Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
24 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Does this make sense? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
I've done a gameplay demo for my game Office Life before, but last time it seemed like nobody really understood what was happening. The gameplay demo was animated and amusing, but very fast paced, so it's understandable that some had a hard time following it.

This time I shot a gameplay demo with my family, at the pace you'd normally experience the game at. It's 3 players and lasts 10 minutes. Hopefully this one is much easier to follow then the last.



FYI, the game isn't quite out... yet. I just got another sample print two days ago. I'm going to ask the boys at gamenight to give it a thorough shakedown, and see if there's anything left to fix (this is the 7th revision). If this one turns out to be flawless, then I'll get a box full of them and start selling. I'll also set up a proper game info page here and post the website links. Right now it's in late-late-beta. So CLOSE!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paddy Bourbon

New Boston
New Hampshire
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I get it but it seems needlessly complicated. Why are they adding scores for attributes when the cards then get modified by the boss? Why not just have total score in each and have a boss that values attributes differently instead of affecting each card? It would help to have each score easily viewed instead of doing all that math.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
mightypaco1 wrote:
I get it but it seems needlessly complicated. Why are they adding scores for attributes when the cards then get modified by the boss? Why not just have total score in each and have a boss that values attributes differently instead of affecting each card? It would help to have each score easily viewed instead of doing all that math.


Your paragraph seems needlessly complex, lol!

Ok, if I understand you right, you are suggesting the scores be more locked, right? You think the boss's values shouldn't be changed during the game?

You see, the wonderful thing about the game is that the value of your point piles IS so unstable. Each of those point piles can be turned against you, as easily as they are built up or torn down. The lack of dependability of your score pile is what helps make the game so fluid.

You can't depend on a starting good hand to win you the game. You can't get a "Full-House" and just float on it to victory. Even if you get a HUGE score pile at the beginning, that score pile can be assaulted or even flipped into the negative. What was once your crowning glory could bury you by the time the last card is played. That's why we often say that if you have few Attribute cards, but alot of Flaw and Bonus cards, you have a "Handful of Pain". It may look like you're losing at the start of the game, but bury everyone alive by the end.

It's this sort of scoring that keeps the game both fair, and keeps you on your toes until the very last card is played. You are never "Safe". There is no "Good Hand" in Office Life. It's a game of wits and ruthlessness!
devil
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paddy Bourbon

New Boston
New Hampshire
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MaxSMoke777 wrote:

Ok, if I understand you right, you are suggesting the scores be more locked, right? You think the boss's values shouldn't be changed during the game?


Not at all. I have no problem with changing the boss. My problem is with the scoring method. Why does a player have to play all these variable value cards and then apply a boss modifier to each card? That seems unnecessary math for what the game is. You seem to value unpredictable scoring in this game. If the score is so unstable, as you say, why make it so difficult to determine?

I do not see how it's a game of wits and ruthlessness. What I see is a game of managing risk.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Carl Frodge
United States
Plantation
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
See now, I was expecting cubicles in this game, and because there were no cubicles, I was kinda disappointed.

On the whole, I understood how the game is played, but I don't actually think I'd enjoy playing it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
mightypaco1 wrote:
MaxSMoke777 wrote:

Ok, if I understand you right, you are suggesting the scores be more locked, right? You think the boss's values shouldn't be changed during the game?


Not at all. I have no problem with changing the boss. My problem is with the scoring method. Why does a player have to play all these variable value cards and then apply a boss modifier to each card? That seems unnecessary math for what the game is. You seem to value unpredictable scoring in this game. If the score is so unstable, as you say, why make it so difficult to determine?

I do not see how it's a game of wits and ruthlessness. What I see is a game of managing risk.



Are you certain you're not reading something crazy into the game that doesn't exist? I know people can get impatient, maybe only listen to half of what's said, overlook some key facts. After all, the average YouTube video is rarely over a minute. 10 minutes is alot to ask. I think you're seeing something that doesn't exist.

Maybe this will help you....

