SPACE RABBITS
A Boardgame

 

Copyright 2018 [Charlotte Krause]

Stranded on an uninhabited planet, the Space Rabbits have to travel through time to complete missions and collect pieces for their Spaceships in order to escape. It is literally a “race for time” as only one Space Rabbit can escape the planet and make their way back home – who will be fast and clever enough?

Game Design Logo for Space Rabbits

Contents

1. Game Overview

1.1      Game Concept
1.2      Genre
1.3      Target Audience
1.4      Game Flow Summary
1.5      Look and Feel

2. Gameplay and Mechanics

2.1      Gameplay
2.2      Mechanics
2.3      Game Options
2.4      Replaying and Saving

3      Story, Setting and Character

3.1      Story and Narrative
3.2      Game World
3.3      Characters

4      Interface

4.1      Control System
4.2      Audio, music, sound effects
4.3      Help System

5      Artificial Intelligence

5.1      Challenge Game AI Flow
5.2     AI Missions

Appendix

Appendix 1: Board Cards
Appendix 2: Missions
Appendix 3: App Screens
Appendix 4: Introductory Video Storyboard
Appendix 5: Game Map

Game Content:

Space Rabbit Tokens 4
Time Cards 21
Black Holes 5
Space Cards 15
Missions (21 Quiz, 21 Item tasks) 42
Spaceship parts 10
Time Representatives 5
Lonely planet card 1
Die (6 pips) 1
Instruction manual with QR code to download the App 1

 

1.    Game Overview

1.1           Game Concept

The game is a cute adventure/ science-fiction/ quiz boardgame which involves players learning about the history of science while completing missions in order to assemble a spaceship. Each player has a Space Rabbit character, which can travel through time by rolling the die and moving on the game board. Each rabbit has a spaceship for which players have to collect parts by completing missions. The missions involve traveling from one time to another on the board and collecting and dropping off items, or solving short quizzes.

Players are led through the game by a White Rabbit, which sometimes helps, sometimes hinders the players.

The board game is digitally enhanced by a complementary App, which assigns missions, organizes items and spaceship parts, and provides a “challenge mode” to compete with other players. It also plays short videos and helps players keep track of their progress. Missions involve listening to the instructions of a representative of the time that the token landed on and then finding answers to questions (in the form of a short quiz) or transporting objects from one time to the other. The different kinds of missions lead to the collection of a piece of the spaceship when absolved successfully.

The board consists of time cards, which are designed to fit the respective time they represent (in terms of font style, color, etc.). There are three types of board cards: time cards, space cards and black holes.

Players roll a die to jump from one time to the next. Missions are tied to certain times, so players have to have the right amount of pips to get to their destination.

With the help of the App, the game is playable in single-player mode and it also offers a family mode.

The goal of the game is to be the first Space Rabbit to assemble their spaceship and leave the planet.

1.2           Genre

Adventure/ sci-fi/ technologically enhanced quiz boardgame for 1-4 players.

1.3           Target Audience

8+ years old. The game includes a Family Mode (FM), which allows players to choose between different levels of difficulty. It also offers a single player mode (SM).

1.4           Game Flow Summary

Players move around the board by rolling the die and deciding what moves to spend their pips on. The player who looks most like a rabbit starts – this is to be decided by the players (This is in the instruction manual). To land on their desired time card, players must have the exact amount of pips on the die. They can move in any direction but not forward and backward along the same time track in one move.

Among the time cards and space cards are black hole cards, which randomly catapult players into another time. If a player lands on a black hole, they use the die to determine which time they can go to next. Players can always choose to land on a black hole as long as they have enough or more pips to reach the card. Once they landed on it, the remaining pips are invalid and the player rolls the dice again twice. The first roll determines which black hole the player is catapulted to (Each black hole card has a number on it – the numbers from 1 to 6). The second roll counts as a normal move and the player can decide where to move from the black hole they were catapulted to. Black holes can thus be advantageous if a player is far away from the desired time card, or disadvantageous, if they get catapulted to a part of the board far away from their desired time card.

