So this week I started off the semester by sticking to my tried and true methods, namely planning for a really over-the-top way to complete my assignment and then falling short of completion. My free time this week was sucked dry by the fact that I had to move apartments and do all the associated tasks with that, so I hope to expand on this idea in the coming weeks. But here’s the general concept and what I was aiming for.
For the two inputs, I wanted to explore the overlap between my first and last ICM assignments:
d20Boy — https://editor.p5js.org/DeadAugust/sketches/SyJVKR8dm
Tradetatos — https://github.com/DeadAugust/playable_002
The idea was to have a two player game over two mobile phones and a shared screen on a laptop, projector, or other phone where each player would design a team of three ellipses (mainly just choosing color and names) to pit against the other player Pokemon-style. However each ellipse would start with 20 health points and would get knocked out if they ever got to 0; if either player started a round with only one ellipse on their team, they would lose.
Each round would start with a selection phase where each player would secretly on their device select an ellipse on their team (the attacker) and an ellipse on the other team (the target), then would get to roll a die with a number of faces equal to the health of the attacking ellipse — the value being the amount of damage inflicted on the target enemy ellipse. For example, if I chose my ellipse with 14 health, the die I roll to determine damage would produce a random value between 1 and 14 (inclusive), say, 5, which would be deducted from the target ellipse at the end of the round.
The reason the decision is secret is that the targeted ellipse cannot attack this turn, so if both players choose the same attacker/target pairing, then no attack is made. For example, if player 1 has ellipses A, B, and C, and player 2 has ellipses D, E, and F, the targeting phase might look something like this: p1 chooses B to attack F, and p2 chooses F to attack A, then when selections are revealed, p1’s attack from B would hit F, and p2 would not get to make an attack because F (their attacker) was targeted.
This core mechanic was an attempt to create an interesting tension over what attacker and target to choose, in hopes of reading your opponent and choosing correctly. In theory, you would want to attack with your healthiest ellipse, because it would have the biggest potential damage output. However, that ellipse therefore becomes the biggest target, the one your opponent would want to keep from attacking. The flip side though, is that one of the better strategies would be to target the weakest ellipse on the enemy team, to knock it out sooner and therefore eliminate options for your opponent and get closer to victory. So there’s the tension — do you target the biggest ellipse so that it can’t attack you, or do you go for the weakest ellipse in hopes of knocking it out? More importantly, what do you think your opponent’s answer to that question is?