The only cards to change value are Attribute cards, which are all played in the 1st half of the game. No other cards are affected by the Boss's opinion. You can kill those Attribute cards, steal them, or changes the boss's opinion to tank their value. But there are no other cards that affects score. At most, you can throw a +1 bonus card on one of the 3 point stacks, in effect transforming that card into a new Attribute card.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Does this version make sense to your playtesters? What kind of feedback did you get?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chris thatcher
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looks ok i thought, easy to follow. How often do you get draws tho?.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
Eldard wrote:
Does this version make sense to your playtesters? What kind of feedback did you get?


After 1 hand, everybody knows how to play the game. It's pretty simple. I'm not too sure why I'm having such issue relating it here.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
Tariff wrote:
Looks ok i thought, easy to follow. How often do you get draws tho?.


That's one of the twists with the game, no draws. You only get 9 cards total. It's very strategic. You know what you have by the second deal. Which cards you play can flip the game on it's head, if played at the right time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
Ok, since I apparently suck at relying instructions, I asked my friend Mike how to make this more understandable. He said the following:

"Win by being the bosses favorite employee at the end of the game. Each player has 3 attributes, and depending on the attitude of the boss, determined randomly, each attribute could help you a little, a lot, or could even hurt you... During game play, you will play cards to improve your standing, or hurt other players in a "take that" style game."

Take-That is an excellent way to describe the game. During the 2nd phase of the game, when Bonus/Flaw cards are played, it gets to be very adversarial. You assault the other player's prized score pile well trying to fix your own. Every card can be critical to your success.

I find the game works best with 2 to 3 players. Once you get to 4 or more, the melee of constant score assaults gets to be hard to follow, and the game becomes more of a free-for-all. There's enough cards for 6 players total(9/54=6). With 2 to 3 players, it's very strategic.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paddy Bourbon

New Boston
New Hampshire
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MaxSMoke777 wrote:

Are you certain you're not reading something crazy into the game that doesn't exist? I know people can get impatient, maybe only listen to half of what's said, overlook some key facts. After all, the average YouTube video is rarely over a minute. 10 minutes is alot to ask. I think you're seeing something that doesn't exist.


I think you're overly defensive about your precious little baby. I saw cards that add or subtract one or two. I saw bosses that affect each card positively or negatively. I saw "flaw" cards that add to the score, not subtract, because of the boss. I saw you yourself pause when figuring your sister's score and say, "What do you have" because it was not easy to determine. Other than that it's a real work of art.whistle

Your tone in your replies is too negative for me to continue this. Your profile indicates you only use BGG to push your designed games. I have no interest in helping you in any way. Good day sir.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
mightypaco1 wrote:
MaxSMoke777 wrote:

Are you certain you're not reading something crazy into the game that doesn't exist? I know people can get impatient, maybe only listen to half of what's said, overlook some key facts. After all, the average YouTube video is rarely over a minute. 10 minutes is alot to ask. I think you're seeing something that doesn't exist.


I think you're overly defensive about your precious little baby. I saw cards that add or subtract one or two. I saw bosses that affect each card positively or negatively. I saw "flaw" cards that add to the score, not subtract, because of the boss. I saw you yourself pause when figuring your sister's score and say, "What do you have" because it was not easy to determine. Other than that it's a real work of art.whistle

Your tone in your replies is too negative for me to continue this. Your profile indicates you only use BGG to push your designed games. I have no interest in helping you in any way. Good day sir.


Man, that's kinda rude. Also, wrong on two points:

#1. The Flaw cards remove Attribute points, they do not add to the score.
(It's an important distinction, because I found the game unfair if you could use them to add to the score. I know people always try when they first play the game, but it's important they don't)

#2. There are no "Bosses", just a Boss.
(He can be fired and replaced, mid-game, with the right card, but there is always just one)

And yes, you do need to stay on top of the scoring of the game. Keeping track of active cards in a card game isn't unusual. In the game Fluxx you need to be very aware of whatever active card says at every turn. In the game the Gloom, failure to keep track of every other player's cards will certainly lead to loss (and it doesn't help they use a very tiny font, so hard to read).

