Goblin Law is a spunky deck building game where each player takes on the role of a Goblin Lord aiming to become the Goblin King.
Class: Game Design 2 - 2014
Instructor: Eric Zimmerman
Goblin Law is a spunky deck building game where each player takes on the role of a Goblin Lord aiming to become the Goblin King. Players gather teams of goblins and strategically send them into an explosive battle. Players take turns placing goblins on a grid, each throwing bombs into nearby spaces. When enough bombs pile up they explode, killing any goblins unfortunate enough to occupy that space. Explosions spread explosive shrapnel into adjacent spaces, meaning chain reactions are always imminent. By killing your opponent’s goblins and “Obeying” the ever changing laws you’ll be rewarded with gold – the player with the most gold at the end of the game will be the next goblin king!
Originally proposed for a CCG assignment in a game design class at the NYU Game Center, Goblin Law first took inspiration from the card laying and grid-based mechanics of FFVIII mini-game Triple Triad. In Goblin Law, the influence that a player’s card lays on the board has a lasting impact: the values on each goblin card indicate the number of bombs placed on the board and bombs remain on the board until their space explodes.
It is a simple mechanic that, with logical adjustments brings out new, complex play.
It results in a game that is easily understandable and visually clear to both players and spectators. To supplement this system we focused on creating a large number of interesting goblins. Each goblin has unique abilities so that by using only a few goblin types each turn, every play is different. Players can strategize ahead for one or two turn cycles but the game is ever changing. This means that players can play a quick, fun game that is both strategic but also not bogged down by large amounts of thinking.
Goblin Law is the product of two design projects spanning a total of eight weeks. Presently it features a solid core mechanic and a large variety of goblin types. The team is continually iterating upon the goblin types available; focusing on balancing, providing clearer explanations for goblin abilities, and creating new types for deeper play. Additionally we are testing variant rules, new law types, and game setups not included in the submitted version. We have begun the artist selection process while we continue to polish the game. We plan on having our own art by the end of summer and are considering running a Kickstarter in the next year and are currently looking into publishing opportunities.