Individual Game: Abstraction and Prototyping

According to More (C, 2018), abstraction in a board game context is a conceptual process that the game’s theme does not correlate with the real world. An abstract strategy game minimizes randomization and the effects of luck. Games can offer various degrees of abstraction by providing players with challenges that can be resolved using logic.  Abstraction is the opposite of representation, which reproduces through resemblance.

Regarding the individual game that I discussed last week, Stairway to Hell offers a balanced degree of abstraction and representation. First of all, my game applies the use of dice to move player’s character around the board, which illustrates the effects of luck used in the game. This appears to contradict the nature of abstraction in game context.  On the other hand, the theme of the game is about the fighting against the devil, which does not actually have a real life correlation. Instead, it acts as a metaphor that represents people fighting against the bad entities in the real world.

Following the progress of my game prototype last week, I have designed a rule set for Stairway to Hell and got my fellow classmates to engage in playtesting and providing feedback on the game prototype. My game rules are:

  1. The game requires 2-4 players.
  2. Each player selects a hero class according to their own preference, with each hero possesses different strength and ability.
  3. Players roll the dice to determine who goes first.
  4. Players roll the dice to move around on the map in any direction they want.
  5. Each hero has a certain value of hitpoints (HP), damage and armour.
  6. Each demon on the board has a certain value of hitpoints and damage.
  7. When you move to a space, you must attack the demon standing on it. If your hero’s damage outweighs demon’s HP, you can kill it and earn experience or reward. The demon will hit you back, if your armor value outweighs demon’s damage, you will not lose HP. Otherwise, you will lose HP according to the remaining points of demon’s damage that is higher than your hero’s armor value.
  8. Use your experience gained to buy weapons, set and shield to increase your hero’s HP, damage and armor. Use other rewards to upgrade your hero’s class and ability.
  9. The first player to kill the final demon will win the game.

More sophisticated and logical rules will be implemented during the development process of the game prototype. According to the feedback from the playtesters, there should be art designed for better illustration rather than only showing the statistics of each item, hero and demon. Besides, it is recommended from my fellow classmates that it would be easier to have an extra player – the narrative aka the banker who helps with calculating the HP loss when fighting against a demon and give/take away experience from players when they purchase something. This would save much time for players themselves.

On the other hand, the game is considered enjoyable to play so I think the game’s rules and mechanics have been going on the right tracks so far with some improvements needed to better experience the game.



My classmates playtest my individual game prototype


Moore, C 2018, ‘ABSTRACTION – BCM300 Week Nine’, Prezi slide, University of Wollongong, 10 May, viewed 4 May 2018, <;.




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