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Travis Talaric
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Hi all,

So below is the prototype idea I've been working with for a while now. While some elements of this game I'm sure are very similar to other games, I wanted to a) see what others thought, and b) see if there are other games already in existence that have all these same elements present.

Theme is each player attempting to establish their own colony on a new planet. Main mechanics are worker placement/ dice allocation and engine building.
Goal is to either gain a certain amount of research points, or have the most points after a certain number of turns (to be tested still).

Components and the way it works:
Each dice represents a colonist in the player's colony. Colonists start as D4, but can be upgraded to D6 or even D8.
Players also have a tableau of their own buildings in front of them. Each building represents an ability you can perform. Each building type has a unique ability with a roll minimum (i.e. 4+ to gain another colonist) and each building has an enhanced ability if you roll a "crit" (1/6 chance on a D6, 2/8 chance on a D8) which is a better variation of the above ability (i.e. gain two colonists on a crit).
Exploration deck - the primary way to obtain resources to build additional buildings, but can also result in negative effects (see below)

Turns:
On each player's turn they roll all their dice and then can allocate dice to their various buildings to perform their actions. This forces players to pick and choose where to allocate their good rolls.
Obviously players will have poor rolls as well, but these dice can still be utilized in the exploration deck. Players can choose to draw up to the summation of unused pips from the exploration deck (i.e. if two 1's a 2 are unused, players can draw up to 4 cards).
This deck contains "scrap", the primary resource needed to buy new buildings, but also contains random events that can be negative or positive (i.e. lose a colonist).

Anyways, players slowly gain more colonists, buy more and better buildings, can hedge their bets when exploring, all in the pursuit of building "research centers" where dice can be allocated to gain research tokens (VP).

I know this is a fairly simple explanation, but I believe it details some of the main mechanics being utilized in this game. Please let me know what you think!


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Sturv Tafvherd
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Tsquared025 wrote:
Hi all,

So below is the prototype idea I've been working with for a while now. While some elements of this game I'm sure are very similar to other games, I wanted to a) see what others thought, and b) see if there are other games already in existence that have all these same elements present.

Theme is each player attempting to establish their own colony on a new planet. Main mechanics are worker placement/ dice allocation and engine building.
Goal is to either gain a certain amount of research points, or have the most points after a certain number of turns (to be tested still).

Components and the way it works:
Each dice represents a colonist in the player's colony. Colonists start as D4, but can be upgraded to D6 or even D8.
Players also have a tableau of their own buildings in front of them. Each building represents an ability you can perform. Each building type has a unique ability with a roll minimum (i.e. 4+ to gain another colonist) and each building has an enhanced ability if you roll a "crit" (1/6 chance on a D6, 2/8 chance on a D8) which is a better variation of the above ability (i.e. gain two colonists on a crit).
Exploration deck - the primary way to obtain resources to build additional buildings, but can also result in negative effects (see below)

Turns:
On each player's turn they roll all their dice and then can allocate dice to their various buildings to perform their actions. This forces players to pick and choose where to allocate their good rolls.
Obviously players will have poor rolls as well, but these dice can still be utilized in the exploration deck. Players can choose to draw up to the summation of unused pips from the exploration deck (i.e. if two 1's a 2 are unused, players can draw up to 4 cards).
This deck contains "scrap", the primary resource needed to buy new buildings, but also contains random events that can be negative or positive (i.e. lose a colonist).

Anyways, players slowly gain more colonists, buy more and better buildings, can hedge their bets when exploring, all in the pursuit of building "research centers" where dice can be allocated to gain research tokens (VP).

I know this is a fairly simple explanation, but I believe it details some of the main mechanics being utilized in this game. Please let me know what you think!


I like it.

I don't recall any other game where the workers are dice, and thus the workers might perform better/worse from one turn to the next. Closest I've seen would be Quarriors / Dicemasters, but the "worker" dice there are either generating resources, or producing special effects, or potentially becoming warriors on your battlefield.

