Choose one Challenge don’t forget to include the title.
Challenge : A Whole New Dimension
You were all ready to play a game of Checkers (or Draughts, depending on where you live), but instead of a normal board, you have this 12 × 12 square board instead. You could just ignore four squares on each side, but that’s boring. Instead, design a variant that uses the larger board. You may make any rules changes necessary to support the new larger size. What effect does this have on gameplay?
12 × 12 board and a set of checkers or tokens. These will probably be homemade since this Checkers variant is not typically sold in stores.
A computer with an Internet connection, in case you’ve forgotten how to play Checkers (more common than you know)
Written list of rules changes you tried and an analysis of their effect on gameplay.
Build the game.
Create the components. This can be as simple as using coins or cutouts from a standard sheet of paper.
Play the game.
By yourself or with a friend, play the game. As you play, take notes on how things have changed. Are the decisions you make more or less compelling than the original? How have the player decisions changed, just by changing the size of the board?
Use a 6 × 6 board. How is a smaller board different from the standard game? How is it different from the larger 12 × 12 board? Do there appear to be any trends as size increases or decreases, or is each size its own unique, unpredictable experience?
Use a 7 × 7 or 9 × 9 board. Now the board is symmetrical, which should have a greater effect on game dynamics. How do things change now? Does this fit the size trends you found in the previous variant, or are odd-sized and even-sized boards completely different play experiences?
Instead of Checkers, use a different square-based game such as Chess.
Challenge : Twitch Dice
Design a game that involves only twitch mechanics and luck—no strategic elements—using only dice as your components. You may use anywhere between five and ten dice for your game, and you can choose what kinds of dice from those that you have available.
Your game should be playable in five minutes or fewer.
Dice, preferably of several types (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20) and in a variety of colors
Complete list of written rules
Brainstorm or research.
What kinds of twitch mechanics are possible with dice? If you can’t think of anything, look on the Internet for rules of card games that have twitch components (such as Slapjack, Brawl, and Egyptian Ratscrew).
Consider physical difficulties.
Avoid mechanics that might make play difficult. For example, if the dice are rolled and then players must quickly grab certain dice, there is the possibility that the facing of the dice could be changed while players grab them. If the numbers displayed on the dice matter, indiscriminate grabbing or hoarding of dice could cause problems and would need to be avoided or worked around.
Come up with a preliminary set of mechanics. Decide on an objective, progression of play, and rules for how the game ends.
For such a fast-moving game, you should be able to play many times in a short period of time, ending up with a high-quality polished experience.
Challenge : Adult Children’s Games
Pretty Pretty Princess is a children’s game with virtually no skill involved. The game comes complete with princess attire for each player—earrings, a ring, a bracelet, and a necklace. There is also a single crown. The person to collect all her pieces first, as well as the crown, wins the game. Players move around the board by using a spinner that tells them where to go and what item to pick up. Some spaces list a specific item to pick up, while others give the player their choice of items. The game also comes with a black ring, which prevents the player from winning until someone else is forced to take the ring from them. Players periodically take things from each other and put things back in the pot, too.
Modify the rules of this game to make it a family game, so that it is more interesting to adults, too. You are free to change the overall narrative of the game, but the basic structure of play must remain the same.
Copy of the original game
Written rules variant
Change chance into skill.
As in the previous challenge, identify the individual mechanics of the game so that you know what could be modified to add decisions or remove randomness.
Don’t go too far.
Remember that the modified game should still be enjoyable by kids, as well as adults. Keep the playing time short, keep the theme, and keep some elements of chance. Don’t add so many rules or such deep decision making that it’s impossible for kids to play.
Use a different children’s game. Examples include Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and the card game War.
For a change of pace, instead of making this into a family game, make it a game targeted at competitive adults. (Doing this requires adding much deeper strategic elements and removing most of the chance.) In this case, your modified game is likely to be extremely different from the original.