A lot of the games at Chucky Cheese are purely based on timing, these are a lot easier than the other games of chance or some other skill (like basketball). They’re great if you came to win tickets, because once you’ve got the timing down, it’s just a matter of letting your muscle memory work for you.
An example game is Hat Trick. The mechanics of the game itself are a bit complicated (it’s a machine with moving parts), but the gameplay mechanics are pretty simple:
Roll a token down the ramp
Avoid the big holes and make it across the bridge
Once you’ve crossed the bridge you’re in the money (ticket winner), but you can keep rolling through a tiny slot to win the jackpot.
It’s best to see this in action:
A game like this is definitely doable though. It’s just a matter of finding a way to rotate the table at the right speed. The ramps and board itself could be easily constructed.
To add an educational element to this game I’ll modify the rules so that the the numbers on the gameboard are different and there are now +, -, ÷ and × holes. The students get a free roll, and the number they hit is the number of tokens they are given for their turn. The goal of each turn in the modified game would be to hit a target number by performing a series of arithmetic based moves.
Free roll: lands on 8, gets 8 tokens
Student draws random number from a hat, lets say 32.
Student must make the number 32 by using, at most, their 8 tokens:
-Student rolls and hits a 14
-Student rolls and hits a ×
-Student rolls and hits a 2
– Student rolls and hits a +
– Student rolls and hits a 4
– Student has 32, wins.
First, I constructed a trail from start to finish on a sheet of paper. I used colorful post-its and cut them up to create small squares and rectangles. Then I laminated everything with clear tape. As game pieces, I decided to use foam beads because they come in different colors, shapes, and are light to move around the board. At the side of the board, I taped an arrow to the table so it can point to the color the spinner lands on. To make the spinner I cut a circle out of paper (a paper plate can also be used) and glued 6 different colors at the sides, forming a hexagon.
Step 2: Explore Activities
Assign rules to the colors on the spinner. Color gets selected by arrow and a trail is created by sorting colors in a pattern. The arrow can be attached to the center of the spinner and it can assign directions for the player to follow to get closer to the finish line.
Step 3: Pick One Core Activity
The main core activity is spinning the paper plate spinner because it determines your next step in the game. It chooses a color which designates a move to do next.
Step 4: Pick A Goal
The main goal of this game is to reach the finish line of the trail by gaining the most steps foward. Throughout the game there are chances given to gain a bonus and achieve higher levels.
Step 5: Create Rules
The rules for this game are to spin the spinner and the color the arrow is pointing to is the trail step your foam bead moves to. Each color is assigned a different value; Red gives you the chance to move 2 steps forward, Green allows you to move to the next green step, Orange means moving backwards 2 spaces, Yellow means move 5 spaces foward, Pink means move to the middle of the trail, and Blue lets you move to the following 2 blue steps. If the spinner lands on the color your foam bead was already on, then you gain a bonus by getting the chance to spin again. Everything depends on the color chosen by the spinner!
Step 6: Play Test Your Game
When I first played this game I found it to be very fun because it’s a game of chance and it takes interesting turns. The incorporation of colors and their significance make this game entertaining. When I tried implementing a couple of changes such as skipping turns depending on the color, the game got a bit more challenging because you can lose many points. Another change I added was decreasing the number of color choices which also made the game trickier since there was a less chance of getting the color you need to advance. But overall I view it as an enjoyable game.
Step 2: Assign one material to strategy and one to luck
Deck of playing cards >>>Strategy
10 sided die >>> Luck
~I made the cards the strategy because I like card games and throught there was more room for strategic expression with card. I made the dice random because rolling a die is a random action so it made sense.
After that, the rules about the Jokers (Wild cards)
These cards are used anytime during the game and allow the next player to put down any card they choose as long as the card is the same color as the wild card. ex. if the wild card is red the next player can only play a dimond or a heart. If the wild card is black the player can only play a spade or a club.
