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Game Narrative & Story World!
“Theme is what will draw people to your game initially, and hook them throughout.”Benjamin Kocher, Boardgameimmersion.com – The Importance of Theme in Board Games
Bastions of the Fleet takes place during the 1980s during the tensions between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America now referred to as ‘the Cold War’. These two superpowers became locked in a rivalry to position themselves as the new world order through waging political, economic, and propaganda campaigns. The period in which Bastions of the Fleet is set in the real-world events was the turning point and closure of The Cold War period which led to the collapse of the Berlin War and the Soviet Union, However within this alternative history look at the this a scenario in which the Cold War turned hot.
Through this board game, you take the role of a radar operator onboard an E-2 Hawkeye an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) Aircraft in charge of directing air combat taskings with the objective of defending a US carrier group retreating from the Russian mainland in the North Pacific Ocean. Inspiration has been taken from films such as Top Gun and the Synthwave aesthetic, through which, I have attempted to provide a differing perspective of Air Combat as AWACS aircraft are a fundamental component to providing radar data for fighter jets to identify threat aircraft and along with incoming enemy missiles.
Where in the Game World?
With the player being a radar operator on board an E-2 Hawkeye, the board’s game world is an attempt to simulate the experience of a traditional radar screen of a 360-degree circle image with rings depicting the range from the central location being the aircraft, or navy vessel. This is an attempt to be authentic to the experience of a radar operator’s job, by including the more flashy markers making the game world feel more engaging and interesting as a mean small data points on a circle. I’m also looking at including different variations of game worlds being that of a synthwave board, a satellite image board, or a mixture of synthwave and radar as a means of providing different experiences for the audience.
The design of Bastions of the fleet as discussed in my pitch blog in regard to abstraction was designed in inspiration from that of NATO’s military map symbols which denote different variations in military units by easily understandable and identifiable symbols. Along with this Next War published by GMT, Games was another source of inspiration for their handling of a game world through which wargaming was to be conducted, through this my unit markers share similarities to theirs, however, their markers have a lot more details due to depth of Next War and its application as a Wargaming tool for Militaries around the world.
Comparable Products Research Marketing
Looking at alternative products to that of Bastions of the Fleet the list is plentiful, they act as not only competition within the genre of Wargaming, Tower Defence, and Ameritrash but also as a valuable resource for inspiration of potential mechanics that could be implemented into Bastions of the Fleet.
- Carrier Deck: is an aircraft time management game in which you are the flight deck operator onboard an Aircraft Carrier and your job is to task aircraft on missions responding to Air, Sea, and Land threats in either a survival situation where you are attacked by endless waves of enemies attempting to reduce your health to zero or campaign scenarios which have set objectives and requirements for completion. Platform: Windows, Mac, and Steam
- Bloons Tower Defence: at its core is a tower defense game in which your main game objective is to survive as many rounds as possible by keeping your life counter above zero, you achieve this by popping balloons, gaining currency, and placing and upgrading units to continue the gameplay loop. Platform: Windows, Android, Mobile, Steam, and Mac
- Set a Watch: is a game designed for 1 through 4 players, in which you are given the objective of clearing nice POIs to counter acolytes from breaking the seals holding back evil forces. This is done through the management of characters, and the protection of your fires, or you will risk losing.
- Death Angel & Space Hulk: are games set within the Warhammer 40,000 universe in which the player(s) are given the role of a Space Marine commander fighting an infestation of gene stealers in numerous scenarios most prominently being onboard an abandoned warship. Space Hulk is focused on a two-player miniature tabletop experience as each plays the alternative sides while Death Angel is a card game with 1-6 optimal players providing an alternative gameplay experience in the Spacehulk series. Platform: Board Game Tabletop and Card Game | Has been made into a Video Game for Windows, Mac, and other devices.
- Stronghold: a siege-focused game that involves 2-4 players in which they pick two sides of the defense of the stronghold, and the other attempt to attack and overwhelm the stronghold to break into it. Similar to the tower defense genre the attacker has an unlimited supply of forces, magic, and war machines while the defender is limited in these areas.
Expanding on Materiality and Marketing through playtesting & Competitor Analysis
- Materiality: Since my pitch blog, I discussed the concept of material resistance and some concerns around the number of dice and items included in the game kit. However, I previously mentioned that the dice required were only that of D3, D6, and D12 but I missed D2 due to the outer spawns only having 2 possible move locations. This puts a further strain on the player due to the added management of which dice to use, along with all the required movements and markers during each turn. Possible Changes: Reducing spawns 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 removing the need for D12 or removing the requirement to roll to pick the position that the enemy will move as a result removing the requirement of D2 and D3.
- Marketing: Not much has changed in regard to the marketing department for my project, however, games, like ‘Set a Watch’, does highlight the benefit of crowdfunding, which if combined with a tabletop simulator sample test for users to try and then back if they like it would be a great means of developing actionable feedback through mass prototyping.
Carrier on the Bastion of the Fleet Artwork:
Eagle Dynamics, (2022) CVN-75 Harry S. Truman Encyclopedia [DCS Game] https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/products/other/supercarrier/ [Accessed 11/05/2022]
Bastion of the Fleet Artwork Fonts:
defaulterror (2007) Commando [online] https://www.dafont.com/commando.font [Accessed 11/05/2022]
Leal, R (2014) VCR OSD Mono [online] https://www.dafont.com/vcr-osd-mono.font [Accessed 11/05/2022]
Habchi, Y (2015) Streamster [online] https://www.dafont.com/streamster.font [Accessed 11/05/2022]