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Subject: [WIP] Baby! [2015 2 player PnP contest] rss

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Frank Jäger
Germany
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I am designing this game for the 2015 2 player PnP contest!

Baby!
A cooperative game for 2 parents
Duration: ~30 mins (targeted)

What a joy and wonder! The baby is here! Everything is new and so exciting! Will the two parents enjoy the first days with their new family member? Or will they struggle to get through the daily routines? And - most importantly - how much will they sleep?

Baby! is a cooperative game in which the players need to take care of a newborn. While catering for the baby's needs is of course most important, they also need to organize their daily life and make sure that their happiness does not suffer. The players win the game if they are both happy after 1 week.

Components
- 1 baby board (A4/letter)
- 1 player action board (A4/letter)
- 6 tokens per player
- 20-30 Euro-cubes or similar tokens
- 4 custom dice
- 1 6-sided dice
- ~10 event cards (tbd)
- ~5-10 purchase cards (tbd)
- ~10 special action cards (tbd)

Comments
Friends of mine - both passionate boardgamers - became parents 2 weeks ago. I bought Robinson Crusoe roughly at the same time and am enjoying it a lot. Mix both together, and you have the inspiration for Baby!.

Overview
Baby! is played over 7 days with 6 rounds each. In each round, dice determine which needs the baby has. Both players can then do one action to deal with the needs (e.g., feed, play, ...), to manage daily life (go shopping, do laundry, ...) or to relax (pursue hobbies, sleep). Every time a need is not fulfilled, the baby will cry which can lead to unhappiness with the parents if they are not able to calm down the baby. Daily events and special cards spice up the game and (hopefully) lead to tension and tough choices/risk taking.

This is how the super early prototype looks like:
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
France
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Awesome theme, one could play a game of Baby Boom first then this one :-)
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Pamela Tan
Singapore
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Is this game now completed? I like the sound of it and can't wait to try it out!
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Frank Jäger
Germany
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Hi Pamela,

I had to take a long pause working on it because I was super busy with work and other commitments, so unfortunately not.

Right now, the game plays mostly "by itself". There are different needs of the baby that either "suddenly arise" (e.g., full diapers) or build up over time (e.g., hunger) based on dice rolls. Then, players pick an action for that round (change diapers, feed baby, bring baby to sleep, buy food and clothing, relax, sleep, ...). However, in most cases it is very clear what you should do, so the players are only reacting.

Thinking through it, I want to test 2 systems in the game:

(1) Players plan their day before the needs come up. Then they need to decide whether to react to a baby's need immediately and delaying or sacrificing planned actions, or proceeding with the action and taking stress/unhappiness.
Days with a baby can be unpredictable. You really need to run errants but the diaper is full. Then it gets hungry. When you're finally about the leave, the baby throws up and you need to change clothes. Then it's suddenly getting tired and you know that it won't sleep at all in the buggy. But you just used the last diaper and the shops are closing soon...

(2) Over time you learn what your baby needs and learn to read his/her signs. I envision to use cards for the baby's needs that is cycled through without reshuffling. That way, you would learn the pattern and could get more efficient in caring. Also, this could nicely model the development of the baby, by adding new cards to the deck over time.

The good thing is, I just heard yesterday that friends of mine are pregnant and I have vacation coming up, so there's renewed excitement and motivation to continue!
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