Andrew H
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5/4/16 Edit-Added contest ready parts and rules

Contest Ready Parts
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUdDBOeUF3eUl2NVU...

Contest Ready Rules
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUbVVFeGdUQlR0SUE...



3/26/16 Edit-1.0 parts and rules added

1.0 Rules
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUV2ROc01OclpyODA...


1.0 Parts
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwURWxacW1GYW5EaW8...


My entry for the 2016 2 Player PnP Design Contest - Results Announced is inspired by heist films like "Oceans 11" or the "Italian Job." Each player controls a small gang of criminals, and is trying to be the first to rob a casino.

I think much of the appeal of these films is the sophisticated planning and misdirection the thieves employ to carry out the heist. One member might use a disguise to sneak in and shut of the power, giving another member the chance to steal a special code, allowing a third member to enter the vault and disguise the money as a room service cart to be delivered to the gang in their hotel room. My goal for this game is to encourage that planning and misdirection.

My initial idea is to use a route planning system, such as in the 10 Days in the ____ series. Each round, player draw cards and place them into 1 or more rows of plans. They end their turn by either playing a single card from their hand, or an entire row of cards. Players playing a single card can slowly move towards their objective, while players playing a row of cards may move quicker if they planned out things accurately.

Cards include: moving ones own pawns along legal paths, adding a disguise to ones pawns to open up new paths, using a special room ability like diabling security systems or creating a distraction, moving casino personnel out of the way or to stall an opponent, or jumping to a new row of cards and executing those plans.
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Tom Hardy
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Brainstorming Phase)
This all sounds awesome! Is it something along the lines of Burgle Bros.?
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Andrew H
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Brainstorming Phase)
T hardy wrote:
This all sounds awesome! Is it something along the lines of Burgle Bros.?

Thank you very much. I haven't tried Burgle Bros. but the themes are very similar. Right now I think the main part of the gameplay will be different, but the theme lends itself to having many similar elements. For example, I also plan on having tokens that act like guards (casino staff), camera and alarm systems, and special tools for your crew to use.

With the gameplay, I anticipate the players to take a few turns where they do very few (if any) actions, then suddenly play a combo of cards where they accomplish a significant part of the heist. The excitement comes from seeing you or your opponent craft a clever plan, the race like nature between players, and the adaptation to staff movement from your opponents actions.
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Andrew H
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Brainstorming Phase
I've started working on the low-ink prototype, and hope to have a version for public play testing by the end of next week. Here's how the game is coming along.

Each player has 3 sticker dice of the same color, labeled "a," "b" and "c." Each side of the die has a different color sticker with the corresponding letter on all 6 sides. The color indicates the current disguise worn by the character, and allows passage into casino zones identified by the matching color. The letters allow the players to keep track of which die is which character, identified by cards drawn at the beginning of the game (i.e, this card is my "a" character, and this is my "b" character). The card gives a default disguise color, and a special power for the character.

The character cards also identify 3 piles of game cards, known as plans. Over the course of the game, players draw cards, and move them from their hand to and from any of these three piles. They end their turn by playing either 1 card from their hand, or all of the cards from any one plan pile. Clearly, the plans offer a chance to make a strong multiple card move, however there are several risks. All of my he cards in the plan must be played, and in order, so a single pawn or NPC in the wrong place can throw off the perfect plan.

The NPCs are different colored pawns that can also move through the various casino zones. The tricky thing is their color identifies a disguise they can see through. So a pawn may have to change disguises several times (rotate to another side) as it moves through the casino, or it might have to make a special path around a NPC, or find a way to make the NPC move to a new location.

Any of those options are controlled through the game cards. The cards have a colored border that indicate a color of a disguise to change on a pawn, or the color of their pawn that can move. The cards also have a special text to perform another part of the plan. Only one of these 3 options can be performed for each card, so the player must choose wisely. The 3 options also offer some wiggle room when a plan goes bad, allowing a player to adapt if something is no longer available.

The main goal is to move 1 or more of their pawns into the vault, and then move 3 money pawns back through the casino. The money pawns are also on chunky sticker dice (with 6 different color sides), allowing the money to be disguised just like the player pawns or spotted by the NPCs.

However, the cards create many possible secondary goals, which may make the process much faster. Should the player get their tech character into the tech core to disable security cameras, allowing color-free zone movement? Should they pretend to be a high roller, to have a money pawn moved from the vault to the high-roller room? Should they con the right-hand-man, allowing passage its and from the vault via the boss's secret entrance? Or should they creat a distraction in the kitchen, drawing multiple NPCs into that area and away from a desirable path?



 
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Andrew H
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Brainstorming Phase)
1.0 Rules
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUV2ROc01OclpyODA...


1.0 Parts
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwURWxacW1GYW5EaW8...

The links above should take you to the lower ink 1.0 parts and rules. Play testing is going well. I've been able to use a few different strategies, but I've been playing both sides so it's hard to tell what works best.

I've been sticking with the Ticket to Ride draw mechanics. It seems to speed things up to usually get 2 cards, and the decesion between drawing cards or playing cards seems to work well.

I'm not sure I like the current hand/plan card limits. With my testing, I'm managing 2 hands, so the limits are mentally helpful, but I've wanted to keep more cards a few times. I'd appreciate feedback on this if you help test it.

