Project 3 – Builders


A Puzzle Game by Jen Agosta

Builders – Game Rules + Documentation [PDF]

Builders is a puzzle game where opponents collaboratively build out a wooden puzzle while each trying to be the player to contribute the most puzzle pieces to the final puzzle. During each turn, players must decide if they will use their turn to collect more materials, or if they will use their turn to build on the puzzle. Elements of saving, spending and obsolescence are built into the strategy of the game.


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  • The object of the game is to be the player to contribute the highest number pieces of the wood puzzle, using their assigned color of butterfly joint to join the pieces together. Whichever player has used the highest number of joints, wins the game.
  • As the game unfolds, players make decisions that effect the size and shape of the puzzle, ultimately effecting the value of the puzzle pieces that each player holds and what pieces they will desire to have. Throughout the game, some pieces can be made obsolete or more difficult to use, so players want to invest in their materials wisely.
  • Will you race around the board to collect pieces before doing a massive build, or will you build a little bit along the way?
  • It is important to consider obsolescence of pieces and invest in your pieces wisely throughout the game. You don’t want to come up empty handed, but you also don’t want to see your investment wasted by obsolescence.



  • Game board
  • Box of puzzle pieces, 4 sizes of pieces
  • Butterfly joints, 4 colors in boxes
  • Box of corner joints
  • 2 die


  • Each player picks the color of joint they will use for the game.
  • Each player privately fills out an ordering sheet for their first 10 puzzle pieces, then turns it upside down in front of them, concealing it from their opponents until everyone is finished. Then players simultaneously reveal their orders and receive their puzzle pieces.


  • Players each roll one die. The player with the highest number goes first, then players continue to take turns clockwise around the board.


  • A player starts their turn by rolling the die. The value on the die can be either used to move forward that number of spaces on the board, or can represent the number of puzzle pieces they can contribute to the puzzle.
  • Collecting more materials: Every time a player passes one of the corners on the board, they get to select 10 new puzzle pieces from the box of pieces.
  • Partial turns: If the players dice roll reflects more puzzle pieces than they are able to put down, yet they still would like to contribute to the puzzle instead of moving around the board, they may do so with what pieces they can use, but they lose the remainder of their turn.


The Foundation

  • Players create a puzzle that is square or rectangle in its inner foundation ring, radiating out into 4 large triangle panels – one on each side of square or rectangle ring – made up of the individual triangle puzzle pieces.
  • The first row must be a single row of rectangular shaped pieces. These pieces are only used in the first row and become obsolete after that row is laid.
  • Each corner of the foundation ring is joined by a type “A” puzzle piece, locking the foundation together.
  • Though the foundation must result in a proper rectangle or square, the size and shape of the foundation ring decided by the players moves as the first rounds of the game unfold. A player may decide to steer the game into a smaller rectangle board by placing the an “A” type piece abruptly at the end of a longer string of foundation pieces. Whatever the resulting length of the sides, the size of the foundation may not exceed 36 pieces.

The Triangular Puzzle Panels

  • Once the foundation is laid players may begin working, row by row, to build the puzzle panels.
  • Pieces must be placed in rows with pieces of the same shape.
  • When players reach the end of a row, the player whose turn it is may decide what shape of puzzle piece leads the next row.
  • Players must collectively finish laying down an entire row before moving onto the next row.
  • “One row” of same-sized triangle pieces is comprised of pieces that alternate up-side-down and right-side up, creating a flat top and bottom, allowing for a new layer of different size pieces to be laid atop it.

Connecting Pieces + Gaining Points

  • Butterfly joints are the point system of the game.
  • Puzzle pieces that players lay down are joined using the players butterfly joints.
  • Players may only use their joints where they are connecting two pieces together, introducing a new puzzle piece to an existing puzzle piece on the board. Players may not put joints on the puzzle pieces in places where they are not connecting to other pieces. This would be an abuse of the point system.


  • If a player rolls a double, it doubles their move, plus they get two (2) corner joints (type E). Doubling their move can mean either moving twice as many spaces on the board, or using twice as many puzzle pieces during that turn.
  • The corner pieces can be used to make four-sided accessory structures that bring the player extra points. Players may build their accessory structure independent of the main puzzle and the other players.
  • Each completed accessory structure must be made up of four (4) “C” type puzzle pieces and four (4) corner joints.
  • Only complete structures can accrue points for the player who owns the structure.
  • Completed structures are worth eight (8) points. Incomplete structures are worth zero (0) points.


  • Be the player with the highest number of butterfly joints in the puzzle! This means you’ve invested wisely in your puzzle pieces and contributed the most to the building of the puzzle.