Often card games, require active score tracking. The lack of tokens, gameboards, figurines, score wheels, and other accessories, prevalent in boardgames, can make card games harder to keep track of. It also makes them less expensive and more portable.

As for my use of BGG, I am a game designer, so I use this forum to consider how to work on my next project. As a game player, I'm certain you use this forum for purposes of better enjoying the works of others. I'm not "pushing" anything. I'm looking for feedback and informing people of my latest creations.

If you enjoy the fruits of Indie game developers, it might a good idea to be supportive of them. It requires a great deal of time and effort to make a new game, especially without the finical support or labor of others. I am just a single man working on this. My friends and family have helped me thoroughly test this game. I wouldn't even mention it's existence if I wasn't thoroughly certain it's a playable and entertaining game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vic DiGital
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The video makes sense, but it takes way too long before we get any real idea of what the victory conditions are.

You should start the video off with explaining what the ultimate victory condition is, which is maximizing the cards you play to the table based on the final values of The Boss.

I'd then quickly show the different types of cards. Since there's only three, that should be easy.


In fact, here's your script. I do this sort of thing for a living (writing scripts), so I'm not just spouting off randomly. Take this script for what it's worth, but I think I did a pretty good job distilling what the game is and leading a potential player through the phases of the game. Your mileage may vary. Anyway, use it if you feel it works for you.


---------------------

"Office Life is a quick, light game of office politics and backstabbing, where your goal is to impress your new Boss. You accomplish this by maximizing the value of the cards you play in front of you, which are in turn based on the final values of The Boss. You end up with the highest total value of the attribute cards in your possession, you win the game.

These are the attribute cards which conveniently say "attribute on the bottom." In Office Life, there are only three attributes we keep track of, Hard Working, Prestige, and Suck-up. These are essentially the victory point cards and during the game, you'll play them in front of you, or occasionally in front of your opponent. The next type of cards are Flaw cards, and these basically act as modifiers of the attribute cards, such as plus one or minus one. Finally, there are Bonus cards that are sort of immediate action cards that let you do things like steal other players cards or even let you pick a new boss!

The Office Life deck is made up of 54 cards. Every player will eventually get nine total cards, but to start, every player is dealt six cards. They immediately go through their hand and place face-up in front of them any attribute cards they may have, in piles according to the three different attributes. This is your starting personality in the office. Some players will start with lots of points in one attribute, but maybe nothing in another. Don't worry, this is going to change. In fact, having a lot of points in one attribute might not be a great thing, as you'll see when we move into our next phase, seeing who our boss is. Any Flaw or Bonus cards you were dealt, just keep them to the side for now, you'll be using them in a minute.

To determine the Boss, we get this handy Boss card out that shows how he or she feels about each of the three attributes. He may be a boss that really values hard work, but hates suck-ups. Or maybe he is really impressed by Prestige and is indifferent about how hard-working you are. Or maybe you get a real winner, and he's a boss that hates EVERYone. We determine what kind of boss he is by rolling a die for each attribute. 1-2 means he hates that attribute, 3-4 means he's okay with that attribute, and 5-6 means he really values that attribute. So let's see what kind of boss we have....

The values on this Boss card determine how many points the attribute cards you have in front of you are worth. You just multiply the number of points by the Boss Attribute and that's how many points that attribute is worth to you. So if the boss hates hard work, and you have four hard-working cards in front of you, that's minus four points!

Okay, so now we know what kind of boss we have, and what his starting opinion of us is. Fortunately, it's not too late to change our standing in the office. First, deal out three more cards to each player. These are all the cards we'll be using the remainder of the game. Depending on how many attribute cards you played in the first phase, you may have different number of cards than the other players. That's normal.

So now, the remainder of the game is playing one card each turn as we attempt to maximize our attribute points, or damage someone else's points.

On your turn, you can do one of three things. First, you can play an attribute card, giving to either yourself if it's one that the boss values, or to one of your opponents if it's an attribute that he doesn't like.

Or, you can play a Flaw card to either your own attributes or one of your opponents. The Flaw cards modify the values of the attributes, and these are great at hurting your opponents by making their attributes less valuable. However, if you have a boss that has a negative opinion of an attribute, you may be needing to play the Flaws on your OWN attributes in order to minimize his negative opinion of you.

