Game Design Notes for DOMINATI

DOMINATI is a new Strategy Puzzle game from Alivesoft.


This project started out as an attempt to build a game loosely based on the popular paper-and-pencil game Tic Tac Toe (Noughts and Crosses).

The obvious pros of the Tic-Tac-Toe game that we inherited in DOMINATI are:

  • The simplicity of the rules: two players, X and O, take turns marking the spaces in a 3X3 grid. The player who succeeds in placing three of their marks in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row wins the game.
  • The universal recognition of the game: Almost everyone has played Tic Tac Toe at some point in their life.


The cons of Tic-Tac-Toe, that we had to correct in the Dominati implementation are:

  1. Too short: the 3X3 grid yields mostly less than a minute games.
  2. Sudden death: Whoever places first the 3 marks in-a-row wins, there is no chance for long term strategy and second chances.
  3. Not a very challenging game once you have played a few times: Even for a casual gamer. This is what in game theory is called a zero-sum-game. Most games end in a draw.
  4. Players share the same board and therefore it does not appeal to the territorial instinct of the reptilian side of our brain, where we need to urge defend our turf and crash and conquer the opponent’s turf.
  5. The monotony of Xs and Os can be improved by adding an exciting theme and characters the user can identify with..



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