Case Study

Construct & Combat

  • Construct & Combat is a game that teaches about the consequence of investing in warfare for casual gamers that enjoy simple strategy games.

    It solves the nonviolent movement World Beyond War's problem of teaching about war by making the users reflect on their actions and engaging them by playing.

    My role was to facilitate, document, prototype, test, and design the game and visuals. I collaborated with four other students.

1. DEFINING THE PROBLEM

The customer needed a teaching tool to help educate about war. We started by summarizing the requirements and defining the target group.

Theme

The effects to the people when governments invest in warfare instead of infrastructure, and vice versa.

Requirements
  • 1-4 players
  • Feature PvP, PvE, solo, and Co-op modes
  • 25-30 mins per game
  • Easy rules & setup, 10-15 min onboarding
  • Engaging and replayable
  • Carry learning points
  • Playable online
  • Print & Play files
  • Sell sheet
  • Reflect the theme assigned clearly
Target Group

Casual gamers that enjoy simple strategy games, since the client wanted a game that would be used as a teaching tool in different settings.

World Beyond War logo

A global nonviolent movement to end war

Our online whiteboard with research about war

Research about the cost of war & the theme

2. RESEARCH

Researching and translating into possible gameplay. We gained great insights from the customer, but we also researched on our own.

The Cost of War & Win Conditions

After researching, we defined a goal for the game (to make your citizens happy by building), and thought of ways to motivate the player.

3. IDEATING & PROTOTYPING

We ideated about the setting, format, and gameplay. After that we pitched our ideas to the target audience to make sure we created a viable game. This gave us the insight that our secondly prioritized game idea was more engaging, and we changed direction.

Game Setting, Format & Gameplay

I suggested that we aim for a card game to make it portable, easier to incorporate the requirements for game modes, and less overwhelming to a new player. The team agreed and we ideated about win conditions and mechanics.

First Prototype

I found Playingcards.io which worked very well, and since we were going to iterate on the prototype I created an Excel sheet that I could simply import to the site.

Second Prototype

I added the game to Tabletop Simulator, in order to give the game a real game feeling and create better testing.

Online whitebord with ideation about the game

Using Miro to ideate about the game objective and gameplay

First prototype game in Playingcards.io

Lo-fi prototype in Playingcards.io

Our game in Tabletop Simulator

Hi-fi prototype in Tabletop Simulator

The gameplay was relatively smooth, and we got into it pretty quickly

The simple structure of the game, I think, was quite inviting

I thought it was pretty clever, keeping it simple but still an effective set of things happening during the game

Feedback from test users

A sell sheet for the game, with premise, objective, and components

Sellsheet (click to enlarge)

4. PLAYTESTING & IMPLEMENTATION

We had already playtested the first prototype, but the hi-fi prototype in Tabletop Simulator gave the test users a better feeling for the game.

Visual Design

I designed the card faces, imported all the information, and added the game to the Tabletop Simulator Workshop on Steam. I also designed the P&P files and the rulebook.

Testing

During the prototyping we continuously tested the mechanics and game feel on our target group, to make sure we didn't break the game.

Final Playtest

I lead the final playtesting session in an online board game community. Afterwards I fixed the smaller errors and documented the more complicated issues & suggestions.

Excellent again, I'm blown away today

Very good, well done

These are really, really special

Feedback from customer

5. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

We pitched our game idea to the representatives of World Beyond War, and they were impressed with our product presentation and happy that we fulfilled all the demands.

6. KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Adapt the language to get understood
  • Easy rules, inviting structure, and low entry barrier
  • Use Lightning Decision Jams more
  • Use Dot Voting more
  • Assign speaking time during discussions online
7. FUTURE ITERATIONS
  • Incorporate more advanced mechanics
  • Lower the randomness
  • Add a detailed narrative
  • Include ideas from the presentation
  • Address problems from the final playtesting session
Back to projects