Monthly Archives: May 2021

Week 6 reflection

For this week , we played Incan Gold and Can’t stop. For Incan Gold, players can decide to take adventure for more gold or to quit to ensure the gold they have got. For Can’t Stop, the players who reach the top is the winner.

Our group played Incan Gold first. I think the game is quite challenging and adventurous since all members need to decide whether they should keep on trying or just keeping the original gold. It called for decisive ideas and the courage to take adventures. For Can’t stop, the hard part is also about making good strategy to take risks properly.

I think the two games were quite fun since it was very exciting when we made a decision to continue the game or not. Personally I preferred Incan Gold since it was more exciting and challenging.

Week 8 reflection

This week, we played the game called Ladies& Gentlemen. For this game, two people get into a group and one acted as the lady while the other one as the gentle man. The rules are different for the two players.

I think this game is quite interesting and it was my first time to play this kind of games. I think the different part of this game is to stand in the shoe of the other player and make assumptions of his/her ideas based on gender.

I think this game also called for leadership to make good decisions and to lead the development of the storyline. The leadership ability can help the player to communicate better with group members and make reasonable decisions and choices based on current situations.

Week 11 reflection

For this week, we finished the Dungeon and Dragons. I became more familiar and better at the game through the practice of previous weeks. I were able to create a more fun plot and dialogue and fully use my imagination to come up with better ideas when dealing with difficult situations.

I remembered in the Episodes Big Bang Theory, the characters loved playing the game. Now I can understand and feel the fun in it. D&D is a game which requires all the participants to take active part in it and they all need to contribute to the development of the stories. A leader is also need for the game to guide all the members to carry on with the plot.

Week 3 reflection

This week we finished the last stage of Fiasco. We created the scene. I think my group member were better at creating the scene. I barely could make proper decisions so I most lost the game. After we finished playing Fiasco, we continued to discuss the game and leadership in the game. I think leadership is quite vital in playing this game since players needed to make proper decisions to win the game.

As for this game, I think it is quite fun since there are multiple possibilities. I think the hardest part is to make proper decisions based on the choice of the other players. Overall, I would recommend this game to my friends.

Week 9 reflection

For this week, we started to play Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It is a role-playing game that asks the participants to create their own character with different background, culture, races and identity.
It is my first time to play this game and I find it a little bit difficult since the rules are new to me and I didn’t seize the point of making decisions at vital point. But I find the game fun to play since there are different scenerios and my team members are very imaginative and decisive, so it makes the whole playing process a lot of fun.

Luck v Chance v Skill Reflection

Games come in all forms of shapes. Some have detailed art that looks beautiful to the eye. Other’s very minimal art and can be played in a short span of time. Some have large rules that take days to read and understand. Some have only one rule to learn how to play. However, a lot of games have the goal of trying to win. There is a vast amount of ways to win, but most ways to win are in one of three categories; luck, chance, or skill

Luck is a force that brings good or bad fortune for an individual. Luck cannot be controlled or trained. An individual has no say in what the output will be. You cannot roll a dice and expect it to always land on six. You cannot expect that your starting hand is going to be all jacks, queens, kings, and aces. You can’t control if a coin will land on heads or hands. In a game of luck, no choice you make has any say in the game. 

One luck based game is Lost Cities. To win this game you want to have the most points over three rounds. Each player is dealt eight cards from a shuffled deck. On your turn, you can either discard one card from your hand face up on its corresponding discard pile or place one of your cards face up in one of your columns. Each card played must have a higher value than the most recent card played. You can skip numbers, but are not allowed to place cards in between already played cards. After discarding or playing a card, you can either draw a new card from the draw deck or take a card from the top of a discard pile. The drawing of cards plays a significant role in how likely you are to win the game. If you continue to draw cards higher than the cards you already played you’ll have good luck at winning the game. If you keep drawing cards with lower values than cards you already played, you’ll have bad luck at winning the game. The winner of this game rests on the luck of the cards drawn. 

