Juan Mejia
United States
Chicago
IL
flag msg tools
of Power
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok, so I'm a complete newbie at designing a game but I've had a few ideas I've been tossing around and would just like an opinion on them and some suggestions on how to implement it.

I'd love to do an espionage/spy themed worker placement game, with some deck drafting elements. I'm going to start just listing game elements because my thoughts are super disorganized.

1- There'd be a deck of about 60 cards and you'd shuffle and take the correct amount of cards for player (9-10 per player) and then give each player a hand of cards, they'd then draft the amount of cards equal to the amount of turns in the game.

2- Players would be allowed to play one of those cards per turn to affect the game. I just don't know how to implement those and how much interaction they should have and if there should be defensive cards or what.

3- Map would just be a map of earth with certain cities, but with the card thing i don't know how I would do scoring or if I should do quests and the like or if that's too much like Lords of Waterdeep.

4- Purely cosmetic but the players colors/sheet would just be a random cool sounding acronym for an international espionage team. "Workers" would be wood cut people but like old school spies. Big coat and hat type thing.

5- I don't know what the resources would be other than like little briefcases for information. Was thinking of maybe like a bomb resource that you start out with and have to get rid of for points but other players can disarm them but that sounds like it'd be hard to implement.

I just have no idea how to go about any of this, I have a ton of free time right now but I've never done anything like this and would love some input!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Bohm
United States
Appleton
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
The cards could be your workers. Similar to Chaos in the Old World you could place these in slots on the board giving you some power or ability in/of that location.

Otherwise it sounds like you have a lot to work out.

1. Win condition: Most points at end, certain number of points auto-wins, Last player standing, Knizia style (variable), etc.

2. Think of it decision wise. During the game, the players does X. Compare games like Agricola where a player has relatively few actions per turn to more complicated games with multiple phases and decisions.

What does the player do on their on their turn, does a player complete all phases on their turn or does each phase get played separately, and most importantly what interesting decisions do you want the players have to make.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Migas
United States
Akron
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Check this out: http://gamedesignconcepts.wordpress.com/
And: http://www.meetup.com/chicagogames/

Then just do it. Keep it cheap. Keep it simple.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Markham
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What if the win condition of the game was unknown? Let’s say there’s a small deck of cards that contain conditions for beating the game, and that through the course of the game you randomly use 2-3 of them.

These cards set the win condition, but the cards are dealt face down and no player knows what these win conditions are to start. The first phase of the game should be meeting requirements to access this information.

Here’s the snag, once the first player knows what the win conditions are, he/she will have to start acting towards them without immediately tipping off all other players (since all spies are watching all other spies, obviously).

If you immediately begin scrambling towards the win conditions set by the cards, other players get this info for free. If you try too hard to disguise your actions, you end up wasting a lot of time. Obviously I haven’t 100% figured out the implementation of this, I’m just thinking out loud here incase anyone else thinks this might be an interesting approach.
5 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jordan Booth
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Christopher, that is a brilliant mechanic. I may have to ninja it.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Markham
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jordan, it’s too basic and unrefined to qualify as brilliant, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to propose it (I’m sure this mechanic must be in use already, somewhere), but thanks all the same. Also, I wouldn't post it here if I didn't want you and my brother game designers to ninja it.

…although, as long as you’re going to qualify something I've said or done as “brilliant”, how about some thumb love? …it feels good when you touch me. blush
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hawkins
United States
Charlotte
North Carolina
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You might do some research on espionage and intelligence, and then the theme may inspire you to find mechanics that fit. For example, we often think only of intelligence agents, but other roles include analysts, assets, and managers/directors. Besides governments, corporations and terrorists may also gather intelligence. In democratic societies, the methods of intelligence agencies are often controversial because they tend to be in tension with values such as human rights and public participation in policy making. Encryption and decryption are important tools. Much information is mined from phone and Internet communications and then has to be sifted.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jordan Booth
United States
Chicago
Illinois
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ludus Rex wrote:
Jordan, it’s too basic and unrefined to qualify as brilliant


Perhaps 'elegant' is a more precise word. I think the simplicity is exactly what makes it so strong, and as you explained the players supply the rest of the motivation to balance the value of the information without having to add.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Markham
United States
Arizona
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jordan, I simply meant that it doesn’t qualify yet because it’s simply an elegant “idea”. Elegant ideas are a dime a dozen.

Functional and engaging mechanics that realize these ideas while retaining their elegance, are the very difficult parts, deserving of praise.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Juan Mejia
United States
Chicago
IL
flag msg tools
of Power
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ludus Rex wrote:
What if the win condition of the game was unknown? Let’s say there’s a small deck of cards that contain conditions for beating the game, and that through the course of the game you randomly use 2-3 of them.

These cards set the win condition, but the cards are dealt face down and no player knows what these win conditions are to start. The first phase of the game should be meeting requirements to access this information.

Here’s the snag, once the first player knows what the win conditions are, he/she will have to start acting towards them without immediately tipping off all other players (since all spies are watching all other spies, obviously).

If you immediately begin scrambling towards the win conditions set by the cards, other players get this info for free. If you try too hard to disguise your actions, you end up wasting a lot of time. Obviously I haven’t 100% figured out the implementation of this, I’m just thinking out loud here incase anyone else thinks this might be an interesting approach.

I was actually thinking along those lines but more like TTR's tickets where you get your choice of a few and those can score points, but I like the thought of them just being victories.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.