Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 Hide
16 Posts

Terraforming Mars» Forums » Variants

Subject: Terraforming Mars co-op? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Roman Kowalewski
Poland
Warsaw
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
During a discussion about Terraforming Mars solo play i used a term "solo co-op game", it may make little to no sense but the solo play reminds me of Robinson Crusoe solo play. It got me thinking weather TM would also work as a co-op.

I see no reason it wouldn't. The fact that Terraforming Mars is basically a semico-op that can't be lost turning it into a full co-op game should be easy. Maybe i am wrong, i am not a professional designer and i don't even play a lot of co-op games. However, the combination of solo game rules and drafting variant would in my opinion work well.

The goal would be to terraform Mars in a specific number of generations just like in solo play. The number would scale with number of players (more players - less generations). Draft variant would be necessary to create a decent element of want should i take to help everyone the most. Maybe communication should be limited during drafting phase in some way or maybe not, just throwing it out as a possible counter to alpha player problem.

Many people ask about interactive cards and how much they hurt other players. Personally i don't mind them at all but i think there is a group of players who may love the theme, card driven engine builder and all that but gets totally turn off by take that element. As i lay down before rules do not need much ajusting, the only thing is figuring out the number of generations for a decent challenge for each player count and maybe an adnotation which corps are stronger or weaker in co-op game.

I love the game but at this time i have no capabilities to try my idea in practice. Just throwing it here so maybe someone else could use it.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nelson
United States
Idaho Falls
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
would you have to take out the "TaKe that!" cards? or simply add that as another choice of when hurting the "team" is worthwhile?

secondary goals that push the players to get closer to the final goal might be a needed thing in a multiplayer co-op. Some minor goal that is also a final goal (one of many) that are needed to show progress. Or perhaps, the planet is overran in some way and the players lose.

The change over to co-op is not a simple one unless you play it as each player plays a turn of the solo play and it continues that way. But, that doesn't seem the best way for such a deep game to just throw a couple rules in and call it good.

There are a few members of bgg that relish on the designing of co-ops around games not intended to played as such. This game seems like it could work, but the game play is not just a tweak or two to get the full feeling of ressure: that the regular game has.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps cooperatively against a single dummy opponent?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Örjan Almén
Sweden
Karlstad
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
DreamStorm wrote:
Perhaps cooperatively against a single dummy opponent?

That would absolutely be an option, or, that each player themselves need to pay that production to play it (That can also be a houserule for those who don't want take that, that it's always taken from themselves, the rules permits all red bordered icons to be taken from themselves or another player).

To manage to make the game a coop, as stated in the original post, you would need to set a limit of generations, I believe it should be rather low, but probably also depending on number of players, as there are more resources around with more players. Maybe subtract 2 generations for each player, starting on the solo 14 generations, and 2 players for 12 generations and so on. That would need quite some play testing to set the right generations on where to win the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
O.Shane Balloun
United States
Bellingham
Washington
flag msg tools
I will play as the Atreides, Bene Gesserit, Emperor, Fremen, Guild, or Harkonnen.
badge
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
orjanalmen wrote:
DreamStorm wrote:
Perhaps cooperatively against a single dummy opponent?

That would absolutely be an option, or, that each player themselves need to pay that production to play it (That can also be a houserule for those who don't want take that, that it's always taken from themselves, the rules permits all red bordered icons to be taken from themselves or another player).

To manage to make the game a coop, as stated in the original post, you would need to set a limit of generations, I believe it should be rather low, but probably also depending on number of players, as there are more resources around with more players. Maybe subtract 2 generations for each player, starting on the solo 14 generations, and 2 players for 12 generations and so on. That would need quite some play testing to set the right generations on where to win the game.


As a first pass, even though the players' engines do not build upward linearly, it might be fun to try a co-op game to terraform Mars by the end of {[14 (solo generation limit) / # of players] + N} turns, rounded up, where N is a difficulty modifier to accommodate initial engine building (1 player: 14 turns; 2 players: 7+N turns; 3 players: 5+N turns; 4 players: 4+N turns; 5 players: 3+N turns. N is probably 2 or 3.

You would ignore point accumulation, which would reduce the number of generations necessary to get to the goal. If you play coopetively, you might restore points back into the game and decide on the winner among winners while failure to terraform by the set number of turns is a total loss for everyone.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Örjan Almén
Sweden
Karlstad
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
grammatoncleric wrote:
You would ignore point accumulation, which would reduce the number of generations necessary to get to the goal. If you play coopetively, you might restore points back into the game and decide on the winner among winners while failure to terraform by the set number of turns is a total loss for everyone.


I think you would need to increase Terraform Rating to increase income for the players in some way, otherwise there might need more generation than it does with current play style.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nelson
United States
Idaho Falls
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
orjanalmen wrote:
grammatoncleric wrote:
You would ignore point accumulation, which would reduce the number of generations necessary to get to the goal. If you play coopetively, you might restore points back into the game and decide on the winner among winners while failure to terraform by the set number of turns is a total loss for everyone.




I think you would need to increase Terraform Rating to increase income for the players in some way, otherwise there might need more generation than it does with current play style.


Lose the game if you don't move a track or add a water tile. Start with more money so you can get through the first generation unscathed. Some kind of pressure needs to be there. It can't be the same game as the regular game, the game has to build pressure against the players.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike
Netherlands
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ropearoni4 wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
grammatoncleric wrote:
You would ignore point accumulation, which would reduce the number of generations necessary to get to the goal. If you play coopetively, you might restore points back into the game and decide on the winner among winners while failure to terraform by the set number of turns is a total loss for everyone.




I think you would need to increase Terraform Rating to increase income for the players in some way, otherwise there might need more generation than it does with current play style.


