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Heem Patel

 Game programmer

Race for the golden apple!

Challenge -

For this assignment we were free form teams and create any game without any restrictions. Although we were told to do atleast 4 playtests and include them in the assignment.

What I created

I teamed up with another student and we decided to make a game which included miniatures, and micro-controlling of characters. Thus started the design phase for the game "Race for the Golden

Apple". It is a 4 player competitive game, where the players fight each other to grab the golden apple and bring it to their base. The players controlled one hero and some amount of minions based on the god they choose. The heros had certain archetypes associated with them, making them either ranged or melee and/or giving them different spells etc. This was a challenging project mainly because it is hard to keep a track of stats in a physical game. Although, it had a lot of interesting aspects to the game. Also, it was challenging to balance the combinations of gods and the heros in the limited time we had. The playtests we did definitely came in handy to resolve that issue.

The final version of our rules, god cards , playtest results and a mock marketing mock-up can be found here.

Hunting the hunters!

Challenge -

Our challenge for this assignment was to make a campaign for a table top RPG setting. We were told to use the simple Role playing 101 system. This was quite a challenge for me because I had never played a Table Top Role Playing game before and I was not quite familiar with the mechanics.

What I did -

One of the firsts things I did was to make a character and sit in on a basic DnD campaign. This

taught me what a basic campaign is like, and I had a little bit of an insight and idea on how I would go on to create something like that of my own.

For this assignment, I was inspired by the setting of "The Hunger games", I wanted to recreate the feeling of lack of trust within the players. As a result I made a custom map on a square grid. The premise I presented to the players was that last man standing won. The environment was in a forest, and players had the option to invest their skill points in various physical activities such as swimming and climbing. This gave the players an advantage in a certain area , but not so much in another. It led to this feeling of mutual untrust among the players and it was extremely fun to watch and play. There were times when a couple of players teamed up but then their alliance was broken, because of lack of trust, it led to quite a few interesting scenarios. Although, I soon realized that there were a lot of challenges that came with this design, one of the foremost being the ability to keep something secret. Especially with the meta game amongst the players its hard to run a game with such a scenario.

Overall, I think , although the campaign had a lot of challenges, I had a lot of fun dealing with them and I felt that I learnt a lot more about role playing games by designing an over-scoped game. You can read about my complete story about this assignment here.

The Game of property!

Challenge -

For this assignment we were tasked to create a game that made use of dice.

What I did -

I found this assignment particularly interesting mainly because it forced us to think about Skill Vs Luck , there are certain games that are so luck based that people eventually get tired of playing them. They might seem a little fun at first but eventually it starts to die down.

The game I created was about buying the numbers on a set of two dice. I took inspiration for

monopoly and was wondering what if the numbers on the dice are real estates? Players would have to bid for the numbers and the strategy would be for which number to buy? Should they invest a lot in a number that has a high probability of showing up? Or should they buy more numbers.

I had a lot of fun playtesting this because I was able to see how people reacted to luck and strategy, and how they thought about investing their money. You can read more about my experience with designing it here.

Making different version of the traditional HopScotch game

Challenge -

The challenge for this game was to analyse the game of hopscotch and think what are some of the good design aspects of that game, and which ones are not so bad. After that we had to design 50 new versions of hopscotch by changing with the aesthetics, mechanics, story or the technology of the game.

What I did -

The purpose of this assignment was for us to

realize how changing small things in a game can be a stepping stone for a completely new and fun game.

Also, it was an assignment that forced me to just think about a very familiar game through different perspective. I asked my self questions like - " What are some of the negatives of this game, and what can I do to change it? " , "What are some of the things I love about this game, and how can I combine them or use them in a different context to come up with a new game.".

After this I brainstormed about 50 ideas, and these were ideas which need not be very good at design but just 50 versions of the games. After I brainstormed about 50 ideas, I choose 3 that I liked the best and polished them. Finally I chose one idea out of those three and completely fleshed out rules for it.

You can read more about my 50 versions of the hopscotch here.

Analysis of games played by me - The difference in skin and skeleton of a game

As an assignment we were tasked with creating a list of 100 games played by us through our life and to analyze what we like and what we did not like about it. It was a great experience doing this because the assignment forced us to think critically about the games we have already played. Also, it helped me think about the small differences in mechanics of similar games. Why a particular mechanic worked in one of the games but not in another game.

It also helped me understand the difference between the skin of a game and the bones of the game. i.e. What is just a layer, and what mechanics actually make the game. It was great to think about games in this terms, because then I started thinking about what made the game fun? Was it just the skin, and the story telling aspect of it, or was it the mechanics and the way I was thinking about my strategy.

My document can be found at -

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