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Vince
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Carrying on in my vein of games with "the" in the title, and prompted by a discussion over on BGDF, here's a little something I've been wanting to work on for some years now.

http://fromthedeep.net/survival/survival.pdf 4.9mb pdf - includes rules, component breakdown, player trackers, environment cards, environment card backs, tokens, token backs.
Backs are not essential (token backs are for convenience when dividing pieces before a game), and it should be possible to play with two players (maybe even three) on a low-quality black-and-white printout.

http://fromthedeep.net/survival/survival-lo.pdf 2.1mb 2-player black-ink minimal-print option - includes rules, player trackers, environment cards, single-sided tokens.
Excludes card backs, token backs.

You may substitute 12 misc counters for each player. These are included for thematic consistency only, and serve no purpose beyond tracking values on the player tracker sheets.

No dice required.

The game is in what I would call "early stages" and untested, but shows some promise.

Essential elements are a variety of environments and the playing of creatures from various species on them, DNA tracks which players adjust during the game, and random extinction events.
Outside of those elements, which give the game the "feel" I want, I'm sure there's still a lot of room for improvement. For example, I'd like a fairly clear rock-paper-scissors interaction between environments, predators, and prey, without making too clear a distinction between predator and prey species beyond their DNA or attribute tracks.

What do you guys think?
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Nate K
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Whoa. That's a lot of tokens. I wouldn't print this out, myself, but I'd definitely play this if someone else had a copy and wanted to try it.
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Vince
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You don't need all of them.
Anything will do as food counters and malnutrition markers, as long as the two are distinguishable, and if you're playing with less than four players, you don't even need all the creatures.

That being said, do you think I should provide a "minimal components" version?
 
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Nate K
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deepTwo wrote:


That being said, do you think I should provide a "minimal components" version?


That probably would help encourage people to give it a try, yes.
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James Hutchings
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Have you mixed "survival of the fittest" and "the origin of species" deliberately? I would have used one or the other for the title.
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TC Petty III
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Carlisle
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VIVAJAVA DICE 2014!
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apeloverage wrote:
Have you mixed "survival of the fittest" and "the origin of species" deliberately? I would have used one or the other for the title.

May I recommend "THE origin of THE fittest"

That's two "the's"! And one "the" better!
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Vince
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apeloverage wrote:
Have you mixed "survival of the fittest" and "the origin of species" deliberately? I would have used one or the other for the title.

No.
The game isn't about the origin of species, or the survival of the fittest.
Nor is it a treatise on the origins of life, or a theory for the hows and whys of life as we know it.
It's about making the right choices in order to ensure the survival of a species.

I'm still open to suggestions though.

Quote:
May I recommend "THE origin of THE fittest"

That's two "the's"! And one "the" better!

Pure genius!

Other commitments have kept me from producing the minimal print version, but I'll have that up as soon as possible.
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Vince
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Low ink option is up.

http://fromthedeep.net/survival/survival-lo.pdf 2.5mb 2-player black-ink minimal-print option - includes rules, species trackers, environment cards, single-sided tokens.
Excludes component breakdown, 3rd and 4th player components, card backs, token backs.

If there's anything else I can do to make this easier - within reason, of course - do let me know.
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Vince
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It occurred to me while going over the rules that this game can be played solo. It's different, because you're playing against the environments without player interaction, but it should still be somewhat entertaining.

Rules updated with new player count and other minor clarifications.
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Vince
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I played this solo today, and it seems like there might be too much food available from environments.

Certainly in a solo game, all environment food values should be reduced by one point.

Small change to reproduction : Each Species only produces one offspring each turn.
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Vince
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Got a few rounds of playtesting in today, and there are a couple of obvious issues.

1. Extinction is too harsh. A Species which has been wiped out will be reset, and begin again with a single specimen, as at the beginning of the game.

2. Terrain is too harsh, and food too plentiful. Values will be redistributed to a maximum of 3 points.

3. It is too easy to get away with having species spread across the middle three environment types. Environment probability will be reworked to favour the outer ends of the scale, providing a greater challenge. I may also increase the penalty for environment hostility.

4. Mobility does not seem to affect play in what might be described as a meaningful way. I'll take a look at this and see if I can improve things in the light of the planned re-balance.

Otherwise, the game provides enough choices to be interesting without stalling, so on the whole it's moving along well. I may rework the round sequence or combine two or more of the survival phases, if it looks like I can sensibly offer players more useful choices without creating too much chaos.

I'll post when rules have been updated.
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Vince
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Rules and cards updated.

Extinction no longer removes a species from the game, but resets it, giving the player a chance to try again, albeit with what could be a disadvantaged species.

Terrain and Nutrition have been rebalanced and redistributed, and an additional Nutritional penalty has been added to hostile environments.

Mobility remains unchanged. I'll give it a chance.

Now that Species cannot be removed from the game, I will consider moving their trackers to a player tracking sheet, and including a nutrition track on it, to reduce the number of counters to be included.
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Nate K
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deepTwo wrote:


Now that Species cannot be removed from the game, I will consider moving their trackers to a player tracking sheet, and including a nutrition track on it, to reduce the number of counters to be included.


I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this happen. I've been scared to print this out and try it, since I don't have a line cutter and would have to cut everything out by hand. It's a lot of counters, as is...
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Vince
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kurthl33t wrote:
deepTwo wrote:


Now that Species cannot be removed from the game, I will consider moving their trackers to a player tracking sheet, and including a nutrition track on it, to reduce the number of counters to be included.

I certainly wouldn't mind seeing this happen. I've been scared to print this out and try it, since I don't have a line cutter and would have to cut everything out by hand. It's a lot of counters, as is...

Alright, I'll get to work on that next.
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Vince
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Rules and components updated (see OP).

I've omitted the component breakdown, as it is no longer relevant. If it is felt that the tracker and tokens need some explaining, I can draw up a new one.

I've included some misc counters, which are not required, and only used for tracking. Plastic counters would be better for this, but I already had them drawn up, so I went ahead and included them.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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deepTwo wrote:
If it is felt that the tracker and tokens need some explaining, I can draw up a new one.


Yes, please! I don't understand what the "bone" and "mountain" means (you've got those symbols all over what I'm guessing to be the environment cards).

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Vince
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I'll draw up a new component breakdown as soon as I get a chance.

For now, I'll briefly explain the components so you know what you're looking at.

The chicken leg refers to nutrition when on environments, and predation when on a species tracker, and the rock or mountain refers to terrain when on environments, and mobility when on a species tracker.
The two symbols are linked in function across these two types of component.

Environment cards (the cards) have two columns of symbols on them (showing available nutrition from grazing, and terrain obstacles), and a climate scale across the bottom which mirrors the coloured scale shown on the species trackers. This is explained further in the rules.

Creature tokens are 1" x 1/2", coloured and numbered to indicate player and species.

Malnutrition markers are 1" square, red, and have a bone symbol on them.

Small 1/2" square counters with a chicken bone symbol were once nutrition counters, but are now only intended for general use in tracking species stats, and on the nutrition track, which is the final component on the player tracker, used to track nutrition gained and spent during the predation and nutrition phases. I should probably remove the chicken leg symbol from these counters to avoid confusion.
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Vince
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Component breakdown re-instated.

Let me know if I missed anything, or if any more clarification is neccesary.

And thanks for taking the time to comment.
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