By Chance, Ever Tinkering
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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One of the symptons of Game Designer Syndrome is the tendency to redesign other author's published designs. Often, this is simply a matter of changing a rule here or there. But sometimes the desire takes the form of creating a whole new game, that simply happens to use the same - or at least many of the same - components as the original. I've included the one published example I'm aware of, and the ones I'm responsible for; I'd welcome other examples (either published or unpublished).

BTW, credit for naming the syndrome goes to
Alan R. Moon
United States
Unspecified
New York
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1. Board Game: U.S. Rails [Average Rating:4.75 Unranked]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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This is the only published example of a tinkering I'm aware of offhand; I'd bet there are others. Changes Rail Baron into a game about the amalgamation of the railroads into Amtrak - not the most uplifting subject, though at least something historic and different from the usual.
 
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Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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While I've never been strongly drawn to redesigning games, this one tempted me, particularly because of how poorly the game was received. I'm not sure my trick taking variant came out any better, but it was fun to try something different with the components.
 
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Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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This is a borderline case, I suppose, but essentially fits - trying to find a way to use the blank cards of Nix for a game. Like far too many designs I've worked on, the inspiration came from a casual conversation about games in general, which made me realize that there needed to be a game using nothing but blank cards.
 
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4. Board Game: Rail Baron [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1919]
Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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While I played US Rails many years ago, I didn't try Rail Baron for the first time until earlier this year. And having played it once, I realized that I really enjoyed certain elements of the game - combining rail lines to create efficient paths and travelling around the country - but didn't care for the movement by die roll or the table with tiny print. So I replaced the roll for destinations with a draft that adds bonuses for destinations not taken soon, using cards for the destinations with the payouts right on the cards. By eliminating many of the slower elements, the game plays in about an hour, which is more the length I want the game to be.

It was actually this redesign that inspired this list. I rather suspect it would drive fans of Rail Baron nuts - but it turns the game into one that appeals more to me, the ultimate objective of tinkering. Now if I can just get it to a point I want to play the game, I'll be all set...
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5. Board Game: The World at War [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.33 Unranked]
Chris B
United States
Oxford
Mississippi
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The only one that I am aware of, this is a redoing of Axis and Allies that we used to play in college more than Axis and Allies. It starts a little earlier in time, and has some different rules for certain parts of the game. Like a rule for the germans to try to assassinate Hitler, etc.
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6. Board Game: Dippi Totale [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Geeky McGeekface
United States
Manassas
Virginia
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It's time for baseball, people! Pitchers and catchers report soon and the national pastime is with us again!
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There have been a huge number of Diplomacy variants, quite a few of which have been published. Here's an early one (1985) from two distinguished designers: Karl-Heinz Schmiel and Bernd Brunnhofer.
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7. Board Game: One World Dominion [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Geeky McGeekface
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Manassas
Virginia
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There have been, perhaps, even more published variants for Risk. This is one of the best known ones, from a decade ago.
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8. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1220]
howl hollow howl
United States
Oregon
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Get Set

Set is a pastime in search of a game. Set was unplayable with my wife due to the difference in skill level. Triology was the publisher's attempt to make a game out of it; I love it, but it's fairly intimidating. So I designed a game based somewhat on Go Fish which requires the ability to form sets, but really relies on probability analysis, bluff, and intuition to win. Don't be put off by the Go Fish origins; my past opponents would testify that this is truly a game of skill.

Unfortunately, it works best with the cards from Triology, which have icons in the corner so you can see the cards with minimal fanning. Cards from the game Set itself were only meant to be held on the table.
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9. Board Game: The Artifact [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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Phil Eklund's re-interpretation of Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident. In fact The Artifact comes with 4 copies of The Last Frontier in the bag.
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10. Board Game: Rocky Mountain Rails [Average Rating:2.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:2.70 Unranked]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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This tinkers with Rails Through the Rockies.
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11. Board Game: Vulkan! [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:10479]
Mischa D. Krilov
United States
New Orleans
Louisiana
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This game is the only published example I know of; it uses the components of Feurio!, came from the same designer, and is available via the publisher's site.

I haven't played either game.
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