The premise of our group board game prototype was more or less set from the start. One of our team members had the idea of a game revolving around firefighters and the spark for the rest of the game came from there. Having this initial character set up and the traits that come with this characterisation set us up for the rest of the gameplay. Firefighters fight fire! So the enemy in the game is fire, therefore leaving the terrain as the only other feature. We decided that though the game had similarities to the game Pandemic, where players all work towards the same goal of curing the planet, it would be more fun in our game if there was a player opposing the other players. This would increase the competition in the game and make it more enticing for future play as players can take turns being the opposition. As the opposition they would play as an arsonist, but with limited time, or turns, before they will be caught by the police. Meaning there is a set time for gameplay and reiterating that the arsonist will be caught and it is the firefighters, working cooperatively, that have the goal to minimise damage.
We thought the game board itself would be in a grid like pattern with tiles face down. These tiles can be shuffled meaning the terrain of the board game is randomised each time its played. This was inspired by playing Nexus Ops the week before which used a similar randomised tile board. On these tiles could be dams, which would prevent the arsonist spreading their fire and help the firefighters, or alternatively, thick eucalyptus bushland that would allow the fire to spread faster. Another idea we talked about was having houses/towns placed on certain tiles that only the firefighters are aware of. It’s the arson’s goal to spread the fire and smoke out these houses whereas the firefighters have to make decisions in order to prevent this in time for the arsonist to be apprehended.
Although none of us had heard of nor played Flash Point: Fire Rescue, we discovered it is a similar premise. Firefighters cooperating in order to rescue a number of people from a building. The same theme is involved although ours is set in the Australian bush landscape and we put one player on the opposition. We also discussed the similarities in games such as Battleship, wherein there are targets placed that the opposition is unaware of and must work towards.
The prototype is still in a very premature stage but the main narrative and theme is clear. Firefighters vs arsonist and sub sequentially, fire. It also has a set time limit and strong resolution and the ability to be played with 2-4 players.
For further background detail on characters and the narrative, another member of our group has discussed it in his own blog!
Flash Point: Fire Rescue 2011, viewed 16 March 2018, <http://www.indieboardsandcards.com/fpfr.php>.
Nexus Ops 2005, viewed 16 March 2018, <https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/nexus-ops/>.
Pandemic 2008, viewed 16 March 2018, <https://www.zmangames.com/en/games/pandemic/>.