Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Formal Feedback

Grey's Frisco Wars is a strategy boardgame played on a map of San Francisco. Players are designated areas on the map, cards that correspond to those areas, and a number of pieces to represent their gang members. Players distribute their pieces throughout their territories, then on their turn they invade another players turf using the connecting bus routes and try to take it over by playing their cards against the other players cards. In terms of 'verbs' I would say that players move pieces and set down cards. Even as the game stands now, it is an interesting game - the weapon combinations that come up are creative and entertaing, the board and the pieces are aestheticly pleasing- they leave enough to the imagination of the players that there is space for casual role playing, it would be good if players could name their gangs. I would say that the prototype definately had enough structure to be formally considered a game. The game has a clearly defined goal- though I think a longer play testing would reveal that the more territory a gang inhabits the more thinly it is inhabited leaving the possibility of other players coming back and making the play last longer- although i'm not entirely convinced that this is a game that would need to be played in only one sitting. The rules are verey simple and elegant. The ability for players to make decisions that effect the game result is definately a high point of this game. Resource management is the central theme of Frisco wars. We didn't enconter any confusion with the presentation of the rules, 10. It was definately possible to develop a strategy- I didn't invade any of Elliot's strong holds because he had all of the guns, i focused on territories with few pieces that bordered on at least two of my territories like Chihan's Castro. I would say the experience was more than I would have expected especially since the prototype was so complete. The only specific mods that I can think of would be things like a police pressence could bring something more to the game- like each game gets a dirty cop on their side as a special card, who can bust members of other gangs or like in monopoly send them to jail for a round. It's a pretty straight forward game and I like that about it, but I also think that at some points it might get a little to predictable which is where an outside element like the police might come through. Or if gangs were given a specific business and could form partnerships with other gangs- stolen cars, drugs, weapons etc.


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