Players complete missions in order to collect spaceship parts; the first player with a complete spaceship wins the game.

Along with the game comes a free App for download. On the App, each player has an individual dashboard which shows an overview of their missions and their progress in each mission, a spaceship icon, which shows how many parts have been collected already, and a character icon or picture, as well as an overview of the other players’ progress.

1.5           Look and Feel

The game is designed in comic style with cute characters and items. Colorful and soft drawings, no hard edges. Dominantly blue and cyan/ turquoise colors, rabbit tokens in 4 different colors (black, green, yellow, red).

 

  1. Rabbit Tokens

The rabbit tokens are made of hard plastic and each rabbit looks different. With each rabbit token comes a virtual character card on the App with an animated comic-style portrait of the character and a short description. The characters are based on important scientists/inventors (Galileo Galilei, Albert Einstein, Ts’ai Lun, Tim Berners-Lee) and the portraits are adaptations of existing portraits of those scientists as rabbits. The character cards are not actively used in the game, but they make it easier for the players to identify with their characters and get into the spirit and atmosphere of the game.

  1. Board Cards (See Appendix 1: Board Cards)

The cards, which constitute the board, have different important historical times on them. They are made out of strong cardboard in hexagon shape. They consist of time cards (mission actions), space cards (no actions) and black hole cards (jump between times) and assembled randomly to constitute the game board. Among the cards is one lonely planet card, which is placed in the middle of the board, and which depicts the deserted, desolate planet (a stone desert, three suns in different colors, broken spaceships).

Time cards they share design features with the missions they are relevant for. Time cards are designed to reflect the time they represent in terms of fonts and colors.

Space cards have images of space on them (starts, planets, milky way, etc.).

Black Hole cards have black holes on them.

  1. Missions

Missions can be accessed by the players on the App. They include a time representative (TR) of the time they are set in, who is an animated character, speaking to the player who started the mission in a short video with subtitles. The TRs introduce the mission, give background knowledge about the game world, and tell the player what to do. The TRs are rabbits in the traditional clothes of their time, who are represented in the same style as the space rabbits. The second type of mission is a quiz with multiple choice answers.

  1. Spaceship

The spaceship is a digital representation in 3D, in the style of a hologram, which can be turned by the player by touching it. Not yet collected parts are bue, collected parts are colored orange, so that the finished spaceship will be fully colored. In the style of the game, the spaceship is comic-like with round and bulky shapes, its design resembles a carrot.

2.    Gameplay and Mechanics

2.1           Gameplay

2.1.1     Game Progression

Players complete mission after mission and move along the board while doing so. As each mission needs a player to travel to a certain time or between certain times, players will have different destinations. Players take turns rolling the die and moving on the board.

In the beginning of the game, the time cards, space cards and black holes are shuffled upside down and then assembled on the table to form a coherent board. The lonely planet card is placed in the middle of the table and the other cards around it to constitute the board, when all cards are laid out on the board, they are turned around.

Each player chooses a rabbit token and places it on the lonely planet.

Players open the App, choose their game mode between regular mode (RM), family mode (FM), single mode (SM), length of game (determined by the number of spaceship parts, not possible in SM), level of difficulty (only in FM, easy, medium, hard), and character which matches their token. They are then directed to their dashboard and will be assigned missions randomly by the App according to the values they chose in the beginning.

Once settings are chosen, the App shows all players a short introductory video which explains background story, goals and rules of the game (See 3.1.2 Introductory Video).

Throughout the game, players log their progress on the board in their App. The App automatically assigns spaceship pieces when a mission is completed.

2.1.2     Mission/challenge Structure

The missions can be played in variable order and at the same time. This means players constantly have to keep on top of their missions and can plan their next moves while it is not their turn.

