Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Evolution of Battle Tank

-Erik McGrath

Battle Tank has been the main focus here at Inspired for the past few months. It is the first board game idea I had and it has proven difficult to bring from the stage where I woke up in the middle of the night and scribbled down all the rules to where it is now. The most difficult parts has been the art and the choice between squares or hexes.

I'm going to share the stages of that process today.

First we have the original digital drafts:
Battle Tank Original Map Art

Simple, gets the idea across but not much else. This was what the prototype looked like and it was merely functional. This was a square image and the roads got a little wonky in places.

From there we moved on to a slightly better look:
Battle Tank Evolved Map Art

As you can see our GIMP skills have improved since the original but the game is still using squares. The roads line up along the grid better than in the previous image, but they still have to make some odd angles to not look weird.

And here is where we are now:
Battle Tank Hex Map Art

This image is still being worked on and we are very happy with it. The trees look much better, the roads flow better and as a bonus the map now has significantly more permutations since you can rotate each hex to any side and the roads will always match up. Using hexes has also made it so we can have seven large tiles instead of four while still keeping it so that most of the time there is a way for the tank players to escape in seven turns. Since the game ends with a mad scientist win on turn ten its important that there be enough turns to have maneuvering options and to retain a slim possibility of escape even when your tank is destroyed and your crew has to hoof it the final few hexes.

So there you have it, the journey from bad to better for Battle Tank: Escape From Giant Robot Island.