PentomiGo is a board game for two players. The players take turns at placing one of 18 different shaped pieces (pentominos, since they are made of 5 squares). Playing the game is as simple as placing all your pentominos on the board. However, winning may prove trickier.
The goal is to gain influence on as many empty squares as possible, and eventually, more than your opponent. You get influence on an empty square for every neighboring one with your color. If you manage to surround a square completely you get an extra bonus. That’s it! Just make sure to keep all that in mind while your opponent is stomping over your territory with his own pentominos.
You can play with a friend on the same console, or take on one of the 3 AI opponents. While the Schoolboy barely knows the rules, the Student and the Scholar are sure to put up a fight.
I made most of the game alone (admittedly with a bit of help from a great artist).
So what went into the creation of PentomiGo?
- Design. The rules I had written a while back, for a design test at a french development studio.
- Engine. The XNA framework does most of the heavy lifting as far as display is concerned. I still ended up writing an engine and editor to allow me to edit menus and screens quickly (as well as make future games).
- Art. I struggled with the game’s art for a while, got help from an Art Director I know (my girlfriend), and finally managed to create all art assets, except for the credit screen.
- Music. The two music tracks for the game were made by me. No real instruments were harmed during production.
- Sound. I have no idea how to create neat sound effects, so mine are pretty crappy (I’m the only one who gets to say that).
- AI. The AI was probably the most challenging code. I juggled with a bunch of heuristics to make the different opponents play entertainigly, differently, and intelligently (in that order).
Here’s what some reviewers thought (beware, sentences taken out of context ahead):
The game is an inexpensive and interesting new take on a pair of classics.
It’s actually pretty cool in a slow and steady, zen-like sort of way.
This is a solid strategy game with a friendly interface