Game Designer ∙ AR Clash Royale ∙ CastAR (Tilt Five)
BattleChip is a Clash Royale-style game that I worked on at CastAR. It is a competitive game that allows two players to summon army units on the battlefield by physically throwing poker chips with AprilTag on the gameboard. The soldiers the player summoned move forward consistently until they hit any enemies or the opponent’s towers and damage them. The player can cast the spell Fireball Magic by throwing a special poker chip on the battlefield to do massive damage to the opponent’s units.
‣ Created game design document, detailed rules, and mechanics.
‣ Created and implemented UI and art assets to Unity.
‣ Hosted playtest and recorded player’s feedback.
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How BattleChips Start?
The idea started from a conversation with one of the company’s founders during happy hours. We were throwing coasters on the drinking table while talking about games, and then we came to a point about whether we could make something with this throwing mechanic as a game in the CastAR system.
Clash Royale was a top-rated game back in that time, which also has well set up gameboard, and players can tose units into it. That makes perfect sense to draw the connections between throwing costers and army units on the board. Therefore I started working on the BattleChips prototype.
We have tried throwing different things on the board, from the first idea coasters to poker cards. However, based on the CastAR gameboard size, the poker chips are the best object we discovered; they come with thickness, weight, and round shape.
The Game Design
Instead of creating a game design document with many pages, I made an infographic style One-Page design documents. The infographic highlight the essential mechanic, rules, and information for development needs. It delivers the core idea clearly and helps us focus on developing the rapid prototypes’ critical functions and features.
The gameboard layout tells the development team how to set up the area on the CastAR game board. What function of each color area, such as the Green Strips area, is the dead zone, noting will spawn if a poker chip landed in that area. This image only appears in the virtual environment, which can be seen via CastAR glass on the board.
The throwing mechanic explains how many poker chips each player has and the situations of poker chips landing on the board. So developers can clearly understand how to implement the rules and edge cases. The numbers are listed in a certain way because I tried to push the players to take a more profound thought on the throwing mechanics and the strategies part of the game.
The fighting rule tells how many units will be spawned on the board, which depends on where the poker chip landed. To lead the players to focus on the physical interaction and understand the game rules, I tried to simplify things at the beginning. So when one unit collides with an opponent’s unit, both units are destroyed.
Winning condition shows how to win the game. Basically, it’s the same as Clash Royale. Still, instead of destroying all the towers, I designed a shorter game session which means the game is over once a tower is destroyed, increasing the tension during the play.
The last one explains the phases of each play. 1st, players have their own chips ready beside the game board. 2nd, start throwing the chips on the board. There is no order of precedence; it’s a free form, but players have limited time to throw chips. 3rd, the AprilTag camera will scan the board. Once the scanning is done, players can pick up their chips. The 4th phase is generating the actual combat and attacking result. Enjoying the actions! And it’s time to cast a fireball Spell to turn the battle around!
Unlike regular AR/VR competitive games, usually, two players are isolated via HUD or a mobile screen and interact in each own virtual space. BattleChips lets players play the game face to face beside the gameboard, and the throwing mechanic reinforces the human interactions and gameplay strategy. You can even read the opponent’s facial expression after failing or success the implementation of throwing chips.