I have two concerns regarding the design, and you might still be able to address this in the design details:

(1) I really like the idea of upgrading your workers by upgrading the die from d4 to d6 to d8. The concern, however, is for practicality: would publishers balk at producing a game requiring dice other than the usual d6? Would it be an issue of costs? Or, from a PnP or self-publishing standpoint, is there an issue of availability? How many dice of each type would you need for a 2 player game?

(2) It feels like a lot of randomness. The capability of the workers is random. The availability of buildings (via cards from the exploration deck) is random. It would seem that if a player gets very lucky, he gains a big advantage (by luckily drawing just the right buildings, and luckily rolling for very capable workers). I don't have a big problem with run-away lead players ... unless it also leads to player elimination. (ie, the lucky lead player gets a big military and eliminates the competition)


My suggestions:

(1) Use different colors of regularly-pipped six sided dice. And, use an "exploding die" mechanic: meaning, when a die lands on a 6, you roll it again and add 6 to the new roll.
... white dice: no "exploding die"
... green dice: normal "exploding die"
... red dice: also explodes when the die lands on a 5.

In most games that use that exploding die mechanic, it can potentially keep exploding... so the final result of a single die roll might be higher than 12. Depending on your game, you can apply that as well. But you can also say that it only "explodes" on the initial roll.


(2) Public exploration and a "map" of cards. The cards drawn from the exploration deck are not exclusive to just the player who drew it, but instead, the cards are placed in a table space that is shared by all players. These cards form a "map" of the planet being colonized. Some cards are closer to your workers ... some cards are far. Your workers/dice would need to travel to a card before they can activate it.
 
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Benj Davis
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The only game I can think of that explicitly uses dice as workers is Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, although it only uses d6s.
I really like the idea of upgrading dice.
 
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Brian Compter
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I think Kingsburg or Castles of Burgundy fit this mechanic somewhat. Found an old link with other games that may fall into this category.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1059109/using-dice-workers-...

I like the idea and would love to hear more when you move along in the design.
 
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Brett Burleigh II
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Greenland & Neanderthal both use D6 as "workers"

You send the cubes to a card, and then they "hunt" attempting to roll a 1 and/or a 2 for a success… They are not directly dice-workers, but very close to it. Depending on the prey, if they roll a certain hazard number, they perish (as the prey is obviously confused by the predator-prey relationship ).
 
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Daniel Newman
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Alien Frontiers also uses dice-as-workers
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Daniel Newman
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Tsquared025 wrote:
Hi all,

So below is the prototype idea I've been working with for a while now. While some elements of this game I'm sure are very similar to other games, I wanted to a) see what others thought, and b) see if there are other games already in existence that have all these same elements present.

Theme is each player attempting to establish their own colony on a new planet. Main mechanics are worker placement/ dice allocation and engine building.
Goal is to either gain a certain amount of research points, or have the most points after a certain number of turns (to be tested still).

Components and the way it works:
Each dice represents a colonist in the player's colony. Colonists start as D4, but can be upgraded to D6 or even D8.
Players also have a tableau of their own buildings in front of them. Each building represents an ability you can perform. Each building type has a unique ability with a roll minimum (i.e. 4+ to gain another colonist) and each building has an enhanced ability if you roll a "crit" (1/6 chance on a D6, 2/8 chance on a D8) which is a better variation of the above ability (i.e. gain two colonists on a crit).
Exploration deck - the primary way to obtain resources to build additional buildings, but can also result in negative effects (see below)

Turns:
On each player's turn they roll all their dice and then can allocate dice to their various buildings to perform their actions. This forces players to pick and choose where to allocate their good rolls.
Obviously players will have poor rolls as well, but these dice can still be utilized in the exploration deck. Players can choose to draw up to the summation of unused pips from the exploration deck (i.e. if two 1's a 2 are unused, players can draw up to 4 cards).
This deck contains "scrap", the primary resource needed to buy new buildings, but also contains random events that can be negative or positive (i.e. lose a colonist).