An advantage of playing a game based on luck is the ease of playing the game. There is no skill to learn and practice to play these types of games. The rules for luck based games tend to be simple and easy to understand, making it easier for inexperienced players to learn how to play the game. A disadvantage of luck based games is the lack of control in playing a game. This can lead it to it being unsatisfying in winning a game. In these types of games you win only because you got the correct cards or a great dice throw and your opponent didn’t. With the winner being chosen on luck, it can make some people feel that their win was undeserving.

Chance is a form of luck. Instead of being measured in goods or bads, chance is measured in probability. Chance is an opportunity or possibility for something to happen.  These games are strongly influenced by some randomizing device. These games cannot be strategically beaten. An individual’s decisions can have some effect on the outcome, but overall, the winners and losers will be chosen entirely from chance. For example, you have a 1 in 6 chance for a dice to land on six. You have a 1 in 2 chance of a coin landing on heads. 

One game that is based on chance is Can’t Stop. This game consists of four dice, a board, a set of eleven markers for each player, and three neutral-colored markers. On the board there are eleven columns, with each column corresponding to the numbers 2 through 12. Each column has a number of spaces that correspond to the probability of rolling that number on two dice. For example, 2 and 12 have three spaces as they are the hardest to roll. Meanwhile, 7 has 13 spaces as it is the easiest to roll. During a player’s turn, they roll four dice, then divide them into two pairs and then total each pair. For example if a player rolls a 1, 2, 3, and 6, the player could group the dice as 5 and 7, 8 and 4, or 9 and 3. The player would then use the neutral marker to place on the board of the column or columns they chose, advancing up one space. A player may only continue up the columns that have a neutral marker in them this turn. After moving the markers, the player may then continue to roll again or not. If the player chooses to stop, they put their colored marker in the location of the neutral marker. During a future turn, if the player chooses this same column, they will start building from where they previously placed their marker. If the player does not stop, they must be able to advance one of the neutral markers on their next roll. If they cannot go up any of the columns they have, they lose all the advancement made on this turn. When a player reaches the top space of a column, they can claim it as theirs and win that column. That column is no longer able to be played for the rest of the game. When a player claims three columns, they win the game. This game is centered around probability and chance. A player has no say in what the dice rolls are going to be. As you are more likely to roll a 7 then any other number, it causes its column to be the largest to complete. Several types of chance games involve pressing your luck, such as roulette and blackjack, and Can’t Stop does make you press your luck to complete the columns.

An advantage of playing a game based on chance is the use of probability. A player can be able to make decisions based on the probability of something happening, such as the probability of rolling a 7 on two dice. Games of chance are also relatively easy to understand and play. You could possibly learn the rules of the game in 10 minutes and then be ready to play the entire game. Games of chance are also a great game to play with inexperienced players. A new player would feel overwhelmed trying to learn all the rules of a skill based game, and would feel much more comfortable with a simpler chance based game. A disadvantage of a chance based game is that it can get boring after a while. When you figure out the best ways to increase your chance of winning, the game can feel a bit boring and lackluster and you may wish to do something else.

The final way to win a game is skill. Skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skill games are usually far more complex and contain more rules than that of luck or chance based games. When playing a skill based game, a player needs to fully understand what it is they wish to do and how it will affect the future of the game. The use of strategy is a must when playing a skill based game.

One of the most well known skill based games is Chess. Chess has several rules for what can and can’t all the pieces can do. A great Chess player is able to see several moves ahead of his opponent. You need to practice on your skills in order to succeed in playing that game. Another skill based game is Diplomacy. In this game, you will play as one of the Great Powers in Europe in the years prior to World War One. In this game you have to hold, move, support, and convoy armies and fleets in order to become the Great Power and control Europe. To do this you have to be the first person to control 18 supply centers. This game uses no dice tolls or any elements of chance. Instead, players must instruct each other their units by writing a set of orders. The players have to negotiate, issue attacks and issue support orders in order to win. Players can form alliances, share intelligence or even spread disinformation to help them achieve their goal. A well timed betrayal can lead to the success or failure of a player.