The missions give directions which times a player has to travel to and what they have to do there. The TR introduces the mission, gives background knowledge about the game world, and tells the player what to do. There are two types of tasks:

  1. Quiz tasks

Players answer a set of questions related to the time that their mission is set in. The App provides a timer and 6 questions in multiple choice style. If the player answers all questions correctly, they receive the spaceship part. If they fail, they will have to try again in their next turn. Players can ask other players to help them with the quiz if they want. In order to start the mission, the player has to land on the time that the mission belongs to. If a player does not succeed in the quiz, they will have to move somewhere else before they can attempt it again. In order to start the mission, the player has to land on the time card that the mission represents.

  1. Item tasks

Players are asked to collect and drop off an item. They will either have to bring an item to another time (drop off tasks), or they have to collect one and bring it back (collection task). This will take several turns as they have to move to another time card and back.

The missions with item tasks include graphics that show the player’s progress and they can log each step of the mission they already completed.

There is one mission per time card (i.e. per century). Some topics of the missions are:

Steam Power (62)
Paper (105)
Concrete (200)
Windmill (600)
Clock (725)
Eye Glasses (1000)
Printing Press (1450)
Microscope (1590)
Galileo Heliocentrism (1609)
Steam Engine (1712)
Computer (1822)
Arpnet (1969)
Facebook (2004)

Missions with quiz tasks are the fastest while missions with item tasks are the slowest missions to accomplish. Each player receives the same amount of task types in the beginning in the regular mode. In the FM, players can choose their level of difficulty and get missions assigned accordingly. The SM always assigns the maximum amount of missions (10) to the player.

Once a player completed a mission by following all instructions, they receive the space ship part. They then have to move back to the lonely planet to drop off the piece they collected. Once they did that, the player logs this in the App and it shows a short video sequence showing the part being fit into the virtual spaceship hologram. Spaceship parts can be stolen by another player unless they were dropped off on the lonely planet. Mission items can be stolen unless the mission is completed and the item dropped off.

If a player lands on a time card where another player already sits, they can decide to challenge them (See 2.2.5 Combat). Players cannot be challenged on space cards.

In their dashboard, players can see four types of missions: active missions, inactive missions, completed missions and secured missions. Active missions are the ones that the player is currently working on. Inactive missions are missions that the player will have to complete but has not yet started. Completed mission are those that were already completed. Secured missions are those that were already completed and where the spaceship part was secured by bringing it back to the lonely planet.

2.1.3     Puzzle Structure

The puzzle consists of finding the smartest way to complete missions as efficiently as possible. Players have to keep track of their progress with the help of the App and they also have to watch the other player’s progress in order to decide if they want to steal one of their spaceship parts, or even spend their pips on stealing instead of progressing in their mission, by “chasing” other players.

The quiz tasks consist of questions related to the time the mission is set in. There are 6 questions of variable difficulty. In the FM, the difficulty and the time given for the question depends on the level of difficulty chosen in the beginning.

See Appendix 2: Missions for pictures.

  1. Example quiz task

The mission states: Travel to the 16th century to unlock this mission. Once the player landed on that time card, s/he click on “unlock” and the quiz starts. There are 6 questions with 10 seconds time each to choose one of three possible answers

Question Answer 1 Answer 2 Answer 3
In which city did Martin Luther post his 95 theses in 1517? Wittenberg Hamburg Geneva
Where did Hernan Cortes land in 1521 before destroying the Aztec empire and conquering Mexico? Andalucia Tenochtitlian San Juan de Ulula
This calendar is replaces by the Gregorian calendar in 1582 Caesarian calendar Julian calendar Cicero calendar
“Utopia” is written in 1516 by… Thomas More Walter Raleigh George Orwell
From 1508 to 1512, Michelangelo painted the ceiling of … The Frari church The Sistine chapel The Vatican
This leader becomes the tsar of all Russians Uri the awful Vladimir the horrible Ivan the terrible

Outcomes:

  • If the player answers all questions correctly: a spaceship part is received and the player has to bring it to the lonely planet to secure it.
  • If the player does not answer all questions correctly: no spaceship part is received and the player has to repeat the mission (not allowed in the following turn)
    1. Example item task

The player lands on the 16th century, in which the mission is set. The TR introduces the mission by saying: “I am so glad that you are here to help me! I have to go on a long journey across the Atlantic Ocean tomorrow, but I forgot my Octant in the 1730! I have so much to organize that I cannot afford to travel there myself to get it. Please visit Thomas Godfrey and John Hedley and get my octant, which I helped them invent. I’m running out of time!”

