Busy week, Friday

The main job today was getting through another 4 ethics classes online. I had a parent enrol an 8-year-old into one of my classes designed for 10-12 year-olds. So I wrote to the parent and told them the kid could try one class, and I would get back to them with my thought on whether or not they could handle the class material. The kid actually did pretty well, and the parent told me afterwards that they enjoyed the class, so it looks like they’ll stay, at least for another week or two.

I picked up groceries this morning.

But most of the rest of the day I spent working on the game design for my current Creative Thinking/Board Game Design class. Last lesson we decided on the theme and some mechanics, and I had to put it together into a playable game in time for the student to try playing it a few times this weekend, before our next class on Monday. So I had a pretty firm deadline on this.

I came up with a design that uses modular rooms, a little bit like the Grandma’s Ninja Castle game last time I ran this course, but with a twist. It’s not just a static modular board. This time the rooms can slide around and move relative to one another, giving it a bit of a feel like the moving staircases in Hogwarts Castle (as I described it to the student, who thought the idea was awesome). The rooms are square and laid out like a 15-puzzle, but with 3 empty squares instead of one (making it a numerologically significant 13 rooms in the haunted house). On each player’s turn they have to move their ghost hunter from one room to an adjacent one (avoiding voids), move a ghost to an adjacent room or void, and roll to randomly decide which room slides into one of the voids. The rooms have doors on some walls, and the ghost hunters need to pass through a door, but the ghosts can walk through walls. And then if a hunter is in the same room with a ghost, they roll dice to see if the hunter banishes the ghost, or the ghost spooks the hunter (making them flee outside the house and have to re-enter next turn). There are some pieces of equipment in various rooms which give hunters bonuses to the dice roll. So it’s a game of navigating the shifting maze of the haunted house, finding equipment, and banishing ghosts. First hunter to banish three ghosts wins.

I’m interested to see how it plays in practice, and if the student can improve the design.

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