An advantage of skill based games is the use of strategies. Each player can put their own spin on a game. You don’t have to do what the person next to you is doing. Each person is able to use their own experiences and skills to influence the outcome of the same. The player gets to be in control of what they want to do and how they are going to do it. A disadvantage or skill based games in the commitment. For some skill based games, it can take a lot of time and effort to be thought of as slightly good in the world of that game. A lot of skill based games can’t be completely learned in a day or two. It can put off many people who want to learn to play, but then end up feeling overwhelmed.

Escape Room Leadership Design

Before the pandemic, my friends and I would plan days where we would do an escape room at Breakout Dayton. We’ve done only a handful of them such as a museum heist, being spies in a casino, and being Santa’s elves in the North Pole. We always wanted to do an escape room about a mystery mansion as one of our go to board games is Betrayal at House on the Hill. We think it would be a great way to try and act out our favorite characters from the game. However, that dream has been put on hold until we are all fully vaccinated and believe it’s safe to hang out in large groups. Escape rooms offer a sense of mystery, adventure, and challenge. It mixes a theme with puzzles, big and small. They offer a test of your attention to the details and a great narrative to follow.  

We loved that our local escape room’s decor was always exciting and detailed. Each of the rooms had a great theme that was incorporated throughout the room. When we were supposed to be spies in a casino, the room felt like what you see in a movie about a casino. There were different types of casino games, a fake bar, and was designed with colors of red and black. In the museum heist, the room looked like a small museum, with a study connected to it. Some of the items on display in the museum were under plastic domes and cases, to make it seem like how an actual museum would display their pieces of art and history. The Santa’s elves room was decorated to be as festive as the North Pole in a Christmas movie. There was a large decorated Christmas tree, cookies and milk left out for Santa, a bunch of wrapped presents, and a toy train running along the room. Everything in these rooms is thought out and fits into the world where we were put in. Every object could be a clue or lead to a puzzle. The room sets the stage for how the entire escape room could pan out. 

During our time in the escape room, we tend to start out the room searching for clues by ourselves. We find it’s better to have a bunch of people looking for clues around the whole room, rather than everyone sticking close together at first. Once a person or two find some clues, we usually break into teams to have more people looking into trying to solve the puzzles. Usually, we have about six or seven people doing an escape room. About three or four will stick to a puzzle together while the others look for clues and locked compartments. It can get hectic and chaotic at times trying to solve the puzzles. Sometimes screaming does occur. Other times frustration kicks in. In the end, we all do end up having a blast and create a great experience for all of us. We are happy to say that we have completed every escape room we have done at our local escape room. Although, there are times where it was too close for comfort with seconds left until the time was up.

One important trait for a leader is the ability to communicate. When doing an escape room with others, you have to communicate with others. You can’t just stay in the corner working on a single puzzle without the input of the others. Not to mention, puzzles are a lot easier to solve when more than one person is working on it. One person may be stuck in a loop trying to decode something, but if another person can help and work with them, the puzzle could be solved more easily. Most escape rooms have a time limit to complete them, so everyone’s opinion and observations matter to be able to escape the room in time. Quick and focused communication will lead the team to success.

Being a leader and doing an escape room both involve decisiveness. Some escape rooms have an ability to give the players hints. When doing escape rooms, a lot of my friends don’t like asking for hints from the game makers. They would rather try and complete the room without any outside help. However, to be a good leader, you need to understand when your team is struggling and to know when you can’t do something alone. When you are stuck on something, it’s okay to ask for help from others. In my local escape room, all players have to agree to want a hint before the game master will give you one. Everyone has to verbally state that they would like a hint. This has some drawbacks for my friend group. A few of us are quite stubborn and want to try everything they can before resorting to help. This has made the group lose precious time as we don’t make any progress. This in turn can impact how far we get to completing the escape room. After about five minutes, stuck on the same clue, the rest of the group, including the stubborn one’s, usually asks if we can have a hint. We were lucky in asking for a hint when we did during our casino room, as we finished that room with about 30 seconds to spare. 

Trust is an important factor in both leadership and escape rooms. As a leader you need to have a foundation of trust with your team. You cannot look over everyone’s shoulder at all times to make sure that they are doing their job. A leader needs to inspire trust in others to motivate and inspire their team. A team built on trust is more likely to succeed on their goals than that of a group not built on trust. Trust is an integral part in succeeding in an escape room. You need to trust that your teammates are trying to uncover hints, clues, and puzzles to complete the room in time. If you second-guess their abilities and reasonings, you might not be able to complete the entire room.  

