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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Win Conditions for a Card Game rss

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John Akerson
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I'll try to make this as short as possible, but I've been having trouble really capturing good win conditions in a card game I'm designing. I know the forum here is filled with awesome people so I thought I'd register and see if I could bounce ideas off people.

Little backstory for the game: It revolves around the idea that there is a fourth dimension, similar to if someone was in a 2D world and was told 'hey you know you can move up and down right?' and a whole new whole was opened to them. Essentially this fourth dimension (which I took to calling the lateral) connects several different "existences". Each "existence" has some factions with backstory etc and to make a long story short they're now fighting and attacking each other through these lateral "breaches". These existences happen in the same 3D space but were completely independent of each other until now, just with a different "fourth dimension" coordinate. Time etc passes the same through all of them so nothing really wonky happening. It's almost a wormhole of sorts connecting everything but no inter-galactic space theory stuff.

The game is a parallel turn asymmetric card game. I've always envisioned an "attacker" player and a "defender" player. Each player is given X resources per turn and can use them on units/spells/whatever, and resource don't carry over to the next turn. You also always start a turn off with a full hand so you're encouraged to play as much as possible. There's three "lanes" that each player can play units in and each turn they'll automatically attack whoever is in the opposing lane (similar to like every digital ccg).

The dilemma is in the victory condition: I originally gave the defender a row of "buildings" (for lack of a flavorful term), and the attacker won by breaching the opponent's defenses and reducing the health of Y of their buildings to 0 (once a building was destroyed it would be replaced by a new one). The defender then was trying to 'secure' these buildings by investing Z resources into each one (having to balance between progressing to a victory condition and securing their board state) and once fully invested they'd "score" it instead. Very net-runner-ish.

The issue is in terms of the story it didn't make sense, it wasn't that interesting, and it further complicated and muddled the game. It felt more like a nuisance to worry about (esp as the defender) than a fun game component. So I'm trying to rethink things. But coming up with flavorful/fun victory conditions is actually more difficult than I was anticipating, especially when your original ideas turn out to be flawed. I'd love to shoot around ideas if anyone has any thoughts.
 
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Stefan D
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Not going to help you with the victory conditions but in terms of theme...
I think it should really be called the 6th dimension from what i have read... possibly a higher dimension depending on the actual back story.. but certainly not the 4th

the 4th dimension is time
 
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Evan Pedersen
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Sounds like you are thinking basically a siege warfare-style game. Storywise you could work in some sort of Dimension X needs Resource A and has to take it from Dimension Y thing. The attacking players victory is simple, just pull X resource points from Dimension Y. The defender could have the "must use all resources by the end of the turn" mechanic removed and have thier victory condition be "have X resource points in reserve at the end of the turn". Basically saying they have enough to last out the siege. They'd still need to use the resource to defend themselves, so they can't just turtle up. You could even make it so the defender's goal gets easier as the game continues, encouraging attacker aggression.

What about Dimenstion X needs Flobotinum, which Dimension Y has in abundance. They can tunnel into Y to get it. Meanwhile, Dimension Y has a Dimension Barrier Reinforcer that's slowly charging up, making it more difficult for those damn Xers to get over. As the game progresses, the DBR is charging up but can be switched on with a sudden Flobotinum dump to cover the difference.
 
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Evan Pedersen
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Yeah, avoid numbered dimensions. I keep thinking of this as a cross between Sliders and Mad Max.
 
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Cornixt
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"Dimension" is misleading, the term "parallel universe" would work better but isn't perfect in itself.
 
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hakyoku seiken
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Maybe have the story around frequencies of existence? This avoids the dimension pitfalls...maybe something is disrupting the frequencies of these different planes and now they're mashed up into the same timespace thingy or whatever. You could even have more flavor backstory about how leading up to the full on sharing of the same frequency, they thought each other's presence that would occur now and then and randomly, as ghosts or other superstitious entities until some event happened which caused them to exist on the same frequency and all that ghost stuff from before has lead them to believe the other is some sort of army from their own belief of what hell is. IDK, just thinking out loud.
 
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John Akerson
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Hi all thanks for so many replies already!! "4th dimension" was my way of quickly indicating what my story is about. I never really number the dimension, or refer to it as a dimension (only in "technical" talks I've had with people).

If you want to read ~1500 word writeup I did on my story, it's here:
http://johnakerson.blogspot.com/2013/07/story-v11_3.html
(am i allowed to link a personal site?)

@Evan I like it! I never really thought about the defender having a different resource structure entirely. I had come up with similar ideas in my head (if attacker doesn't win in X turns the defender wins, committing Y resources to "secure" a location, etc). As a "control" player, I'm not quite sure what a fun victory condition would be. I've even considered some sort of "deck the attacker" mechanism. Nothing has felt right just yet.
 
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Let's see, the fourth dimension is time. The fifth has something to do with Aquarius. I would go with the 27th dimension if I were you, if only to piss off Stephen Hawking who believes there are only 26.

Regarding your win conditions, the first thing that came to mind was Missile Command.

So, based on what my feeble mind can understand about the dimensions after the third, some of those dimensions exist on a subatomic level, like some kind of quarks that control the gravity that holds the fabric of our material existence together. I probably got it all wrong, but in the 27th dimension, anything is possible. Rather than have them take over buildings, what if each reality is trying to control/steal reality-fabric-preserving quarks from the other parallel worlds. I even got your tagline!

"It's about to get real up in here!"

 
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John
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akerson wrote:


Little backstory for the game...


Your back-story sounds a bit like the stepping premise of The Long Earth (or The High Meggas which it was based on). In those stories it's possibly to step between parallel worlds using a simple device called a stepper. It's possible to take anything you are carrying as long as it doesn't contain Iron.

[I've not read your blog post, but I'll have a look later]
 
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Benj Davis
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Cross-world conflict is tricky to deal with, both as a story and as a game, because there needs to be a solid reason why a given place or thing has strong significance, so unless there are only a limited number of worlds or they can be in some way access controlled, that leaves it up to the uniqueness of stuff, or simply vying for utter control.

Figure out what's valuable in your world and what your factions want, that will inform how you have them achieve those things in your game.
 
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John Akerson
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Yeah the idea (although my backstory doesn't really extrapolate on it) is that this extraction of life is what can connect the worlds. The idea is that we're inhibiting the same space, but the lifeforce doesn't abide by the same rules we humans have to, and by tapping into that we can bridge existences. Another unexplained thing is they have to be "similar" enough and the laterals that open have to make sense in both worlds.

The explanation for the fighting was a bit more complicated, but I think it's all there and makes sense.
 
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Tyler Lipchen
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Just a thought, if the war was started by these rifts being opened, then maybe your win condition should involve them? Closing each rift, closing your own, or taking over another might be some ideas. Great idea for a game! I'm looking forward to hearing more about it!
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