Homeplay – Ultimate Chicken Horse

“Ultimate Chicken Horse is a party platformer game where you build the level as you play, placing traps and hazards to screw your friends over, but trying not to screw yourself.”

There is no single player mode for this game, and the developer really want to focus on creating an experience with a group of people. For every level, the players can each place down one optical (ex. blocks, traps, hazards, etc.) on the screen to make it harder for the others to reach the goal which is a red flag somewhere on the screen. A player can only get he.she made it to the flag and yet at least one of his/her friends didn’t.In addition, there is also trap points so that a player that couldn’t reach the goal can still gain points by trigging certain obstacles. However, If no one gets to the goal then none of them can get any point.

The process is then repeated multiple times and every time the players are starting the level gain, they get to build upon what they had for the previous round. Thus the game becomes a lot crazier, harder and more fun with more and more rounds are played.

Key Features

  • Unique game flow: move between crafty level designer and skilled platformer
  • Huge library of blocks to create an infinite variety of levels
    Online Multiplayer
  • Customizable game modes, block options, round options, and more!
  • Sweet funky soundtrack

Classic Competitive Mode

  • Take turns placing blocks in the level and running through it individually, and watch your friends attempt your level before trying it yourself
  • Pick the blocks you want to place from an extensive inventory
  • Best for 2 – 3 players
  • Great for designing levels with a specific plan in mind and for tighter competition

Party Mode

  • A Party Box opens to reveal a random assortment of blocks to use
  • Players pick and place all the blocks at once
  • Everyone runs at the same time for maximum chaos. No collisions between characters… yet
  • Best for 3 – 4 players
  • If two or more players tie, sudden death kicks in and you need to race to the flag, first one there wins!


Level design lesson – Reading response by Annie

It is really interesting to see how the author arguers that the idea of giving out rules explicitly with clearly written words is in itself problematic. For me personally, this makes a lot of sense, especially when the game is not in my native language, I have even less motivation to actually read thorough every detail. Thus I never plays anything other than mini games simply because memorizing all the detailed rules is a cumbersome process for me. And sometimes, it is not even that I don’t want to take the time to learn the rules, but the cognitive processing it takes to actually understand the rules before playing takes too much brain power. Moreover, when I actually start playing the game, it is often the case that I still need to go back and refer to the rule book along the way. As a result, most of the time I don’t even bother to look at the rules before I play.

On the other hand though, if a game designer had already thought of the experience that a user like me could have with game rules and thus decide to build a little tutorial into the game itself (like super mario) that would’ve been great. I have to say that it was a supervise for me to see the author to use super mario as the example for a good level design because even though I had played this game many times, I’ve learned the rules so effortlessly that I have never even noticed that. I agree that super mario is an extremely successful game largely because there is almost no learning curve and every rules that the game has just naturally come to the player as he/she is starting the play.

Update The Classics – Risk

Play the original game and analyze it

What are its core mechanics?
Risk is a strategy board game of diplomacy, conflict and conquest for two to six players.
The goal of the game is to occupy every territory on the board and in doing so, eliminate the other players.
It is turn-based, and players play in the same sequential order throughout the game.
It is also heavily based on chance (6 troops can potentially lose to 1 troop depending on the dice roll)

What makes it distinctive?
The game is fairly complex and can require some preplanning (ex. conquer an entire continent to gain bonus troops) and negotiation with other players (form allies for part of the game and yet players will also need to break this mutually beneficial relationship as the game goes on).

What are its best and worst aspects?
Best: There are many different ways the player can strategize their and there doesn’t seem to be a dominant strategy to win the game.
Worst: Players need to learn a lot of complex rules before they can start playing the game which can take a relatively long time; The game can be very lengthy (several hours); Once one player ends his/her turn, he/she basically have no meaningful interaction with the game beyond rolling defense dice.

Do some research on its history

What made it successful?
The game required a lot of tactics, strategies and negotiation skills.
You can also find enjoyment in competing with other players, especially when you can dominate them. Once you expand your initial territory, there is also the perceived glory of both war and conquest.

