Making Stealing Starfish

Friday March 29th 2019. Location Wollongong University, main campus building 25, room 150. Subject BCM 300. Game Making.The gang was back together. But this time we weren’t playing games, we were making them.

8:30am. The day begins as normal, with Chris’s subject lecture. Themes and Mechanics. After which we split up into our usual groups to begin the next stage in the assignment, game development. Louis, Dylan, Shania and myself we’re handed by Chris a bag of assorted goodies, to use as a jumping off point for our ideas.

themes and mechanics.png

In the bag were a deck of cards, a set of 10 sided dice with larger values on each one, two regular six-sided die, a bag full of colourful Meeple, and a set of tokens from a different game. The tokens we’re still untouched, waiting to be pulled away from there cardboard casing.


One by one we pulled each item out of the bag, placing them in the centre of the table. We slowly started to play with each item. Stacking the Meeple by colour, rolling the dice, shuffling the cards and sorting the tokens. Feeling our way through to find an idea to develop. Discussing previous experiences with the games that we played leading up to the point. From Carcassonne to Azul breaking down our likes and dislikes.


We started this fit out ideas from role playing, too a game like snakes and ladders. When Shania  made the remark that the Meeple resemble starfish. That’s when we came up with the title and concept Stealing Starfish. From there we had a base to build upon. What’s the story? Who are we playing as? What does it mean to Steal Starfish ? With items they were provided we started to chip away at the mechanics story of the game.


I suggested that we were playing as marine biologist who have discovered new rare Starfish that they needed for their research. From there it was my role to create the rules and mechanics for the game. Going from what we had done in class, they decided to go with collecting Starfish is the mean goal of the game. At the end of each round the person with the most Starfish would win the round. Whoever won 3 rounds first would the game.  

We had two issues lingering from the initial conception of the game. The first being how does someone and the game, which I end up making the decision on. The second issue being nailing down what exactly the action cards functions are. We came up with a rough draught during the initial brainstorming of ideas. We were using them as a template, but by this period the cards needed updating. I brought this up with the group in our meeting. So we play tested the rules that we had at the beginning in as we played. Changing the rules accordingly to make sure the game moved at a fast pace, to get the attention of the audience. This led to the changes that we have now which incentives the player to collect the Starfish from the ocean soon, thus necessitating the need to Steal Starfish.



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