The player has to

  • go to the time card “18th century” and collect the Octant (item appears in the mission as soon as the player logged his new location)
  • bring the Octant back to the 16th (spaceship part appears as soon as the player logs his location) à mission now appears as completed
  • bring the spaceship part to the lonely planet to secure it (spaceship part is inserted into virtual hologram in the App) à mission now appears a secured
Figure 1: Mission Types and Actions

2.1.4     Objectives

Long-term objective is to collect all spaceship parts in order to leave the planet. The player who achieves this first, wins the game.

Short-term goals are completing missions and stealing spaceship parts from other players to keep them from progressing with their missions and to get closer to winning the game.

2.1.5     Play Flow

The player progresses with the missions and as players can work on as many missions as they want simultaneously, players constantly have to calculate their next moves and keep engaged with the game. As players can help other players with their quizzes and challenge them, they can shape the game and have agency over other’s success. In the beginning, players will most likely try to complete missions individually, but as the game picks up and some players progress faster than others, there will be more interactions between players. Towards the end, there will be dynamics of the players who are farthest behind working together to stop the others. This might be two players cooperating against the other two, three against one, two cooperating against one and one player staying neutral.

2.2           Mechanics

2.2.1     Physics

As the board is two-dimensional, real-world physics apply to the board and the tokens. By rolling the die and jumping from one time card to the next, players travel through time in the game. Players need an exact number of pips to land on a desired time card. A special case are black holes, which are in different places on the board. A player can land on a black hole without exact pips and will loose the remaining pips. The black hole catapults players through time and they can roll the die again to determine on which time card they will land.

While the Lonely Planet card is the rabbits’ base, on which they land in between missions to drop off the spaceship cards they collected, for most of the game time, they “travel” through time by moving across the board.

2.2.2     Movement in the game

Players move by rolling the die and moving along the board.

The player who looks most like a rabbit starts the game (to be determined by all players). The first player starts their turn. Players take turns in clockwise direction. Each turn consists of

  1. roll the die (normally once, players can trade a Timepoint for another roll if the first was not convenient, see 2.2.5)
  2. move rabbit token (exact number of pips required to land on a particular time card)
  3. take action on a mission card (start mission/ fulfill quest/ end mission and collect spaceship token)
  4. challenge another player if both are on the same time card

 

Figure 2: Phases of Players’ Turns

2.2.3     Objects

Players pick objects up while working on missions by landing on the respective time card that the TR directed them to. They pick up the item by tapping on it in the App. The item is then moved to the mission dashboard and can be dropped off by tapping on it again.

Spaceship parts are automatically given to the player in the App when a mission is logged as completed.

2.2.4     Actions

Players’ interaction with virtual objects is limited to collecting and dropping off items by tapping on them on their phones (For buttons in the App see the green boxes in the drawings in Appendix 3: App Screens and the descriptions in 2.2.7 Screen Flow). Physical objects are the cards that make up the board, which are only moved when setting up the game, and the rabbit tokens, which players move during their turn.

Means of communication are face-to-face communication among the players and the short videos of the TRs explaining the missions. When a mission is completed, the TR thanks the player on the App.