What was its evolution?
1957 – Original release: La Conquete du Monde (French for “The Conquest of the World”), designed by Albert Lamorisse
1959 – Parker Brothers first publishes the Risk Continental Game in the United States. It is later retitled Risk: the Game of Global Domination. The rules are slightly modified.
1986 – The game Castle Risk is published. This variation is played on a map of Europe. It included hidden armies and special cards that included commanders and spies.
1999 – A limited edition of Risk is published in France, an evolution of Castle Risk featuring historical units. An expansion in 2000 added the Ottoman Empire.
2001 – Risk players can now conquer the moon and underwater territories with Risk 2210 AD. It included sea areas and route connections. A second map board represents the moon. Playing pieces were added for five commanders for land, naval, space, nuclear, and diplomat, with five decks of commander-specific cards. Rather than total domination, victory is determined by a point system. A time limit of five turns also modifies gameplay strategy.
2002 – Risk moves to Middle-earth with the release of Lord of the Rings Risk. It has one unit leader and cards for mission, event, and power. It plays well with just two players, and is intended for two to four players.
2003 – Risk travels deeper into Middle-earth with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition.
2004 – Risk: Godstorm is published, injecting mythology into the game of world domination.
2005 – Risk: Star Wars – The Clone Wars Edition is published in concert with the release of the third Star Wars prequel, Revenge of the Sith.
2006 – Risk: Star Wars – Original Trilogy Edition is published. The game features three factions, each with its own victory conditions.
2008 – A new basic edition of Risk is published by Hasbro. Risk 1959 is a reproduction of the original game from 1959.
Source: https://www.thespruce.com/history-of-risk-412339

What are some similar games?
Small World
Twilight Struggle

Develop the prompt

Research the constraint and make it more specific.
Factors of real-world international politics that are different from Risk:

  • There are around 200 nations, some of which have debatable sovereignty
  • The United Nations exists and makes more decisions than war. It is led by a security council consisting of China, France, Russia, UK, USA, Bolivia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine, and Uruguay
  • Some nations have a lot more power than others, which isn’t always proportional to size
  • Air travel allows travel across non-contiguous states
  • Diplomacy is more popular than war
  • Imperialism is (mostly) dead (stay strong, Crimea)
  • Most wars are happening in very specific locations

By targeting the fact that many people think the game Risk is too lengthy and thus becomes boring, some of our ideas try to resolve this issue by simplifying the original rules and by adapting the idea of conquest to a more modern situation. However, in some of ideas, we also try to be more extreme and make the game even more time consuming and complex.

Start prototyping

Shrink the game: What’s the minimum level of complexity you can have while still retaining its identity?

Minimum level of complexity: Players take turns picking cards of  where their original armies will be.  AI covers who wins with rolls etc. Smaller continental chunks.  Only one type of army.  2 players.  

Contemporary Board Game Mechanics:
Twitch Plays Risk: Make each decision crowdsourced.  Have what would normally be a player be a team with from 5-100 players each.
Simplicity: Make Risk into only a card game.  Battles could be determined by a rock paper scissors like variant.
Risk Legacy already happened.
Muster: Make Risk even more complicated and add resource management to it.  Certain areas have more supplies, and so are more valuable as you can make more armies with it (example: the Middle East has more oil so you could fuel more planes). Similar to Game of Thrones Board Game.
Traitor!: All choose cards in the beginning.  One Player is determined to be the traitor.  While the rest of the world tries to promote world peace, save the planet, stop world hunger etc., the traitor will try to destroy the world as quickly as possible including the possibility of nukes.  Bonus points for the traitor if they get the others to either not realize they are the traitor or manage to make them fight amongst themselves.  Other players win by defeating traitor.
Shut Up and Play: All communication must be through 3 words or less for per ally each turn.  All negotiations must be in the public.  Code words are acceptable.

Major War: First one to take over CMU campus.  You have to fight for your school.
Shot Through the Heart!: To play each person must accept that war is painful.  Dice rolls are flipped.  1’s are better than 2’s which are better than 6’s.  When attacking, if you rolled a one, you would get one shock/punch.  If you roll a six, you get six punches/shocks.  This will make players have to decide whether or not it is worth it to play.  If they do decide to play, then they will likely be more careful about when/where they attack.  Similar to: The Painstation and Tekken Torture Tournament.


7 Micro Games – Annie Huang

  1. Diceventure (1) Find a dice and use it to guide your journey. If you throw an odd number then you need to turn left at the next juncture. If you throw a even number then turn right instead. You lose once you ends up at a place that you had already visited in this game.
  2. Healthy Eating (1) Eat one bite of meat item and then two bites of vegetables/fruit. You lose when you forget you are in a game.
  3. Mimic-U (1) Mimic a stranger’s movement. You lose if that person notices what you are doing.
  4. Blind Walk (1) Find an open field. Stand in the center of the field, close your eyes then walk carefully. You lose when you run into something.
  5. Appraisers (2+) First find a book. Then players will each pick a word that he/she thinks would appear most frequently in it. Now turn to a random page and count.
  6. Stair Climbers(2+) Find a set of stairs, go up 1 step at a time first, then 2, then 3 at a time. If you are not able to reach the next step with the current number of in-between steps then you lose.
  7. What’s Next (2+) Sing to a song playing in the background of a public space. Each player will alternate and sing one line each. The person that fails to correctly sing the next line loses.