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Subject: Ideas for themes? 10gg for best! Straightforward shifting maze/race game rss

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Dan Cunningham
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I have a nicely functional "race" game that moves up a map of 10 strips with 2x8 1" squares on them, laid together like these:




The trick is that during the game these strips will often shift one square to the left or right, moving the player pawns with them.
The black blocks are obstacles, the yellow squares are slides (if you end a turn on it, it moves you in that direction if possible), the green squares are push-forwards (same as yellow), triple-rectangles are look-at-3-cards-take-one-put-two-back.

Movements are determined by pre-programming one of four types of cards:
1. Forward + Forward (worth 3 pts at end)
2. Shift-Map + Forward (worth 2 pts at end)
3. Shift-Left/Right + Forward (worth 1 pt at end)


When a player gets to the end, each other player loses 2 pts per strip back from the end they are, then everyone adds points in remaining cards in hand. Winner is most points (not necessarily the first to the end).




BUT obviously, there is no theme attached right now. I'd love for some sort of theme, I'm probably thinking something silly or cartoony. Originally it was going to be cowboys riding kangaroos, but the shifting of the map and points on cards aren't obviously tied in (maybe they don't have to be?).

So... what are suggestions for a theme to put onto this simple, light, family game? 10GG for the best idea after two weeks!

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chadgar24
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Top of my head:

Rats in a maze
Inmates escaping prison
Bermuda Triangle
 
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GeJayGe
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Corn maze with a farmer on a tractor.
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Jon Moffat
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Why ditch Cowboys on Kangaroos?

the shifting map can be explained by the terrain. For example, maybe the race is over several rivers with floating logs/slippery ice blocks/river boats/aligators etc.

The racers are leaping from one to another as they shift.

The points can be explained by putting them in terms of 'bounty' (for the cowboys). If you want 'goofier', make the points on the cards in terms of 'bullets spent' because, naturally, each time a cowboy wants to spur his kangaroo and leap, he MUST shoot his gun in the air a set number of times. Thus 'better' cards take more bullets and ending the race with the most 'bullet points' is appropriately goofy/thematic.

Heck, make them silver bullets. You get to make Lone Ranger puns then and it really adds value to the bullets.

Good luck!
 
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J H
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Kids avoiding bully/teacher trying to get to class (Ferris Bueler's Day Off)

Workers avoiding boss trying to go home (Office Space)
 
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Dan Cunningham
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Interesting ideas so far!

chadgar24 wrote:
Top of my head:

Rats in a maze
Inmates escaping prison
Bermuda Triangle


Rats in a maze is interesting, as I could see the perspective of giant scientists looming over

wowbagger44 wrote:
Why ditch Cowboys on Kangaroos?

the shifting map can be explained by the terrain. For example, maybe the race is over several rivers with floating logs/slippery ice blocks/river boats/aligators etc.

The racers are leaping from one to another as they shift.

The points can be explained by putting them in terms of 'bounty' (for the cowboys). If you want 'goofier', make the points on the cards in terms of 'bullets spent' because, naturally, each time a cowboy wants to spur his kangaroo and leap, he MUST shoot his gun in the air a set number of times. Thus 'better' cards take more bullets and ending the race with the most 'bullet points' is appropriately goofy/thematic.

Heck, make them silver bullets. You get to make Lone Ranger puns then and it really adds value to the bullets.

Good luck!


I haven't given up yet, and those ideas do tie it in. I wonder if they're too far of a stretch?

Gejayge wrote:
Corn maze with a farmer on a tractor.


Given I live in Wisconsin and moved here from Iowa, corn mazes do hold a spot in my heart...


Thanks all so far for interesting ideas!
 
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Shua Smith
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What about a grocery store/department store maybe even on black friday. When things are moved around that could be people throwing stands and displays in your way to slow you down to the hot deal. There could be spills in the aisle, alloting for sliding. So many options for things to distract a player, move a player, block a player, as well as an endless supply of image options. Aisles, displays, items, people, and grocery carts galore.
 
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Nathan
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Spawning salmon. Seems like it would fit with river currents, jumping over waterfalls, etc.
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Nat Levan
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mr.codepoet wrote:
Spawning salmon. Seems like it would fit with river currents, jumping over waterfalls, etc.


You mean like Salmon Run?
 
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Nat Levan
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How about a maze of mirrors or a carnival funhouse?

