Thinking Out Loud about Game Design

A blog where I just vent my thoughts about certain game design challenges and talk about unfinished game design ideas
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Sequence/Touché with Pyramids

Niko Lepka
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Board Game Designer
SirenRPG Designer
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As some may have noted from 3 other blog posts on my blog Shower Thought Games (Martian Ludo, Icehouse Camelot, and Hidden Agenda), I recently acquired a set of Icehouse pieces, which naturally has gotten my creative juices flowing.

Adding to this, my parents really like playing Sequence. I personally find it quite boring, but I can see the appeal as an excuse to get together and chill with friends and snacks.

Touché, in my mind is rather similar to Sequence in a lot of ways; the standard gameplay remains the same: Play a card, place a token. Once a particular shape condition is met, that player is crowned winner for the round.

It got me wondering though: What would a game of Sequence (or Touché) look like playing with a set of Looney Pyramids?

One of the core features of the Looney Pyramids, is that they're nestable.

Having three different sizes means the pyramids easily and neatly nest overtop of each other. This has some potential for disruptive gameplay!

People familiar with Touché would probably popint out the fact that it too uses pyramids. That said, these pyramids serve a rather different function in the game: Once a player creates a scoring feature, that feature is capped off with black pyramids to indicate that it's finished. After that, all uncapped pyramids are returned to the respective owners and the game begins anew.

In a sense, this is disruptive: Having a feature permanently blocking spaces on the board means these are no longer available for future use, forcing the other players to reroute and reconsider.

I'm thinking of a different kind of disruption: Covering existing pieces with new ones.
Existing Icehouse/Looney pyramid aficionados would be quick to point out the obvious nature of this statement, but think about it:
The only time a space would be blocked off in such a scenario, is if it were occupied by a large pyramid (assuming we only allow stacking larger on top of smaller). But the limited supply of pyramids would also mean that the large pyramids would eventually run out, and you'd be forced to place smaller ones, which could be covered up by the other players.

Pairing this fact up with a possibly smaller board (most sequence and touché boards I've seen have had at least two copies of each card on the board) would force the players to get in each other's faces more, encouraging a more chaotic game.

This being said, it's not certain whether it would be a good idea to just use a regular deck of cards for this, or if we'd need something bigger/smaller.
Piecepack tiles and a bag to draw the tokens from comes to mind as a possible alternative, but this is to be developed and further playtested.

All in all, I think this might have potential, and I will definitely be developing something along these lines next, if it doesn't already exist (which it probably does, given the number of pyramid games in existence).

I tried the concept in Tabletop Simulator using differently sized pawns in place of pyramids (the workshop doesn't seem to have nestable ones).
From gallery of ElectricCoffee

It uses 3 trios per player, and each player draws 3 coins.
Every piece played is thrown back into the draw-bag, and once everyone has played one, the bag is shaken and 3 new are drawn again.
This is to maximise clashing as much as possible.
The tiles used for the game board are shuffled before being placed in a 5x5 grid with a hole in the middle.
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