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Subject: What sort of theme would you prefer for this mechanic? rss

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Tim P.
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I usually come up with a theme first, and then let that drive the mechanics. The game I'm working on now started as a particular theme, but I think it could work in lots of different settings with the same player dynamic and game narrative.

Basically, the game works like this: The players are the stewards of some communal resource, represented by a deck. They must overcome individual trials throughout the game, for which they can (secretly) take from the communal resource. When they do so, they leaving one of their cards in its place in the deck (which might be used to deduce who took from it, since different players have different known distributions of card types). At the end of the game, if too much of the communal resource has been taken, then everyone loses.

In order, I've already considered:
- An ecological game, where players represent different nations, and have the option of using up the planet's resources. What does reaching the end game represent, though?
- A fantasy theme where players are monks tending a sacred garden (or Eden?) with miraculous healing properties. They have to keep the garden in sufficient condition for the return of their messiah.
- Players are shady hedge fund managers, or trustees of a public foundation. The communal resource is the client's money, and they have to deal with individual problems like litigation, mafia attention, public scandals, etc.

I know there's lots of other ideas that would work, though. What sort of theme would you be most interested in for this sort of mechanic?
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Chad Steward
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Out of those, theme 2.

Ecology theme is kind of meh.

The third theme has potential, but I think I would prefer something more lighthearted along the lines of "Kill Doctor Lucky".
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Trevor Kindree
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Corrupt knights guarding the treasure, left as tribute for a dragon. This dragon will lay waste to the kingdom if the treasure is not sufficient. They steal coins, jewels, items of great value, leaving trinkets and baubles behind so the pile looks undisturbed, hoping to fool it and live a life of luxury. Too much missing, they all suffer a horrible fate. Too little taken, they suffer a life of misery, protecting a broken Kingdom for no reward.

With this idea, you can go fairly serious, or more comical. The options are there, but it is a fine line between funny and silly sometimes.

Edited for clarity and autocorrect stupidity.
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Rob Steward
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The resource could be the energy reserves of a spacecraft... waste too much and you die in space rather than reaching your destination.
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chris leko
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What if it was a money pool of some sort, and they're leaving IOUs there, and if too much money is gone, the group can't pay their bills (of some sort, running some company, have to pay off the Mafia?).
 
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Aleksander K
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I think I would rather go for Godfather/Mafia like theme, where your "common resource" are people, either you respect them and defend or blackmail, shoot, beat and sell drugs to... If your Family is not respected, you lose everything. On the other hand there may be only one Boss in the end of game (if not exhausted resource). How are you thinking of determining this winner?
 
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Chad Steward
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FreezenFire wrote:
Corrupt knights guarding the treasure, left as tribute for a dragon. This dragon will lay waste to the kingdom if the treasure is not sufficient. They steal coins, jewels, items of great value, leaving trinkets and baubles behind so the pile looks undisturbed, hoping to fool it and live a life of luxury. Too much missing, they all suffer a horrible fate. Too little taken, they suffer a life of misery, protecting a broken Kingdom for no reward.

With this idea, you can go fairly serious, or more comical. The options are there, but it is a fine line between funny and silly sometimes.

Edited for clarity and autocorrect stupidity.

This is what The Hobbit should have been!
 
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Manuel Ingeland
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- Survivors after a plane crash, trying to get out of there while getting their cut of the common food supplies..

- Mexican cartels with the "resource" being the heat meter of the cops..
 
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Damon Absolom
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I think the ecology idea is a good one. I'm a science teacher and have definitely snagged games not meant for the classroom and used them because they had potential. Many "games" designed by educators for classes could barely be considered games in my opinion. The games that real game developers come up with often serve the need much better. I kickstarter funded that one on DNA strands, it's got some really eye catching art, and very accurate to science mechanics governing how the different nucleotides interact...

The ecology game could have 'recipes' that the players combine several resources to produce something, and maybe a some of those recipes allow the return of resources or not depending on the players choice. Or some of the resources might regenerate at a certain rate, and pulling them too quickly exhausts them. If at the end they run out the ecosystem collapses.

Might be thinking too much like a teacher though...
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Austin Andersen
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The third one wouldn't work in the modern setting as everyone would get caught once things were shown missing.

The second one doesn't seem right, unless there are many things to tend to within a garden that I am overlooking.

This leaves the first one.

I believe you should couple your mechanic with having to develop alternate energies and tie your mechanic into the depletion of the world's petroleum supply. I'm not sure how your mechanics work now, but maybe as you develop better technologies for extraction, you can draw more cards to choose from within the deck, possibly keeping more if you have the right cards, and perhaps having to put back less with yet another right card or worker placed in the right location.

So the game is a two part game. Managing the depletion of the primary resource coupled with developing feasible alternatives.

This is theme that you want to develop. When the time comes for credits, I just hope for a line in rulebook.

Best of luck to you. Also if you want someone else to work with to bounce off ideas, I'm quite open to the thought.
 
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Paul Nicholas
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I really like the idea of monks tending a secret garden - it has a unique flavour to it ie. not just generic fantasy.

Going darker with this you could have Aztec priests each building a monument of some kind (like a temple or statue) for Quetzalcoatl. But the angry serpent god must regularly be appeased with sacrifices. So players have to balance having enough workers to both build the monument while keeping Quetzalcoatl appeased. Otherwise he rises and lays waste to everything.

 
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