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Subject: [WIP] Rush Hour - a game of being stuck in traffic rss

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John R.
Canada
Toronto
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Hello,

This is my first WIP submission and the first game I've ever managed to get to the prototype & playtesting stage. I'd appreciate any feedback the community would care to offer.

Quote:
You’ve just spent over an hour on the highway with thousands of other commuters inching past an accident that blocked two entire lanes of traffic – and tomorrow you get to do it all over again!
For now, though, you want nothing more than to relax and put it all out of your mind. Perhaps you might play a game. Perhaps you might play…

RUSH HOUR

This is a game of moving through traffic in which you mix and match pairs of cards to determine how groups of vehicles move or to change lanes and surge ahead in your own car – though doing so may open gaps into which other players can slip. With the right combination of cards you can cause an accident to delay your opponents while you zip around them in an outside lane... but be prepared for the chance that they’ll do the same to you.

RUSH HOUR is essentially a race game in which the goal, naturally, is to be the first to cross the finish line by navigating through a crowd of non-player vehicles. Cards [or dice - see below] are played from an open hand to move either one's own car or a group of cars (which may include one's own or another player's). It is suitable for up to 5 people and playtesting suggests that a game should take ~30 min.

At this point I'm looking mainly for feedback on the basic mechanics and whether or not the game itself is interesting & enjoyable. I've tried to simplify the rules as much as possible on the assumption that playing a game about being stuck in traffic will be more fun if it takes less time than actually being in such a situation (i.e. under 1 hr).

Some playtesters have suggested adding either special abilities for each player or event cards of some sort but I have my doubts as to whether such features are desirable, at least for the 'core' game (expansions are always an option!). I'd eventually like to have the rules rewritten in a shorter and 'friendlier' format but that's a longer-term goal. The illustrations are just draft sketches at this point and even the name itself is only a working title(I don't know the legalities of having the same title as another and there are several BGG entries titled 'Rush Hour' or 'Traffic Jam').

RUSH HOUR rules v2-2.pdf
The current version of the full rules.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9mjjOHF3gZ5d3h6Qk56TExOZkU...

RUSH HOUR rules summary.pdf
A stripped-down version of the rules on a single page. I suggest skimming this to get a sense of the game overall prior to reading the main rules.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9mjjOHF3gZ5dmctWWlPeVBxRTQ...

Rush Hour PnP board legal.png
A schematic of the board on a legal size (8.5" x 14") sheet of paper. The colours are not necessary and it may be printed in greyscale to save ink.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9mjjOHF3gZ5LUY2YWtvSHFfbVE...


Rush Hour prototype.jpg
My playtesting prototype of the board. The version in the current rules has two fewer rows and the lane labelled 'E' has been removed as it duplicated the function of the on-ramp/merge lane.The numbering of the rows has also changed slightly. Cars are from The Game Crafter.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9mjjOHF3gZ5X0w2b2RpTW5PQWc...

I have been using dice for movement (3 red and 3 black for each player) but the rules call instead for a hand of 6 cards on the assumption that 120 cards will be cheaper and easier to package than 38 dice. If you happen to have a lot of dice lying around (you're a gamer, aren't you?) then set your dice aside when the rules say 'discard' and replace and reroll any dice you've played when they say to 'draw cards'.

Cars may be represented by coins, cubes, etc. so long as you have two of the same colour for each player and about 60 of another colour for the neutral vehicles.

Thanks for your time.
 
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Nicholas Ferezin
Brazil
Sao Paulo
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Congrats on your first WIP submission! Seems like an interesting idea for a game, although I am glad this is just a working title. I had come in here just to mention you might want to change the game haha.
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John R.
Canada
Toronto
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Apparently Rush Hour, Traffic Jam and Gridlock are already taken. I'm considering Road Rage, but there's not much rage in the game (could always add an expansion...). Homeward Bound is a Simon & Garfunkel song. I'm open to suggestions for title changes.

It plays fairly quickly (30 min or so) as it's a pretty simple game once you understand the 'last group in the lane' exception to the normal movement rules and the filling in mechanic at the end of each player turn. I've tried to explain both with schematics in the rules but I realize that it may not be clear to others.
 
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Tim Patterson
Germany
Griesheim
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If you were in the UK, I'd suggest calling it M25 as it's notorious for traffic jams...

Other ideas:

congestion - although it sounds more like a disease
bottleneck
roadblock
overtake

I quite like the Italian word for overtake - "Sorpasso" - and maybe the mechanics of the game matches somewhat the Italian style of driving

 
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Manuel Ingeland
Sweden
Uppsala
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Christopher Meyer
United States
Nebraska
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Congrats on your first WIP. What you have so far is really good as far as game mechanics and concept go. The board is really nice too.

That said I play this game every morning on my way to work...I might need a day or two away from rush hour traffic in order to try my hand at this one haha
 
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John Breckenridge
United States
Richmond
Rhode Island
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Quote:
I'm open to suggestions for title changes.

"Move Your Car"
 
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Manuel Ingeland
Sweden
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jbrecken wrote:
Quote:
I'm open to suggestions for title changes.

"Move Your Car"


Brilliant
 
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John R.
Canada
Toronto
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Actually, I quite like "Move Your ****ing Car" but such a title might negatively affect sales in the family game market... laugh
 
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Kevin Jeffrey
Canada
Surrey
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A couple of title suggestions:

Long Weekend
Peak Hour
Avoid the Rush
401 (because you're from Toronto)

I liked another users suggestion of Congestion.
 
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John R.
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After a few more playtests, it's starting to look (as I mentioned in my first post) as though the game needs more. The general opinion seems to be that the basic mechanics work and it does a reasonable job of bringing the theme to life, but that it's otherwise a lacklustre game.

Suggestions have been to add Event Cards and some humorous content. If the board were drawn by, say, Tom Wham, Phil Foglio or in the style of Belfort, that might help. I've also thought of using alternate text on the cards such as "Pothole. Discard this card to make another player discard their highest Speed card" with an amusing illustration (e.g. a prairie dog or meerkat looking out of a pothole). This would also make the 'screw you' factor a bit higher.

All things considered, though, I'd rather have the game stand on the merits of its mechanics - if it's not fun to play, even cute illustrations won't help much.
 
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