Or you can play a Bonus card, that lets you immediately affect some aspect of the game, such as swapping cards, stealing cards, or even REALLY changing the game by rolling a new boss.

Or, you can just discard a card, either because it doesn't have any valid ability in the game at the moment, or if it's something you just don't want to bring into play.

During the game play, you're always evaluating how many points you have based on what type of boss you currently have. Since you don't know what modifier cards are out there, you are constantly weighing if you want to concentrate on your own attributes, or mess with someone else's attributes, all while keeping in mind that at any time, someone could play a Bonus card that completely changes the type of boss you have. Your points could immediately go from being worth negative points to putting you in the lead! But not every game will have every Bonus or Flaw card, so you can never be 100% sure that a certain card is going to come into play.

After the last card is played or discarded, it's time to count points and see where you stand. Based on the Boss's final values, you determine how much your attribute cards are worth by multiplying each Boss attribute value by the number of cards you have in that attribute. Remember, any Flaw cards take an equivalent number of attribute cards out of the final equation. Add all your attributes together and whoever has the most total points wins. And yes, if you get a Boss From Hell, it's entirely possible to have a game end where the WINNER has zero or negative points.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will

Pensacola
Florida
msg tools
The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNcM4YjzgHY
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
VicDigital wrote:
The video makes sense, but it takes way too long before we get any real idea of what the victory conditions are.

You should start the video off with explaining what the ultimate victory condition is, which is maximizing the cards you play to the table based on the final values of The Boss.

I'd then quickly show the different types of cards. Since there's only three, that should be easy.


In fact, here's your script. I do this sort of thing for a living (writing scripts), so I'm not just spouting off randomly. Take this script for what it's worth, but I think I did a pretty good job distilling what the game is and leading a potential player through the phases of the game. Your mileage may vary. Anyway, use it if you feel it works for you.


---------------------

"Office Life is a quick, light game of office politics and backstabbing, where your goal is to impress your new Boss. You accomplish this by maximizing the value of the cards you play in front of you, which are in turn based on the final values of The Boss. You end up with the highest total value of the attribute cards in your possession, you win the game.

These are the attribute cards which conveniently say "attribute on the bottom." In Office Life, there are only three attributes we keep track of, Hard Working, Prestige, and Suck-up. These are essentially the victory point cards and during the game, you'll play them in front of you, or occasionally in front of your opponent. The next type of cards are Flaw cards, and these basically act as modifiers of the attribute cards, such as plus one or minus one. Finally, there are Bonus cards that are sort of immediate action cards that let you do things like steal other players cards or even let you pick a new boss!

The Office Life deck is made up of 54 cards. Every player will eventually get nine total cards, but to start, every player is dealt six cards. They immediately go through their hand and place face-up in front of them any attribute cards they may have, in piles according to the three different attributes. This is your starting personality in the office. Some players will start with lots of points in one attribute, but maybe nothing in another. Don't worry, this is going to change. In fact, having a lot of points in one attribute might not be a great thing, as you'll see when we move into our next phase, seeing who our boss is. Any Flaw or Bonus cards you were dealt, just keep them to the side for now, you'll be using them in a minute.

To determine the Boss, we get this handy Boss card out that shows how he or she feels about each of the three attributes. He may be a boss that really values hard work, but hates suck-ups. Or maybe he is really impressed by Prestige and is indifferent about how hard-working you are. Or maybe you get a real winner, and he's a boss that hates EVERYone. We determine what kind of boss he is by rolling a die for each attribute. 1-2 means he hates that attribute, 3-4 means he's okay with that attribute, and 5-6 means he really values that attribute. So let's see what kind of boss we have....

The values on this Boss card determine how many points the attribute cards you have in front of you are worth. You just multiply the number of points by the Boss Attribute and that's how many points that attribute is worth to you. So if the boss hates hard work, and you have four hard-working cards in front of you, that's minus four points!

