Tom McLean
Australia
Brunswick
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Entry thread for Fifth World Problems - Idea Phase
Designed for the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.

The town's got its issues: the Mayor is hungry, the Baker needs a wife, the grass children are scaring the Priest's dog, and the Carpenter has swapped mind/shards with his own geo-arrogance. You can help, though, by playing Fifth World Problems!



Contents: It's just a whole bunch of cards. At the time of writing, it's 67 object cards, 20 character cards and 50 problem cards.

Currently it takes a couple hours to play a game. I feel like I should probably try to bring that down a little.

Rules are pretty in-flux at the moment, I'll put them up as they get a little more concrete. It's pretty fun, though, in a kind of jigsaw puzzle kind of way. If you play Mage Knight and enjoy that moment where you're trying to figure out if you can take a city without getting any wounds by spending ten minutes rearranging your cards and units, you'd enjoy FWP.

This is my first entry into a BGG contest - or indeed my first post in any BGG forum, I'm more of a lurker usually - but I'm pretty confident I can see this through! Let me know what you think.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sturv Tafvherd
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Looking at those pictures, and trying to figure out the concept...

Gut reaction: a solitaire version of Fluxx
... but ...
instead of just Keepers satisfying Goals, you can have Goals stay around to satisfy even more Goals.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom McLean
Australia
Brunswick
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kiiind of, yeah. It's closer to Agricola- the game's divided up into phases, and most cards are only usable once per phase. Obviously, though, it's missing the 'edging out other players' mechanic.

Also, using the Keepers (I don't have a name for them yet) to complete a goal removes those Keepers from the game, so you need to manage playing cards to satisfy objectives versus playing cards for their functionality.

Playing cards to the table is generally done by discarding other cards (a la RftG) so there's a hand-management aspect there too.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Griffin Patterson
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
flag msg tools
This game looks very interesting. I'm looking forward to following the evolution of this!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom McLean
Australia
Brunswick
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Up past midnight last night working on this with my friend Peter. We got all the cards named (with placeholders, at least) so there're no weird blanks any more, and I redesigned the cards because it was way too hard to differentiate the card types.

I also made them squares rather than poker size, mostly just to fit more on a sheet (it's 12 pages now) but the squares actually look really nice on the table.

The game has a time-tracker card that you rotate 90 degrees at the end of each game turn. A couple cards only work during certain phases of the day. It's not a crucial mechanic, but the act of turning the timekeeper adds a really nice punctuation to the game, and makes it easier to count which turn you're up to.

At the end of each day, you draw new characters and problems for each.



Game start. You always start with those three objects (black borders) in play; they provide pretty basic actions like trading out cards and playing cards to the table. You can choose how many characters you want to draw each day, it's kind of a difficulty select thing. More characters means more problems, which means more difficulty but potentially more points.

Solving a problem requires removing two in-play objects from the game that provide the elements required ('consuming' them). So, the Watchman's first problem, NIGHTMARES, requires a card providing DREAM and a card providing GOLD. Most cards provide a choice of two elements, but the three starters only provide one each: MEAT, WOOD and FIRE. There are thirteen elements.

The C: on the objects means 'cover', where you cover that object with a card from your hand (effectively costing you one card). You uncover the cards at the end of each turn, putting the covering cards in the discard pile. A covered card can't be used.

D(x): means discard x cards. So, the HAMMER object can be used to play cards for a cost of 2 cards as many times as you want, or for a cost of 1 card but it can't then be used any more that turn. SANDWICH effectively just exchanges a card in your hand for a new one from the deck, once per turn.



End of the first day, four turns in. I've managed to solve or avoid all five problems I started with, which I think means I've got to ramp up the difficulty a little more. Notice I also consumed SANDWICH; the starter cards kind of suck, so it's handy to consume them when you need.

The CLEAVER has a cost of "X(meat)" to activate, which means consuming any object that provides MEAT. That's what happened to the SANDWICH. If you're in a pinch, a card with a consume cost can consume itself.

Now that all of their problems are solved, the Watchman and the Mayor's abilities are available for me to use. Their cost of "1:" just means they're only usable once per game; some other characters have a cost of "O:" which just means it's an ongoing, passive effect.



Start of Day 2, about 25 minutes since game start. I had to wrap up the game because I had day-job stuff to do, but here's how it looks. The Nonchalant Dagger's effect, "Ignore one problem", allows me to discard any one problem, missing out on the points it provides but also avoiding the penalty that would come if it remained unsolved at the end of the game (after three days).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Mestdagh
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looks quite interesting. What's the inspiration behind the title?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom McLean
Australia
Brunswick
Victoria
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's the name of a group on reddit, where people ask for advice as though they were denizens of a totally different reality. The idea of "fifth world problems" started as a kind of general meme, but eventually formed that subreddit as a focal point.

We're also taking a lot of inspiration from Seinfelt, which is a blog full of synopses of fake Seinfeld episodes that generally end (or begin) in particularly strange and/or horrifying ways.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Mestdagh
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
So ... any progress?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hansen
United States
Riverton
UT
flag msg tools
designer
If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
badge
I have two new 9 Card Games: 300 Spartans and Franky's 1st Christmas
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The entry deadline for the 2013 Solitaire Print and Play Contest is Midnight (MST) October 5th. Will this game be complete by that time? If not, the game will be removed from the entry list but will be eligible to be entered in next year's contest.

Thanks! I hope to see more about this game soon!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls