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Ok, I can finally enter the2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest, with something I actually think will be interesting.

After going back and forth, I decided to enter the contest, with a game called DYSTOPIAN: THE INVESTIGATION DECK GAME.

It is a 50/50 mesh of Dystopian: the manhunt and Lord of the Rings: The Adventure Deck Game.
It borrows the mechanics of both games, and mesh it them into a single game.

In Dystopian: the investigation deck game, you (and other 3 players, as the game can be played solo, and up to 4 players, fully cooperative), play the role of an investigator of the Dystopian Police Department (DPD) and you're searching town, traveling to the different locations, interacting with the various people and AI-Roids you meet: but not all of them are willing to help, as some might behave aggressively, and attack you, while others will have to be "convinced".

The Megapolis of Dystopian, is divided into 12 locations (grouped into 3 districts), and within these locations, you'll meet the people you need to
interrogate and you'll want to interact with.

At the beginning of the game, the player will choose one of 4 charters, each with his own special ability and singularity, and choose 1 of the 12 locations to start his investigation from.
He then shuffles the encounter cards and the remaining 11 locations, to form the investigation deck.
He then places the chosen location on the Investigation board as the Current location and the game can begin.

Each turn, the player will Investigate the location (meaning he'll turn an encounter card, from the investigation deck), and he'll have to deal with the met encounter
- attack (when an aggressive encounter is met)
- interact/interrogate (1 AP)
- analyze clues (2 AP)
- rest (to recover APs).

The encounter cards will be mixed with the location cards, and each encounter will feature 3 reaction types: friendly, neutral and aggressive. When you move through the deck, by flipping cards, you'll eventually draw a location card, which will be a SAFE, NEUTRAL and DANGEROUS location, which will dictate which behavior the encounters will have there, until another location card is drawn.

You'll be able to stop and recover, when ever you wish, but this will move the Day tken 1 space, and when the Day Token reaches the end of the track, the criminal will have escaped, and the game will end with defeat.

Play time: 15-20 minutes
Players: 1-4 (mostly one)
Components: 54 cards, 1 Investigation Board, 9 tokens.

I will post a link to the prototype cards, ASAP.

Stay tuned


EDIT:
Printer friendly components:

rules (3 pages, printer friendly):


RULES V.2.1



Cards v.2.1 PRINTER FRIENDLY




FULL Color Cards and board: this will kill your ink! so beware: it's a big file!


All you need to play are the rules, the 54 cards, the investigation board, and 9 tokens, or eurocubes.

It takes 10 minutes to build: just print the 6 pages of cards, and cut them.

EDIT: 27 July 2014: FINAL COMPONENTS:


1- RULES (3 PAGES)
2- Cards and Investigation board (with card backs)

OR
3-PRINTER FRIENDLY CARDS - no images



EDIT: August 6th:
Cathegories Dystopian: the investigation deck game can fit in:

Best Thematic Game (Sci Fi, Horror, Fantasy, Dungeon Crawl, etc)
Best Written Rules
Best Small Game


I don't think it will qualify for Best Artwork, as I used (on purpose) the same art I used, last year, for Dystopian: the manhunt
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Love this idea of locations interacting with people! Keeping an eye here
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Michele Esmanech
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Tuism wrote:
Love this idea of locations interacting with people! Keeping an eye here


Thanks.
It is a mechanic I features last year, with Dystopian: the manhunt, only that here, is more random, and more accessible.

In practice, people will have a different behavior according to where they're met: in dangerous locations people tend to be aggressive; in safe locations, people tend to be friendly; in neutral locations, people tend to be .. neutral.
Of course, there are exceptions, as thugs will always be aggressive, no matter the location they're in, and people just passing by will be friendly even if met in dangerous locations (actually, in dangerous locations, they might even ask you to interact with them, and bring them to a safe location).

The description is very reminiscent to last year's Dystopian: the manhunt, but with less components, and a smaller footprint.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Ikim wrote:
Tuism wrote:
Love this idea of locations interacting with people! Keeping an eye here


Thanks.
It is a mechanic I features last year, with Dystopian: the manhunt, only that here, is more random, and more accessible.

In practice, people will have a different behavior according to where they're met: in dangerous locations people tend to be aggressive; in safe locations, people tend to be friendly; in neutral locations, people tend to be .. neutral.
Of course, there are exceptions, as thugs will always be aggressive, no matter the location they're in, and people just passing by will be friendly even if met in dangerous locations (actually, in dangerous locations, they might even ask you to interact with them, and bring them to a safe location).

The description is very reminiscent to last year's Dystopian: the manhunt, but with less components, and a smaller footprint.


My imagination is going to effects other than just modifiers to a base, and more than just 3... But what I'm thinking about is probably a heck of a lot less balanced and even more chaotic. Like Betrayal at House on the Hill - anything goes
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Tuism wrote:

My imagination is going to effects other than just modifiers to a base, and more than just 3... But what I'm thinking about is probably a heck of a lot less balanced and even more chaotic. Like Betrayal at House on the Hill - anything goes


The reactions won't be modifiers, but a totally different action. For example: a person met in a dangerous location will attack you; while if you meet him in a neutral location, you can interact with such person, and he can give you testimony evidence.
While unfriendly encounters will always attack you, when met in a dangerous location, they attack harder, while, when met in a safe location, they might even give you evidence, after you defeated them in combat.

