Circuits is an exciting and unique 3D abstract puzzle game that challenges players' spatial awareness. Build circuits from all angles, compete with players to be the first to reach your goal, and block any threats you see coming! Be careful though because everyone's destination is a secret. Circuits was a created for a final project in a ludology class. The idea was to design and create an original non-digital game. This included designing the game itself, making the game components, packaging, rules and writing the rule book.
We wanted to create a game that differed from other tabletop games in terms of components. With that in mind, we decided to go with a 3D design and create our game from there. Circuits is intended to get players thinking about their moves, working ahead and making decisions strategically. We wanted a stimulating, challenging game that was still fun to play and we believe that it was achieved in Circuits.
Circuits is a two to four player game where players will be creating Circuits across the grid in order to complete their (secret) goal. They can build from all angles by dropping in their blocks and matching up their Circuit on any side. Players will also be able to block and interfere with other players' routes at any stage by using their one 'blocker'.
The aim of the game is to establish a connection that starts from the base of the board and runs 6 blocks high to the designated end point. Each player will choose an identifying colour to use and a starting point. From there, each player draws an end point card. This tells the player the point that they must reach and this is kept hidden from other players.
When a player drops a block down, their circuits must be connected on at least one side of their block as they build towards their end point. Keeping in mind that the full circuit must travel from the base of the frame all the way to their goal. Each player will also have one "blocker" or a "trip switch". This can be used to cut off another player's circuit connection at any point except on the sixth row. The player who is blocked must find another way to connect back to their original starting base block and continue building from there. If there are no option, that player is then out.
Circuits was a group project where I worked with Aisling Flynn, Gemma Gallagher and Sona Harrison. No single role was assigned to those involved in the project. The initial idea for a 3D cube-like game was Gemma's and from there we joined together to develop the game. Everything from design to production was done as a team. We would have weekly meetings to discuss the design, produce the game, playtest and write the document for the game. As such, there were no specific roles assigned and the game was a collective effort.
Results and Experience
Overall, I believe that we developed the beginnings of an interesting and challenging game. The game no doubt would need much more playtesting and refining but I think there was a lot of potential for the game and where it could go. Some issues that came up during playtesting also resulted in interesting solutions that could have taken the place. So, with time, I believe that Circuits could have been an even more interesting project.
The design and production process of Circuits was one of the more complex projects. For the longest period of time, the team had a hard time coming up with mechanics for the game. As mentioned, we had the idea of a 3D abstract game but that was all that we had with nothing else in mind. The process of finding the mechanics and goal of the game was a difficult one. However, the team worked really well together and once we found some inspiration, bouncing ideas off of each other was easy and kicking the project into gear was simple and fun.
The overall project and the process we took taught me how starting off with one core mechanic that you believe is strong can result in the development of a full game that works off of the mechanic in an interesting and successful manner. The project was also a great demonstration of the power of working on a strong team that works well together.Return to Game Design