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Subject: "X-Men: Danger Room" Love Letter Re-Theme rss

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Grant Whitesell
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I've been inspired by reading a lot of the threads on this site to try my hand at designing some titles. I hope to have progress made on some original works later, but for now I wanted to focus on some of the design and playtest aspects.

Not having created anything before, and being a huge fan of Love Letter, I thought the best place to start practicing was by making a re-theme...with a few twists.



My main focus from a design standpoint was to try to get things as consistent as possible. I'm not a graphic artist or illustrator by any means, obviously - but I wanted them to look semi-pro at a glance. If I print them with the intention of getting them out of the sleeves and sealed proper, I'd probably play with some transparency on the card instruction box, which is kinda big, and the character art doesn't "pop" as much as it could.

I also wanted to scale it to six players...so there are additional copies of each role AND additional abilities that come into play with at least five players.

For example, there are two '0' value cards - Mystique and Rogue that simply mimic the last player's action.

Additionally, the guards have to call out a specific character, but they aren't immune from the effect. Plus, in a 5-6 player game they gain UNO-like abilities like reversing turn order and skipping the next player.

I've tried it a few times and it works well. Had a lot of fun putting it together and I'd recommend trying a Love Letter re-theme to anyone thinking about getting into game design.

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Mike Holyoak
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The cards look really nice!
Love the idea of the game scaling to 6 players!
And my kids love Marvel and the X-Men.
Have you posted your rules variant/card text any where.
 
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Grant Whitesell
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Thank you!

I've playtested it a few more times and some of the card roles are being revised. I think we've landed on a good balance though.

I know some might disagree with setting the "Guard" ability so that they must name a specific card, but the fact that other "Guards" and the "Mimic" cards can be named, plus nearly all of them having special abilities in 5-6 player games offsets it.

For example, here are the cards that come into play in 5-6p games as I have them designed right now:



Whether or not you use them in 2-4 or 5-6 is highlighted right under the card number. I wanted a card to rule them all, hence Apocalypse and his ability - all other players discard their hands when he's tabled - either by being played or as a result of a "Prince" action. It's possible for the following player to "Mimic" that action, as well. Haven't seen it come up yet, but I'm sure it'll be interesting.

Having two "Princess" cards in the deck presents a problem, but the more I went over it and wanting to keep it simple - drawing both Professor X and Magneto is insta-death for you. Sorry.

I'll post details on the card roles and close-ups of the cards when I get time.
 
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Grant Whitesell
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So here's some more detail on one of the cards, with some of the transparency effects added, which came together better than I thought.

 
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Wynn Zetterberg
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Major props. Those look great. And I'm liking the idea of up to 6. If you rethemed it with original art, I think it would be different enough to call it your own maybe. I'd buy a copy.
 
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Grant Whitesell
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At its core, it's still Seiji Kanai's game. I couldn't in good conscience slap a different theme on it and call it mine. The additional tweaks are fun, but it's still his playground.
 
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Joe Costa
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Wow that looks great man! I think Rogue is a perfect fit for a mimic ability.
 
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mike
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Wolverine Approved!

Nice work

 
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dennis bennett
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I like it!
You migth want to check out my thread in the Love Letter subforum about variants:
Best variants, expansions, extra cards and alternate cards for Love Letter? + compilation of official promo cards

I'm working on my own retheme (with soem added twists) and any input would be welcome.

You said you've playtested your ideas, how have they worked out?
 
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Grant Whitesell
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Pretty well so far. It's far more difficult to hit with guard-levels, but the "Uno" rules make for some very unpredictable results.

There's also special guards like Gambit - succeed in calling out a card and you get an instant Baron effect with your remaining card. It makes it possible to knock out two players on one turn.

Warpath is another guard, but he gets to guess twice - either on the same player or two different ones.

Also, playing the "skip" guards - Iceman and Banshee - in the endgame effectively gives you another turn, where the "reverse" guards - Angel and Blink are more useful early on.

The table does get quite crowded with discarded cards in a full game. I imagine any Love Letter variant scaled to 6 will have this issue.

Everybody's liked it so far, and my regular group has made suggestions I've incorporated into the cards.

The "Mimic" cards are clutch. They're probably the biggest game-changer.

I struggled to find a way to avoid insta-death after pulling both Magneto and Prof. X - both level 8 - and I couldn't make it work. It's just bad luck, but that's how it goes.
 
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Christoff MastermindGames
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Im definitely into this theme because I love Love Letter.

Do you have any plans to share this? Perhaps a simple print and play? I just really wanna check it out in detail from a graphic designer perspective!
 
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dennis bennett
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MG Assembly LA wrote:
Im definitely into this theme because I love Love Letter.

Do you have any plans to share this? Perhaps a simple print and play? I just really wanna check it out in detail from a graphic designer perspective!

Yep! totally for sharing! (if you don't want to share ALL of it because of IP reasons that's fine, but perhaps just a little bit more! )
 
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Grant Whitesell
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I'd love to make a PnP version. I'm not so sure about sharing it far and wide - precisely because it consists of two separate IPs I have no claim to and I'm admittedly a little fuzzy on whether or not "fair use" would apply in this scenario.

What have you all used for making PnPs, or cards of any type? I'm using Paint.Net for everything, but it has its limitations. I imagine something like Adobe Illustrator would be the ideal for something like this.
 
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dennis bennett
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GrantZilla1979 wrote:
I'd love to make a PnP version. I'm not so sure about sharing it far and wide - precisely because it consists of two separate IPs I have no claim to and I'm admittedly a little fuzzy on whether or not "fair use" would apply in this scenario.

