Improving Board Layout in Ark: Awakening

It has been some while since our previous update, so I just wanted to give an overview on couple of improvements we did in Ark: Awakening. Also, might be interesting for you to check the next article.

In Ark, the board is modular and revealed as you play, by placing tiles/rooms next to each other.

The perfect design, would offer:

  • simple and intuitive rules
  • provide every time an unique layout that feels fresh.

And … we had a long standing issue how to solve it. 

Have a look at the example bellow. Rooms are grouped next to the borders, with usually one empty space surrounded by 8 rooms. The examples are from 3 different games, but the rooms are laid out similarly. This was a huge improvement from our earlier designs, but we were still not happy with it – it looked too dull, too square like and in each game the setup looked familiar.

So, for the past weeks we worked on it and we came up with a new approach:

Resources tokens are used as a reminder/marker that an adjacent room tile needs to be revealed. During game setup, one resource tokens is placed on each of the starting outer rooms. Players would take a resource token, and reveal a room into their desired direction, placing a resource token also on the new room. 

And we got great results! Have a look at the difference – the new room layouts looks fresh and unique. Truly like designed from aliens.

And a added bonus – the resource tokens give players incentive to explore the Ark – speeding up the early game significantly. 

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