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Subject: Designs vulnerable to bumping rss

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Christopher Earley
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I'm kicking around a design that involves placing things on an N by N grid. In order to reduce the number of components in the game, I'm thinking about having numbered spots within each square to indicate the number of that thing in the square.

So, instead of placing 2 components on the square, you move the single component from the 1 space to the 2 space within the square. (Think of it as a mini progress track in each space of the game board.)

I see two problems that will probably make this idea fail to work: (1) it makes the state of the board less readable at a glance, and (2) if someone bumps into the board, the game is as good as ruined.

While reason 1 may well be enough to make me throw this idea on the dustbin, this post is actually aimed at getting feedback on reason 2:

What do folks in the forum think a designer's priority (obligation?) should be with respect to making a game that can't be finished if someone bumps into it? Let's ignore things like Jenga, of course, and focus on euros that maintain a lot of game state on the table.

thanks in advance for your input!

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John "Omega" Williams
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christophyr wrote:
What do folks in the forum think a designer's priority (obligation?) should be with respect to making a game that can't be finished if someone bumps into it? Let's ignore things like Jenga, of course, and focus on euros that maintain a lot of game state on the table.

thanks in advance for your input!



There are plenty of games out there allready that are ruined in play if someone bumps it.

Bemusingly one of the rules for some of Tom Wham's old magazine games was "Dont breath on the board"... aheh.

Usually though it takes more than a bump to severely ruin a game.

Stacking and tierd games are an exception. Most pieces tend to more or less stay put.

If someone bumps into the table sufficient to scatter the pieces then that may be the least of your worries.

Also. This is like worrying about the cat walking across the board, or the dog chewing on a piece. Have you taken precautions to ensure that your game is cat and dog proof? Spilled drinks? Metor showers? Breathing? See where that leads? Bumps tend to be rare. Most players are fairly careful around a board. so even if the game has some stacking. This is not overall a design worry.

Also sometimes the shift is such that you can set back up, or simply restart.

Now design your game and stop breathing on my board! Yeesh! kids these days! whistle
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Joe Salamone
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Instead of printing numbers on the board spaces, could you just make tiles with numbers on each edge and have the players rotate the tiles to indicate the number of components in the space? For instance, you could have square tiles with the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 printed on the 4 edges. Whichever number is facing the top ("north") edge of the board is the number of components in that space. That way, bumping the board won't disrupt the game unless someone bumps it so hard that a tile rotates to a different edge.

In general, I don't think game designers have any obligation to worry about board bumping. However, if the design is so delicate that a bump can ruin a game, it will probably result in lower ratings and fewer sales.
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John "Omega" Williams
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joe_salamone wrote:

In general, I don't think game designers have any obligation to worry about board bumping. However, if the design is so delicate that a bump can ruin a game, it will probably result in lower ratings and fewer sales.


Jenga... whistle
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Scott Nelson
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put square holes in the board that you place the marker in (a cube?) to indicate something. No bump should damage that.
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Russ Williams
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Omega2064 wrote:
joe_salamone wrote:

In general, I don't think game designers have any obligation to worry about board bumping. However, if the design is so delicate that a bump can ruin a game, it will probably result in lower ratings and fewer sales.


Jenga... whistle


christophyr in the original post wrote:
Let's ignore things like Jenga, of course, and focus on euros that maintain a lot of game state on the table.

whistle
 
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Joe Salamone
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Omega2064 wrote:
joe_salamone wrote:

In general, I don't think game designers have any obligation to worry about board bumping. However, if the design is so delicate that a bump can ruin a game, it will probably result in lower ratings and fewer sales.


Jenga... whistle


I don't think there's much you can do about games where the whole point is to have a precariously stacked pile of components. Unless the game comes with a wall or a roll or crime scene tape that you can put around it to keep people at a safe distance.

Sometimes, it's not the design that is flawed, it's the players. I've seen plenty of games where people roll dice across the board, knocking components out of position. It's just not right!
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Nicholas Ferezin
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ropearoni4 wrote:
put square holes in the board that you place the marker in (a cube?) to indicate something. No bump should damage that.