Now lets see a demo of the game (keep in mind the demo isn’t a whole game just explain some rules and giving you an idea of how to play) :
~ I choose the idea for putting the cards in order from the game ‘Bullshit”. This is a game where you put the card in order face down and if you think the person is lying about the card you put down you say “bullshit” if the person i lying they have t take the deck of cards but if you were wrong you have to take the deck of cards. I based my game on the idea of order.
Step 4: Disrupt your core mechanic with randomness
To create randomness I incorporated a 10 sided die into the game. When the player can not go and have to draw the die is thrown to tell them how many cards to draw from the deck.
Demo of how this works:
~ I decided to implement chance in the game this way becuase I didn’t really know how else to do it.
Step 5: Pick a goal
The goal of the game is to get rid of all the cards in your hand. The first person to do this before all of the other players playing is the winner.
~ I made this the goal because , like the game it was based on, the goal is to ge rid of all your cards.
Step 6: Playtest your game
I played the game with my dad. Here it is:
What is fun about the game? Not fun?
~ I enjoyed playing the game because learning how to strategically place you cards in order, in order to get rid of the most cards in one turn is really fun. I would say the original form of the game wasn’t so fun because having to draw one card at a time from the deck seemed to make the game go on forever. By adding the die you are using the randomness to cause the game to progress faster make it more fun.
What would you do to change the game? Why?
~ I wouldn’t change the game however, when I played the game with my dad he found something he would change. He didnt like the name of the game. He didnt think it was a good title for a card game. I don’t really have another name for it and my dad was no help but I wouldn’t change the game bacause I feel like its not too complicated once you get the hang of it and its quite fun.
I hope you guys enjoyed my game. I encourage all to try it and if you have any changes you would like to add please leave a comment I want to hear from you.
The Price is Right, one famous television game show, is widely recognized for it’s crazy ways to get contestants to compete for cash and prizes through the characteristics of luck and skill or a little bit of both.
Five Core Design Elements:
Rules:The chosen contestant is given (7) $1 bills to play the game. All he or she needs is $1 to buy (win) the car. The first digit of the prize is shown and it is the contestant’s job to guess the remaining four digits that make up the price of the car. He or she will lose $1 for the difference between the value they guess and the actual digit.
For example: if you guess 7 and the actual number is 4, you lose $3.
The contestant wins the car if they have $1 or more left in their possession after all digits of the price of the car is played.
Core Mechanics: LUCK! No, but seriously — having the first digit of the price of the car revealed acts as a way to aid the contestant in having a greater chance of winning. The $7 the contestant is initially given to play and guessing with audience help are the other mechanics that help the game run smoothly.
Goal:Every contestant wants to come onto the game show and win. The goal of this game is to win the car by correctly guessing the remaining digits of the car and having at least $1 to spare in the end.
The Lucky $even board pictured above is where the contestant views, digit by digit, the price of the car. In the YouTube video of the actual game being played, you can see the board sliding to the right to uncover the actual digit after the contestants guess.
Components: This particular The Price is Right game has roughly four pieces to it. The player, the game board, the $7 to play and the car are all needed and equally important in carrying out this game of luck.
My pencil/paper mockup of Lucky $even
You could win a new black 2013 Acura TL. It comes equipped with:
To make the game board, I folded a piece of paper into six equal parts so that there would be space for each digit in the price of the car with one column left over. I taped the board onto another piece of paper so that the contestant couldn’t see through the board to the value of the car. I used a clamp and whenever I needed to reveal the next digit in the price of the car, I would remove the clamp and unfold one column. I made the $7 out of paper and even made a paper money clip to give it a real feel of actual money.
Creating the pencil/paper mock up of The Price is Right game was really fun and at first, I thought it would be impossible to make with just the materials hanging around the classroom. As I saw everyone making it work, I felt good about my assignment and the remake of my game.
In my class group, we decided to modify the mockup of The Price is Right’s Credit Card game that our classmate created.
My suggestion for the modification of the game was to make the prizes that the contestants were eligible to win blind instead of visible. This way, even if he or she had a great sense of knowledge on the prices of items, it wouldn’t help them here. My rule made the game more based around luck, but I believed more challenging as well because I felt being able to see each item was a bit too easy. This modification created more tension in the game which, in turn, means more excitement for the crowd.