What have you all used for making PnPs, or cards of any type? I'm using Paint.Net for everything, but it has its limitations. I imagine something like Adobe Illustrator would be the ideal for something like this.

No, i'd be careful about publishing the whole thing as a PnP (because of the IP issues) but i'd love to see better pics of the finished game and perhaps an exact list of cards/effects.

I use illustrator and photoshop (mostly illustrator).
 
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Grant Whitesell
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Here's the abridged card descriptions:

9 - Apocalypse
All other players discard their hands and re-draw. Overrides immunity. If that player can't draw (end of the deck + burn card) they are out of the round. Sort of a super-Prince.

8 - Magneto/Professor X
If you discard this card you are out of the round.

7 - Wolverine/Emma Frost
If you have this card and a 6 or a 5 in your hand, you must discard this card.

6 - Beast/Mister Sinister
Trade Hands with another player of your choice.

5 - Cyclops/Storm/Cable
Choose another player, including yourself, to discard their hand and re-draw.

4 - Colossus/Juggernaut/Adam Warlock
You are immune from card effects until your next turn (except Apocalypse, and secondary effects from level 1 cards.)

3 - Shadowcat/Nightcrawler/Quicksilver
Compare hands with another player. The player with the lower value is out of the round.

2 - Jean Grey/Psylocke/Destiny
Look at another player's hand.

1 - Angel/Blink
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. Reverse turn order.
1 - Iceman/Banshee
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. Skip next player's turn.
1 - Warpath
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. You may guess a second time, on either that player or another one.
1 - Jubilee
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. If successful, take another turn.
1 - Gambit
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. If successful, compare remaining card with player of your choice. Lowest number is out of the round.
1 - Beak
This card does nothing.

0 - Rogue/Mystique
Mimic the last player's action.
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Jeremy Heisey
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This is amazing. #want
 
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Christoff MastermindGames
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While PSD or Illustrator would be ideal, all you really need is the ability to make a .PDF and anyone could print it potentially.

Also-- forgive me, but what is "IP?"
 
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dennis bennett
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MG Assembly LA wrote:
While PSD or Illustrator would be ideal, all you really need is the ability to make a .PDF and anyone could print it potentially.

Also-- forgive me, but what is "IP?"


In this context: intellectual property
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intellectual_property
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dennis bennett
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GrantZilla1979 wrote:
Here's the abridged card descriptions:

9 - Apocalypse
All other players discard their hands and re-draw. Overrides immunity. If that player can't draw (end of the deck + burn card) they are out of the round. Sort of a super-Prince.

this seems a bit overpowered. It's always a good card. The idea behind the original LL cards seems to be that higher ranked cards come with a bit of a trade off/drawback, which leads to the little bit of strategy the game has. In a sense all cards are kind of equal/balanced due to this.

In my variant i gave the "9" a "can only win if the "8" has been discarded, which essentially means you often won't win the game unless you make sure the 8 is out.

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

1 - Angel/Blink
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. Reverse turn order.
An intersting effect but i don't quite understand the point. It's not really giving you (but instead perhaps the player who now gets to play rigth after you again?)an advantage or disadvantage.

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

1 - Iceman/Banshee
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. Skip next player's turn.
Perhaps the "skip next player's turn" should be conditional and only work if you guessed correctly? Or work on the player you targeted instead? (they get to draw a new card but skip a turn?)
Otherwiese it just feels a bit too strong to me (guards are already really powerful in the end game)

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

1 - Warpath
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. You may guess a second time, on either that player or another one.
You always get 2 guesses or only if the first was successful?

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

1 - Jubilee
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. If successful, take another turn.

Again, perhaps as an optional thing. That player is out of the round or they get to draw a new card and you get another turn (you decide)?

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

1 - Gambit
Guess another player's card. If they hold it, they are out of the round. If successful, compare remaining card with player of your choice. Lowest number is out of the round.
interesting. i like it.

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

1 - Beak
This card does nothing.
again, really simple and obviously useless. I like it!
Just a "get rid of me" card!

GrantZilla1979 wrote:

0 - Rogue/Mystique
Mimic the last player's action.

i like it.
Did you ever experiment with similar effects? i wanted to have a "copy the effect of any discarded card" effect but i wasn't sure if it migth be too powerful.

In general i'm not sure about the powerlevel of your cards.
I really feel like most cards shouldn't just be "all upside, no downside" otherwise there is no real risk to keeping or playing them.

I.e. you could at least allow guards to target each other if you're increasing their powerlevel.
 
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Grant Whitesell
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Thanks for the feedback.

Apocalypse is the one that bugs me the most as well. I wanted him to be an uber-screw everybody card, but he might be a bit too beefy.

Warpath always guesses twice.

And all the guards CAN target each other. The player assistance card has a list of every character in the game to facilitate that.

Reversing turn order has more of an effect than you'd think. Say you use a 2 to look at the person two players to your left, then the person immediately to your left plays Blink or Angel, reversing turn order. The look on that person's face is solid gold when they realize what happened.

I think all of the rules as I have them are fairly solid, but Apocalypse definitely needs some tweaking to give him a negative modifier. I'm just not sure how to do that at the moment, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.
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Grant Whitesell
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Was brainstorming and I think I have a way to balance Apocalypse.

He no longer steamrolls immunity. That's just too powerful.

He is now the only card vulnerable to the level 2's. Meaning if you hold Apocalypse in your hand and are not protected by a level 4, you are out of the round if a level 2 looks at your hand. The exact reverse of the "Sneak Attack" card from Lost Legacy, if you will.
 
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