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WuXingRPS: Elemental Rock Paper Scissors

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WuXingRPS is a prototype 5-way rock paper scissors game. The eventual purpose for the prototype is to serve as a minigame to teach elemental interactions in an RPG battle system.

I chose WuXing elements because they provide a nontraditional (in terms of typical RPGs) series of interesting interactions.

The Five Elements

The five elements are Earth (yellow), Metal (silver), Water (black), Wood (green), and Fire (red). They have two levels of interactions that you can look at anytime by pressing the ? button in the bottom right corner.

The Destruction interaction, indicated by red arrows, shows that, for example, Metal chops Wood. So Metal beats Wood.

The Generation interaction shows that, for example, Water grows Wood. So Wood “eats” Water.

That’s all there is to it. Click those element disks and try to get more points than the computer.

Surprise: iteration to find mechanics

In an earlier version of the prototype the player and enemy choices that resulted in a generation relationship interaction led to a draw. This meant that 3/5 interactions were draws. The prototype was less exciting than the current version. This iteration was critical in achieving a sense of fun in this prototype, as well as fleshing out the goals of an eventual RPG battle system using the elemental mechanic.

So making this prototype led to unexpected value. Let that be a lesson to keep it simple, because sometimes the simple things that are achievable within your current skillset can lead to surprising results.


I’m really interested in feedback, so give the game a try and tell me what you think in the comments or on twitter. If you’re an artist interested in gussying up my shameful attempts at UI and UX, please please please reach out to me. I’d love to improve this prototype.