills, every player has one extra role skill, such as bishop can require 1 card from certain player or give 1 card away.
The original game mode divides players into 3 division and let them fight for the final victory. However, Dynasty mode gives up this setting, so every player is on his own.
There is no division. Instead every player is on his own. The goal is just to survive, no matter who you team up with, or who you back-stab. The last three players are winners.
Honor system is only present in Dynasty mode. If you play the original mode, Honor system rule is not be followed.
In Dynasty mode, every player is born with 1 point of honor. Honor points are used to increase the number of cards you draw every turn. The card you draw = 1 + absolute value of your Honor. If you attack your direct superior (ex. bishop attacks king), your honor point will be reduced by 1. All the other attacks are not punished, so knight attacks king is fine.
Or you can also choose to be a ill-honored guy, keep attacking your superior so your absolute value of honor is high, thus you can benefit from drawing more cards. However, a reward will be on heads of those with negative honor. Killer of wanted will be rewarded with cards of the number (2+ absolute value of the honor of the dead wanted).
The purpose of Honer system is to force some order in this all-for-free game mode, to encourage union and offensive play.
Notice that actions other than Attack toward your direct superior is also "fine". For example, a bishop can sabotage a king without being punished honor points.
In Dynasty mode only. Communication is highly encouraged in Dynasty mode. Lying, alienating, and uniting are all equal and tolerated in this game.
To make it more interesting, every player will be given two chances of private messaging. You use private messaging chances at any point in the game, tell anyone anything you want to say. Other players will be not be aware of your private messages. Once a player dies, every living player is given one more extra chance of private messaging, which will encourage players actively reform the whole picture of players' relationship.
(This section is subject to change as the project goes. Please refer to project updates for latest situation.)
I have just reached the milestone of my project. Now, the game logic/card logic/server-client logic are well implemented. There are some minor bugs, which does not influence game play. I will also fix them soon.
Original game modes are finished and yet to be tested. I will be need to work on the Dynasty mode.
Also, even though I borrowed a lot of ideas from SanGuoSha and Bang into my game, I want to make my characters unique, with new special abilities. I believe my innovations on the original game allow more space for creative characters and skills, thus more interesting and tactical game-play.
This could be made a board game like any others, but I have no intent in going there. What I want is to move this game onto computer. I will make it a small-size java program that can be played on any computer with java virtual machine, regardless of operating system. The online feature of this game is IP based, for the purpose of easy connection between friends. This game is meant to be free once officially released, so that more people can enjoy.
1. $100, Completing the program:
Even though I have reached 17 thousand lines of code. I still have some work left to be done. I need to implement the Dynasty mode, and the honor system. And I also need to fully debug my program.
2. $200, a website for this game:
Once I reach this point, I will hosting a forum website for this game. Players will be able to look for playmates in the website and discuss about the game.
Suggestions and surveys will also be taken from this website. All suggestions and feedback will be considered when making the next move for this game.
3. $400, better graphic and animations:
Currently I borrow images from SanGuoSha in my game and use some default view of java programs. I would really love to invest money into getting original artwork, a brand new user interface, and original sound tracks. Animations can also be added to make this board game looks better.
4. $400 - 800, more in-game contents:
For every 50 bucks I raised in this interval, I will release a patch of 4 new heroes. The background, story setting, and skill settings will be based on fan's thoughts and designed solely for better and more balanced game-play.
5. $1200, host server, Official Release:
Once I can made to this point, I will finally be able to host a server for the game. Currently for a game to start, one player has to host the game him/herself (I did implement the code for hosting a game). It is hard for other players to join if they do not know host's IP address.
It will be much easier for players to just download a game client then join the games on my server. And a list of available games will be constantly updated so players can play anytime they want.
And I will officially release this game free at this point.
6. $2000, SONG OF ICE AND FIRE:
From step 5 to step 6, I will constantly release new patches of bug fixing, new heroes, and new contents. Once I reached step 6, I would start thinking about revamp the story telling of this game.
The game logic is good. Game play is fun. For the two original games: Bang! is based on a big west cowboy scene. SanGuoSha is based on a special historical period of ancient China. I feel obliged to find a soul for my game too.
I have always being thinking about make this game based on the famous fantasy Song Of Ice And Fire. No matter it's the original modes, in which 3 division compete against each other, or my new Dynasty mode, where players unite and betray, for both modes, the Song Of Ice And Fire just fits perfectly as the background.
Remeber the story of how old Stalk is being framed by the bishop and the queen, or the story of how the Seaworth gets his knighthood. All the stories can happen again in Dynasty, and all the characters from Ice and Fire can be implanted in my game.
For this purpose, I will try my best to contact Georgy R. R. Martin and ask him for the permission of using his characters. And money will be invested in artworks, interfaces and musics to fit Ice and Fire better!
7. $3000, better servers:
More/Better servers will be on, welcoming new players to join the game.
And a lot more as this project moves on...