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Polar Frenzy

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Polar Frenzy

Iterations

By Christopher Aguilar

A 2 – 4 player game where you control a hungry ‘polar bear’ to try and survive longer then the other players by collecting or battling each other for fish throughout the board on a turn by turn basis.

Iteration 1

This first iteration Is played by two players but the game can be played with up to four.

Not all problems that I discovered after the first play through occurred. I simply thought of them randomly after the fact.

Materials

- Construction paper
- Colored pencils
- 4 different colored poker chips
- Marbles
- 4 containers
- One 6-sided die
- One 20-sided die

Two Player Setup

- The 2 players choose which color token they would like to play with and place them on their designated corners before starting.

- Place the customized 36 cards face down on the grid with one card per square.

- Distribute 10 marbles (fish) to each player to place in their containers.

- Each player rolls one 20-sided die to determine who starts first. (highest number)

Round 1

- She rolled a 5 and landed on a card
- Card: -1 Fish
- Her fish total by end of turn equaled 9

Her turn

My turn

- I rolled a 1 and landed on a card
- Card: +3 Fish
- My fish now equal to 13

End of Round 1

At the end of each round, all players have to discard 1 fish each. So after the first round occurred I was ahead of her by 4 fish already. She was not discouraged by this though which told me that the balance of the game was intact still.

Score

Me = 12 Her = 8

Round 2

Her turn

- She rolled a 2 and landed on a card
- Card: -1 Fish
- After turn she was down to 7 fish

My turn

- I rolled a 5 and landed on a card
- Card: +1 fish
- After turn I was up to 13 fish

End of Round 2

Again at the end of the round we minus one fish each. Something I noticed was it was sometimes hard to remember to discard a fish each at the end of each round. By the end of this 2nd round. It seemed as though this will be a quick blow out of a game. At this point I am now trying to have a battle commence to try and milk more fish out of her.

Score

Me = 12 Her = 6

Round 3

- She rolled a 6 and landed on a card
- Card: ‘Lose a Turn OR Give 1 other player extra turn’
- She decided to give me the extra turn because she didn’t want to lose an opportunity to land on a card that may give her more fish.

- I rolled a 3 on my first turn and a 2 on my extra turn
- Card 1: +1 Fish Card 2: -1 Fish

Score

Me = 11 Her = 5

Round 6

On round 6 I initiated a battle by choosing to land on the same spot as her. I chose to do this because by this round she only had 4 fish remaining while I had 17.

Battle

- I rolled the 20-sided die and got a 10
- She rolled the same die and got a 17
- Since she rolled 7 points higher than me I had to give her 3 of my fish

Score

Me = 14 Her = 7

Round 7

At round 7 I landed on a ‘Battle Power Up’ card. This card gives me an extra count to my total during a battle sequence. A player is allowed to keep as many of these with them and may use all of the power ups they have at one time. There are 4 of these power ups in the deck. Needless to say I am definitely looking to battle to try and win this game.

Round 8 – The Game Changer

She landed on the card that I was afraid of, ‘Evenly distribute fish between all players OR Choose one player to switch fish with’. She chose to switch fish obviously and turned the tables completely.

Score

Me = 2 Her = 11

Round 11 – Final Round

By round 11 I had ran out of fish and was hanging on by a thread. She sealed the deal by landing on the above card, ‘Extra Turn OR Prevent 1 other player’s turn’. She chose to make me lose a turn thus taking my opportunity away to gain more fish. The round ended and I had no fish to consume resulting in my loss.

Final Score

Me = 0 Her = 5

Final Analysis

- In the end I was very pleased with the outcome of the game, it flowed very nicely. We both had a good time. After the game, I thought of a few situations that should be addressed:
- What if 3 or 4 people land on the same spot?
- What would occur if both players who are battling roll the same number?
- The ‘Reshuffle’ card was taken as a hassle when it was drawn.
- I felt as though the power up card wasn’t ‘powerful’ enough.
- Had trouble remembering who had an extra turn or lost a turn.