Okay, so now we know what kind of boss we have, and what his starting opinion of us is. Fortunately, it's not too late to change our standing in the office. First, deal out three more cards to each player. These are all the cards we'll be using the remainder of the game. Depending on how many attribute cards you played in the first phase, you may have different number of cards than the other players. That's normal.

So now, the remainder of the game is playing one card each turn as we attempt to maximize our attribute points, or damage someone else's points.

On your turn, you can do one of three things. First, you can play an attribute card, giving to either yourself if it's one that the boss values, or to one of your opponents if it's an attribute that he doesn't like.

Or, you can play a Flaw card to either your own attributes or one of your opponents. The Flaw cards modify the values of the attributes, and these are great at hurting your opponents by making their attributes less valuable. However, if you have a boss that has a negative opinion of an attribute, you may be needing to play the Flaws on your OWN attributes in order to minimize his negative opinion of you.

Or you can play a Bonus card, that lets you immediately affect some aspect of the game, such as swapping cards, stealing cards, or even REALLY changing the game by rolling a new boss.

Or, you can just discard a card, either because it doesn't have any valid ability in the game at the moment, or if it's something you just don't want to bring into play.

During the game play, you're always evaluating how many points you have based on what type of boss you currently have. Since you don't know what modifier cards are out there, you are constantly weighing if you want to concentrate on your own attributes, or mess with someone else's attributes, all while keeping in mind that at any time, someone could play a Bonus card that completely changes the type of boss you have. Your points could immediately go from being worth negative points to putting you in the lead! But not every game will have every Bonus or Flaw card, so you can never be 100% sure that a certain card is going to come into play.

After the last card is played or discarded, it's time to count points and see where you stand. Based on the Boss's final values, you determine how much your attribute cards are worth by multiplying each Boss attribute value by the number of cards you have in that attribute. Remember, any Flaw cards take an equivalent number of attribute cards out of the final equation. Add all your attributes together and whoever has the most total points wins. And yes, if you get a Boss From Hell, it's entirely possible to have a game end where the WINNER has zero or negative points.


Cool! Great stuff, man!

From what I'm seeing, the big issue you see is that I'm not spending enough time explaining the Attribute system, right? I'll have to focus on that more.

(I suppose it would help to make a script as well, rather then just winging it, lol)

I suppose one way to describe the Attributes is that they are your Reputation. It's something you've character has built up over time. Then the new boss arrives. He/She is just some random schmuck the higher-ups pulled out of the woodwork. Suddenly you're scrambling to change yourself to suit the new boss's tastes. Those are your last possible Attribute cards. After making that first impression with your new boss, you spend your time trying to defend your reputation, well slandering that of your co-workers. And your co-workers, the other players, are likewise trying to bury you. And all of this for that coveted PROMOTION!

Since only one hand was played in that demo, we didn't cover the long-game. In that, you rise up ranks in the company. Anyone that falls more than 2 ranks behind is fired. First to CEO then fires all of their previous co-workers.

One important thing though:

Attribute cards always get used the second they get in your hand, or must discarded immediately. When you get those final 3 cards, you have to immediately use any remaining Attribute cards or toss them. You can't sit on them for a better score later.

This becomes a factor, in that if the other players see you play an Attribute card that clearly hurts your score, they're going to know you're also holding a bonus card to fix that.

Also Flaws only negate Attributes, they never add to your score. You can't use a Flaw on a Hated Attribute to increase your score. The logic being, you can't pick your nose or wet the bed to earn your boss's favor. But, for example, if you were too Prestigious, letting the boss know you have your flaws could help diminish an Attribute that he/she dislikes.

I feel like I should also describe the "Handful of Hurt". This is when you have virtually no Attributes, but tons of Flaws and Bonuses.

Having alot of Attribute cards infront of you, well it seems like a good thing, could really burn you in the End-Game. Because the game continues until ALL cards are used up, you'll basically be left cardless well other players savage your score pile. You just continuously pass turn and watch your Attributes get laid to waste, defenceless in your crumbling ivory tower.

