Short Thoughts & Sketches

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Introducing Clone Lab

David Short
United States
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As I alluded to in my previous blog post, here's a more detailed overview of my concept for:

From gallery of dshortdesign

You frantically run your hands thru your nest of hair. Fidget with your chipped glasses. Shrug in your lopsided coat. It's inevitable... you keep arriving at the same conclusion: There's too much work and not enough time.

"Back to the lab, Junior. We must make another clone!"

In Clone Lab, players are rival mad scientists who have conquered the cloning process and moved onto their next bizarre creation. They are struggling to complete their next big project using only themself and their clones. Each player can have unlimited clones in their lab, but each clone costs to create and costs to maintain. Additionally, each subsequent clone is not as capable as the original. Worse yet, a clone of a clone warrants even less confidence.

[ Goals ]
2 - 5 Players
Worker Placement Euro
Under 90 Minutes
Medium Weight
Mad Scientist Theme

[ Initial Concept ]
Players are attempting to finish their project better/faster than their opponents using workers. These workers come in varying sizes to distinguish between the quality levels of the clones. Each player starts with 1 large pawn (themself) and 1 medium pawn (their clone).

The projects that the players are trying to complete could take a couple of different forms. First, it could be one joint project for all players to work on. This would require that parts/elements of work are marked in some way that they were done by certain players. Another way this could go would be every player is working on an identical project, but on their own. This would be fair and easy to design, but would be less appealing and less replayable. A third way this could go, is that the game could come with 7 or so unique projects and these are handed out randomly at the start of the game. These projects could be balanced or they could be assymetrical with varying costs that balance them. A fourth way this could go, is to have a large deck of cards, and a certain amount gets dealt to each player. They choose 1 or more (Ticket to Ride style) to complete during the game.

The clones would be created with some sort of cost. They would also have to be maintained with some sort of expenditure. The way I first envisioned their quality of work being represented during the game was with a modifier. There would be actions on the board that can be taken with your workers. Each action would have some sort of value/quantity. The original would have no modifier. The first clone, and any subsequent clone of the original, would have a modifier of -1. A clone of a clone would have a modifier of -3. I'm not sure I'll allow clones of 2nd-clones, but if I did they would have a modifier of -6.

But now I'm thinking this is a great opportunity to finally design a dice euro like I've been itching to do. So, now I'm envisioning each worker coming with a certain amount of dice. Each action on the board would cost a pip value (this could be something like 6 total pips or 6 exactly on 1 die - I'm leaning toward the latter). The original worker would get 6 dice. The 1st-Clones would get 3 dice. The 2nd-Clones would get 1 dice and the 4th-Clones would get 0 dice. If players put more than 1 worker at a spot, the total represented on that space are how many rolls you get. So 4th-Clones are useless dice wise, but could be helpful for rerolls. I think there's something there.

[ Game End ]
The game ends at the end of the round in which 1 or more players has finished their project. If only 1 player is done, they win. If more than 1 player has completed their project, then the projects would have some sort of score.
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