From Simple to Complex

Posted on October 21st, 2011
by High school interns Jonathan and Justin

Hey everyone, this is the intern-duo from UCLA Community Schools once again and for this week, we have been asked to come up with a simple concept of a game and to expand on that idea. One of the games is a mix of Stoplight and telephone and the other involves the use of ‘sticks’ as weapons. Here’s what we conjured up in an hour’s worth of work.

Justin: How did I come up with the game?

One game I would play often in my childhood years was telephone and stoplight. Starting a message and finding out how wrong it would be by the end of the game would always make me laugh. When I use to play stoplight it would be fun to make everyone “run a red light” and start from the beginning.

How does your game work?

My game is pretty much a mix of telephone and stoplight. This team based game has a rather simple objective. To explain and use communicative skills to indirectly tell your teammates a message in a certain amount of time ( 60 seconds, more or less depending on how many words a team is giving. Less points are given for less words therefore anything under 15 words penalizes your time). however the opposing team can change the way your team recites the message. They can make your team send the message in three different ways. First, through only speaking can one send a message, but you can’t directly say your word, you would have to describe it and give hints by using related words. Second, through using motions with your body without speaking. Lastly, through drawing, one cannot directly draw the word but word related objects. One example good can be a dog, you cannot draw the dog but if you draw things related a dog ( bone, dog house, fire hydrates, etc.) you can help your team guess what the word is and you will not be penalized as long you do not directly describe the given words/phrases.

There are several ways for players to obtain points. First, if a team can finish reciting the message every 2 seconds extra would result in an extra point. Another would be to not have any errors in a round ( Accidently say the word or The more words a player describes the more points their team would get. One can do several things with their points. One can be that they can penalize the opposing team by taking away how much time they would have in a round. Another would be by giving the players a random word to describe. And lastly, the team can be penalized by not being able to use one of the three parts of speech ( verbs, adjectives or nouns). The team to reach a certain amount of points wins ( varies on players most preferably 20+).


Jonathan: As a child, I always had a fascination for the medieval; the stories of noble knights in shining armor and the royalty they dutifully served, fables of treasure-hoarding and fire-breathing dragons residing in dark caves, forests and abandoned towers, and of course, the legacies of prestigious weapons forged through the legendary craftsmanship of accomplished smiths. I viewed the sticks on the ground as imaginary swords and spears; they were neither the size of twigs nor toothpicks. Many times I’d find myself swinging these sticks and branches wildly, cutting air followed by sharpened whistles, pretending that I was slaying a monstrous beast or overpowering a tough opponent. Through this childhood memory, I’ve come up with a game that revolves around that experience while integrating core aspects found in many games.

So how does this game work?

The fundamentals of the game in mind are rather simple and can be summed up to “seek and destroy.” It is a multiplayer aspect that focuses on and involves the ever-so-important concepts of communication, coordination and cooperation. Synergy and strategy are key components to the success of the game, along with superb knowledge of the mechanics involved. The idea is to hit other players with a weapon to receive a given benefit and to accomplish your primary objective(s), all of which can vary. However, there are limitations that I will elaborate at another time.

The suggested minimum number of players in any active playing field is 4-6

Typically, in order to win a round, your team has to defeat all opposing members of the other team before they can do the same to your team, even if it comes down to the last man standing. Before the game starts, players must determine the number of teams, number of players per team, who is on each team and number of rounds. We can call this the ‘prep’ phase of the game, and this applies to every time a round ends. During this time, players select their weapon of choice for the next round. The ‘prep’ phase ends when both teams are ready unless 2 minutes pass. After any ‘prep’ phase, the active battle phase begins.

Each individual player has life, damage, armor and experience values, which change as players progress from the early game phase to the meta and end game phases. Life determines how much damage a player can sustain before ‘dying’; damage determines how much damage the player deals per attack; armor determines how much damage the player receives; experience determines the level of a player; the level of a player determines how much experience he or she is worth and the number of available attribute enhancements or perks to unlock. Enhancing attributes or unlocking perks can only be done in the ‘prep’ phase.