Iteration 2

Changes

- When a player lands on a space with more than one other player on it, the player new to the space chooses who they want to battle.
- If both battling players roll the same number then no fish are exchanged for that battle.
- Completely removed the ‘Reshuffle’ card and replaced it with a -3 card.
- The ‘Adrenaline Rush’ power up was amped up to give the player an extra roll with a 6-sided die to add to their total in the battle sequence.
- Added ‘Connect 4x4’ pieces to place on player tokens if they have an extra turn or a ‘lose a turn’
- Added an endgame where when there are no more cards, the player with the highest amount of fish wins. If there is a tie then there will be a tiebreaker where the tied players draw one of the cards, which have numbers on the corners (1 – 36). There person that draws the highest number is the winner.

Materials

- Construction paper
- Colored pencils
- 4 different colored poker chips
- Marbles
- 4 containers
- One 6-sided die
- One 20-sided die
- 4 green ‘Connect 4x4’ chips
- 4 red ‘Connect 4x4’ chips

4 Player Setup

- The 4 players choose which color token they would like to play with and place them on their designated corners before starting.

- Place the customized 36 cards face down on the grid with one card per square.

- Distribute 10 marbles (fish) to each player to place in their containers.

- Each player rolls one 20-sided die to determine who starts first. (highest number)

Round 1

I was quickly able to explain the basics of the rules and the goal to the four players and they picked up on the game quickly. The first round went smoothly and simple. The blue player obtained a power up card on their first turn. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and were excited to continue on to the next round.

Round 2

Already by round 2 the pace was picking up nicely. The player with the black token landed on a card that said, “Roll one 6-sided die to determine the amount of fish to GAIN”. She rolled a 6, giving her 6 extra fish.

This round also included someone getting an extra turn. The pieces I implemented into the game worked just as planned. They provided a visual piece so that the player wont forget that they get an extra turn or if they lose their turn.

Round 3

On round 3 the first battle commenced. ‘Black’ landed on the same square as ‘Blue’ which initiates the battle sequence. ‘Blue’ rolled a higher number than ‘Black’ and had an opportunity to use their power up. The strategy he took was to save the power up for a later time just in case he needed it. The results of the battle consisted of ‘Black’ giving ‘Blue’ 2 fish.

Round 4

On round 4 the card that rocks the game around was landed on, “Evenly distribute fish OR switch fish with another player”. Interestingly, the player who landed on it decided to evenly distribute as opposed to switching his fish with a player that had more fish. The only reason that I can think of for him to do that would be because he wanted to be fair with the power he had with that card. After the fish were accumulated, each player ended up with 10 fish each again.

Issue

- The accumulated fish totaled to 41 making it an uneven number to distribute between 4 players. The rules did not address this so all players just agreed that the extra fish should be discarded.

Round 6

An interesting occurrence happened on round 6 when the ‘Blue’ player jokingly wanted to give the ‘Red’ player one of their power up cards to use in a battle. At this point of the game, there are no rules against that. As the game’s designer I am tempted to allow that to happen as an interesting player strategy. If I let the players give away their power ups to each other than certain alliances can occur which adds a nice element to the game.

Here is a video of part of this round: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvXm1qcmNII

Round 7

On round 7 the ‘Green’ player landed on a space that already had 2 other players on it. In this situation the ‘Green’ player chooses who she wants to battle. She chose to battle the ‘Blue’ player and won by a huge margin. She rolled a 17 while he rolled a 1. After he used his power up card he bumped his total to 4, making it a 13 point difference which resulted in him giving her 5 fish. I’m thinking that I may try to implement a 3 or 4 way battle sequence in future iterations but I’m not sure at this point.

Here’s a video on the explained situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSpCupizlNg

Round 8

On round 8 the ‘Blue’ player is the first one to be eliminated. At the end of the round he didn’t have a fish to discard, therefore signifying that his polar bear died of starvation. His token was then removed from the playing grid. After he was eliminated he stayed and watched the rest continue to play because he wanted to play again afterwards. I’m taking that as a good sign.

Round 10 – Final Round

On round 10 the game ended due to not having anymore cards on the board. The ‘Green’ player had the opportunity to win the game because she had the most fish but instead she was over confident and battled someone on the final turn. The battle resulted in her loss and the ‘Black’ player ended up winning the game.

