JailBreak Board game, Our own very first game design

Updated: Nov 5, 2018


Designing a game was our second big project in the semester. We were put in to groups of 4.


Our Jailbreak Group:

Jingyi Wu, Mahtab Namakian, Ricky Cheung, Li Qianwen


Together we designed Jail Break



Li and Ricky both had a lot of experiences with board games, so they were in charge of rule making. Jingyi and I helped them with visualizations and bringing the ideas to life.


Concept Ideation:


We’ve decided to build a game on negotiating, trading, and deception, that’s based on iteration.

Players are given a list of item cards they need to collect, which they can acquire by drawing for them (this happens during a phase in each round), or trading for them (they can decide to do so or not). The first player who collects all the items that they need wins.


To make it harder and more interesting we added Enemy and Event cards, which will cause positive or negative impact on their game.


Strategy is very important in this game, which players will learn after playing the first round. Strategy will help them in trading, negotiating and unveiling their opponents hand, understanding which cards they will need at the end and collecting them.


Elements of the Game:


1. Escape plan card: list what item and how many items you need to escape.

2. Event card: list what happened when you enter the room and what are the effects.

3. Enemy card: list what enemy in the room and how their attack influences the player(or their card).

4. Item card: list the items you find in the room, some of them are connected with the escape plan.

5. Game map: a series of rooms that contain the cards and allow the player to explore.(The number is not determined yet, so make it moveable and can be added or removed easily. )

6. Player Token: small items that represent the player and show which room they are in.


Informal Elements:

  1. Luck: Luck comes from the players chance of drawing the cards they need. We had to balance the luck factor by limiting the amount of a specific item card in the pool of cards in the room and increasing the number of item cards the player needs to have. The player also has a chance of drawing cards that they don’t need.

  2. Strategy: Strategy comes from balancing the player’s needs for certain cards while giving as little information to their opponents as possible during the trade.

  3. Deception: Sometimes the player could decided to trade for a card they don’t need in order to deceive their opponents into thinking that they need those cards.

  4. Negotiation: The players ability to negotiate within and outside the realm of the game is an important factor. The player’s chances of winning deceases immensely without trading.


First Prototype:



we set up the rules, each of us was in charge of one of cards, and then all of us sat and started playing our very own game.

After a few rounds of playing we realized that a few of our rules and cards need to be changed.


1. The number of the room is too much that players seldom choose to go to the same room. (reduce the number of the room to 4)

2. Some enemy cards are not appropriately designed and need to be removed.

3. In order to make this game fair enough, the total number of items in the escape plans should be the same.

4. The sequence of choosing the room should be more clear, use dice to decide who should start first and then take turns to start each round.

5. There is no difference between enemy card and event card. We can combine them into just one type of card.


After the first round of playtesting we ask a few of our classmates to test our.

You can find our whole experience on JailBreak Playtesting.


The result of the playtesting became a more interesting and engaging Game.





Liked it?? want to buy it?

please visit our website, JailBreak

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