Setcha’s Blog

{March 6, 2009}   Elemental Checkers- playtest

I thought I alreay had this up so.. yeah here we go! playtesting Elemental Checkers!

Some of the comments we got back were that the way the pieces move (mainly Fire) was confusing. This was especially difficult on the first day of playtesting because we did not have a print out of the rules. After getting the print out on the second day, people got the hang of it easier. One suggestion we got was making a picture of how each token moved for a visual explaination.

some folks also thought it’d be better if the pieces weren’t allowed to move backwards because it took alot of the strategy out of the game. After testing it out on the second day, I don’t really think this hindered people or made the game any less fun though.

All in all we had a pretty good turn out for this game, I like it and would buy it if I saw it on the shelf at walmart, but maybe I’m just bias XD


{February 4, 2009}   Elemental Checkers- The rules

Elemental Checkers

Desirae Brink, Kaila Smith, Elizabth and Stephanie Richardson

 (2 players)

Checkers, only better…. and the rules are…


Objective: Get to the other side of the board with all three elemental pieces (one fire, one water, and one earth) before your opponent does, or other wise impair their ability to do so (by destroying all four of one element type).


Equipment: One Checkers board, 4 black and 4 white fire-elements, 4 black and 4 white Earth-elements, 4 black and 4 white water-elements

Setup: Set the game board on a flat surface; place the game pieces on the board as indicated by the diagram.


            Game play:

·         White moves first. Taking turns per move, moving one token each turn.

·         Fire take Earth

·         Earth takes Water

·         Water takes Fire

·         A token that reaches the opposite side of the board cannot be moved or harmed.


·         Fire-

o   two spaces forward

o   two spaces diagonally forward

o   one space backward

o   one space diagonally backward

o   When going forward, you have the option to move one space instead of two.

o   When moving a piece you may only move in one direction for that turn, (cannot combine directions)

o   Cannot move horizontally

o   Must jump an opponent’s piece to take it

·         Water-

o   One space in any dirction

o   Must jump an opponents piece to take it

·         Earth-

o   One space diagonally forward or backward

o   In order to take a piece you can either jump it diagonally, or move into the space of the piece destroyed in any direction




I will add pictures when I get the correct ones from my team.



This is the diagram of what beats what.

This is the diagram of what beats what.

Earth Spirit for the "Black" Tokens
Earth Spirit for the “Black” Tokens
Fire Spirit
Fire Spirit
Water Spirit
Water Spirit

All images were draw by Desirea Brink 🙂

In this group is Desirea Brink, Kaila Smith, Elizabeth Richardson and Stephanie Richardson (me).

we decided to improve the game of Checkers. This is mainly due to the fact that it was the only game that was brought in to be modified on wed.

We ran through several idea’s, but the one that stuck was the idea of elemental checkers. Through this we worked out several different types of rules that involved different elements. We realized the the red squares get no action 😦 so we had to find some way to get them into play. We did this by changing how the pieces move. We decided to dump the “have to jump” rule in checkers. In the begining we were goofing around (throwing checkers pieces) and played the checkers game all the way through to figure out how to play and refresh our memories. We went through our game kits to see if we had anything to work with. We found some glass boomerang shaped pieces that have varied colors and thought of using these for the elemental pieces.

It was decided that the only way to “jump’ and opponent’s piece is by having the opposite element. In the cases we were considering at the time, it was water vs. fire, wind vs. earth, and light vs. dark. Then we decided that was too complicated and narrowed it down to a simple 3-element rock-paper-scissors modle where fire beat earth beat water beat fire. At first we were thinking about playing like a normal checkers game until you reached the other side of the board and then choosing an element of your choice to take it’s place once you reached the other side, where the player would be “elemented” instead of “Kinged”. This idea went down the toilet during our first lay testing because we didn’t get enough pieces to the other side in order to get the full use of them. So at the begining of the game, both players start out with four of each element, placing them where they like on their starting placeson the board. We wanted the tokens to move differently then normal checkers pieces, so we played around with the idea of chess. The fire pieces would move like a rook, water like a knight, and earth like a bishop. Since the bishop and rook normally can move how ever many spaces they want (as long as they are not blocked by one of their own pieces) we put a three space move limit. The each piece can also move backwards.

After much thought we decided that this was too much like chess and threw out that idea and decided that the fire would could move two spaces in the set diagonal direction, water can move one spaces in any direction, and earth can move like a normal checkers piece, but does not have to jump to destroy an enemy token (but it still can if the player so chooses). To be clear we thought we better put the fact that fire and water still has to jump.  

These these rules became too constricting so we changed it up abit. Now fire can move two up or diagonally up, or one space back (or diagonally back), but it cannot move side-to-side, and you can not combine directions, once you decide to move in one direction you must stick with that direction for that turn. Earth moves one space diagonally forward or backward, unless it is taking a piece, in which it can move vertically and horizontally(taking the square the oposing token was on).  If you get to the other side of the board with one token of each element you win the game. another way to win is to sabotage your opponent by destroying all of one element of their tokens making it to where they could not get one of each to the other side. Once a token reaches the other side of the board they cannot be moved and they can not be destroyed.


we desided to stick with the above game play 🙂 and Desirea drew some pictures to represent the different elements! she is going to color them and send them to me to put in the blog. They will be here soon along with the pictures of the game that we have so far. We may change our playing pieces to have a stand holding the pictures to depict the different element with a white/black screen tone on the pic to portray the player. the stands they are on would also have a way to tell element and player. for now we use curved glass pieces and pom poms (red = fire, blue = water and green = earth).

et cetera