The Hexagon Game // Surrounder

Three weeks ago, I was sitting in a bathroom with hexagonal floor tiles. As I stared at the floor, I began thinking about geometric patterns involving hexagons. (I’m going to assume everyone does this until I hear otherwise, and if you tell me otherwise, I might refuse to listen.)

The thoughts went something like this:

What if these hexagons were one color? And those were another color? What patterns could you build?

And then:

Wait. What if, when one hexagon was surrounded by hexagons of a different color, it got “killed” and taken away? Like the hexagons were soldiers in some kind of horrible hexagon civil war? And the battle continued until every scrap of territrory was owned by one of the two sides?

After washing my hands, I power-walked back to my desk in the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and began to prototype a board game. (This was long after the end of the workday, because the Institute is air-conditioned and contains fewer spiders than my house.)

After three games, I thought I really had something. After six games, I was convinced that the game was terrible. Then I expanded the board, and the cycle began anew. When things began to look really promising, I did some research on game design (which, in the tradition of Aaron research, included useful activities like reading the entirety of the manga Hikaru No Go and the biography of Christian Freeling).

Finally, I posted a picture of a finished game, and people were curious enough that I felt the game itself was worth blogging.

So, here it is. I call it “The Hexagon Game” inside my head, but a better, more Google-friendly name is “Surrounder”. I hope to hack together a playable app for it once my Javascript skills are up to snuff, but for now, I play in… Microsoft Paint. Such are the trials of game design.

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