When I was playing the game last night with my friend Mike, he actually smiled when he saw I put down nearly my entire hand as Attributes. My 12 point lead rapidly was blasted down to 2 by all of his Flaw and Bonus cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
Broadstorm wrote:


YES! Exactly! That's what this is. You're doing god-knows what, for a company controlled by god-knows who, trying to gain the favor of somebody who was put in charge for god-only-knows why.

And Office Space was a HUGE inspiration for this game... as well as the time I've personally spent working in a government office. There's even a Red Stapler in the card deck!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will

Pensacola
Florida
msg tools
The Babylon Project was our last best hope for peace. It failed. In the year of the Shadow War, it became something greater, our last best hope for victory.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
MaxSMoke777 wrote:
Broadstorm wrote:


YES! Exactly! That's what this is. You're doing god-knows what, for a company controlled by god-knows who, trying to gain the favor of somebody who was put in charge for god-only-knows why.

And Office Space was a HUGE inspiration for this game... as well as the time I've personally spent working in a government office. There's even a Red Stapler in the card deck!


Yeah, ummm... if you could go ahead and post a picture of that red stapler card, that'd be great.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Vic DiGital
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yikes! Yeah, I didn't get any sense of that from your video, and based on what you wrote here, the longer game seems like it might become more of a slog. What you showed seems like a light, fun game, without a lot of power in the players hands. You're given a starting hand that you MUST play cards if you have them, and the rest of the game is all about mitigating that, but it's entirely possible that it's NOT possible to mitigate what you were dealt. You might be totally screwed right from the start of the game. As long as it was a light, quick game, that doesn't bother me, but if this is part of a larger game, then the lack of control over my own destiny becomes a major issue. It would be like playing a game of Monopoly, but at the beginning of the game discovering that you were only able to buy certain crappy properties while your opponents were still able to buy whatever properties they wanted. Chaos can be fun, but if you don't even have control over your own chaos (like you do in something like Fluxx), then that tends to drain the fun.

In any event, yeah, you need to do a full video for anyone to evaluate if it's a game they want to play.




MaxSMoke777 wrote:
VicDigital wrote:
The video makes sense, but it takes way too long before we get any real idea of what the victory conditions are.

You should start the video off with explaining what the ultimate victory condition is, which is maximizing the cards you play to the table based on the final values of The Boss.

I'd then quickly show the different types of cards. Since there's only three, that should be easy.


In fact, here's your script. I do this sort of thing for a living (writing scripts), so I'm not just spouting off randomly. Take this script for what it's worth, but I think I did a pretty good job distilling what the game is and leading a potential player through the phases of the game. Your mileage may vary. Anyway, use it if you feel it works for you.


---------------------

"Office Life is a quick, light game of office politics and backstabbing, where your goal is to impress your new Boss. You accomplish this by maximizing the value of the cards you play in front of you, which are in turn based on the final values of The Boss. You end up with the highest total value of the attribute cards in your possession, you win the game.

These are the attribute cards which conveniently say "attribute on the bottom." In Office Life, there are only three attributes we keep track of, Hard Working, Prestige, and Suck-up. These are essentially the victory point cards and during the game, you'll play them in front of you, or occasionally in front of your opponent. The next type of cards are Flaw cards, and these basically act as modifiers of the attribute cards, such as plus one or minus one. Finally, there are Bonus cards that are sort of immediate action cards that let you do things like steal other players cards or even let you pick a new boss!

The Office Life deck is made up of 54 cards. Every player will eventually get nine total cards, but to start, every player is dealt six cards. They immediately go through their hand and place face-up in front of them any attribute cards they may have, in piles according to the three different attributes. This is your starting personality in the office. Some players will start with lots of points in one attribute, but maybe nothing in another. Don't worry, this is going to change. In fact, having a lot of points in one attribute might not be a great thing, as you'll see when we move into our next phase, seeing who our boss is. Any Flaw or Bonus cards you were dealt, just keep them to the side for now, you'll be using them in a minute.

To determine the Boss, we get this handy Boss card out that shows how he or she feels about each of the three attributes. He may be a boss that really values hard work, but hates suck-ups. Or maybe he is really impressed by Prestige and is indifferent about how hard-working you are. Or maybe you get a real winner, and he's a boss that hates EVERYone. We determine what kind of boss he is by rolling a die for each attribute. 1-2 means he hates that attribute, 3-4 means he's okay with that attribute, and 5-6 means he really values that attribute. So let's see what kind of boss we have....

