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Subject: Interference game rss

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Colin Reid
Australia
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I had an idea for a type of 4-player game, and wondered if anyone had seen something like this.

Each player has one opponent who is their 'nemesis' and two 'side' opponents. You fight directly against your nemesis and indirectly against the sides. Nemeses are arranged in pairs and everyone knows who they are (e.g. you're sitting in a circle and the player directly opposite is your nemesis).

At one level, you have two (relatively simple) 1 vs 1 contests going on with each player versus his nemesis, with turns alternating somehow. These could be played on different boards, or on the same board but with no forced interaction (e.g. one pair play against each other on the white squares of a chessboard, the other pair on the black squares).

The two 1 vs 1 contests combine to create a 4-player game. If you beat your nemesis, you win overall and everyone else immediately loses. So it's not enough to beat your nemesis, you also have to do it quicker than the other contest finishes. You also have the power to interfere in the other game somehow. This power is not free (e.g. it costs you a move) and depends on positioning, so you won't be able or want to do it all the time, but you may do it in order to prolong the other contest. The result is that all the players have to pay attention to both contests and trade off the importance of trying to win their own contest versus not letting anyone win the other contest. Also players who are apparently 'losing' may find themselves suddenly back in contention due to interference by the side players. It could make for quite a deep game even if the 1 vs 1 games in isolation are not so deep.
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Tom Castellani
United States
Michigan
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I have not seen anything like this, although I haven't played a ton of games.

This idea forces players to look at making sub-optimal moves (helping someone else while also hurting themselves.) In this respect, if a player believes that both options (helping vs. not helping) will lead to a loss, they would tend to just not act.

Or, at least this is how I've observed people in this style of game.

It reminds me of the time I played munchkin. It's been forever, so I don't quite remember how Munchkin plays, but I seem to remember that people have the option to 'step up' and make it harder for people to win their objectives. However, since this is not structured, multiple people could have the answer, but no one actually uses it because they're hoping the other player would.

From a design standpoint, I personally dislike that idea. If you feel like you can only win by holding out and HOPING that your rival burns a turn, you're going to actively do nothing, and hope the non-interference nets you a win because someone else decided to do what you would have needed to do to stall the game.

From a design THEORY standpoint, this could be exactly what you're looking for. If you pursue this idea further, I'd personally look into "solving" how this case resolves over anything else.
 
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Chris Moffa
United States
Clementon
New Jersey
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Not exactly, but I think you can find similar variant configurations in 2 player card games that accommodate 3+ players. MtG I think probably has a variant. For Star Realms, read the link below about Hunter. It's somewhat similar.

http://www.starrealms.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/StarRea...

I think it will take a lot of play testing to figure this one out to make it fun.
 
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