2.2.5     Combat

Conflict arises when a player lands on an already occupied time card and chooses to challenge the player on it. If the player decides to challenge, both players click on the challenge button on their Dashboard home and they have to play a short animated race game against each other (See Appendix 3: App Screens). The player who wins can take (a) a spaceship part from the loser, if he has one on him that has not yet been dropped off on the lonely planet or (b) an item from the loser, which was collected during a mission (c) 1 Timepoint (this option automatically applies if the loser does not have anything to give to the winner. Timepoints can be used to roll the die again during a player’s turn (See 2.2.6 Economy).

  • The App assigns the loser one of the winner’s missions, so that he can collect another spaceship part.
  • The loser has to collect the item again in order to proceed with the mission
  • No consequences for the looser.

(See Figure 2: Phases of Players’ Turns in point 2.2.2)

After winning the game, the App shows the winner what he can choose from and once he clicks the prize, the App automatically proceeds.

A stolen spaceship part still has to be dropped off at the lonely planet and can be stolen by other players until then.

In the single player mode, the app challenges the player at random times throughout the game. The White Rabbit hops into the screen and the word “Challenge appears”. Then, the countdown of the race starts. The player races against an AI, which is represented by a white spaceship. If the player wins, s/he can choose between timepoints and mission items. If the player loses, s/he loses one timepoint if s/he has one or more, and a mission item if there are no timepoints to lose.

2.2.6     Economy

Players can earn 1 Timepoint when winning a challenge. 1 Timepoint can be used to roll the die again in the first stage of one’s turn if the first roll was not convenient. This can be handy for example to move faster on the board or to get the right amount of pips to land on the desired time card.

2.2.7     Screen Flow

For a visualization of the screens, please see Appendix 3: App Screens.

Screen Description Connected Screen(s)
Welcome When starting the app, asks players to choose player mode (RM, FM, SM) Length and Difficulty
Length and Difficulty asks players to choose length of game (determined by number of missions) > players should agree on one option and all choose the same.

in FM: choose level of difficulty

Character
Character Asks players to choose their character from a selection of four characters. Shows animated portraits of the available characters (Galileo, Einstein, Ts’ai Lun, Berners-Lee) Intro Video
Intro Video Animated video with narrator explaining the background story, goals, and rules of the game. Has subtitles.

Includes a “skip” button for experienced players, or players who prefer to read the manual.

Dashboard home
Dashboard home Shows character portrait and character card (information) as home page of the dashboard.

Includes tabs: missions, spaceship and players.

A hexagon icon with a number in it shows the amount of accumulated Timepoints. By clicking on the icon, players can log spending them.

By clicking on the “Board” button on top of the page, players enter the “Board” Screen

Missions

Spaceship

Players

Board

Challenge

Challenge start Can be accessed by the player initiating the challenge by clicking on the “Challenge” button on the dashboard home.

Asks player to choose opponent from other players.

Includes “Continue” button to start the game.

Challenge game

Dashboard home

Challenge game Race game with simple controls (left, right, up) in which players have to evade black holes to get to the end of the race to win. Challenge start

Challenge end

Challenge end Open automatically when one player reached the end of the race. Announces the winner and shows rewards to choose from (See 2.2.5). Once player chooses reward, it is automatically added to their inventory (either spaceship, mission, or timepoints counter) and the app goes back to the dashboard home. Dashboard home
Board Gives option to upload or take a photo of the board for later reference if the game is interrupted. Dashboard home
Missions Shows list of missions (active, inactive and completed) and type and status of active missions.

Icons behind mission name show collected items or number of attempts. Mission color shows if mission is active, inactive or completed. Players can open missions’ details by clicking on them.

Clicking on the character portrait in the left top corner always leads back to the Dashboard home

Dashboard home

Spaceship

Players

Spaceship Shows 3D model of the spaceship with already collected parts in orange, the other parts greyed out. Number of parts depends on choice made in the beginning.

Players can turn spaceship around by touching the screen and dragging the 3D model.

Dashboard home

Spaceship

Players

Players Shows an overview of the other players’ progress in form of a progress bar (calculated on number of spaceship part collected). Shows player’s characters as animated portraits. Dashboard home

Missions

Spaceship

Mission – Type Item Can be opened by clicking on the mission in the Missions menu.