Here’s a video on the final round:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqUVbMYkgTE

Final Analysis

- In the final analysis of this iteration, I came across a few things that need to be adjusted or improved to further the interest of my game.
- There was an annoyance factor when trying to grab cards that were in the middle of the grid.
- When a player chooses to evenly distribute fish and an odd number of fish needs to be separated, where does the ‘slack’ fish go?
- The battle sequence needs some improvements to give it a little more ‘spice’. I may add more kinds of power ups.
- When trying to determine the amount of fish to give after the battle sequence, it was sometimes difficult to calculate. To avoid error in math I will most likely add a ‘cheat sheet’ that will do the math for you.
- I may add in the rules the ability to share your power up cards with a fellow player.

Iteration 3

Changes

- Made it easier to grab cards in the middle of the grid by folding a corner of each card up.
- Added a rule that says that the slack that can be left from evenly distributing should be discarded.
- Added a chart that players can refer to that tells them how many fish they should give after a battle.
- Added a rule that lets players share their ‘Adrenaline Rush’ card.
- Added 6 more types of cards including 2 new power-up cards.

Materials

- Construction paper
- Colored pencils
- 4 different colored poker chips
- Marbles
- 4 containers
- One 6-sided die
- One 20-sided die
- 4 green ‘Connect 4x4’ chips
- 4 red ‘Connect 4x4’ chips
- A quick reference chart on how to distribute fish after battle sequence.

4 Player Setup

- The 4 players choose which color token they would like to play with and place them on their designated corners before starting.

- Place the customized 36 cards face down on the grid with one card per square.

- Distribute 10 marbles (fish) to each player to place in their containers.

- Each player rolls one 20-sided die to determine who starts first. (highest number)

Round 1

- The game began and the ‘Red’ player got one of the new power-ups on her first turn. The card is called “Fight or Flight”. It reads, “If a player tries to battle you, you may choose a different player for them to battle instead”.
- ‘Blue’ landed on the minus 1 fish card.
- ‘Green’ landed on an Adrenaline Rush card.
- ‘Black’ gave ‘Red’ an extra turn with the card she landed on.
- End of round: All players minus 1 fish.

Round 2

- ‘Red’ landed on a card that let her have an addition extra turn.
- On her first extra turn she landed on a card that made her lose half of her fish. (There was a problem I hadn’t thought of with this card in that she had 9 fish. We agreed to have her minus 4 instead of 5.)
- For ‘Red’s 2nd extra turn she received a power-up card called “Berserker”. This card reads, “If you have less fish than your opponent, you get to add 6 points to your battle total”.

Round 3

- ’Red’ doubled her fish.
- ‘Blue’ +1 Fish.
- ‘Black’ +3 Fish.

- ‘Green’ battled ‘Blue’.
- Green rolled a 10
- Blue rolled a 20
- Green used Adrenaline rush and added 4 giving him 14.
- Using the quick reference chart, since the difference is 6, ‘Green’ gave ‘Blue’ 2 fish.

Round 7

On round 7, the ‘Green’ player (me) was eliminated. I had one marble left and landed on a card that told me to minus 1. It wasn’t the end of the round yet, one more person had to go. The last player of the round landed on an Adrenaline Rush. At the end of the round everybody discarded one fish. Since I didn’t have a fish to discard, I was eliminated.

Round 11

- ‘Black’ landed on ‘Red’ to try to commence a battle. ‘Red’ used her “Fight or Flight” card making ‘Blue’ battle in her place.
- ‘Blue’ rolled a 15 while ‘Black’ rolled a 2.
- Unfortunately the ‘Black’ player did not have enough fish to give the ‘Blue’ player, therefore the ‘Black’ player was eliminated.

Round 12 – Final Round

- ‘Blue’ player landed on the final card which was a power-up card.
- Since there are no more cards and it is the end of the round, the game ended.
- ‘Blue’ has the highest score making her the winner.

Final Score

Red = 3 Blue = 10 Green = 0 Black = 0

Conclusions

Even though my 7 year old niece didn’t win, she had a great time. I was really happy to get her feedback since she is so young. She understood the game immediately and didn’t find it boring thankfully. I think I have a good balance of simplicity and interest. I still would like to add more types of cards and tweak the battle system more. I also would like to make a better playing grid and tokens that players can connect to more.