Friday 28 October 2011

More on CombatAnts...Photoshop is my friend

I as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I went through 6 versions of CombantAnts before I submitted it for the Canadian Game Designer Awards for FallCon 2011. I did a lot of prototyping in Photoshop to design this game. I figured I would show you some examples of graphics I created, version by version, to get to the final product.

Version 1

Here are some ant tokens that I printed onto cardstock, which were pretty tiny. I ended up scrapping them after the first play test.

Blue Queen Ant   

 Blue Solider Ant   

 Blue Worker Ant

And here is quarter section of the initial board layout using hexes in a symmetrical design for 3 players.

Version 2

Here I decided to put leaf tiles on the board; each one has a letter which corresponds to the food value of the space. The first time it is harvested it has 2 leaves, and the second time it is 1 leaf, and then it is gone. This would force the ants to go further from their anthills to find food later in the game. I also had wandering spiders that would attack players if they crossed paths.

2 leaf resource tile A   

1 leaf resource tile A 
Dead leaf terrain tile

Purple spider web terrain tile
Here is the Version 2 game board made for 3 players, with each player’s first anthill permanently established.

Version 3

In this version I have scrapped the lettered resource tiles and instead put cube markers on them to indicate the value of the tile. A 1 leaf tile has 9 grey food cubes, which are the least valuable for eating. The 2 Leaf tile has 6 grey and 3 pink, which are worth twice as much as the grey cubes. The 3 Leaf tile has 3 grey, 3 pink and 3 gold cubes, worth a grand total of 18 food resources during the 3rd phase of the game. I also added a special actions section that users could take at the end of the round.

1 Leaf tile with cubes  

2 Leaf tile with cubes  

3 Leaf tile with cubes  

Special actions section

Version 4

After further play testing I decided to make the game board more modular. I made the board shape one big hexagon and then created 2 different shaped large tiles that would be put on the board in a random way. These would make the game play differently each time. I also introduced a terrain type of rock, which could not be moved through, forcing players to move around these obstacles. Oh, and the tiles were double-sided too: one side for 3 or 5 player game and the other for a 4 or 6 player game.
A 5 hex tile      

A 7 hex tile

Harvest Guide to aid players at harvest time.

Version 5

Onto version 5! I decided to scrap the odd shaped 5 and 7 hex tiles and replace them with uniform 19 hex hexs (do you follow?).  I also created player reference cards to help them with key actions of the game.
A 19 hex tile    

The version 5 map board  

Player reference card

Version 6

And finally version 6.  At this point I created the finalized rules, complete with example graphics on how to play the game. The anthills are no longer fixed and players get to place them one at time a-la Catan style. I also included shapes with my colours to help my colour blind players.

Player Blue 1st ant hill  

Player Red 1st ant hill

Example 1: Placing anthills   

Example 2: Placing links  

Example 3: Harvesting food

Score track, harvesting guide, turn and phase tracks.

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