Bokata will be a Deck-Building game about assembling Sandwiches in which the players will battle to get the best sandwich truck of Hullaby Island.
I was considering for a while that it would be a good design training trying to make a deck-building game.
I’m a person that tends to start thinking everything from a sensory perspective. I can’t help myself but ordering everything around the visual or tactile sensations or just the “toying” (playful manipulation) of a game. So it’s not strange that the ignition spark that came to my mind for creating my own deck-building game was visualizing the cards as the layers of a succulent sandwich. One of those appetizing sandwiches from the menu photos in which you can clearly see each component, each layer forming the whole sandwich in a virtuous combo.
I thought it would feel nice to layer the cards partially (as in solitaire) letting the ingredients show the top (or the bottom) of the card to just finishing the combo by closing the tasteful bracket with the top slice of bread. So I made some quick tests of the layout (score, names, quickly downloaded images of food…) and handled it to my 4 year old son, to just see how he interacted with it, how he “toyed” with the cards. He enjoyed doing different combos and not paying attention to anything else but which sandwich he would rather eat at that precise moment. Halfway the test he wanted to stop because… he was getting hungry by playing it!
I thought I should develop a bit more the idea, then.
I passed through couple of iterations on the base mechanics and I am not feeling fully confident on latest one yet, but I think I am getting there soon.
I want the game to be a Family Friendly Deck-Building game, so besides it being fun, I want it to be:
- Very haptic, having things to toy around all the time. I think that with the sandwich ingredients, few pieces manipulate and place and some food truck paper models I’m preparing I will have this point covered and I will also be able to share a print and play version with figurines!
- Quotidian and representative, rather than abstract or fantastic, so I am placing it onto a map, with navigation involved in the design.
- Easy to grasp and of short duration, yet having some depth so gamers can also have a good experience. Obviously, this is the part that is driving me a bit more crazy, but I’m confident I’ll manage it.