There will a different variety of encounters, from journalists, to lawyers, who will hinder your movement; from thugs, to normal people that are just passing by. have a look at Dystopian: the manhunt.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
My only gripe, now, is wether or not to use Dystopian graphics, or create more… for now, I'll create and upload B/W printer friendly cards.

I will think about the graphics later on… but I think I'll use the graphics from Dystopian, after all… please have your say.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Ikim wrote:
Tuism wrote:

My imagination is going to effects other than just modifiers to a base, and more than just 3... But what I'm thinking about is probably a heck of a lot less balanced and even more chaotic. Like Betrayal at House on the Hill - anything goes


The reactions won't be modifiers, but a totally different action. For example: a person met in a dangerous location will attack you; while if you meet him in a neutral location, you can interact with such person, and he can give you testimony evidence.
While unfriendly encounters will always attack you, when met in a dangerous location, they attack harder, while, when met in a safe location, they might even give you evidence, after you defeated them in combat.

There will a different variety of encounters, from journalists, to lawyers, who will hinder your movement; from thugs, to normal people that are just passing by. have a look at Dystopian: the manhunt.


What I meant was that it seems that you have 3 modifiers to their actions, and the scope of the encounter will be totally encapsulated in those three predetermined sets - so there's not as much emergent interaction - you KNOW these people will behave in way A, B, or C.

For example, in games like Magic and Netrunner, different cards interact in different ways - and many are completely unexpected and mechanically based, if that makes any sense?
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
I love your LOTR game, and I really wanted to get in to Dystopian, but I just can't print that big of a board without having a poster printed up at Staples. So, I'm excited for this more accessible venture into the Dystopian universe!
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
davekuhns wrote:
I love your LOTR game, and I really wanted to get in to Dystopian, but I just can't print that big of a board without having a poster printed up at Staples. So, I'm excited for this more accessible venture into the Dystopian universe!


Thanks.
I hope this lives up to the expectations.


Tuism wrote:

What I meant was that it seems that you have 3 modifiers to their actions, and the scope of the encounter will be totally encapsulated in those three predetermined sets - so there's not as much emergent interaction - you KNOW these people will behave in way A, B, or C.


Actually not quite. Since the deck is shuffled, the location-encounter pair will always be different. Plus some locations will have effects on specific type of encounters, on top of the dangerous/neutral/safe effects on their behavior.

Plus, when you gain enough evidence (usually around the end of the game), you'll take the locations and their encounters associated to one of 3 districts, and shuffle them with the Criminal card; meaning that there will be new pairs of location/encounters.

The interactions in this game won't be among the cards, this is not a hand management game, like the ones you mentioned (NEtrunner and Magic), but a game about knowing when to press and when to stop; taking calculated risks and knowing you can afford to investigate once more.

It's more Action-point management and time management, than hand management.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Cool It certainly sounds interesting and I look forward to seeing how it plays!
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Indeed. This sounds like a game I would love. Subscribed.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Michele! Good to see you! Welcome to the contest, buddy! This looks awesome.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Thanks Nate.
I have been out of the designer scene for quite some time (I regret not being able to take part in your 2P PnP contest cry), but life and work issues took precedence.

I really hope to make it in time for the deadline (August 2nd)… lets hope.

In the mean time, I have written v.1 of the rules… tomorrow I will post them, along with the cards, and lets hope for the best.

cheers
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Darn.. I should have reserved a second post, for components… Oh well…


Anyhow, here is the link to V.1 of the rules: D:TIDG, V.1 Rules
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
Today I finished the rough draght of the components: just the 54 cards, with no graphics at all, and the investigation board (also with no graphics).

I will play test tonight.

As a reminder to myself, there are 2 variables I can tweak and change to balance difficulty: the time track and the AP track on the investigator cards.

Another thing I noticed is that I didn't specify, in the rules, what happens if you get to the end of the investigation deck.
I will add it later on in the rules, but, if you investigate the last card, and you still haven't found or defeated the criminal, you lose the game.

In the Investigation phase, it is VERY unlikely to happen, as you would more probably run out of time or eventually get to the hunt phase.
In the hunt phase, it is possible and it's something the player will have to balance in order to get in the hunt phase with not so many cards that it will take too long to find the murderer, but not too few and AP costly, that when you corner the murderer you don't have enough APs to defeat him.


As for graphics, I will definitely use the encounter images I created for Dystopian the manhunt.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Playtest phase
I play tested the game a lot, and tweaked the rules a bit, along with the cards.

I think the game is ready for public play testing:

rules (3 pages, printer friendly):rules V 1.2


cards and Investigator board (6 pages total, printer friendly): Cards and board

All you need to play are the rules, the 54 cards, the investigation board, and 9 tokens, or eurocubes.