The values on this Boss card determine how many points the attribute cards you have in front of you are worth. You just multiply the number of points by the Boss Attribute and that's how many points that attribute is worth to you. So if the boss hates hard work, and you have four hard-working cards in front of you, that's minus four points!

Okay, so now we know what kind of boss we have, and what his starting opinion of us is. Fortunately, it's not too late to change our standing in the office. First, deal out three more cards to each player. These are all the cards we'll be using the remainder of the game. Depending on how many attribute cards you played in the first phase, you may have different number of cards than the other players. That's normal.

So now, the remainder of the game is playing one card each turn as we attempt to maximize our attribute points, or damage someone else's points.

On your turn, you can do one of three things. First, you can play an attribute card, giving to either yourself if it's one that the boss values, or to one of your opponents if it's an attribute that he doesn't like.

Or, you can play a Flaw card to either your own attributes or one of your opponents. The Flaw cards modify the values of the attributes, and these are great at hurting your opponents by making their attributes less valuable. However, if you have a boss that has a negative opinion of an attribute, you may be needing to play the Flaws on your OWN attributes in order to minimize his negative opinion of you.

Or you can play a Bonus card, that lets you immediately affect some aspect of the game, such as swapping cards, stealing cards, or even REALLY changing the game by rolling a new boss.

Or, you can just discard a card, either because it doesn't have any valid ability in the game at the moment, or if it's something you just don't want to bring into play.

During the game play, you're always evaluating how many points you have based on what type of boss you currently have. Since you don't know what modifier cards are out there, you are constantly weighing if you want to concentrate on your own attributes, or mess with someone else's attributes, all while keeping in mind that at any time, someone could play a Bonus card that completely changes the type of boss you have. Your points could immediately go from being worth negative points to putting you in the lead! But not every game will have every Bonus or Flaw card, so you can never be 100% sure that a certain card is going to come into play.

After the last card is played or discarded, it's time to count points and see where you stand. Based on the Boss's final values, you determine how much your attribute cards are worth by multiplying each Boss attribute value by the number of cards you have in that attribute. Remember, any Flaw cards take an equivalent number of attribute cards out of the final equation. Add all your attributes together and whoever has the most total points wins. And yes, if you get a Boss From Hell, it's entirely possible to have a game end where the WINNER has zero or negative points.


Cool! Great stuff, man!

From what I'm seeing, the big issue you see is that I'm not spending enough time explaining the Attribute system, right? I'll have to focus on that more.

(I suppose it would help to make a script as well, rather then just winging it, lol)

I suppose one way to describe the Attributes is that they are your Reputation. It's something you've character has built up over time. Then the new boss arrives. He/She is just some random schmuck the higher-ups pulled out of the woodwork. Suddenly you're scrambling to change yourself to suit the new boss's tastes. Those are your last possible Attribute cards. After making that first impression with your new boss, you spend your time trying to defend your reputation, well slandering that of your co-workers. And your co-workers, the other players, are likewise trying to bury you. And all of this for that coveted PROMOTION!

Since only one hand was played in that demo, we didn't cover the long-game. In that, you rise up ranks in the company. Anyone that falls more than 2 ranks behind is fired. First to CEO then fires all of their previous co-workers.

One important thing though:

Attribute cards always get used the second they get in your hand, or must discarded immediately. When you get those final 3 cards, you have to immediately use any remaining Attribute cards or toss them. You can't sit on them for a better score later.

This becomes a factor, in that if the other players see you play an Attribute card that clearly hurts your score, they're going to know you're also holding a bonus card to fix that.

Also Flaws only negate Attributes, they never add to your score. You can't use a Flaw on a Hated Attribute to increase your score. The logic being, you can't pick your nose or wet the bed to earn your boss's favor. But, for example, if you were too Prestigious, letting the boss know you have your flaws could help diminish an Attribute that he/she dislikes.

