Making changes to Battle Ships

We got a homework of doing some changes to the game Battle Ships for game design class. Before talking about the changes, let’s see the detail of the original version.

Battle Ships (original version)

Space: A piece of paper
Goal: Winning the game (destroying all of opponent’s ships)
Component: Two players, a piece of paper and pen/pencil
Mechanics: Choose the gird
Outcome: Win, lose and draw
Conflict: Man vs. man
Rules:
(1) Placing all of the ships on the grids, either horizontal or vertical.
(2) Must placing all of the ships.
(3) Guessing a grid that might be the place the opponent’s ship.
(4) A ship is destroyed when the opponent knows all the grids of the ship.
(5)  A player must guesses one time in his turn. If a player guesses right, he gets a chance to keep guessing until he makes a miss. If a player guesses wrong, his turn is finished.
(6) A game is finished when all of a player’s ships are  destroyed.

Starting Changing Battle Ships

I had invited my mother to help me this work as Player B and I was Player A. In each changing version, there is only one adding elements, but as we learned in class, it might make a big change comparing to the original version.

I will list all of the elements of the new version and highlight the part which is different to the original version. After that, I will talk about how the new thing changes the game and how did the player feel about the game.

Firstly, I decided to let a dice join the game.

Dice.jpg
The result of Battle Ships with a dice

Space: A table
Goal: Winning the game (destroying all of opponent’s ships)
Component: Two players, a piece of paper, pen/pencil and a dice
Mechanics: Choose the gird and roll a dice
Outcome: Win, lose and draw
Conflict: Man vs. man and man vs the limited chances
Rules:
(1) Placing all of the ships on the grids, either horizontal or vertical.
(2) Must placing all of the ships.
(3) Guessing a grid that might be the place the opponent’s ship.
(4) A ship is destroyed when the opponent knows all the grids of the ship.
(5) A player must roll the dice in his turn to decide how many time that he can guess the grids, and the player must use all the opportunities he gets from dice to guess. 
(6) A game is finished when all of a player’s ships are  destroyed.

In the original version, sometimes one player might keep guessing through the game, this makes the player will have a chance to guess randomly and the other player don’t feel involved in the game. Base on this idea, I decided to limited the guessing time which could make the players to value each opportunities and guess more carefully, this idea might also balance the playing time of  two players.

After we played through the entire game with this new change, we found out something. As we were playing, the players needed to guess and recorded on the paper during the game, therefore it became difficult to remember that how many chance of guessing were already used when the player rolled five or six.

We found it more interesting than the original version because the limited chances could help us or stop us depend on the situation. An example for helping players, a player had two chances in this turn, although he got a miss first, he still had a chance to keep guessing. An example for stopping players, a player had guessed right four times and the ship he kept attacking was Aircraft Carrier (which has five grid), but he couldn’t keep guessing after four guessing time because he got four times only from the dice.

In conclusion, this change is suitable to be played. However, if I could find out a easy way to record the guessing time, the game will be more completed with the change.

Secondly, I decided to introduce a new rule in the game.

Diagonal.jpg
The result of Battle Ships with diagonal ship placements

Space: A piece of paper
Goal: Winning the game (destroying all of opponent’s ships)
Component: Two players, a piece of paper and pen/pencil
Mechanics: Choose the gird
Outcome: Win, lose and draw
Conflict: Man vs. man
Rules:
(1) Placing all of the ships on the grids, either horizontal, vertical or diagonal.
(2) Must placing all of the ships.
(3) Guessing a grid that might be the place the opponent’s ship.
(4) A ship is destroyed when the opponent knows all the grids of the ship.
(5)  A player must guesses one time in his turn. If a player guesses right, he gets a chance to keep guessing until he makes a miss. If a player guesses wrong, his turn is finished.
(6) A game is finished when all of a player’s ships are  destroyed.

During the game play of the first changing version, I started to feel boring from the pattern of the ship placement. For example, once the player hits opponent’s ship, the next step for him is thinking “is the next grid up, down, left or right”. However, according to the grid he hits, the choices might be less. Therefore, I decided to add the diagonal to the placement.

After we played through the entire game with this new change, we found that it was harder than other versions because the new rule made the placement to be diversified. This change also expanded the time of playing from 8-10 minutes became 10+ minutes. However, it wasn’t too hard to play during the game compare to the original version.

Conclusion

Adding new element to the game can make either a big change or a small change, however the change could make the game become better and also worse on some parts.

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