Hi! This is the inaugurating post for Lumesperia. This is a blog for discussions of games, but it also reveals our own product development. I am Jonathan, the founder and also a game designer. First of all, I would like to offer my thanks to Jamey Stegmaier. Without the advice of his blog (found here), I would be at a loss as to how to make my dream, of publishing a board game that I designed, into a reality.
Today, I would like to talk about games I played that changed the way I designed games. I’m sure each designer out there has their set list of games that inspired them. I would like to share my list here and how they changed the way I designed games.
The most influential game is Go, the ancient game with a possible 5,000 years of history. What is so special about Go? When you sit down to think about it, Go is arguably the first worker placement game. Two players alternate placing stones of their own colour onto the nodes of an empty 19×19 grid. The meaning of each stone being placed is not outlined by a set rule or functions like our modern worker placement games, but is defined by the player placing the stone and the changing circumstances as more stones are being placed. For example, placing a worker on the income box allows the player to collect gold. In Go, the player defines the purpose of each “worker” placed. I have long been trying to replicate the abstract feel of worker placement, that can only be experienced in Go, in one of my own creations.
The second most influential game is Final Fantasy XIII. *ducks for incoming objects for having named the game* Yes, yes, I know how some people feel about the character development, linearity of plot, etc. I am here to talk about mechanics. Which mechanic was inspiring to my game design? It would be the Paradigm Shift. In this game, the player takes on a party of three characters that can assume one of six roles. The roles are standard to most RPG games. The player can then set a combination of these roles to each of the three characters, and each such combination of three is called a Paradigm. Final Fantasy XIII allows the player to set six Paradigms for use in battle. This set of six Paradigms is called a Paradigm Deck. Over the course of battle, the player can, with a tap of the L1/LB button, to access the Paradigm Deck and change the Paradigm in use. Is the boss charging up for a big attack? Let’s shift to a defensive Paradigm. Is the party dying? Let’s shift to a healing Paradigm. After spending over a hundred hours into Final Fantasy XIII (and it’s sequel), I started wondering, if such a fluid class changing system can be implemented into a board game with the same elegance. This has been one of the projects I have been working on in the past year. While implementing an instantaneous class change mechanic in a board game brings to the table many tactical options, but it can become unpredictable without a proper framework.
The third most influential game goes to Cardfight Vanguard. I originally watched the anime to look for inspiration in my own work and it did not disappoint. Unlike most trading card games, Vanguard includes additional card draws at certain parts of the turn. These card draws must be revealed to the opponent; thus, making the game a little more predictable and strategic. If you know your opponent just drew a heavy defence card, you would proceed differently in your own attack phase. I found it to be an intuitive game to play that is easy to pick up. It is in the low learning curve that inspired me to do the same in my future creations.
What are some of the games that are influential to your designs?