Lose the game if you don't move a track or add a water tile. Start with more money so you can get through the first generation unscathed. Some kind of pressure needs to be there. It can't be the same game as the regular game, the game has to build pressure against the players.


Thematically a penalty for not progressing any of the tracks would make more sense. You're there to terraform, so not terraforming should be punished. Losing the game is a bit harsh, perhaps.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Nelson
United States
Idaho Falls
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DreamStorm wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
orjanalmen wrote:
grammatoncleric wrote:
You would ignore point accumulation, which would reduce the number of generations necessary to get to the goal. If you play coopetively, you might restore points back into the game and decide on the winner among winners while failure to terraform by the set number of turns is a total loss for everyone.




I think you would need to increase Terraform Rating to increase income for the players in some way, otherwise there might need more generation than it does with current play style.


Lose the game if you don't move a track or add a water tile. Start with more money so you can get through the first generation unscathed. Some kind of pressure needs to be there. It can't be the same game as the regular game, the game has to build pressure against the players.


Thematically a penalty for not progressing any of the tracks would make more sense. You're there to terraform, so not terraforming should be punished. Losing the game is a bit harsh, perhaps.



You could give a 3 strikes and you're out - a little leeway. So, if you fail three times to progress, then you lose.
After you have the goal - don't lose - the costs of things need to go up as the game goes on or else there will be no pressure late in the game. More progression in later generations is needed or you lose? 2 gains, and then 3 gains. Count up the number of gains needed to end the game and you have the length of the game to win.

by the 4th generation, 1 gain x player count
by the 8th generation, 4 gains x player count
by the 12th generation 7 gains x player count
by the 16th generation all gains

certain amount of megabucks earned divided by number of players.
less generations to make each goal.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Patrick G.
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Does your religion have lightsabers? Nope? Didn't think so.
badge
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals." Agent K. Oh my what he would think of people had he known about what the internet would become.....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why ruin a good game by making it coop.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
United States
Pearland (near Houston)
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
corkysru wrote:
Why ruin a good game by making it coop.


Why not make a great game better by making it a coop?

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
United States
Pearland (near Houston)
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What is better about a co-op? My husband will play it.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
AJ Cooper
msg tools
I'm not a fan of co-ops, but as long as the core game is still playable as designed there is no harm in creating a variant.

There are some technical challenges. For example, there are a lot of cards and combos that generate VP, but not much in the way of terraforming (microbes, animals, tags, etc). You would need to decide what to do with these. Also the milestones and awards would need a major overhaul, or else removal as in solo.

If you decide to try it, by all means post some playtest reports.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
United States
Pearland (near Houston)
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've had two extreme thoughts.

Using the rules as written:
Option A) Play a solo game but make all decisions by committee.
Option B) Play a multi-player game. At the end, total all players points. You have two goals. Finish in as few generations as possible with the maximum amount of points all together.

Somewhere in between might be a great co-op.

Option A might work for me and my husband as we love co-ops and make all decisions by a committee of 2 when we play them anyways. We have no alpha gamer problem. We do the same when my mom joins us. Might be worth a try.

Option B2 would be to award massive VP for doing it in fewer generations with the VP awarded going down the more generations it takes. This might also depend on player count and would require a chart. That might improve Option B. How many generations is par? What are typical VP scores? These are the first two questions that need answers before making any kind of VP chard for getting it done fast. This option needs a lot of work to balance all this VP.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Örjan Almén
Sweden
Karlstad
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rainbowrose wrote:
I've had two extreme thoughts.

Using the rules as written:
Option A) Play a solo game but make all decisions by committee.
Option B) Play a multi-player game. At the end, total all players points. You have two goals. Finish in as few generations as possible with the maximum amount of points all together.

Somewhere in between might be a great co-op.

Option A might work for me and my husband as we love co-ops and make all decisions by a committee of 2 when we play them anyways. We have no alpha gamer problem. We do the same when my mom joins us. Might be worth a try.

Option B2 would be to award massive VP for doing it in fewer generations with the VP awarded going down the more generations it takes. This might also depend on player count and would require a chart. That might improve Option B. How many generations is par? What are typical VP scores? These are the first two questions that need answers before making any kind of VP chard for getting it done fast. This option needs a lot of work to balance all this VP.


If I were to playtest the limited generations thing, I'd do a 15 - (2 x number of players) as a start, and find out if that is reasonable. That means 11-9-7-5 generations for player counts 2-5. If it seems too easy, I'd adjust the 15 value one step at a time until you have a win percentage of about 30% (it should be quite hard, but not too hard!)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
United States
Pearland (near Houston)
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
orjanalmen wrote:
rainbowrose wrote:
I've had two extreme thoughts.

Using the rules as written:
Option A) Play a solo game but make all decisions by committee.
Option B) Play a multi-player game. At the end, total all players points. You have two goals. Finish in as few generations as possible with the maximum amount of points all together.

Somewhere in between might be a great co-op.

Option A might work for me and my husband as we love co-ops and make all decisions by a committee of 2 when we play them anyways. We have no alpha gamer problem. We do the same when my mom joins us. Might be worth a try.

Option B2 would be to award massive VP for doing it in fewer generations with the VP awarded going down the more generations it takes. This might also depend on player count and would require a chart. That might improve Option B. How many generations is par? What are typical VP scores? These are the first two questions that need answers before making any kind of VP chard for getting it done fast. This option needs a lot of work to balance all this VP.


If I were to playtest the limited generations thing, I'd do a 15 - (2 x number of players) as a start, and find out if that is reasonable. That means 11-9-7-5 generations for player counts 2-5. If it seems too easy, I'd adjust the 15 value one step at a time until you have a win percentage of about 30% (it should be quite hard, but not too hard!)


I'm not sure what this has to do with my post that you quoted.

But thanks for the suggestion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.