A log rolling event.
Trying to cross a bunch of debris floating down a river.
Or escaping from polar bears by jumping across ice floes. Ice is nice and slippy, so the theme fits.

Mirages in a desert, every time you run to one, it actually ends up being somewhere else?

Or how about escaping a mud slide or avalanche, where things are literally being pushed around you? Or maybe the Boston Molasses Disaster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster


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Stephen Tu
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Hey, I'm also working on a racing game.

An idea I toyed with was Kid's Boxcar Racing. You can go as outlandish or simple as you want.

It didn't work with the overall feel and direction of my game but maybe it could serve you. Good luck!
 
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dennis bennett
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rats escaping a Laboratory?

rats in a maze sounds kind of obvious. but why in a maze?
so why not a mechanical maze thats moving and shifting, set up by a crazy scientist in a lab.
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Dan Cunningham
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dennisthebadger wrote:
rats escaping a Laboratory?

rats in a maze sounds kind of obvious. but why in a maze?
so why not a mechanical maze thats moving and shifting, set up by a crazy scientist in a lab.


Given it's less of a maze and more of a shifting trap setup, I agree with this.

I also do like the idea of shifting ice floes, being chased by a Polar Bear! You can be penguins too (though this may feel a bit much like Hey That's My Fish).

Given the popularity of Salmon Run (and the similarity of playing movement cards), I might have to avoid that
 
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Rob
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Escape the Funhouse / Funhouse Rescue

Based on the Funhouses you see at theme parks and fairgrounds with the shifting floors and moving walkways and walls.

Maybe a Funhouse has got out of control and it can't be shut down. The players are fairground workers that have entered the Funhouse to rescue the kids (the accumulation of points reflects the numbers of kids rescued).
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Robert Szalai
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Christmas shopping! Specifically: escaping the shopping center after you've finally bought all what you wanted.
 
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Dan Cunningham
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alien artefact wrote:
Escape the Funhouse / Funhouse Rescue

Based on the Funhouses you see at theme parks and fairgrounds with the shifting floors and moving walkways and walls.

Maybe a Funhouse has got out of control and it can't be shut down. The players are fairground workers that have entered the Funhouse to rescue the kids (the accumulation of points reflects the numbers of kids rescued).


This is the best tie-in for points so far, in my opinion. Nice!
 
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John A. White
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A construction site...

HighRise Above it...
Beams
Swinging Beams
Buckets
Loose Rivet
Elevator
Falling


Leveling... Paying for future beams...
 
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Clive Lovett
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How about Harry Potter theme. Hogwart's stairs are always changing direction so maybe the kids could be racing to get to class or to reach a certain room?

 
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Clive Lovett
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or, along the rats in a laboratory, how about a version of the old game of Mouse Trap.
 
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Sam Cook
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Mice racing up a grandfather clock? All the complicated movement and shifting could represent the complex clockwork. Cards in your hand could be like cheese or something, so you have to drop more cheese to get the better moves.
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Brian Herr
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Freshman!

A bunch of totally lost freshman on their first day of classes at a big high school or college campus. Points could be books, or correct lectures attended. Obstacles could be obnoxious, prank-playing upperclassmen.
 
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John Breckenridge
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You're in the world's most confusing airport trying to make a connecting flight and you need to get to Concourse W, but there are all these moving walkways and escalators that don't seem to go anywhere useful.
 
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Chris Allan
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Cycle couriers racing through downtown traffic. Strips moving can be tied to the lights changing, filling the intersection with dangerous traffic.
 
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James Ross
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Let the "runner's" be thougths.

One is wanton and self serving, the other is noble and altruistic. All manner of blocks and/or benefits could be the mental maze moral compasses of a person's consciousness. Sounds weird, I know, but I want my contribution to be really outside of the box.
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Corsaire
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I don't quite see race or maze. Holding back cards for their points makes me wonder just what sort of things should one be rewarded for not using...

What if the theme is more of a corporate ladder, and the cards are secrets, dirty tricks, connections, etc. that would each be conceptually useful once you reach the top. The board could populate pretty easily with all sorts of amusing detail. Or any sort of hierarchal organization thing, maybe set in the world of the movie Brazil. Or police and you are pulling strings, getting leads, etc.

Another direction would be to switch from an avatar pov to a product pov, and the board becomes a Rube Goldbergesque assembly line and you are trying to get your contraption out the other wide, but are using up your knick-knacks to do it.
 
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