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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Favorite Game Mechanics rss

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Jonathan Thwaites
Canada
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Hi Guys,

As a game creator, I am always interested in what people like about games, and why. Often when I pick up a new game and play it for the first time, I feel that some key element was missed in the creation of the game. I was wondering if anyone else feels the same way. As such, I wanted to ask, What is one of your favorite game mechanic, and why do you like it?

As an example, I myself love strategic semi co-op games, with the possibility of betrayal from other players. The idea being that everyone is working towards a common goal, but one (or more) of the players might also have hidden goals. I love the feeling of intrigue that this creates.

That's me. What's your thoughts?
 
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John Burt
United States
Portland
Oregon
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For me, it's not so much favored mechanics, as disfavored ones. For example, I'm neither here nor there about co-ops, but you couldn't pay me to play a game with betrayal mechanics.
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
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Direct player conflict. Negotiation.
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Michael
Canada
Niagara Region & Buffalo
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I really like engine building Euros. It's very satisfying seeing your plans and big combos come together, like in La Granja and ZhanGuo. Theme integration in mechanics is also something I love, but is not absolutely necessary for a game. It's a big plus, though, and my two favourite games of all time have that in spades: Dungeon Petz and Hawaii.
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Chris Graves
United States
Oregon
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Drafting is my jam at the moment...it changes all the time though.
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T. Ips
Denmark
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Engine building and a sense of progression!

Keeps the game changing during its playtime and gives me a sense of accomplishment.
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Melody Klein
Israel
Tel Aviv
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Deckbuilding in all its varieties.
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Steve B
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Derry
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Definitely Gary, he is by far the best mechanic in any game. Pity the mechanisms in that game aren't so good.

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Dan
New Zealand
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Worker placement ala stone age or dominant species
Dice placement ala steampunk rally
Simultaneous actions ala 7 wonders
Set collection
Building stuff, e.g. Galaxy trucker or Castles of mad king ludwig
 
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John Smith
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I do enjoy games where there is escalation. Where you start off small and get an engine going. An example is Fleet. I start with no boats and no fish, and get together several ships usually and generally try and land as many crates of fish as possible. Each time I play I am thinking, I want to land a lot of fish this go!

Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small. Love trying to get a whole bunch of animals on the farm.

But I think that I am open to most mechanisms and if a game really shines, the actual type of mechanism is not so important. Like I don't particularly like push your luck games. However, I love Port Royal.

I was shocked the other day when I looked up the top fifty worker placement games. I had so many of the top 30, and most of the ones I didn't have was more to do with not liking the art/components.
 
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Ryan Addleman
United States
Aurora
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Definitely worker placement for me. I don't know if I can put into words exactly why though. For whatever reason it's just a mechanic that clicks for me. I like knowing that there are a certain amount of actions I can take in a turn and at any point someone else can take that action blocking me and forcing me to change my strategy on the fly. Some of my favorite games including this mechanic are Viticulture and Agricola. Although I had to get rid of the latter because my wife did not enjoy it at all with how stressful it can be.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
United States
New York
New York
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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In general, I like to build something. Create a tableau of cards, an empire on the board. Not exactly a mechanic but there I am. So I like...

Agricola - build a farm
Forbidden Stars - build a space empire
The Gallerist - accumulate an art collection
Viticulture - build a vinyard

I like games with cards (all of the above have them). Something about card driven games appeals to me (Concordia, Hannibal).

Too much unmitigated randomness annoys me. Plain vanilla coops aren't my thing (although I like Pandemic Cthulhu). Side by side solitaire is rarely appealing.
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maf man
United States
Waunakee (madison area)
WI
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dice placement - Games where you start with random going in but then you use your choices to shape it to best fit your strategy. Keeps you on your toes but keeps your control more important.
 
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Robbert Vervuurt
Denmark
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I really like deduction (Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Spyfall, Codenames, Ultimate Werewolf etc.) and tile-laying games, or at least games where the board is different every time.

Catan scratches the tile-laying itch a bit, but not enough. Carcassonne really scratches the tile-laying itch though!

Maybe tile-laying isn't the right word, but modular gameboard? Escape: Curse of the Temple for example fits my wish very well for example, and Masmorra is hopefully also going to be right up my alley!

I have no idea if it exists, but tile-laying + deduction would be mind-blowing
 
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Jerry Schippa
United States
Sun Prairie
Wisconsin
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Something that you don't see very often is knowledge as a commodity.

In Dune some players know parts of the game that are hidden to others. This information can be traded for spice, temporary truces, or other knowledge. I really want to see more games incorporate upcoming changes to the board state as a currency like Dune did.
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Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Sarnia
Ontario
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Auction/Bidding - goa, biblios, isle of Skye, Peloponnes, ra, Amun-re, Keyflower
 
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Robbert Vervuurt
Denmark
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dukane wrote:
Something that you don't see very often is knowledge as a commodity.

In Dune some players know parts of the game that are hidden to others. This information can be traded for spice, temporary truces, or other knowledge. I really want to see more games incorporate upcoming changes to the board state as a currency like Dune did.


That sounds really cool!
 
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April W
United States
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All I know is when I see "Abstract Strategy" I make a prompt u-turn.
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mortego

New Kensington
Pennsylvania
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Ian Tavener
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Newmarket
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I love drawing secret shit from bags. Thebes, Orléans, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Roll for the Galaxy are some of my favourites.
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Jonathan Thwaites
Canada
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I love the points you guys have been mentioning.

rvervuurt wrote:

I have no idea if it exists, but tile-laying + deduction would be mind-blowing


I have not been able to find any examples of this myself. I also thought it would be an amazing combination. I'm actually in the prototype phase of a game like this.

dukane wrote:
Something that you don't see very often is knowledge as a commodity.


Your right, I only remember seeing that once before (and I can't even remember the name of the game it was part of). Can anybody else think of examples of this game mechanic?

chubber911 wrote:
I love drawing secret shit from bags. Thebes, Orléans, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Roll for the Galaxy are some of my favourites.


Who doesn't love drawing something secret from a bag. With Carcassonne sheep expansion, many people I've talked to didn't like it as much, but I love the chance to draw random sheep or wolves from the bag.


What other mechanics are people either liking, or not liking? Also, have you ever been disappointed in a game because they didn't manage the mechanics well?
 
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Carel Teijgeler
Netherlands
Vlaardingen
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I would prefer you start with a (good and interesting) theme. whistle
 
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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anijunk wrote:
I would prefer you start with a (good and interesting) theme. whistle


I'd agree, but more specifically, I want the setting to heavily inform the design of the mechanics. And not the other way around.
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Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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dukane wrote:
Something that you don't see very often is knowledge as a commodity.

In Dune some players know parts of the game that are hidden to others. This information can be traded for spice, temporary truces, or other knowledge. I really want to see more games incorporate upcoming changes to the board state as a currency like Dune did.

Mission Red Planet has secret cards that change how an area of the board will score at the end. If you're trying to control that area, and someone else places a card there, you have to sacrifice a turn to see what they placed there.

Fun mechanism.
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Adam P
United States
Seattle
Washington
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My favorite interactive mechanism would have to be auction, because so much drama can unfold in a good auction. Think Power Grid when the "7" plants come out.
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