Can be activated by clicking on the time card icon

Shows animated TR. Clicking on the picture opens the video with the introduction of the mission as a pop-up window.

Shows a list of stages of the mission and checkboxes for the player to record the process.

Missions
Mission – Type Quiz Can be opened by clicking on the mission in the Missions menu.

Can be started by clicking on the time card symbol.

Includes a timer which is dependent on level of difficulty. Shows questions in auto play with multiple choice options.

6 questions, 10 seconds each.

Missions
End of Game Once a player assembled the full spaceship, the screen shows an animation of the spaceship leaving the planet and a ranking of the players, determined by the number of pieces they have managed to collect.

Screen includes a button to “Play again”

Welcome

2.3           Game Options

Players can choose where to move on the board and if they want to use black holes to travel through time. This adds an element of luck because the die has to be rolled again.

Players can choose whether or not to challenge other players. This determines whether or not a challenge is started and a race game is played. After a challenge, players can choose the reward, which influences their progression on the game and also the fate of the looser. If the winner wants to be nice, they can choose the timepoint, which does not have any effect on the loser. If they want to harm the loser, they can take a spaceship part or a mission item, which sets the loser back and makes them repeat some steps.

2.4           Replaying and Saving

The App automatically saves the progress in the game, so that players can stop and continue at any time.

By using the option to upload a photo of the board, players can save the game board setup to make sure they set up the same layout when they continue the game after a break.

3      Story, Setting and Character

3.1           Story and Narrative

3.1.1     Background Story

The background story is that in the face of humans threatening to destroy the planet with their irresponsible actions, the rabbits on planet earth plotted against them and eventually managed to take control. Humans were subordinated, and all technological inventions taken from them. Humans realised how much easier it is to be governed by cute little rabbits and they are now living a happy life in tune with nature, while the rabbits took over all responsibility for the planet.

The rabbits had always been helping humans with their technological advances, using them as their puppets because of their height and ability to use their fingers. This went completely unnoticed by the humans, who only thought of rabbits as pets and delicious dishes. Long ago, the rabbits invented time traveling watches, that allow their owner to travel to a desired time. Those time watches look like the pocket watch of the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. Special agents were sent out to fix what humans messed up, and to help them with their inventions and technology.

But after taking over the planet, not everything went as planned and there was disagreement among different rabbit groups so that they split up into four countries. As the rabbit population is now growing uncontrollably, four rabbits, one representative of each country, were sent into space to look for alternative planets to settle on. They took off in their spaceships, but instead of collaborating it became a race, at the end of which they eventually crashed on a lonely planet.

On the planet itself, the setting of the situation right after the crash is where the game starts. The broken spaceships, debris all around, a lonely planet with nothing but rocks, sand, and toxic rivers. The only useful and intact gadget the rabbits have left are their time traveling watches, which they now use to jump through times in order to gather replacement parts of their spaceships, so they can get back to planet earth. As they only have enough fuel for one spaceship to take off, it is a race against each other and the first rabbit to repair their spaceship will win. Liquids are the only things that cannot be brought through time, so the space rabbits are dependent on the limited amount that they have left.

While traveling through time, they meet fellow rabbits – the time representatives – who are on their own personal missions and who are happy about some support.

3.1.2     Introductory Video

In the beginning of the game, an introductory video is shown. It is a video in comic style, represented by a rabbit that looks like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. It includes subtitles at the bottom of the screen. The White Rabbit appears in the bottom left corner and tells the background story. Then, the app is introduced by showing the dashboard and missions screens. Finally, a short demo of the challenge game is shown.

Players who are already familiar with the game have the possibility to skip the video by clicking on “Skip” in the bottom right corner. If they do so, the White Rabbit comments this with a short “I see, you know better! Ha!”.

See Appendix 4: For the Introductory Video Storyboard for the background story.

