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Subject: Hip-Hop History Game rss

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Stephen Hall
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I have recently been reading the Ed Piskor graphic novel "Hip-Hop Family Tree," which documents the origins of hip-hop culture. (If you haven't read it, it's fantastic. Check it out.)

Anyway, I was thinking it would be interesting to make a game based on this fascinating cultural movement. In the early days of hip-hop, there was a definite sense of territory; you had your neighborhood, your rivals had theirs. Thus, it seems like an area control mechanic might fit.

In order to further fit the theme, I was thinking I could make player encounters be resolved with a sort of word-game mechanic. Hip-hop artists would settle their conflicts with rap battles, which often served as a constructive alternative to gang violence.

No, I'm not going to have players rap at the table. Instead, maybe I have a deck of cards with short phrases on them, maybe even lyrics from actual old-school hip-hop tracks. In order to resolve encounters, players would have to play some number of cards to create "rhymes," and other players could vote on whose was the best, sort of a la Ace Detective, where players decide which story was best. (Real rap battles were decided by spectators. They would determine who won and who lost.)

This is a very new idea for me, so I'd love some input!

I'm going to do my best to avoid churning out another Vanilla Ice Electronic RAP Game. whistle
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Daniel Newman
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I think it'd have a pretty niche audience, but the idea is cool!
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Steven Tu
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On the one hand, you're describing a Cards Against Humanity that's not focused on crass, terrible humour, but rather rhyming.

On the other hand, all CAH-type games hinged on humour - Big Bang Theory, Fifty Shades, The Voting Game, etc.

So if you're trying to do area-control (strategic) and player votes for who wins (for laughs, and can be incredibly biased), it might not be a good mix (players will vote for whoever isn't winning, making strategic moves... Unstrategic). Blind playing like CAH might mitigate that, but then it feels like a luck game.

A rap game certainly sounds interesting, but how is the question
 
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Stephen Hall
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Tuism wrote:
On the one hand, you're describing a Cards Against Humanity that's not focused on crass, terrible humour, but rather rhyming.

On the other hand, all CAH-type games hinged on humour - Big Bang Theory, Fifty Shades, The Voting Game, etc.

So if you're trying to do area-control (strategic) and player votes for who wins (for laughs, and can be incredibly biased), it might not be a good mix (players will vote for whoever isn't winning, making strategic moves... Unstrategic). Blind playing like CAH might mitigate that, but then it feels like a luck game.

A rap game certainly sounds interesting, but how is the question


Yes, honestly, this was one of my first concerns, and ultimately why I decided to post the idea on BGG. The whole word-based encounter idea was the first thing that came to find, but I think you're right, it could very easily devolve into a CAH-type of thing, which would work against what I'm trying to do.

I just feel like this game would need some element of wordplay. Seeing as that is the core of the theme, it would be cool to see the mechanics integrate with it. I certainly don't want to design a "word game" like Quiddler/Smart Mouth/Faux•Cabulary, but it would be neat if I could use a system like that differently.

I would love to hear other Geeks' ideas about how to make this work.
 
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Michael Tunison
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Each rap battle round could be team vs. team. Ideally it seems good to shift the teams around throughout the game so each team scores points during a round, but because the teams change each player ultimately ends up with a unique score. Anyway, during a round, the team would have a topic card on which the overall rap must be based. They would also have some kind of rhyming pattern they needed to match, such as ABABC - not sure if this would need to change each round, as that might be too confusing. Individual players would each have a hand of cards with individual words and after seeing the topic they would each secretly select one (or more depending on number of players per team) card to play. In turn order, the team would need to complete a rap in the given time (60-90 seconds?). The first player in turn order would start by playing their card and immediately reciting a line which ends in the word on their card. The next player would then play their card and recite another line. Any non-rhyming line would need to end in the given word. Each rhyming line would need to include the word, but end in a word which rhymes with the given line in the pattern. The other team would simply need to confirm that they stayed within the pattern, used their words correctly, and generally related to the topic - they wouldn't actually judge the quality of the rhyme. Scoring could be based on how quickly they completed the rhyme, similar to La Boca. I imaging the resulting lyrics would be horrible and hilarious.
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Steven Beach
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I also loved Hip-Hop Family Tree. Making it an area-control game sounds perfect. Personally, I would abstract the rap battles a bit more. Something like the way hands are constructed in Schotten-totten, except players construct the hands in secret and simultaneously reveal. Maybe a set of recruitable leaders representing major personalities that would alter the rules of any battle they take part in.
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Stephen Hall
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Thank you all for the great ideas. Here is another one: since the dawn of hip-hop, graffiti has been a central part of the culture. To this day, artists paint on trains as a way of getting their name seen across the city/country, as the train travels.

If the board were divided into NYC boroughs, there could be train tracks running from borough to borough. If there was a deck of cards representing cans of spray paint, they could spend them to paint a train. Each turn, the train could move, and spread influence to rival boroughs. However, if it stopped in an opponent's borough, maybe they could paint over it.
 
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Steven Beach
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juggler5 wrote:
Thank you all for the great ideas. Here is another one: since the dawn of hip-hop, graffiti has been a central part of the culture. To this day, artists paint on trains as a way of getting their name seen across the city/country, as the train travels.

If the board were divided into NYC boroughs, there could be train tracks running from borough to borough. If there was a deck of cards representing cans of spray paint, they could spend them to paint a train. Each turn, the train could move, and spread influence to rival boroughs. However, if it stopped in an opponent's borough, maybe they could paint over it.


I was thinking of that after I read your initial post. Not specifically train lines, but graffiti in general. Trains make sense for spreading influence, though. Use graffitied train cars to spread influence indirectly, use rap battles to challenge another player directly for dominance of an area. Depending on how in-depth you wanted to get, paint cans could be just a simple currency, or there could be a set-collection mechanic for more impressive graffitos that spread more influence or are harder to paint over.
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Steven Tu
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Jet Set Radio (a video game) did tagging (that's the graffiti) very well Look for some inspirations there?
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Stephen Hall
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Tuism wrote:
Jet Set Radio (a video game) did tagging (that's the graffiti) very well Look for some inspirations there?


I was actually thinking about Jet Set Radio just the other day. Maybe I need to revisit it...
 
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