I designed and released this variant of Connect 4 by hiring a programmer in Paris, France and communicating through Slack. I was responsible for all disciplines outside of writing the code. My design goals were to unsolve the game, eliminate the uneventful early game, and maximize replayability.

To unsolve the game, I created and balanced a token system in which each user has an identical bank of tokens and draws five to make up his/her hand. This unsolved the game by introducing an element of randomness that can be controlled enough to gain an edge over an opponent but not so much that it regularly dictates the outcome of a match.

To eliminate the uneventful early game, each match started with five, randomly dropped tokens (two of the first player’s color and three of the second player’s color). These tokens demanded instant respect from the player and made the early game a high-leverage situation. Additionally, every fifth turn one of these original five tokens would exhaust, which demanded additional foresight by players. This feature also enabled me to eliminate the first player advantage (a secondary goal of mine) because the user who had the advantage of dropping the first token no longer had the advantage of being a token ahead.

To maximize replayability (in addition to the randomized pre-drop), I programmatically generated boards. Each board had a chance to contain randomly placed pushers or blockers. Blockers would remain the entire game, while pushers would move tokens into adjacent columns until unable to do so.

Lead Game Designer (and more)
Wedgy Games