Cows vs Aliens: The Last Frontier
Updated: Feb 22, 2019
For my SCAD Midterm Non-Digital project I intended to design and conceptualize a fully functional multiplayer paper prototype board game. I was able to successfully do this. The board game is called, “Cows vs Aliens: The Last Frontier.” The game can be played with up to 4 players. The player has the option of being a cow or an alien. If the player chooses to be a cow, their goal is to make it to the secret hideaway near their barn house. If you’re an alien, your goal is to capture as many cows as possible. Another goal of the game is to work with your teammates, all the cows can work together and help one another to reach the barn house. Aliens can also assist each other with abducting cows.
One of the problems I was set to resolve was a game design challenge. The challenge was, how to make this game fun and competitive but also cooperative. My design goals for the game were to first, make this game competitive. I wanted players who picked cows and the players who picked aliens to have to compete against each other. But players on the same team for example, all players who chose cows, to work together to make it to the barn house. While the alien's team work together to capture cows.
Originally the player was able to choose a weapon and one special skill. But later that changed to the player picking a character with a special skill and could, throughout the game, have the chance to pick up a weapon. In the beginning play sessions, the characters were too overpowered and to help balance it more weapons were taken away. Now there are icons on the board that the player can land on to grab a weapon or lose them.
Depending on the character the players chose, which are placed on cards, they will be assigned a certain number of health and damage points. These characteristics assist them in their goals and allow them to confront each other if a confrontation occurs. Another goal I had was to make the game fast-paced and fun. During gameplay I wanted players to be able to be on their toes while playing. To achieve this the players are able to use their special skills if they land on their character color and if they were lucky enough to get a weapon they can use it once per turn.
The target audience for this board game are people from the ages 8 and up. I also aimed to attract players who enjoy playing fun, comical, and social games. Players who have enjoyed playing games like “The Game of Life: Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End,” was also targeted. The game materials are made of paper. The player is given a box in which all the materials are placed that include the board, character and skill cards, in addition to dice.
There were a few changes from the original design of the game. As mentioned earlier, weapons were originally provided with characters in the beginning of the game but then later changed to weapons having to be acquired from spaces on the board. Another thing that changed was the damage stat. In the beginning, all characters could do damage, and this made all the characters overpowered. So now some characters don’t have damage but focus more on defense. In the original design, characters were able to use their special ability every turn and that was changed to only being able to use their ability if they landed on their colored square. Thanks to all these design changes the characters are more balanced and in turn makes the gameplay more fun.