The QUATERNITY

Date Started:  Spring 2018

Date Completed:  Spring 2018                                 

The Quaternity is a new game made for the Magnavox Odyssey. It is a two player turn-based "Guess Who" style game. One player plays a sniper in the tower of a triangle based church while the other player controls two spies who are trying to smuggle secret squares into the building. Player 1 wins if they manage to snipe one of Player 2's spies. Player 2 wins if they manage to get both of their spies to sneak in their secret squares.

OVERVIEW

  • Magnavox Odyssey Overlay and Game

  • Full Design and Artwork by Myself

  • Asymmetric "Guess Who" Style Game 

  • Intended to be apart of the Odyssey Now Project

PROCESS

The inspiration for this game came mostly out of how to make a game engaging for two players. I decided on a game where there is asymmetric play in order to keep both players engaged but in completely different ways. Most games on the Odyssey currently involve some sort of real time action elements to them, so I made a purely turn based game instead.

The original concept of the game consisted of rotating a CRT Television on its back and putting a semitransparent objects on top it, so that the light of the player spots would shine through the bottom of the pieces. The game would have had a similar "guess-who" style except that both players would be able to move freely between turns, inhabiting other "NPCs" on the board. Due to the nature of not being able to feasibly rotate most CRTs on their backs and the amount of money it would take to produce the figures to place on top, I decided I needed to scale back the idea.

While trying to keep most of the same principles from the original idea, I decided on a 2D version of the game to make it easier to play. It was at this point that the game also shifted to having players perform asymmetric roles. Above is the draft sketch of the overlay made with Paint.net.

While testing and tweaking the rule set, I made this 1:1 scale overlay on paper that we stuck to a TV to test out the game. 

I was also asked to write an instruction set for the game. Up to this point, I had never written documentation for a game, so this was challenge.

This game came as an actual surprise to me because I originally thought that a restricted rule set and turn base combat would be too hard to balance or too boring for the player. After play-testing it quite a few times, I found that most people were having a lot of fun and that the game can be really stressful at times too. In summary, this game taught me the value of frequent play-testing and how putting your game out there is way more valuable than trying to craft the perfect idea on your first try.