Aspects of Play: Gamehacker

So during thursdays session of Aspects of Play, Gareth gathered us around and showed us a boardgame that he had created but it wasn’t like any other type of boardgame, with this one you make the board and you make the rules. Within the box there where lots of different types of jigsaw pieces, some see through, some blank, and some with graphics on them; these where used to make the playing area of the boardgame. We were told that the graphics on the pieces of jigsaw are what we want them to mean, so we can make a rule up for them.

Along with the puzzle pieces, there were plastic bags full of various small toys and small game pieces to use within the game if you wish to, things like:

  • Chess pieces
  • Draught pieces
  • Lego men
  • Toy dinosaurs
  • Plastic Pawns
  • Plastic Counters

and many other small objects.

game pieces

Gareth gave us the task of creating our own boardgame using the pieces in the box and said we could use pieces from other boardgames that were in the room. We split off into a few groups and started to build small islands of boardgames to see what we could come up with, which gave us the idea of one of the main mechanics of the game, portals. These portals will teleport the player across to the next boardgame.

After looking and using, adding and taking pieces from the board, we settled on what we created. Below are the rules of the game.

  • There are four teams that each have their own boardgame island and each team has 3 counters. The objective is to move 1, 2 or 3 of your counters (it’s up to the player) through the jigsaw pieces to retrieve a key placed somewhere on one of the jigsaw pieces. The key will unlock the portal which will then allow the player to move onto the other teams boardgame island, where you will go get the next key and so on and so forth until the first team has all 4 keys. Once a team has 4 keys they can venture to the main treasure jigsaw island, where they can move round the spiral jigsaw filled with clear jigsaw pieces and traps to slow the player down. If they reach the end they can get the money and they have to try to get it back to there respected islands, which will then end the game and they will be declared VICTORS!
  • Clear jigsaw pieces act as ice and will slow the player down, meaning they will have to step twice onto each clear piece, for example if someone rolls a 6 and they have to go over a clear piece, they will step twice on that piece meaning they only move 5 spaces. Also if a player starts their go on a clear space, what ever they roll gets halved (odd numbers get rounded up. So if you are on a fair few pieces of clear jigsaw pieces, it can be quite a challenge to get off them.
  1. Roll a 1 and you don’t move.
  2. Roll a 2 and you move 1.
  3. Roll a 3 and you move 2.
  4. Roll a 4 and you move 2.
  5. Roll a 5 and you move 3.
  6. Roll a 6 and you move 3.


  • Traps are set all over the board, if you land on one of them you get pushed back to the nearest clear space, if there isn’t a clear space then you just move back 3.
  • To retrieve a key once you get to it, you have to answer a question from the ‘Trivial Pursuit’ game cards. Each team has 3 chances to get an answer right, if not then they don’t get the key and progress and they will have to wait until the next go to try again.
  • If a player lands on a jigsaw piece that is also occupied by an opposing team, then they will have to battle for position. This is done by shuffling a deck of cards, the 2 teams them choose a card at random and the one with the highest stays in that spot, the one with the lowest gets moved back the difference between the cards. For example if the winner picks out a 9 and the loser picks out a 3, then they will move back 6 spaces (9-3).
  • If you land on the same place as a player who has retrieved a key, you battle that person if you win, you also win their key.

When creating this, it was very enlightening to think about all the game mechanic opportunities that could be incorporated to the game; but we soon realised that too much can ruin and over populate the board which can be quite confusing. I think the game that we created was quite innovated and fun to play. Too little mechanics will make the game boring, so it was trying to find the silver lining with how the game will work.

Below are a couple of images of the board game we created using Gareths Gamehacker boardgame




~ by reeceharry on November 15, 2013.

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