Game Development: Kuddly Kymera
Today I will be talking about one of my games that I have in development – Kuddly Kymera. Kuddly Kymera is a simple card game designed for ages 5+. In it, players attempt to make cute animals for themselves, and ugly monsters for opponents.
In general, I like a pretty wide variety of games. I enjoy cooperative, competitive, resource management, miniatures, and most other types of games and genres. The one genre I am extremely wary of are simple party games. I find that most of them rely on the theme of the game, rather than fun or interesting game play. I was complaining to a friend about this one afternoon, when I decided to make my own. The result is Kuddly Kymera.
When I started to design the game, I pondered what aspects make a good party game. After contemplation, I came up with a few key concepts. They are simplicity, theme, and a fast pace. A good party game needs to be simple enough that you can explain the rules in a minute or less. This facilitates bringing new players into the game without disrupting the party atmosphere. The theme of a party game is also incredibly important. It needs to be universally acceptable, encouraging any and all to play the game. This way nobody feels left out. The final key concept is pacing. If a bunch of people are playing the game, the rounds need to be extremely quick in order to accommodate the number of players.
With these concepts in mind, I began my game development. For game simplicity, I decided each player would have a handful of good and bad cards. Each turn they could play one card on themselves or another. After all of the cards were handed out the player with the most points would win the round. Thematically, I chose cute animals. Cute animals are probably the most universally acceptable theme, making it the ideal party game topic. Thus the game became using good cards to make cute animals, and bad cards to make ugly animals. Finally, I set the pacing of the game. To accommodate quick play the game was broken into numerous rounds, with each player taking four turns each round. Each round takes about five minutes to play, at which point players score their animals. The cutest animal wins the round.
At this point in game development, numerous people have play tested the alpha version of it. It has been well received by pretty much everyone who plays the game. The major hurdle of the game development now begins – art. While many party games take the simple way out and just have words, I feel that the overall gameplay experience will be heightened with art. The tricky part is making all of the cards fit together in a universal way. All in all, I am happy to have a party game that is simple to learn, fast to play, fun thematically, and still offers a degree of strategic planning to keep it interesting.