FRUIT SALAD (Game Pitch Review)

Background/Inspiration:

I initially had no idea what I was going to make a board game about. The idea of creating a board game from scratch overwhelmed me. It was complicated and too much work. After 4 weeks of rubbish ideas, I figured that it was inevitable that I was going to fail this task.

One morning before class, I was in the shower and thinking about breakfast. Then, amidst the steam, it came to me, a vision, a wonder, I saw…Fruit. More specifically, fruit salad in a bowl. That’s when it hit me; I could make a board game about Fruit.

I thought about all the games that already incorporate fruit and how I could use parts of those games for my game. I took inspiration from the app “Fruit Ninja” in which the objective of the game is to slice fruit up as it pops up on the screen. This influenced me to take the game into darker territory, so I made the objective of the game to be the “last surviving fruit” (kind of like a “Hunger Games” for fruit). I also got some fruity ideas from the “Annoying Orange”, for example, each fruit could have a certain characteristic. Moreover, I imagined my game being very similar to the scene from “Sausage Party” where they are running around the kitchen trying to escape the knife only to find that there is no escape from the horror.

I really thoroughly enjoy co-operative games like “Flashpoint: Fire Rescue” and “Shadows Over Camelot”. I wanted my game to be competitive, but not to the point where people fight with each other. So I took the element of chance from flashpoint, specifically the placement of the fires and the smoke; In my game, I thought a knife could play a similar role in trying to hunt down the fruits. Moreover, I figured the option to work together or work solo was a cool aspect in “Shadows Over Camelot”, so I am definitely working on including an element like that in my game.

Furthermore, I always wanted to make a game that was very black and white. I didn’t want the grey areas where some rules don’t make sense and players have different perceptions of the game. For example “Code-Names” and the ambiguity around the clues, judging whether they are too easy or not. I wanted my game to have a clear beginning, middle and end.

Initially, I was worried that someone may have made a board game about Fruit Salad already. But when I researched it, I could only find one game with the same name. However, it is a radically different concept and has much more innocent gameplay than my game. It was called “Fruit Salad” (ages 7+) and it is a children’s car18318542_1737365879623373_1405220888_od game where they roll dice in order to try and collect all the different coloured cards until they have one of each colour.

Game Objective and Overview:

The aim of the game is to be the last fruit alive. Throughout the game, fruits will lose life points (segments) and when they reach zero they are out of the game. Components of the game that affect a fruits life points include: the knife, the worms/fruit flies, lemon/grapefruit and mystery cards. Essentially, the Fruits are running around the kitchen trying to escape the knife.

Contents/Components:

  • Instruction Manual
  • 6 playable Fruits (apple, banana, pear, blueberries, grapes, orange and more)
    • 7 Playable Characters to choose from (at the moment):
      • Ominous Orange,
      • Salty Strawberry
      • Affable Apple,
      • Paranoid Pear,
      • Gassy Grape,
      • Boisterous Banana
      • Blissful Blueberries
    • Each fruit has 4 segments (life points)
  • 1 fruit bowl
  • 6 trees (colour co-ordinated panels and the colours align with the fruits)
  • 6 paths/panels (colour-coordinated panels)
  • Knife (plastic knife)
  • Lemon/Grapefruit tokens
  • 24 Worm tokens (solid plastic)
  • 6 sided coloured die (blue, green, yellow, red, orange, purple)
  • 6 sided numbered die (1-6)
  • 30-50 mystery cards [?] (No. of cards will change depending on level of difficulty)
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Game Operation/ Set up:

To set-up, players begin by picking a fruit. Next, connect panel pieces in whatever order you want. You must have at least 2 trees connected at all times and panels must be connected at both ends. Place fruit bowl within reach of all players. Shuffle mystery cards. Place plastic knife in reach of all players. Put worms in a pile. Put lemon/grapefruit bruise tokens in another pile. Oldest player goes first.

Mechanics:

Each player rolls both dice to dictate where their fruit character will land. After they have done this and implemented the effects of their turn, they will then roll the dice for the knife. If the knife lands on them, they lose a segment (1 life point). If it lands on another character then they lose a segment (1 life point).

A players turn involves rolling both the coloured and numbered die. This dictates where the player will land:

  • If they land on a mystery card, then they can draw 1 card and implement the affects of the card accordingly.
  • If they land on a juice boost they can regain a segment (1 life point).
  • If they land on a tree, it is a safe space where no fruits can be harmed (and it may heal bruises)
  • If they land on worms, they gain a worm token (4 worms and you die).
  • If you land on a pesticide, it gets rid of a worm token.
  • If you land on a lemon or grapefruit, your fruit gets a bruise (2 bruises and you lose a segment)

I am hoping through the play testing and prototyping that I will get a feel for the tempo and dynamic of the game. I am planning to conduct play testing over the next couple of weeks.

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Feedback/Potential:

When I pitched this game to my university class, they seemed to like the idea of the game and gave me really helpful constructive feedback. Some of the feedback I thought was really useful was the idea to use “Play-doh” for the fruits and players could mould their own fruit and the knife could physically cut the segments off. I plan to implement this idea as soon as possible.

Summary

I think this game has a lot of potential. I keep having more and more ideas about it each day. I have already thought of several different additions, for example “Tropical Edition” containing tropical fruits like a mango and a pineapple. Or the “Sceptical Edition” containing tomatoes and avocados etc. Or the “ Not-Fruit, Meat Edition” containing steaks, sausages, chicken, fish, veal and pork. Each edition could have modified rules and bonus elements. I see “Fruit Salad” as a game of endless opportunity and fun. I hope this becomes apparent through the play testing and prototyping over the next couple of weeks.

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