Anyways, players slowly gain more colonists, buy more and better buildings, can hedge their bets when exploring, all in the pursuit of building "research centers" where dice can be allocated to gain research tokens (VP).

I know this is a fairly simple explanation, but I believe it details some of the main mechanics being utilized in this game. Please let me know what you think!


Sounds cool, make a prototype and test it! It's not a game until you can play it!
 
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Mark Stockton-Pitt
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It sounds a lot like Alien Frontiers to me, but with your own tableau.
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Roll for the Galaxy also uses worker-dice. Overall it sounds fun. The swapping of the d4 up to a d8 sounds cool, but in production it will be very expensive, won't it? What about little tokens you put under the die that indicates it's a second/third level worker? Or perhaps you just get MORE workers, and use d6 for all of them?
 
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Mason Weaver
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Troyes also uses dice as workers.
 
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Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia has dice as workers that explicitly change performance based on the value of the die.

Don't ever let questionable originality stop you from designing. Publishing, yes maybe. But never design.
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Travis Talaric
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Stormtower wrote:
Tsquared025 wrote:
Hi all,

So below is the prototype idea I've been working with for a while now. While some elements of this game I'm sure are very similar to other games, I wanted to a) see what others thought, and b) see if there are other games already in existence that have all these same elements present.

Theme is each player attempting to establish their own colony on a new planet. Main mechanics are worker placement/ dice allocation and engine building.
Goal is to either gain a certain amount of research points, or have the most points after a certain number of turns (to be tested still).

Components and the way it works:
Each dice represents a colonist in the player's colony. Colonists start as D4, but can be upgraded to D6 or even D8.
Players also have a tableau of their own buildings in front of them. Each building represents an ability you can perform. Each building type has a unique ability with a roll minimum (i.e. 4+ to gain another colonist) and each building has an enhanced ability if you roll a "crit" (1/6 chance on a D6, 2/8 chance on a D8) which is a better variation of the above ability (i.e. gain two colonists on a crit).
Exploration deck - the primary way to obtain resources to build additional buildings, but can also result in negative effects (see below)

Turns:
On each player's turn they roll all their dice and then can allocate dice to their various buildings to perform their actions. This forces players to pick and choose where to allocate their good rolls.
Obviously players will have poor rolls as well, but these dice can still be utilized in the exploration deck. Players can choose to draw up to the summation of unused pips from the exploration deck (i.e. if two 1's a 2 are unused, players can draw up to 4 cards).
This deck contains "scrap", the primary resource needed to buy new buildings, but also contains random events that can be negative or positive (i.e. lose a colonist).

Anyways, players slowly gain more colonists, buy more and better buildings, can hedge their bets when exploring, all in the pursuit of building "research centers" where dice can be allocated to gain research tokens (VP).

I know this is a fairly simple explanation, but I believe it details some of the main mechanics being utilized in this game. Please let me know what you think!


I like it.

I don't recall any other game where the workers are dice, and thus the workers might perform better/worse from one turn to the next. Closest I've seen would be Quarriors / Dicemasters, but the "worker" dice there are either generating resources, or producing special effects, or potentially becoming warriors on your battlefield.

I have two concerns regarding the design, and you might still be able to address this in the design details:

(1) I really like the idea of upgrading your workers by upgrading the die from d4 to d6 to d8. The concern, however, is for practicality: would publishers balk at producing a game requiring dice other than the usual d6? Would it be an issue of costs? Or, from a PnP or self-publishing standpoint, is there an issue of availability? How many dice of each type would you need for a 2 player game?

