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RISK: Factions Preview: Brings Donkey Cannons To the Classic Board Game

Date: Jan 12 2012 06:50:09 Source: GAMASUTRA Views:
KeyWord: RISK: Factions Preview, RISK: Factions, EA, EA Playfish, Board Social Games, Board Facebook Games
Risk: Factions

Electronic Arts has been bringing many classic board games to the video game space in recent years. The close of 2010 saw a whimsical version of strategy giant RISK: Factions adapted for Xbox Live Arcade, and now, the company's launching a version specifically for Facebook -- with some unique design lessons to be had from the adaptation.

By Leigh Alexander From GAMASUTRA

Whereas original RISK: Factions uses little yellow playing pieces to represent people, "video games offer an opportunity to turn those playing pieces into characters," says producer and designer Spencer Brooks.

RISK: Factions

The RISK: Factions offshoot on XBLA and Facebook features cats, zombies and Yetis as divisions players can use, for example. "Besides more maps and a fiction behind the little armies, I thought, 'let's make the maps change as you play the game that's where I wanted to innovate."

RISK: Factions 

"It really is a strategy game; if you make bad decisions, the game will win," he emphasizes. "It's not this 'everybody wins all the time.' I think it's really going to resonate with the strategy gamer pretty well."

RISK: Factions

One bold decision the RISK: Factions team made was to do away with the "energy" system, commonly used in Facebook games to constrain player actions in hopes of affecting their resource management -- and ultimately their real-money spend. Brooks said the team's also very excited about its scalable leaderboard, that accords more movement up the ranks to a player who defeats one much better than him or herself, and less so for defeating an equal or weaker player.

RISK: Factions

"When core gamers say 'there are no real games on Facebook,' I think what they're striving for is, 'I want a game with a win condition; when I play somebody I want to play that person, I don't want to play an abstraction of the person, or the statistics of the person."

RISK: Factions

"Let's just make a Risk: Factions on Facebook where you actually play other people," he adds. "If that scares you, you can play bots and that's fine, but I thought -- let's make the game that people are expecting."

Click here to play Risk: Factions on Facebook >>

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