3.2           Game World

3.2.1     General look and feel of the world

The game world looks quirky and cute. The drawings and illustrations are in comic style and brightly colored. The characters in the game are all individualized and wear costumes that fit to the time they are in. The costumes look funny and are very colorful. For example, the TR of the 17th century wears a pompous baroque costume with a wig between the rabbit ears.

The feel and atmosphere are humorous, and the rabbits are very likeable. The animated characters wink and wave at the player.

The White Rabbit accompanies the players throughout the game, as it presents the Quiz Task missions and the challenges, which creates a familiarity with the game, as most players will recognize the character.

3.2.2     Areas

The board is the physical setting of the game, which consists of four different types of areas, time cards, space cards, black holes, and the lonely planet card. As the cards are shuffled and then laid out, the board looks different for every new game, with the only similarity that the lonely planet card is always placed in the middle.

The 21 time cards reflect one century each, from the 1st to the 21st century, and are connected to the 21 Item Task missions, so that there is one mission per century.

The challenge game (See 4.1.2) takes place in space with a black background. Players control little space ship icons and need to avoid asteroids.

3.3           Characters

  1. Space Rabbits (PC)

(See 1.5. Look and Feel) There are four characters that players can choose from, modeled on Galileo Galilei, Albert Einstein, Ts’ai Lun, Tim Berners-Lee in terms of their appearance. With each character comes a character card with some background information and a portrait.

The four competing “heroes” of the game are the ambassadors of their countries on planet earth. They were given names of famous human scientists/inventors to represent their important scientific mission to find an inhabitable planet.

  1. Time Representatives (NPCs)

The time representatives are the characters that introduce the missions and that players interact with while completing the missions. They are controlled by the App and each mission is presented by a different Time Representative (TR). The characters tell a short story to explain the mission and why they need the PC to help them.

The 21 TRs wear costumes that represent their time and they all wear time traveling watches attached to their clothes. They have different physiognomies and body language.

  1. The White Rabbit (NPC)

The White Rabbit accompanies players throughout the game, as it introduces the background story, quiz task missions, and challenges. It only appears briefly and hops in and out of the picture. It wears a waistcoat and a time traveling watch, attached to the single pocket of the waistcoat by a chain. When it speaks, it is short-spoken and only says what is necessary.

4      Interface

4.1           Control System

4.1.1     The App

The app is controlled by the player by tapping on the available buttons. Every page includes a “back” button to navigate back to the dashboard. The dashboard is the main interface from which the players can access all other menus.

On the top of the dashboard, missions, spaceship and players page is a horizontal menu which leads to the pages just mentioned.

Whenever a player is affected by another player’s actions (i.e. item of spaceship part was stolen, or player is being challenged), the app vibrates, and the screen is turned on. While the app is active, the phone’s screen-lock is disabled in order to enable players to react quickly to other player’s actions.

The app is available for Android and iOS and can be downloaded for free from the respective app store with the help of the QR code provided with the game box.

4.1.2     The Challenge Game

When players enter a challenge, they start a 2-minute race game, in which they have to avoid asteroids and collect boosts in order to be the ahead of the opponent when the time is up. It is a 2D game with simple controls.

The screen shows the game interface and arrow control buttons on the bottom in a box. The players use the LEFT and RIGHT buttons to move left and right and the UP button to use a boost if they collected one. Available boosts are shown in the top right of the screen with a number indicating the amount available, and the position of the players is shown in the top right corner, with the leading player’s color and a number “1” or “2”, as well as a scale that indicates how far the players are apart from each other. At the top in the middle is a time counter that counts down from 2:00:00 minutes once the game starts.

The game starts automatically with a countdown of 5 seconds, as soon as the challenger selected the challenged. Once that happened, the phone of the challenged player vibrates, the screen is turned on, and the game screen appears with the timer on it. The game is so simple and self-explanatory that there is no instructions and players have to figure out how it works on their own. A quick overview of how it works was given in the introductory video.