(2) It feels like a lot of randomness. The capability of the workers is random. The availability of buildings (via cards from the exploration deck) is random. It would seem that if a player gets very lucky, he gains a big advantage (by luckily drawing just the right buildings, and luckily rolling for very capable workers). I don't have a big problem with run-away lead players ... unless it also leads to player elimination. (ie, the lucky lead player gets a big military and eliminates the competition)


My suggestions:

(1) Use different colors of regularly-pipped six sided dice. And, use an "exploding die" mechanic: meaning, when a die lands on a 6, you roll it again and add 6 to the new roll.
... white dice: no "exploding die"
... green dice: normal "exploding die"
... red dice: also explodes when the die lands on a 5.

In most games that use that exploding die mechanic, it can potentially keep exploding... so the final result of a single die roll might be higher than 12. Depending on your game, you can apply that as well. But you can also say that it only "explodes" on the initial roll.


(2) Public exploration and a "map" of cards. The cards drawn from the exploration deck are not exclusive to just the player who drew it, but instead, the cards are placed in a table space that is shared by all players. These cards form a "map" of the planet being colonized. Some cards are closer to your workers ... some cards are far. Your workers/dice would need to travel to a card before they can activate it.
Thanks for the reply and kind words.
1) One of my main goals for this game is to keep it simple and under an hour play time. As of right now there are only three types of components (deck of exploration cards, buildings tiles, and dice) with the dice obviously being the most expensive portion, but not so much so that it would price the game out of the market. I really like the upgrading die mechanics as well, so I'm sure I can figure out a way to make these cost-effective.

2) I agree with the randomness point you make. Current ways to negate total randomness is the ability to use your low rolls to draw cards, and their are plenty of buildings (abilities) which allow you to negate randomness by adding to rolls, changing a die to a crit, drawing new available buildings etc. Definitely will be playtesting for this a lot though.

3) I also really like the exploding dice mechanic you mention. I currently have a "crit" mechanism as I discuss, but this is also very interesting. If more people would prefer this over the crit, I would look into changing this element.

4) I love dynamic board games where the players generate the map as the game plays out. And this game originally started with this function. But in pursuit of my goals of simplicity and quick play time, I have cut this from the current version. But as with all things, the current version is not final and it may eventually get added back in.
 
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Travis Talaric
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Jlerpy wrote:
The only game I can think of that explicitly uses dice as workers is Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia, although it only uses d6s.
I really like the idea of upgrading dice.
So I know I'm late to the game, but I just got on board with Stonemaier games and pledged to purchase their Scythe game on kickstarter. I'll have to look into Euphoria to see how similar the mechanics are to my idea. Thanks for the response!
 
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Travis Talaric
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wombat929 wrote:
Roll for the Galaxy also uses worker-dice. Overall it sounds fun. The swapping of the d4 up to a d8 sounds cool, but in production it will be very expensive, won't it? What about little tokens you put under the die that indicates it's a second/third level worker? Or perhaps you just get MORE workers, and use d6 for all of them?
So since the other components of the game: cards and tiles (which can be on cardstock if I need to save further costs) are very inexpensive, I was thinking the custom dice would be the featured item of the game. Still think I can make it very affordable as well with cool customs.

But I actually am looking into your token idea as it would be more cost effective to have each player have tokens representing their dice and have each player grab the represented dice on their turn. i.e. If I continue pushing this for a 6 player game, tokens would allow me to use about 1/6 of the total amount of dice I'd have to produce if each player got their own set.
 
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Travis Talaric
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Really excited to hear that people are interested in this game idea and have plenty of games to start researching thanks to your suggestions. I currently don't have a game page for the prototype as it is still unnamed, but I will update the thread once it is created for people to keep tabs on this if they desire.
 
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Michael Brettell
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Horror Leader wrote:
Don't ever let questionable originality stop you from designing. Publishing, yes maybe. But never design.
I'm not sure how much it stops anyone from publishing, either. How many deck-builder games are out there?

So long as you're bringing something new and interesting to the mechanic, I don't think it matters if its been done before.

Along with the token idea, they could just be a +1, +2 token, so whatever you roll on a d6, you add the number.
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UPHEAVAL
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https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1133282/upheaval-shake-n-ba...
 
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