Bastions of the Fleet – Game_Pitch #BCM300

Game Design Pitch Video

Abstraction

Within Bastions of the Fleet, Abstraction is one of the many tools within my toolbox which can help reduce the overall workload required in regards to the creation of assets for my game design process. When I landed on the task of designing unit tokens for my Cold War fighter jets being the F-14 and MIG-21, I had to consider what the concept of my game was, and what its fundamental element was, After much deliberation, I settled on it being a tower defense game in which you need to stop X from reaching Y. BoardGameGeek.com highlighted that an abstract game can “refer to a game without a theme” which made me come to the realization that no matter what theme or setting that I throw over the top of my base game, mechanics, and rules, it will have no direct effect on the outcome on the experience of play.

As a result, I was able to consider alternative options of token designs as a means of merging my preferred theme with my game mechanics, and rules. So I looked towards a great source that often simplifies images and information, that being the Military. Western Militaries are well known for their Military Map Symbols in which they can easily denote different types of military units easily on battle maps and other important military documents. Therefore, I have decided to take it down that route but also make them more appealing and identifiable as friendly or foe at a quick glance.

Materiality

The concepts of materiality and material resistance have not yet made themselves clear, as playtesting has yet to rear its head in my game design progress, however it does raise some important points surrounding the experience of playing for my game and how I can approach the feedback to the different attributions of my game design may that be mechanics, rules, or how you interact with the game as a whole. I have thought of one potential material resistance with regards to my game if I create a physical tabletop experience, players may have issues with dice rolling due to the variations in which you require a D12, D6, and D3 to make all 3 possible moves. As result, after some initial playtesting sessions I could potentially look at alternative ways of simplifying the required dice down to one or maybe two dice types maximum.

12 Enemy Spawns require a D12 Dice, Enemies can move one space each turn in 3 possible positions towards the fleet requiring a D3, and Friendly fighters can move 6 spaces which makes a demand for a D6 to be added to the list of dice.

Marketing

Marketing for Bastions of the Fleet has not taken place in any form other than fleeting thoughts, surrounding the integration of a more visually appealing, and engaging play experience for a possible physical game edition. If I was to go this route of crowdfunding my main focus would be on that either Kickstarter or establishing a Patreon which gives me two different methods of raising funds. However, I feel like a potentially more rewarding method of marketing my game would be that of creating a Digital Version via Tabletop Simulator, that is free-to-play and allows for an instantaneous feedback loop with a larger pool of potential audience members that can shape the game how they want it to be played and provide feedback on future updates. This could also lead to growing a fandom that could increase the odds of a successful return on investment that making a physical board game could be an even more viable option going into the future.

Disclaimer Notice: This Game will not be commercialised, rather it is just a university project!

Video Transcript

Introduction

Welcome to my Game Design Pitch for BCM300, feel free to pause the video at any time to read in more depth about my project or go to the link to the description for the blog and slides! My Game is titled Bastion of the Fleet, set within alternative history looking at the Cold War turned hot, main themes include Action, Strategy, Air Combat, and classic 80s Synthwave. BOTF contains a mixture of genres including Wargaming, Tower Defence, and Ameritrash, and contains mass-market game design philosophies, but a focus on a more niche audience due to its themes not being appropriate for younger audiences.

Game Design & Ideation

I attempted to keep my mechanics and rule system as straightforward as possible to improve the benefits of early prototyping and playtesting, and as a result, I will be able to widen the scope of the project with user feedback and bring to attention some of the required balance changes and additions to the core game design. BOTF’s narrative is that you’re an Airborne Warning and Control System operator tasked with defending a carrier group retreating from Russia during the early 1980s which is hopefully communicated well through the collaboration of board and asset design, themes, and rules.

Iteration & Three Act Structure

Playtesting and the establishment of the feedback loop have not yet begun, but I’m going to be starting it over the coming days hopefully with the assistance of YOU! If you’re knowledgeable within this genre of games you may be able to compare mine to the likes of Death Angel, Set a Watch, Classic Boons, and Carrier Deck. I’ve included a breakdown of the three-act structure at the bottom slide, which denotes the start, middle, and end of the gameplay. Pause now if you’d like to read that over. If you’d like to continue reading about my pitch, I have an accompanying blog post in which I discuss my projects Abstraction, Materiality, and Marketing! Thanks for listening!

Reference List:

Sicart, M, 2008, ‘Defining Game Mechanics’, The International Journal of Computer Game Research, vol. 8, no. 2.

BoardGameGeek.com (2022) Abstract Games [online] https://boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Abstract_Games&redirectedfrom=Abstract_Strategy [Accessed 3/5/2022]

Garcia, A (2019) Gaming Literacies: Spatiality, Materiality, and Analog Learning in a Digital Age [online] https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/rrq.260 [Accessed 5/5/2022]

Trammell, A and Sinnreich, A (2022) Visualizing Game Studies: Materiality and Sociality from Chessboard to Circuit Board [online] http://gamescriticism.org/articles/trammellsinnreich-1-1 [Accessed 5/5/2022]

Parhankangas, A., Mason, C., & Landström, H. (2019). Crowdfunding: An Introduction. In Handbook of research on crowdfunding. Edward Elgar Publishing.

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