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J K
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Indiana
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What if there was a "legacy" style game that evolved from game to game and no one ever won? A theme idea would be like Animal Crossing (cute animals living in a city that expands and evolves through real time play). I was thinking of something like this to play with my wife.

Initially you pull the game out of the box and there are 4 square plots of land and you each move in. A game has a certain number of turns before it ends, and the daytime turns to night. The game is then either played again or placed in a save state within the box. Want to focus on fishing and explore the river banks, Ok. Want to plant an orchard to harvest, ok. Non playable characters would move in randomly and require certain attention. I could only imaging what could be possible within a year (and several expansions). Perhaps there would be an ability to benefit from visiting your friend and playing their game with them, allowing you to return to your town with new items not available within your game.

Would there ever be a desire to play something that doesn't have an end or win condition. Just the pure fun of making decisions and building something out of nothing?

What are other things that would be possible with this "Endless System"?
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Paul DeStefano
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It's a Zendrum. www.zendrum.com
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I'm not sure why people would play this rather than some sandbox game on PC.
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Clare Johnson
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these type of games work well as apps etc because you can just pick up and play, there is no set up time and you simple close the app when you are done, hence I can fill 5mins whilst cooking etc.

An actual boardgame requires set up and teardown time, and space in which to play.... why would you not just choose the app each time?
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April W
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I think that would be a lot of fun if the setup issue could be handled in some way. After a year of playing you don't want it to take you two hours just to get started.

One idea would be to have the game come with several clear plastic play mats with insert slots for tiles. As play progresses the inserts are filled. Once one mat is filled, you start another. And something similar for supplies and such. Perhaps something like that could work.
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J K
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I would much rather play Agricola physical version than the digital version- and I consider that a very polished app experience. Surely as a gamer, I don't need to explain the inherent need for true interaction- both with bits and people.
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J K
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Soleia wrote:
I think that would be a lot of fun if the setup issue could be handled in some way. After a year of playing you don't want it to take you two hours just to get started.

One idea would be to have the game come with several clear plastic play mats with insert slots for tiles. As play progresses the inserts are filled. Once one mat is filled, you start another. And something similar for supplies and such. Perhaps something like that could work.


Maybe the game was played in the box some how. Plastic insert that held the tiles played? Expansion boxes would allow going outside of these boundaries into the other box. Close the box lid and shelve.
 
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Jeromie Rand
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There could be a market for this, sure. There are hobbies that work like this already: model train building, for instance, or even playing with Lego blocks. What kid hasn't insisted that you keep their creations intact until the next time they can play?

I think it would help to think about this from the perspective of those other hobbies. In addition to the question "can I make a persistent board game," ask yourself, "would adding rules / restrictions to playing with toys make the experience more fun?" I think at least some people would answer yes.
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Vadim Golembo
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This is definitely Animal Crossing.
Which is great, I spend lots of time drinking virtual coffee.
It also sounds like legos.
Build a little town pretend your dudes are doing cool stuff, nice.
But I doubt you want to let this go that far off the boardgame course.
I'd like this to work.
My suggestion is to start very small.
Build a prototype where you build your house.
You could probably follow the Animal Crossing model.
Rounds are divided into Day Phase & Night Phase.
Each turn you should have several but limited number of actions to perform.
Like a worker placement game.
There needs to be some some restrictions on what can be done during day and night. Like certain offices are closed, you can't farm.
There should be a point mechanism just so you can see how your doing.
Maybe you are trying to unlock certain achievements that will grant you better items associated with whatever task you got the achievement in (golden shovel and such).
There should also be a timer on tasks like NPC cards that enter the game will have needs to meet in X turns otherwise you will not claim their reward. You don't need penalty for failure just denial of rewards associated with task.
I can go on and on...
It would be cool solo.
By the way Legacy games...not my favorite.
That's what expansions are for...and you don't need to buy the game if you feel like starting over or playing it with two different groups of friends.

That's my 2cents.
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Michael
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This game might exist. It's called Legos.
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Cornixt
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mkaup366 wrote:
This game might exist. It's called Legos.

I bet that game gets confused with the interlocking brick system branded as Lego.
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K S
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Several folks have pointed out a setup issue. You might could get around this by limiting customization: maybe only the players' homes are fully customizable.

Public locations could be represented by static tiles, perhaps slightly modifiable; maybe some tokens could be placed to make slight modifications, or they could be double-sided and flipped to indicate major changes during the course of the campaign.

I'm imagining maybe a single town map. Perhaps it has blank spots to place location tiles on if there are spatially-dependent mechanics (pickup-and-deliver, area control, area movement etc.) or maybe it's just a static "overworld" map and separate location tiles represent interiors, with characters moving from the location tiles to the overworld map to represent interior/exterior movement.

I think some of these solutions could simplify the "set up the entire city every time you play" problem, but it would probably still be quite a bit of setup, so you better make sure that there is a gameplay payoff in immersion and fun.
 
