As all board games project that I did so far, after a month or two, there is a kind of exhaustion and eventually hit a wall, where additional development is much harder and complicated. I don't know why I have this problems in all my board game design. Not sure if it's because I run out of creative juice, or if the unsolvable problems stack up too much.

So I decided to put this idea on the side and start programming. Originally, and wanted to make a simple android app game. I had 2 ideas in mind, a realtime strategy game that hit a wall pretty fast with a missing combat mechanism, so I set the idea on hold. And a puzzle game that I like a lot that I could implement as an android app.

But instead, I decided to go much more simple, with something I don't need to completely finish and I can work on bit by wit with the time I have. I called it Black Book.

The Black Book Project

This project is a video game engine for handling turn based strategy games. It is the first phase of the project which will eventually be followed with the second phase of the project called Pixel Board.

The goal of Black Book is to be able to design video games as soon as possible by keeping the user interface excessively simple so that games could be implemented quickly and playtested right away. This is why the user interface is simply a command line terminal window. In fact there is 2 terminal windows you can juggle with to see more information at the same time.

To create a game, you first need to design the structure of your SQL database that is going to hold all your game's data (It also act as a save game). Then you need to program the commands that the user will use to interact with your game. This is generally where the rules of the game will be applied. Some generic commands are supplied by default to make the development faster.

At this moment, the database system is not yet supported, it's the next development step. I will then be implementing various demonstration games that does not require any geographical components, grids or graphs. I might be able to design a few games of my own with those restrictions. When it will be solid, square, hex and possibly triangular grids will be added. There is also the possibility to add lua script for unique text abilities for example.

Once almost a haundred games will have been implemented with black book, I will have experimented many type of game mechanics and gameplay. Now it will be the time to pass to phase 2 with Pixel Board. I will allow porting those games in a graphic user interface on PC and Android.

So this is what I am currently doing. Considering I have little time, since I am back again in school, black book will allow me to code quick improvements or design new games relatively fast.

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