THE VISUAL ELEMENTS OF LE VOLEUR ( PROTOTYPE ): HOW SPACE CONTRIBUTE TO GAME MECHANIC
Reviewer: Bayu P. Dirgantoro
In the game of Le Voleur, the player must carefully select each of their member’s skill beforehand, unlock ability tokens, scout to see what particular tokens needed to steal an object on one of the seven available area. Once conditions are met, the player then can steal the object. While doing all the action, other players keep tracking each of the member’s skill and trying to force them to jail. There are 2 winning conditions for this game: Successfully collect 5 Victory points ( can be obtain by stealing objects or forcing other player’s team to jail ) or, finished 8 rounds of game and the player with most Victory Points are the winner.
The complexities of the game’s mechanic requires an extra care in term of Visual Design. This review focuses on the shape of Le Voleur’s board, especially the map and token and how it affect the mechanic of current prototype.
The map of Le Voleur is a simplified map of Paris with 1 Landmark spread across 7 areas. Each area contains 2 police spawn points ( indicated by blue Tardis-Police box ), a symbol and name of the area, 3 ability token symbols, and coloured lines that connect each ability token symbol across 7 areas. Each areas have a different shapes and sizes with Bourse the smallest and Tour Eiffel the biggest on the stage.
|The Largest area in the game. Provide a good amount of space to place 3 thief members and 3 tokens and still manage to give the player enough room to see any additional action ( police, lines )|
|2nd Largest area in the game. This part has enough room to place all the tokens and thief members and player still able to see most of the action that can be taken during each phase|
|St. German Des Pres|
|Has the same area as Quartier Latin and enough room to play the game in that particular part|
This particular area has less space than St. German Des Pres and provide less movement for each player. The space is getting crowded as each player put their piece on this area and need a bit more concentration to be able to see each action played here.
|This area has the same amount of space as Notre dame, and provides the same challenge as well.|
|Marais is smaller than Louvre and does not have enough space to put all the pieces on the area. This is one aspect of the map that requires extra effort to see all the pieces including connecting lines from the ability token.|
|The area has the same size as Marais, making the movement of this particular map challenging.|
In Summary, the map of Le Voleur presented as a unique piece and need to be handled differently. Each area has it own challenge from the easiest ( Tour Eiffel ) to the hardest ( Bourse ) making the game more dynamic. Extra caution is needed when each of the players are making their moves. While Tour Eiffel is the easiest area to move around, it can be an advantage for other player to actually spy on and similar system applied for Bourse. The game mechanic complement each piece of the map and experience player has the advantage of memorizing each of the map strategy.