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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: The Pen is Mightier than the Fist

    [05.24.16]
    - Danny Cowan

  • Daniel Fu, Game Designer, The Grapplers

    This design focuses on a group of grappling-style fighters set in a turn-based game system. Each player selects a move at the same time (possibly using a countdown timer) from a short list of possible moves.

    The entered moves start the first action by the characters, moving them together to initiate the fight. The moves entered rely on a rock-paper-scissors system that defines the move choices. In the first stage, inputting the same move would cancel each other out. In following stages, ties go to the player that won the previous stage. Moves need to be chained together across stages into a final submission state. In this way, players move their characters into grapples and counter grapples, attempting to anticipate the other player's next move, participating in a virtual "tug of war" until a character is forced into submission. Once a character is locked into submission, the referee breaks the fight and the sequence begins again. This game would probably work best as a mobile game, so at each stage, the players would enter their move, then hand the phone to the other. Moves would execute once both entries were made. If the game were played on a console or PC, a timer bar at the top could indicate how much time the players would have to enter in a move (shown below) and moves could be tied to the appropriate buttons.

    3 submissions = a win.

    The below images show the perfect path for Player 2 (on the right). The move options are in a "rock, scissors, paper" order in each stage displayed below. The players' selections at each stage are shown with a dark ring (though this wouldn't be apparent in the game). In each frame of this example, Player 2 selects the option that happens to win over Player 1's selected move. If Player 1 at any time selected a winning move, the "tug-of-war" would shift back, placing the players back into the previous stage state. This example is probably a condensed move set. I would actually prefer that the # of moves in a perfect path would be closer to 4 or 5 to allow for more tug-of-war. Please note that the moves shown below are samples, only! More research is needed to learn the actual grappling moves used (I don't personally know anything about Jiu Jitsu!).

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