The spaceship of the player is always in the center of the screen, pointing up, with the asteroids moving from top to bottom to make it seem as if the ship is moving upwards.

The background is black and the asteroids, represented by grey, irregularly shaped forms, are of different size and speed. The boosts are represented by blue glowing lightning symbols, and when a player hits one, it moves quickly towards the top right corner of the screen with the boost counter. When a player uses a boost, it moves from the counter to the spaceship and the ship flashes blue and “moves faster” for one second (moving faster here meaning that the asteroids move faster from the top to the bottom of the screen).

When a ship hits an asteroid, it flashes red, stops moving, and turns for one second until it assumes normal position and speed. The same happens when the ships hit each other.

When the timer hits 10 seconds, the number from 10 downwards appear across the screen below the space ship icon.

At the end of the game, the winner’s character is shown, waving happily at the player. The winner’s app shows which rewards can be chosen from and the loser’s App shows, which rewards is picked by the winner. (See 2.2.5 Combat).

4.2           Audio, music, sound effects

There is no music played during the game and sounds only play at certain events.

All “speaking” is done in speech bubbles with texts that appear work for work, which the players can scroll through. This prevents too much noise and voices talking over each other when players “listen” to the text at different times during the game.

Sounds are very simple and easy to recognize.

4.2.1 Normal Game

Action Sound Effect
Player is being challenged Alarm siren
Something is being stolen from a player (mission item/ spaceship part) Sad trombone
Player received something (mission item/ spaceship part) Happy trombone
Player taps on a different menu (dashboard, spaceship, missions, other players) Page turning

4.2.2 Challenge Game

Countdown in the beginning Beeps
Ship hits asteroid Crashing sound
Ship hits ship Beeping
Game ended – Winner Happy trombone
Game ended – Loser Sad Trombone

4.3           Help System

The introductory video in the beginning at the game serves to give an overview of how it works.

Players watch it again at any time by clicking on the small White Rabbit icon, which is located in the bottom left corner on every screen. If they do so, they get to the help center page with FAQ, rules, the introductory video, and a search function.

5      Artificial Intelligence

The normal game does not feature AI characters that interact with the players intelligently, only the race game uses AI in single player mode.

5.1       Challenge Game AI Flow

There are two AI that determine the game. The first controls asteroids to randomly appear on the top of the screen and move downwards. There are six vertical segments (S) in which the asteroids can appear, and the AI uses a dice rolling algorithm to determine which segment the next asteroid appears in. The asteroids can have three different speeds (slow [s]– medium [m]- fast [f]), which are also given randomly.

The second AI controls the opponent spaceship, which moves from segment to segment according to where the asteroids and the player’s spaceship are. To make the AI fallible, an algorithms determines if the AI evades and asteroid or not with a certain probability of failure. Figure 3 below shows parts of the AI flow (Asteroid can be replaced with player’s spaceship, as the AI actions are the same).

Figure 3: AI Flow Challenge Game

5.2       AI Missions

Which missions are assigned to players depends on various factors.

In single player and normal mode, the player can choose how many missions they want to accomplish – between a minimum of four a medium of 7, and the maximum of 10. The App always assigns the same number of item and quiz tasks, with more item tasks if the number of missions chosen is uneven.

In the family mode, players receive missions according to the level of difficulty they chose. Item tasks are always the same, but the 21 quiz tasks are available in 3 levels of difficulty (easy – medium – hard). The level of difficulty is determined by the answer to choose from, which make it more or less obvious which answer is the correct one. Players also choose the length of the game.

The amount of missions chosen equals the amount of spaceships that have to be assembled in order to win the game.

Figure 4: AI Flow Missions

Appendix

Appendix 1: Board Cards

Appendix 2: Missions

Appendix 3: App Screens

Appendix 4: Introductory Video Storyboard

Storyboard Intro Video

Appendix 5: Game Map

Space Rabbits Board Game Map