Heaven

Genre: Combat game

Project Role: Solo Developer

Platform: Tabletop

Engine: N/A

What is it?

"Heaven" is a multiplayer combat tabletop game where the players need to survive within the outer world and the inner world.

The player takes the role of a detective whose mission is to reveal the mystery of the small town "Heaven". However, the town becomes dangerous as monsters roam the streets at night. Meanwhile, other competitive detectives who also dive into the town. To survive and bring the clues of the mystery out of the town, the player needs to collect resources, fight monsters and their opponents during their escape.

The map is double-sided. One side represents the town in the daytime while the mirrored side represents the town at night. During the game, the player needs to roll the die to determine how many steps they can move their character. Each character piece is composed of two magnets. In the beginning, the player needs to place one magnet piece on the daytime map and stick another one at the same grid of the night map. Depending on the space the player moves onto, they may draw cards that affect gameplay. After all players complete their turn, the map needs to be flipped to the other side to start the next turn. The player who reaches the destination first is the winner.

If you are interested in the full rulebook, it can be found here.

map_1.png

The Daytime Map

map_2.png

System Design

Cards: There are three kinds of cards in the game, the item cards, the monster cards, and the event cards.

  • The item cards can be drawn when the player moves to a research space on the daytime map. They can receive a weapon or food depending on the item card they draw. Weapon cards can be used to either attack other players or monsters while food can be used to heal the player that drew the card.
     

  • Monster and event cards will be drawn if the player moves onto the respective spaces on the nighttime map. When the player encounters a monster, they can choose to either fight it or spend two health points to escape from it. If a player defeats the monster, they can receive the number of clue tokens given on the monster card. Clue tokens are the victory points and will be used to determine ties for the first player to reach the destination, or no player reaches the destination.
     

If a player draws an event card, they must solve the event and take its effect in their turn. 

The Nighttime Map

Combats: While players are on the daytime map, players can choose to attack other players. However, players can only use one weapon to attack one player during a single turn. This prevents players from stacking weapon cards and doing a one-shot kill on another player.


However, since monsters have high health, there is no limit on weapon usage when players fight monsters. If the player cannot beat the monster, they lose one health point, which is cheaper than choosing to escape it at the beginning. This is to encourage players to fight the monsters.

 

Weapons also have limited attack range. Players can only choose targets who stand on a space that is the same color as their own. This is designed to give each weapon an attack range. Outside of this, each also has its own unique damage and durability values. As a result, players need to carefully consider the weapon they want to use during combat. 

Expected value calculated for placing the monster grids

What went wrong?

Most of the event cards’ effects were too negative, and the kinds of them were too less. It would have been more interesting if there more kinds of events that the player could encounter in the game and could use to affect other players. There was no limit for the number of weapons or food cards players could have at once, which removed any threat that was present late game. A limit would have solved this problem. 

Revision after few playtests

What went right?

Across my many playtests, I found that most playtesters enjoyed the map-flipping mechanic. They seemed to enjoy that aspect the most and it was made easier by the magnets that were the player pieces. The level design worked well in that players could gather items early on, but had a harder time getting them later in the game.