BCM300 – Mechanics in Game Prototype

Following on from my previous blog post on the narrative of our group game idea, namely firefighters vs an arsonist, this piece will take a closer look into key rules and mechanisms that make the game work. Our team of four has decided to split the important elements of the game in order to discuss them in detail. At the bottom of this post is links to further mechanics of the game as discussed by our team!

My personal focus is on the different players and what they can achieve in their turn throughout the gameplay. In doing so I believe it will be easier to split the two alternative players and their seperate choices in each turn.


The Arsonist

The arsonists key goal is to spread fire until it reaches the other end of the board. As such their turn is rather simple and consists purely of two elements, moving and placing fire.

At the start of the arsonists turn they are allowed to spread their fire in any direction they want, from a tile that already has fire on it. Upon spreading their fire, they place a fire token on this new tile. Through spreading the fire one turn at a time, they attempt to reach the bottom of the board.

The arsonist has the choice, once they have a trail of fire, to start another trail of fire, essentially branching off in different directions in an attempt to reach the town at the other end of the board.

Other elements of the game can come into play here, if the tile they land on and the terrain card drawn is advantageous to them (e.g. eucalyptus card), then they will have the ability to advance their fire one more tile and draw another card. However if the terrain card is disadvantageous (e.g. A dam) then the arsonist will not be able place a fire token there and must attempt to go a different way down the board.

Terrain Cards example

All this occurs alongside the limited time of gameplay as the inspector waits the allotted amount of turns before the arsonist is apprehended.





The Firefighters

The firefighters aim is to prevent the fire from reaching the town and so their turn is a little more detailed and can be split into three choices.

-The first choice is to move their personal firefighter piece, they are only allowed to move once but the same elements apply with the terrain cards, working in their favour to move them again, or stop them in their tracks.

-The second choice is to put out a fire. This can only occur when the firefighter is next to a fire token in an adjoining tile.  This is the end of the players turn and they cannot move any further.

-The third choice is to back-burn the fire. This means the the tile the firefighter is on can become  a null square that the arsonist cannot spread a fire to. Another token of some kind would need to be used here.

The firefighters must work together in order to prevent the spread of the fire. Similar to many other games that involve cooperation.


There are obviously still a lot of finer details that need to be worked out as well as the implementation of further advantageous cards, perhaps in its own deck with items such as fuel or perhaps helicopter water drops in order to aid the different players. This however will need to be worked out in further detail.

Jei’s blog post deals with the pieces and physical elements needed for the game and the tactile experience.

Sam’s blog will go into detail about the different terrain cards and what they achieve.

Blake’s blog is a fundamental overview of the start of the game and the end of the game and overall gameplay.

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