PROJECT SUMMARY

Hunt or be hunted

The Royal Witch Hunt is a game in which players play as animals and race to collect all four ingredients from the Witch homes to summon the Witch. As they move about the forest, they must avoid the Hunter, who can impede their progress and collection. The first player to enter the spell circle with all ingredients with the Witch present wins.
The exciting play complexity of the game comes in the form of animal movement. Each player is given a ruler and can move in any direction. The distance and angles matter because the relationships between other characters, the forest trees, and the hunter evolve the gameplay. Each animal has an instinct ability to help them in the forest, adding unique moments each play.

Players use their wit to outsmart others in the forest and the hunter on their trail.

Players use their wit to outsmart others in the forest and the hunter on their trail.

Royal Witch Hunt cover art

THE ROYAL WITCH HUNT

The hunt begins

In turn order, players move their animal tokens around the board in measured increments towards the witch homes. After each round, the hunter hunts, or moves towards the closest animal token on the game board.

THE ROYAL WITCH HUNT

Animal instincts

Each animal has an instinct ability to help them in the forest, adding unique moments to each turn. The distance and angles matter because the relationships between other characters, the forest trees, and the hunter evolve the gameplay.

THE ROYAL WITCH HUNT

The witch brew

When one player collects all four ingredients, a Witch is summoned to the game board. First player to meet the witch at the spell site wins the game!

PROJECT DETAILS

Managing complexity

When constructing the game design, I wanted to be sure that the core game loop was very simple, like chess or checkers. However, the complexity of the game comes in the form of animal movement. The game hinges on a measurement movement concept, referenced from Warhammer 40k gameplay.
Another game concept I enjoyed recently was the visibility feature in the game Suspicion. As the hunter moves about the game board, his vision is hampered by the trees, which the animals can use to their advantage.
Constructing a prototype was very helpful as I tweaked the instincts of each animal. I was careful in balancing the animals by focusing on three opportunities of power: The animal’s distance relationship to the hunter, the animal's distance to a tree, and an animal's distance to other animals in the forest.

Game design & development

During my journey of creating this game, I ran into some exciting mechanical puzzles that I needed to solve for this game to work. The game essentially runs on an internal machine, which dictates the movements of the Hunter, Witch, and other animals. Knowing this, the largest challenge was to ensure that all players are engaged, even worried, about the game's built-in threats.
Another has been ensuring that the gameplay remains consistent, no matter how many players participate. These challenges have led to many gainful improvements to the game, including the Time of Day Tracker for the Hunter, non-Player Animals, adjustments to the ruler mechanics, and the addition of more Player Animals.

RESULTS

Furry frenzied fun

My game was presented at RVA's UnPub Mini Game Convention, where I invited game testers to sit down and play. Through prototyping and continued gameplay, I learned that the flow of the game starts off very easy, almost too easy. The anxiety kicks in about after turn 3 or 4. At that point, the hunter has done his job and is making every animal panic. While there is a general strategy involved with the game, those plans can go out the window when you're dealing with other mindsets.
Royal Witch Hunt logo

PROJECT REVIEW

The Royal Witch Hunt

CLIENT
Personal Project 

MY ROLE

Game designer and developer. I set out to design a simple yet tactical game, using the principles of play loops described by Daniel Cook.

TIME FRAME 
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MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Developed the branding and design system for game.
  • Originated game mechanics, from rules of gameplay to player interactions.
  • Conceptualized and built game content and components.
  • Ran user play-testing to gather, acknowledge, and respond to feedback, adjusting design choices as necessary.

Get in touch

Email me hello@billyreano.com

Talk to me 801.380.7986

About Me

I love making experiences that connect brands to humans. The pleasure comes from knowing that there could be a flow... READ MORE
© 2018 Billy Reano.
All rights reserved.
Billy Reano

Get in touch

Email me hello@billyreano.com

Talk to me 801.380.7986

About Me

I love making experiences that connect brands to humans. The pleasure comes from knowing that there could be a flow... READ MORE
© 2018 Billy Reano.
All rights reserved.
Billy Reano