Step 1-Pick a board game to modify The board game I chose to modify is Battleship because it’s one of my favorite board games to play for as long as I can remember.
Step 2-Think of new ways to play on the board Bowls containing pieces of paper with coordinates
Step 3-Pick a new goal for the game The goal of the game is exactly the same as the original – to sink all of the other players’ ships.
Step 4-Create a new core mechanic Players will get a chance to pick a coordinate from the bowl. By modifying the mechanics of the game, it becomes a game of random luck rather than skill and strategy.
Step 5-Modified rules of the game Set up the game as per the original directions. Once the ships are in place (each player may place the ships where they choose), the players have 2 bowls next to them. The first bowl contains pieces of paper with “coordinates”. e.g. H-4, B-3
The first player, instead of calling out coordinates for his missle strike, will do the following…
1. Draw a piece of paper from the first bowl with the coordinates.
2. Read the coordinates out loud. (e.g. D-6)
3. The other player will place a “hit (red) missile” or “miss (white) missile” on that location.
4. The paper that was drawn will be placed in the other bowl. (to prevent each player from drawing the same coordinates)
This is repeated by each player until all the ships of the opposing player has been hit.
*Having a “hunch” or knowing exactly where the other player places their ships has no advantage. Peek all you want.
Step 6-Play test your game By modifying this game, I was able to play it with my five year old daughter and I didn’t have an advantage due to skill or strategy because she won! She understood that she won due to the coordinates that she drew from the bowl rather than being allowed to win. The reason I chose to simplify the game is because it gives younger (4-6 year old) players a chance to win when playing against older players. The original rules of the game were still a little tough for her to comprehend. The random nature of the new rules makes it a bit more fun to play against someone less skilled or much younger than yourself.
If you’ve ever played Bananagrams you know the stress of hearing the word “peel,” particularly with a good player that says it a dozen times in less than twenty seconds. If you don’t know Banagrams, it’s a word game like Scrabble in which you arrange words into a crossword except each player builds their own board with letters. Everyone starts with 11-21 letters apiece and they a race to build your own crossword puzzle with all your letters. The first person out of letters says, ‘peel’ and everyone must grab another letter to add to their crossword. Good players typically play that letter quickly and say ‘peel!’ again, and again, and again…
When all the letters are gone, and if you’re the first to finish your crossword you say ‘bananas!’ and win.
I love this game vs. Scrabble which tends to be much slower as you deliberate over your seven letters trying to find a place for them on the board while maximizing points. Bananagrams on the other hand is very fast, there are no points assigned to each letter, you just have to make words. Also there are two other changes to Scrabble – you can rearrange your crossword at anytime as well as dump a hard letter (such as a Q or Z) and take three letters. Both of these rule changes foster speed in Bananagrams.
This is a great example of a modified game that led to a very successful product. Many of the games we play are modifications of existing games or game systems – think of how many card games there are out there – practically an infinite number.
To finally get started on your educational penny arcade game, I want you to research an existing game and start tinkering with the game rules and mechanics. We’re going to look at the core components of a game by looking at The Institute of Play’s Gamestar Mechanic Learning Guide.
Then we’re going to rebuild a paper/pencil mockup of a game found on the List of The Price is Right pricing games. Search for video of the game you chose (it’s likely out there on Youtube), and then define it’s five core design elements. You’ll next have to translate the game into a paper/pencil mock-up. So if there is a wheel spun that has five choices, then recreate those choices on five slips of paper so they can selected at random.
Next follow Modifying Games exercise on pages 51-54 with a group of three. Choose one of the pencil/paper mockups to modify and each of you must choose either a rule or core mechanic to change (see worksheet on page 54). Everyone should play based on your change. Report out the results asked for in the modifying a game exercise.
You will need to put all of these results in a blog post. First your own mockup and then the modifications of the game you made in your group. The post should include the following:
Embed a video of the original Price Is Right Game.
Define the five Core Design Elements of the game.
Document the pencil/paper mockup you created and embed images/video. Describe the mockup as well.
Share the report of your modification to the group game.