Escape rooms are a great team-building experience. I would recommend everyone to at least try one in their life. They offer challenges that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Each puzzle leads to the next, pulling you closer and closer to completing your mission. Don’t leave anything unturned or overlooked, except for the things the game maker tells you not to. Everywhere in the room could be a clue and help lead you to victory. But, an escape room can’t be completed alone. For your next game night with your friends, or after the pandemic, go to a local escape room and have a great adventure trying to escape the room.

Week 10 reflection

In this week’s game, I was having Internet issues at first so I just observed the game procedure of my team members. I got more familiar with this game this week. The difficult part of the game is to make decisions and players need to make wise choice to win the game.

This game is related with leadership since players need to make decisions based on the current situation and allocate their sources. It requires the players to have the skills of logical thinking and planning. In D&D, I need to think and plan ahead to make proper decisions on the following scenarios. At the same time, players need to act as the leader to make sure that their group can benefit from the decisions they make and win the game.

I enjoyed the game a lot this time and I am more familiar with the rules and techniques for making decisions in the game.

Week 12 reflection

I played Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege with my classmate Li. This game is a a 5 vs 5 FPS game. There are different characters for the players to choose. I rank Diamond for this game.

I like this game a lot because it is quite competitive and fun. The map in the game is challenging and inspiring and it is quite attractive for the players to continue playing the game. I think this game also trains the ability of cooperation and working with others. The 5 members of a group need to work with others to win the game, so it is important to set strategies for the role and responsibility of each team member.

I think overall the game is quite interesting and proper for starters and it is also a good way to train the teamwork spirit within the group.

Campus Gaming Event: Metamorphosis Alpha

I was sitting in Armstrong back in early March when I saw an advertisement for the Western Center. They were looking for people to join their Metamorphosis Alpha roleplaying game, so I figured I would throw my hat in the ring. The DM of the group was The Western Center Coordinator, Billy Simms. We set up a time to make my character and explain how the game works. 

Metamorphosis Alpha is a D6 system set in the far future when humanity has left earth and lives on a gigantic spaceship. This ship has been drifting around a radioactive black hole for thousands of years, causing the humans to mutate into horrifying monsters that now roam the ship. My character was one of the lucky humans frozen in cryosleep and protected from a majority of the radiation. He was woken up and tossed into a vast wilderness section of the ship armed only with a plasma rifle and a knife. The party later discovered this area to be an old zoo. My character is named Atom, a moniker he gave himself after realizing he could adjust the space between his molecules, which grants him the ability to grow and shrink. Characters in Metamorphosis Alpha have eleven skills ranging from amazing to hopeless. The standard role in using a skill is d6, with a certain number of successes needed for the overall action to succeed. An amazing skill adds 3d6, a good skill adds 2d6, a competent skill adds 1d6, a weak skill subtracts 1d6, and finally, characters cannot attempt hopeless skills. Atom was a sniper and mechanic back on earth, so he was disciplined, knew a lot about technology, good with a rifle, and constantly alert. 

Since I joined midway through the semester, Atom first appeared as a threat to the adventuring party. He guarded a swan bridge and thought the party was his next target. Out of the bushes walked a humanoid venus flytrap (think the piranha plant from Super Smash Bros), an owl holding a futurist tablet, and a Gila monster wielding a vibrosword. The negotiations were tense, but they won over Atom with clever wordplay. From then on, Atom journeyed with the party battling mutated armadillos, robotic zookeepers, a holographic dinosaur, and a totalitarian turtle bent on taking over the zoo. 

I had such a good time that I decided to keep coming back each week until we wrapped up during finals week. This semester has been a really stressful one and so sitting down at my computer on Tuesdays from 2:30-4 and laughing with a bunch of people I’ve never met before helped me not get lost in the isolation that covid brought with it. Playing online RPGs like Metamorphosis Alpha has been an essential part of my Covid isolation survival, and I bet lots of other people felt the same way.