Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Game Design : The Common Uncommon - Everyday man game

Homework 7 - The Common Uncommon

The point of this homework was to choose a person with a common profession and then make an event happen that would change normal every day circumstances. From this a game pretty much had to be made, here is what I came up with.

Our Common Man

Bob is one of the city’s many electricians, working on maintenance and setting up of the various electrical outlets around the city. He gets rather decent pay for an electrician, not too much but not too little. Not the best job in the world but it pays enough to pay back the bills and save some extra money for future spending.

The inciting Moment – The Earthquake

He is working his shift as usual, until one day an earthquake hits the city. The damage it causes is quite severe and many of the power lines are knocked out. The city loses a fortune and they need to make the repairs to fix the power lines to restore electricity to all the homes and buildings in the area. You’re immediately put into overtime. Bob and other electricians now need to work as quickly as possible to restore the power lines back to normal.

Game – Earthquake Electrician

Goal of the game

Be the first one to be able to restore power to the city. You must gain a total of 25 (Can be changed) points first to be the winner. To be able to get these points, you need to solve puzzles, using parts you pick up every turn. Participation between 2 to 4 players to be the first!

Turn progression

You start off picking up 2 parts from the parts deck (more on that later)

You then roll a dice, if you get a 5 or 6 it means you can do two actions in a turn. If you don’t get a 6 then the dice roll does nothing


The two actions you choose from are picking up and use an event card right away or try to do a puzzle.  Event cards lead to potential bonuses or punishments to you and other players. Puzzles award points, your key to victory.


Puzzles are laid out in a 3 x 3 to a 6 x 6 grid. Whenever you choose to try a puzzle, you must roll the dice. This will determine the size of the grid. If you roll a 1 or 2, you will also get a 3 x 3 grid. Other a 3 represents 3 x 3, 4 = 4 x 4, 5 = 5x5, etc.

To solve the puzzle you must connect a beginning point, to an ending point. These will be randomly chosen as well, using the dice once again. Two rolls are performed for each point, one to represent the x axis and the other the y. If the value of the roll is greater than the size of the board, merely put it at the highest value. So for example, roll a 6 on a 4 x 4 for the x axis. Put the axis at the 4.

Now you will have to use the parts, connecting them together to form a chain leading from the beginning point, to the end point. You will have to use the parts that are available in your hand at the time. Do this and you will obtain points. Here is the list of grid to points…
  • 3 x 3 = 4 points
  • 4 x 4 = 6 points
  • 5 x 5 = 8 points
  • 6 x 6 = 12 points

There are also obstacles that are randomly generated, using the same way of rolling two dice to determine position. However if the roll is higher than the size of the board, then the obstacle will simply not exist in that case. Here is a list of bumber of obstacles to board size…
  • 3 x 3 = 1 obstacle
  • 4 x 4 = 2 obstacles
  • 5 x 5 = 3 obstacles
  • 6 x 6 = 4 obstacles

Important to note is that if you cannot solve a puzzle, then you will lose a portion of the parts equal to the dice roll you did to make the board. So a roll of 6, for a 6 x6, you will lose up to 6 parts if you cannot complete it. A roll of 1, for a 3 x 3 means you will lose 1 part.

However to counter this, you can ask for assistance from other players, they can use their parts to help solve the puzzle. You can negotiate with the player(s) how many points each will receive from completing the puzzle together. You can ask everyone to help but you will need to split it between all four players. Also if somehow those involved still cannot solve the puzzle, then they will all lose the same number of parts in the same way one player would.


There are two decks, the Parts Deck, and the Event Deck.

The parts deck contains the various pieces you will need to solve the puzzles, there are a variety of different parts you  can get, of various shapes. The shapes included are…
  • Straight (Most common)
  • Curve (Common)
  • 4 way (Rare)
  • 3 way (Uncommon)
  • Double Straight (Rare)

The Events deck contains cards which provide various effects, some will help you, others will hinder your opponents and in the worst case, hinder you. Here is a list of the various event cards you can get...
  • Foreign objects - Increase number of obstacles that can appear by + 1 permanently (Uncommon)
  • Cleaner wires - Decrease number of obstacles that can appear – 1 permanently (uncommon)
  • Car crash - lose half your parts (Rare)
  • Scavenger – Pick up some spare parts (+ 2 parts) (Common)
  • Super Scavenger – pick up a lot of parts (+ 3 parts) (Common)
  • Selective scavenger – Pick up a spare part of your choice (Common)
  • Theft – Take one part from each opponent (uncommon)
  • Bumpy Roads – lose 2 parts (Uncommon)
  • Tremor – All puzzles until your next turn will have a + 1 difficulty while still giving only the points of it’s normal difficulty  (Rare)
  • Road block – Lose your next turn (Uncommon)
  • Wiremaster – Your next  puzzle will yield 12 points no matter the difficulty  (Very Rare)
  • Easy wire – an automatically solved puzzle for you (+4 points) (Uncommon)
  • Persuasive – Force another player to help you solve your next puzzle (If they don’t solve it with you, you both lose parts) (Uncommon/Rare

Example of a 3 x 3 puzzle

  • There are 5 parts used total here (2 straights, 1 four-way, 2 curve)
  • Red is the start, blue is the end
  • The beginning and end points can be started at any angle, it does not matter as long as there is a wire in there that connects to either edge
  • The player will have received 4 points for completing this puzzle themselves

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