I included some extra thief cards I haven't tested yet. My thought is to either come up with 2 more and have 3 of each color, or use the 4 prototype cards to replace any current ones I find too unbalanced. Feedback on these would also be appreciated.

Thanks for your help.
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Andrew H
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Public Playtesting Phase)
I've continued to do some Playtesting, and got some old friends to help try it out too. Seeing their styles prompted some ideas.

I think I will have to change some of the colors, especially the orange and purple. There is also a good possibility to just use outlines (instead of the cross hatching), which could allow some integration of the other parts. I'm leaning towards using black, blue, red, white/light grey, silver/dark grey gold/yellow, and bronze/brown.

I will probably switch over 3-4 black cards to a "use any zone room power." I thought the 2 of the each were enough, but it now seems too limited. My initial tests will pull 2 black camera cards and 1 black distraction.

I'd like to change a few room powers or con powers. I think there needs to be another way to disable the cameras, and I want a second way to find the secret door. I also want to experiment with some of the "draw card" powers to be a "draw ___ cards and play 1 card/plan."

Lastly is the graphic design upgrade from a prototype to final design. I'm not exactly sure what look I want, and I suspect that figuring out the best color setup above will help. I think I can get it done, but like always it will be a mad rush.
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Garry Hoddinott
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Public Playtesting Phase)
Go for it, mate. My kind of game. Hope you pull it off famously!
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Public Playtesting Phase)
I've tried a couple of different designs, and none are working out best (see below). If you have any thoughts or suggestions, I'd appreciate it. I'm trying to make the zones more clear, especially where they overlap, but I keep having issues. Any help is appreciated.

New colors- Red, blue, black, yellow, grey and brown seem to work best, and don't clash too much. However, using these needs them to be 100% opacity, since a transparent black and brown tend to look like the transparent grey and red.

Outlining the Zones- This is OK, but too confusing without something else on the map. When you move from a room to another, it's hard to see if it's a new zone sometimes, and looking to find the edge is a little distracting.

Solid Colors, Cross hatching in overlaps- This works well when 2 zones overlap, but not when 3 do. I could try a cross hatch in the other direction, but I fear the "x" shape would look odd. I could switch the map so there are no more than 2 rooms overlapping, but I don't want to mess up what seems to work well.

Casino Style Carpet- I tried a few patterns you might see in a casino (diamonds, circles, etc.) and tried mixing the two patterns in overlap zones. This could work, but I would need new colors, since the mixes and patterns tend to look black when they're close together. I tried using white in place of the black, but it looks grey when mixed. My other option is a green, but I haven't tested it yet.

Pulling out Zones- I tried the 3D trick of pulling out the zone edges, but couldn't get it to work. I think this is just my experience level. If anyone knows how to do a 3D wall effect, please let me know.

Markers at each door- I tried putting little color lines on each side of each door, but this didn't help. It was OK when moving, but hard to plan moves from looking at the map.
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Public Playtesting Phase)
It's been a busy month at work, but I think I'll finish the final graphics in time. There are some changes from the low ink files, but gameplay is mostly the same.

The final colors are green, grey, tan, blue, red, yellow and black. I moved some around, so green isn't mixed with red and tried to lower the green intensity. I decided to limit rooms to 1 or 2 colors, and I moved the NPC information around the edges of the board and connected each NPC is o their zones. Hopefully this will be more clear visually, though it might not be enough for color blind players.

I'm making pawns for the NPCs, thieves and money, so no dice will be needed. However binder clips or other stand bases will be required instead (raid your office supply room to get in the thieving mood). I figured out a way to turn the pocket-mod instructions into a 6-fold flip book. This will take a little assembly, but creates a cool way to disguise your thieves or money.

I used a card suit texture for the game cards. I still want to come up with a nickname for each card, but I think I can add a column to the spreadsheet and make it work. I was planning on using old Hollywood actresses (Ginger Robins, Betty Grable, etc.) for many, but might run out of familiar ones. I was thinking about browsing the Urban Dictionary for others, but not sure if I can find enough PG-13 ones. Anyone have ideas for other names for cons and scams?

I also need to change a few other game terms on the cards and instructions. I'm pretty sure I will finish with seconds or even minutes to spare.
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Tom Hardy
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Public Playtesting Phase)
Hey Andrew, heard you had trouble pasting the files into the geeklist entry. I think it's just like you paste it here. You can just copy the text in the article here and paste in the body of the entry there.
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Andrew H
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Re: WIP-Fiendly Competition:The Casino Heist. A game for the 2016 2-Player PnP Contest (Public Playtesting Phase)
T hardy wrote:
Hey Andrew, heard you had trouble pasting the files into the geeklist entry. I think it's just like you paste it here. You can just copy the text in the article here and paste in the body of the entry there.

Thanks Tom. It was my device that's giving me trouble. It should be ok when I finish the full color files and upload them from work.
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Andrew H
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Contest Ready Parts
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUdDBOeUF3eUl2NVU...

Contest Ready Rules
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwslkaCO2PwUbVVFeGdUQlR0SUE...

These should be the Contest Ready parts and rules, though I was a little rushed and may need the correction deadline.
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