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Rob Harper
United Kingdom
Wantage
Oxfordshire
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Hi all,

So, a little background... I have a friend who has a license to publish games for a pretty well-known IP and has asked various people to pitch him games that he could produce. I have been working on a couple of possibilities, one of which has great potential, but I have a couple or roadblocks to get past, and another which is much smaller and simpler, and I think I can get it publishable a lot quicker.

I'd like to work on these games publically, but am reluctant to do so in the context of the IP. However, the smaller game is trivially rethemeable, so that is just what I have done. So here I present to you "Body Snatchers"...

The idea is that this is a social game for fairly large groups (I have said 4 to 8 in the rules, but I suspect 4 probably won't be great). There is a detective whose job it is to figure out which of the other players are actually body snatching aliens, and which are just normal, innocent people.

In each round, identities are randomly distributed along with one action card per player. Each player in turn plays his/her action card, and this will result in players getting bits of information about the distribution of identities. Once the last action is played, a timer is started (I'm going with 2 minute sand timers, partly because that should add a real sense of urgency, but mostly because they are cheaply available from dentists!), and by the time the sand runs out, the detective must accuse people of being body snatchers, so it's all about the Detective trying to figure out who is giving the right information.

The detective and the normal players score points for detected body snatchers, and the body snatcher players score points for snatchers that get away.

Then you play some more rounds.

I would appreciate any comments or suggestions anyone out there might have. The rules and cards (just 2 sheets of 9 cards each) are linked below...

Body Snatchers v0.1 rules
Body Snatchers v0.1 cards

Sorry, but I won't be revealing what the IP is -- unless I manage to make the sale, at which point I'll be shouting about it! arrrh
 
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Rob Harper
United Kingdom
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Oxfordshire
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So I finally got to try the game out with a decent number of real, actual people...

...and, frankly, it sucked.

It didn't suck terminally, but we played a few rounds and found that often there was just not enough information for the detective to really have a chance, and some other times it was just far too easy. That and each round there were one or two people who didn't really have anything to do.

A good suggestion I received was to have action cards offering a couple of options for what action to take. If that is done properly there will always be something meaningful for players to do, and usually there will be an actual decision to make.

It also occurs to me that having a character or two with slightly wacky victory conditions could be interesting too.

Back to the drawing board...
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