The game takes about 20-30 minutes to play and is very quick to set up and tear down.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
Since my time is limited, and I only have 13 days to finish the game, this is my plan:

- complete playtests… possibly with blind play testers' feedback
- finalize the rules and the encounter behaviors
- add graphics to all the components
- tweak the rules and some card descriptions to add more flavor and fluff
- complete the rules to with graphics and images and diagrams
- print the finished components
- post a how-to video
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
Hey Michele,

Nice work so far. I wanted to point out that the word companion is misspelled on the tracking card. You have it spelled like this COPANION, it should be COMPANION.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
MvRichthofen wrote:
Hey Michele,

Nice work so far. I wanted to point out that the word companion is misspelled on the tracking card. You have it spelled like this COPANION, it should be COMPANION.


Thanks, I'll correct it ASAP. I'll have to proof read everything, then play test, and then proofread everything back again… lots of work ahead of me…

Keep the feedback coming. thanks again
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
RE-written some rules, and tweaked them to be more clear and to convey the theme, more.

Rules V.1.3
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
I have play tested the game some more, and I have noticed the following issues:

a) there are too many encounters and, hence, there are too many turns
b) once you "investigate" (aka you flip a card), there's little you can do: some encounters give you the option of interacting with them, some just attack you, with little you can do about it
c) which is the sum of the a) and b) the game gives little choices for its length and repetitiveness.

Fear not: I have a solution

To fix a), I decided to cut the number of encounters, and add a few more suspects: 3 will be enough to give variety and to reduce enough the number of encounters (dropping from 29 to 26 might not seem much, but it will have an impact on the number of encounters per location ratio.

To fix b), I decided to bring back a mechanic Dystopian: the manhunt has, but I left out in D:TIDG: when you meet an encounter, you can ignore/evade him, with a twist.

How it will work is that, each encounter (for now, each ATTACKING encounter) will have an ATTACK number and an EVADE number and an Ignore value: if you attack back (matching his attack value), you will be able to remove the encounter from the game (so he won't show up later, even in the Hunt phase), if you evade (matching his evade value), you'll re-shuffle him in the Investigation deck (meaning you'll encounter him, later on), if you ignore him (matching his ignore value), you'll leave him in the location.

This will mean that: the Attack value of the cards as of now, will be the IGNORE value; the EVADE number will be (usually) the ignore value, -1 or -2; the actual ATTACK value will be the +1 or +2 the current attack value.

This will give more choices, and will make it VERY relevant where' you're at, and if you're in a location where the Suspect will try to hide in, in the HUNT phase.
If you're in a location the suspect will hide in, you might not want to ignore him; if you're a location the suspect will not hide in, you might want to either evade him (hoping he'll show up in a different district), of you might want to kill him right away, so you don't encounter him.

This 3 choice dilemma will bring more choices, which, as of now, once you flip a card, are limited to character that propose you to interact with them or not.

I will add these to the rules and will post the new chards later tonight.

EDIT 1:
On a second thought: the difference among EVADE and IGNORE is too little, and since the EVADING will be like 1 or 2 APs, people will just evade, meaning the "being wounded" and losing 3 days to recover will be lost.

I'll just leave at ATTACK - IGNORE (which will be called evade - I know, it's confusing now), and just state that some thugs, when evaded, will move or will stay where they are…

Edit 2:
On a third thought, I have decided to leave the Attack/Ignore/Evade option: more options never killed anyone.

I have also set to 3 the APs for analyzing a clue to gain 1 evidence; yet I will have to reduce (by 1) the number of evidence needed to frame the suspects, as EVIDENCE just got harder to gain.
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
RULES v.2.0

These are the new rules, with the new attack/ignore/evade mechanic, which will add more choices to me be made.

I will upload the new cards, matching this mechanic, later tonight.

In the mean time, I would LOVE to hear feedback from anyone, about the rules and especially:
- are there some obscure things?
- are there some things that might be explained better?
- it there something you think is missing?
- the layout is not done, yet (I will add pictures, and diagrams, showing the cards, the set up, and all), but how about how things are set? shall I state something before something else?

thanks
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
and here are the

Cards v.2.0
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
Dang! I was just about to cut up the previous cards when I checked the compo page. Good job I did.

Printing a new set now but as it is midnight and the printer is next to the bedroom, the wife isn't best pleased! devil
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Re: [WIP] Dystopian: the investigation deck game - 2014 SOLO PnP Design contest - Public Playtesting
wrrlykam wrote:
Dang! I was just about to cut up the previous cards when I checked the compo page. Good job I did.


blush
Yea, sorry David… I was at my in-law's for dinner, so I took a bit longer to upload the new cards.
besides, this last update is pretty radical: not just some minor things, but a big change (and an improvement, methinks).

Quote:
Printing a new set now but as it is midnight and the printer is next to the bedroom, the wife isn't best pleased! devil


It's 2,36 am, in Italy… I am alone, as my wife and kids are at our lake house, while I have to be in Milano for work, so I can "afford" staying up late… you, on the other hand, better not un-please the wife
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