Pillow Fight to the death

The Game in Brief

A short and sweet two week group (6) project, that was done as a warm-up project before we started on our final thesis project for college (2018). 

The game is what it says it is, quite literally. Players are armed with pillows and health chips, and are setting out to eliminate their friends in this all out pillow fight. A last man standing game, the pillows used to attack are of various types and kinds, from fart pillows to flaming fire pillows and rock hard brick pillows, sure to knock any strong competitor down a peg. The game also gives you a chance to save yourself with pillow forts, a comforting pillow sure to give you some health back and most of all, a resurrection pillow that helps you get back into the game!

gameplay video & Downloadable game file

Below on the left is the gameplay video for Pillow Fight to the Death. On the right, when you click on the “download the game” image, your download will start automatically. Wait for the pdf file to download, then print it (on A4 size sheets, preferably card paper). Cut out the cards and refer to the rulebook on how to play!

The making of the game

We started by brainstorming (yes, all nice and conventional), but instead of starting with a digital game, we chose to make a paper based game since it was possible to work fast and have a finished playable prototype by the end of two weeks.

We threw out ideas and voted on it. Our theme was “Pillow Fight” and almost by default our goal was “to be the last man standing”. How the game shaped up after was interesting to watch.

The pillow shaped chips were inspired by health bars in video games, so that we had a way to keep track of when a player was hit, hurt or out of the game. After which, the pillows themselves were made into various elements (a suggestion I had made, inspired from the game “Divinity”) to add a fun aspect to the game.

testing, re-testing and fixing the game

Once we tested and re-tested the mechanics to see if it worked, we slowly introduced offense cards that could be used to nullify an attack, as well as the pillow fort, which defended the player for one round or for three hits.

Allowing a player to use a card after using the comfort pillow was an addition we had made when we realized a player being targeted didn’t really have the chance to defend themselves immediately after.

The resurrection pillow was an addition we made late in the game when we found players bullying each other. This gave a second chance (sometimes) to players that might have been eliminated early on.

A very recent change (January 2020) was my removing the backstabbing pillow since there was no way to cross check whether a player received it from the first shuffle or from the deck. The mechanic was complicated as well since players didn’t necessarily read the card immediately after they got it.

making the playable prototype

Once we were satisfied with the mechanics and how it worked, we decided to polish up the game. We divided the work in this way –

One member of the team would write up the documentation and document the various sessions for the game and its problems, based on which we worked around solutions.

Two members were responsible for the illustrations of the various pillows in the game.

One team member was in charge of writing the little snippets of text for each card, while another member wrote the rulebook and coordinated with the member writing snippets.

Finally, one member put together all the information and designed the layout of the cards.

At the end of this process, with some pushing and cajoling, we had a playable prototype!

what’s next? will there be a finished version?

Well, if the group ever gets back together to make a polished version of this game, I’ll attach a link to it or update the information here. In the meantime, enjoy your playable prototype!

Copyright © Anjali Shibu and contributors 2018. All rights reserved.