Came here to say this. The simplest solution to things moving around is limiting how easily they can move around and holes can accomplish that to a certain extent. It won't make your game invulnerable to bumps, but it should make it so that you only really have to consider the first problem you mention.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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russ wrote:
Omega2064 wrote:
joe_salamone wrote:

In general, I don't think game designers have any obligation to worry about board bumping. However, if the design is so delicate that a bump can ruin a game, it will probably result in lower ratings and fewer sales.


Jenga... whistle


christophyr in the original post wrote:
Let's ignore things like Jenga, of course, and focus on euros that maintain a lot of game state on the table.

whistle


Jenga isnt a Euro? Its MADE of wooden blocks! cry

Seriously though. Most games, even card games can be disrupted by a bump. Usually its minor.

Any sort of items stacked up though and the players are generally going to know not to bang the table too much.

Solutions if its really precarious stacks?

Cap style recessed pieces. They stack fairly well. TheGameCrafter sells some as an option I believe.

Poker chip style. The radial teeth prevent slippage from small bumps.

The above mentioned pegs.

If you just dont want the pieces sliding around from a bump. Either spend the extra on divoted boards, pegs or some other method. Or live with the same fact most every board game does. That bumps happen now and then.
 
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Kendall McKenzie
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the bumping issue I can see here is less that bumps can happen and more that bumps might be more difficult to resolve (unless of course you use the excellent suggestion of indentations for the pieces to go in)

if it's just a couple of values it's probably not that big a deal because you can mostly remember them and might just need to check once in a while, but if it's more it may be more difficult to put everything back as it was after a bump

bumps will happen, and the issue with one component, multiple numbered squares per thing as compared to multiple components, one square per thing, is that a) unless you're making the board much larger, you're halving the space a component can be moved around in before it changes its value, so a comparatively smaller bump will ruin the game and b) when a bump happens it's another piece of information to remember and reset, for example, if you bump the board and a cube placed on "2 wood" (idk your theme so I made one up) moves, you now have to remember if it was on 1 or 2 as well as that it was on wood. If you've got two cubes physically there, you're more likely to remember they were from the same spot and there's no way there could only be one wood because there are two cubes.

Yes these benefits are both kinda conditional and also more expensive as you'll need double the cubes (or whatever you're using), but if you are really worried about bumps, I think it's safer to go with larger squares and represent the number with the number of pieces that go on them
 
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Christopher Earley
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Thanks for the opinions!

It's a homebrew affair at this point, so slots/holes/divots and such are probably off the table (so to speak).

Dogmantra wrote:
the bumping issue I can see here is less that bumps can happen and more that bumps might be more difficult to resolve


Yep, that's the issue. I'm pretty sure I have no obligation to make the game state meteor proof or include crime scene tape in each box, but the idea I had in mind had too many things that could be jarred just a little and result in uncertainty of previous state.

So I think I'm gonna toss it in the bin and go back to multiple cubes per space.

joe_salamone wrote:
Instead of printing numbers on the board spaces, could you just make tiles with numbers on each edge


I do like this idea a lot--and I don't think people are likely to upgrade more than 3 steps, so a square with 4 sides would be perfect. Kind of like those Columbia Games blocks showing unit strength or In the Shadow of the Emperor aging tiles. I wasn't planning to make the components tiles, I was thinking cubes or glass beads, but this might be worth a retool.

Thanks all!





 
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Patrick Barry
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Aren't we into the realm of travel games and games that need no table?
Magnets, pegs, clips, fixed spinners instead of dice,


Or the other extreme: make bumping part of the mechanic!
It works for roulette
 
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Joe Salamone
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christophyr wrote:

Thanks for the opinions!

joe_salamone wrote:
Instead of printing numbers on the board spaces, could you just make tiles with numbers on each edge


Kind of like In the Shadow of the Emperor aging tiles.


That's what came to mind for me, too. Or the building tiles from Carson City.

 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Would magnetic pieces be viable? You can sticker both sides and the board and they are pretty much immune to bumping?

How big do the pieces need to be overall?

Its not practical really for sales, but for DIY personal use its viable.
 
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