I feel like I should also describe the "Handful of Hurt". This is when you have virtually no Attributes, but tons of Flaws and Bonuses.

Having alot of Attribute cards infront of you, well it seems like a good thing, could really burn you in the End-Game. Because the game continues until ALL cards are used up, you'll basically be left cardless well other players savage your score pile. You just continuously pass turn and watch your Attributes get laid to waste, defenceless in your crumbling ivory tower.

When I was playing the game last night with my friend Mike, he actually smiled when he saw I put down nearly my entire hand as Attributes. My 12 point lead rapidly was blasted down to 2 by all of his Flaw and Bonus cards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
Broadstorm wrote:
MaxSMoke777 wrote:
Broadstorm wrote:


YES! Exactly! That's what this is. You're doing god-knows what, for a company controlled by god-knows who, trying to gain the favor of somebody who was put in charge for god-only-knows why.

And Office Space was a HUGE inspiration for this game... as well as the time I've personally spent working in a government office. There's even a Red Stapler in the card deck!


Yeah, ummm... if you could go ahead and post a picture of that red stapler card, that'd be great.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
VicDigital wrote:
Yikes! Yeah, I didn't get any sense of that from your video, and based on what you wrote here, the longer game seems like it might become more of a slog. What you showed seems like a light, fun game, without a lot of power in the players hands. You're given a starting hand that you MUST play cards if you have them, and the rest of the game is all about mitigating that, but it's entirely possible that it's NOT possible to mitigate what you were dealt. You might be totally screwed right from the start of the game. As long as it was a light, quick game, that doesn't bother me, but if this is part of a larger game, then the lack of control over my own destiny becomes a major issue. It would be like playing a game of Monopoly, but at the beginning of the game discovering that you were only able to buy certain crappy properties while your opponents were still able to buy whatever properties they wanted. Chaos can be fun, but if you don't even have control over your own chaos (like you do in something like Fluxx), then that tends to drain the fun.


You're always getting new cards, and all Attributes go back into the deck for reshuffling. I didn't mean you're stuck being the same guy every turn.

It's like going to a new school, a chance to start over fresh. A new "You" is shuffled and dealt to you at the start of every new match, even if you're tracking the score over many matches for the big victory.

Also, you could always just skip the long-game and play a single hand. I've personally never played just one hand, but it's always possible. The game goes so quick, people always seem up for another shot at victory.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
United States
Berrien Springs
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why wouldn't a boss like a hard worker? I think aloofness would probably better suited, or casual demeanor. Just a thought.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walter Sharrow
msg tools
designer
mb
bbblasterfire wrote:
Why wouldn't a boss like a hard worker? I think aloofness would probably better suited, or casual demeanor. Just a thought.


An interesting thought and a very reasonable statement... but if I did that it would sorta ruin the joke.

I'm certain I'm not the only person who's noticed that hardwork isn't always cherished like it should be. Politics seem to carry far more weight than job performance in every place I've ever worked. This is a game of politics, where the job is just a footnote in the margins.

You ever heard of some of the stuff they teach at Business schools? One of the first things they tell the people pursuing placement in corporate bureaucracy is that *what* the business actually does is unimportant. They teach their students that all businesses are the same. They teach that people are simply "Human Resources", like a desk or a pencil, and the business only exists to make money. Really, with a philosophy like that, who cares about "Hardwork"? As long as you do enough of your job so that they don't need to replace you, you could do as little or as much as you want. If you don't have the credentials and the backing of others, they will never promote you. It's all about who you know and appearances.

Office Life is a parody of this sad state of corporate existence. That's why actually DOING your job is just 1/3rd of your possible score... and might actually hurt you in the end!

One of the worst sins in a broken bureaucracy is to work too hard and make everyone else look bad. That's called "Rocking the Boat". People have been known to hate that sort of thing. It's like the kid that does too well on the test and throws off the whole grading curve. In that case, in real-life, hardwork could harm you politically. And in a system were it's not "what you do", but "who you know", you could work yourself out of a promotion with all of that selfless dedication. I've seen it done. I've done it to myself!
 
 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.