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Mark Smith

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For long lasting sandbox games I think you may need to look at RPG books and see if one will cater your city building desires.
unless you can play a one hit city build game session and incorporate a campaign system where the winner of a game gets a perk or skill for the next one.
This whole idea is difficult but sounds intriguing.
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Daniel C
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There's a game like that, it's called Minecraft. And legos.
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J K
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Indiana
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Greatest collection of gamers and their collective response is legos shake
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Cris Whetstone
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This could work for a narrow set of people and they would probably all need to live near one another with a space to set up the game permanently or repeatedly.

Most people gaming now days want their participation ribbons(points) at some point so I cannot see this having wide appeal.
 
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Chris Williams

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If you come come up with a way to save and restore, I'm sure that someone would like it. Whether it would be a big hit, like the Minesweeper of boardgaming or not, who knows, but I think you could trust that there'd be a reasonably sized interest in it.

The problem is saving and restoring.

Maybe there's some way to create popout paper figures that you can move around, by detaching and reattaching, within the map while still being able to preserve the ability to fold everything up and having it all stay in place. But short of that, or a computer, I think you'd be out of luck on a logistical basis.

If you could figure out the paper thing though, I'd venture to guess that you could get a patent out of it. Someone will come up with a cool idea for that sort of technology, even if the sandbox game doesn't take.
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John Breckenridge
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It's a legacy game where you start with a map of a big undeveloped piece of land and do tile-laying with stickers.
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Will Haynes
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As long as there was something to reach for, it would probably work. One of the reasons why I'm looking forward to the Project Highrise video game. Just keep building a massive highrise, but have some quests or goals to reach to keep going and keeping your interest.
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J K
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AnalyzerOfGames wrote:
If you come come up with a way to save and restore, I'm sure that someone would like it. Whether it would be a big hit, like the Minesweeper of boardgaming or not, who knows, but I think you could trust that there'd be a reasonably sized interest in it.

The problem is saving and restoring.

Maybe there's some way to create popout paper figures that you can move around, by detaching and reattaching, within the map while still being able to preserve the ability to fold everything up and having it all stay in place. But short of that, or a computer, I think you'd be out of luck on a logistical basis.

If you could figure out the paper thing though, I'd venture to guess that you could get a patent out of it. Someone will come up with a cool idea for that sort of technology, even if the sandbox game doesn't take.



As far as Save and Restore. I would imagine as area would eventually hit max expansion- lets say 6x6 tiles with x resources and x civilians is maxed out. Maybe at that point, that tile becomes a smaller tile with markable stats and a new undeveloped area is opened. You can still visit the old town (to a degree) and your board enlarges and shrinks to maintain smaller table space.
 
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J K
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One feature of Animal Crossing is the change of seasons and special events that occur on certain days. It would be interesting if each month had its own addition of cards- special things/events that would keep the game unique. If the game was successful you would Purchase a yearly pack to keep it fresh.
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K S
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GrayDaddy wrote:
One feature of Animal Crossing is the change of seasons and special events that occur on certain days. It would be interesting if each month had its own addition of cards- special things/events that would keep the game unique. If the game was successful you would Purchase a yearly pack to keep it fresh.

Opportunity for a fun custom component: instead of cards, the game comes with one of those 365-page a "Page-A-Day" calendars, outlining the events and rules changes for each "day" of play.
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Shirley Sheak
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mkaup366 wrote:
This game might exist. It's called Legos.

This.

Lego with a paste on theme.
GrayDaddy wrote:
Greatest collection of gamers and their collective response is legos shake

I'm sorry but this came into my mind almost instantly...
 
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American in Chile
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If you do tile-laying/upgrades with colorforms, they can be removed when desired.
 
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Freelance Police
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If this system involves player interaction, such as politics, then a boardgame could be more suitable than an app, at least until apps become more commonplace (and accidentally leaving my tablet at the game store would cost me less than twenty bucks!). Way back when, there *was* a CCG for building cities, called Sim City, originally based on the PC game. The game was pretty awful, but it was made.

I don't think a sandbox boardgame would be too hard to play as a conventional game. Players could have public and private objectives they play as the city develops. You score with your objectives, but the game can end at any agreed-upon score.
 
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Jeromie Rand
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GrayDaddy wrote:
Greatest collection of gamers and their collective response is legos :shake::p


This is probably a good sign. Playing with Lego blocks was one of my very favorite childhood memories; I imagine the same is true for many others. If you can design a game that taps into a sense of childhood play it would be very successful indeed! I think the challenge is how to take the best of what we like about a structured, goal oriented game and mix it with the joy that comes from just building something.

You could also turn to RPGs for yet another perspective. Most are designed with a sense of continuity from one session to the next. I realize that what you're proposing is very different, but some of the challenges have been met in other genres.
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