Post news RSS Dominati. Design Notes

Dominati, a Windows and HTML5 strategy puzzle game played on two boards, Basic strategy is to match 3, 4, or 5 in a row on your board and at the same try to block your opponent from doing the same. Available at alivesoft.com

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This project started out as an attempt to build a game loosely based on the popular paper-and-pencil game, Tic Tac Toe (sometimes called Noughts and Crosses).

The obvious strengths of this ancient game are:

  • The simplicity of the rules: two players, X and O, take turns marking the spaces in a 3X3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.

  • The universal recognition of the game: Almost everyone has played Tic Tac Toe at some point in their life.

The weaknesses of the traditional game that we tried to address in the Dominati implementation are:

  • Too short: the 3X3 grid yields mostly less than a one-minute game.

  • Sudden death: Whoever places first the 3 marks in-a-row wins, there is no chance for long term strategy and second chances.

  • Not a very challenging game once you have played a few times: Even for a casual gamer. This is what in game theory is called a zero-sum-game. Most games end-up in a draw.

  • Players share the same board and therefore it does not appeal to the territorial instinct of the reptilian side of our brain, that is the urge defend our turf and crash and conquer the opponent’s turf.

  • The monotony of Xs and Os can be improved by adding an exciting theme and characters the user can identify with.
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