Nosedive explores beyond the current limits of games of maneuver. Rather than moving pieces, players explore an island by drawing directly on the board, creating aesthetic works through play. Every match ends with a permanent record of the game, which can be evaluated both tactically and as a visual artifact.
Nosedive is for tactical game veterans and beginners alike.
Made in collaboration with: Christopher Chung, Sean Heron, Tom Sarachan, Seth S. Scott, Missy Senteio, Sam Von Ehren, and Zijian "Zed" Zhou.
Nosedive is an effort to bring something new to tactical games, both mechanically and experientially. In terms of mechanics, Nosedive brings 3D play to 2D tabletop games in an elegant, easy-to-understand way. Where even many flight games abstract away verticality, Nosedive encourages player-pilots to swoop, climb, and take elevation into account with every move.
We tuned every element of the game to support that altitude-focused play. The map’s topographical style helps players recognize when they are crossing over an elevation change, while also being artistically appealing. Simple rules for gaining and losing altitude make it easy even for beginning players to use elevation in their decisions. Careful attention to terrain placement ensures that new players can learn without fear of immediate crashes. Finally, a simple emergency-turn mechanic gives players the safety to experiment.
Looking toward the player experience, we sought a convenient way to represent position and movement. After experimenting with elevated miniatures (which were entertaining, but finicky) we hit upon the notion of drawing directly on the map. This solution had a number of benefits: it preserved the game state when the table was knocked, and allowed precise judgments regarding the location of a plane relative to dangerous cliff sides. Moreover, drawing each move enabled players to review finished games, discussing their strategies and reliving the most exciting moments. Perhaps most importantly, the simple act of drawing had enormous appeal.
Altitude and the player experience were our lodestars throughout the iterative process. As we balanced Nosedive’s tactical play, we were careful to ensure that players were soaring, diving, and enjoying the tactile experience of the game.