You know the way you want to build things all the time when you have Lego in hand? Well, it’s the same with game designing. Every time I think about a problem to solve, I feel irresistibly drawn towards the brick box and before I know, I’m building things. It’s like it’s my hands are doing the thinking. Very disturbing. I have zombie hands. Send help, please. 
I was brainstorming (handstorming?) what I call the Hero’s Pocket, what you video game types would call Inventory. You know, the semi-realistic space where you store all the stuff you pick up on dead monsters. The ugly looking series of pictures below show how I started and where I ended up.

The original idea

This is the player’s pack from Heroica. It has health points (the red cones), a row for gold, and a rack for weapons and items.

At first I thought I’d simply use that, but then one brick led to another and my brain had to follow my hands.

Version 1: the half-arsed attempt

I wanted something bigger, so I took a 6×6 plate and got to work. You can see a key, a gun, a seaweed bit that I figure could be some kind of entanglement spell, a potion, a telescope, a cutlass held by a hook brick, a door (another spell: think teleport or something) and a spare costume (an option I probably won’t use, but it’s here for completeness sake). On the left, I used tiles from Heroica to hold items.

Version 2: The not-so-good looking one

In this version, you can see the same equipment on a grid made of Heroica tiles. It can hold only nine items, and the central spot is occupied by a stack of health points.

It worked, but it didn’t look great. I wanted the health bar back.

Version 3: cleared for alpha testing

My last tweak was to move the tiles to one side, leaving a row for health. The three tiles at the top are only halfway on the plate, but it’s sturdy enough.

Now we have 9 items and up to 6 HP, which should be more than enough. Note that as a reward, I may allow small containers, such as treasure chests, to be placed on the pocket and filled with small items.

Alternative: the simple health bar

If you feel minimalistic (or should I say, mnmlstc), you can simply use a minifig stand. It has four spots, which is an elegant way of displaying health counters. Equipment can be stored in a box and just left next to your health. Or you could go the full-blown BrickQuest way.

Note that you don’t need the red cones for health. Any bricks of the same size will do. I’d advise the traditional red colour, but your taste might vary.

So there you go: a look at Lego game designing and your first glimpse at the Brickworlds rules. Have you any insight or advice ?

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