Eli Blood-Patterson
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I'm currently working on a highly thematic, semi-cooperative game set in the Arctic. It's been a fun hobby project, and going great! Now I'm looking for some ideas in the next stage of development. The "elevator pitch" goes something like this:

You are the crew of a small boat bound for the north pole. The objective is to reach your destination and come back alive. Along the way, players must sail around shifting ice packs that block their way, navigate through storms, and endure ever-colder weather on their deadly journey. Player's must cooperate to survive -- but are also competing to achieve private objectives unknown to other players.

The Task:

So far I have a fun mechanic that represents the ship's movement and navigation at sea. I'm stuck on the next part though. I've been iterating through different mechanics to represent different "crises" that the players will face, and everything I've worked out so far feels a bit stale.

What is a crisis at sea? I'm drawing from old pirate stories (like Treasure Island), true stories of arctic explorers (e.g. Shackleton), and literature (like Moby Dick) -- really, anything that has to do with the sea and/or cold places. So, for example, players may face a bad storm, a precipitous drop in temperature, or an unexpected hole in the boat from hitting an iceberg. The idea is that players should each have skills that are necessary to solve the challenges, and that the challenges should involve some personal risk, and that team work is necessary to solve many of them.

Brainstorming Time:

Help me out BGG! What are some interesting ways to represent challenges and skill in a board game? What mechanics have you liked? Are there creative ways to adapt existing mechanics to this job? (Could set-making work? Dice? Something else?) What would you like to play?

 
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Moose Much?
United States
Soldotna
Alaska
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Does this game have a board? A grid? How is the movement tracked? Is it card driven? Does it have dice? Your elevator pitch has the theme and you say that it is a co-op, but it is missing the mechanics that make it a game. I'm not sure I can really help other than just ask for more details about your game.

Try this thread for mechanics ideas Call out for Mechanics
 
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Paul Devine
United Kingdom
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Take a look at how sinking is portrayed in Forbidden Island, there might be something for you there...
 
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Julian Vickers
New Zealand
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Have you played Expedition Northwest Passage? That game seems to have a similar theme.

On the subject of mechanics, if you're looking for high theme, then definitely check out Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island.

Crises that happen on the boat could play out similar to that game, in which you can deal with them now, but if you don't (or don't have time), they might (will) come back to bite you in the ass later.
 
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Malcolm Brown
United States
Alaska
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I have a fair amount of experience with crises at sea as I have commercially fished in Alaska for many years. The crises happen quickly, there is not a straight line linear progression. I am sure there are a lot of game mechanics that can generate this type of progression, but since I don't know anything about your games' mechanic I don't know what is a good fit.

There is a very high correlation between surviving crises and skill, experience, operational readiness of all equipment, teamwork and fatigue. I would recommend a mechanic that rewards the survivors, this gives them a better chance to deal with the next crises.

I wish I knew more about your games' mechanics, then I could make more specific recommendations.
 
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Marcel van der pol
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Leiden
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You could have several "resource" dials (Physical Health, Mental Health) which are challenged through dangers. Some dangers represent physical health (food gone bad, sunburn, water shortage etc) and some mental danger (madness, infighting, rebellion, crime, lack of hierarchy etc). If challenges "do damage" you reduce the appropriate resource and it might take some actions of the player to "push it back up" (a rest, a party to celebrate the summer solstice, slowing down to catch fresh fish, a swashbuckling tournament etc). All of these actions cost "time" or other stuff.
 
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Christopher Meyer
United States
Nebraska
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Depending if you're using dice, you could make a roll-chart of all the crises and players then have to roll to see which crisis or if there is a crisis that comes up (write several slots as NONE). It could be a D10, 2D6, 2D10, or 3D6 chart. Again, this is dependent on if/what dice you're using.

For example:
1 Ice Berg
2 None
3 High Winds
4 None
5 Storm
6 Ship Capsizes
7 Rocks/Reef
8 None
9 Ice Field
10 High Waves

Again just an example, and dependent on how the game itself plays and if/what dice are used.
 
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Steve Zagieboylo
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New Hampshire
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Don't forget attack by polar bear!! (Possibly not realistic, but fun nonetheless.)
 
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