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Subject: [WIP] Pingo! rss

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These are some of the cards from my new WIP, Pingo! I also posted about Pingo! in the FB boardgame group on FB, so apologies if you're seeing it twice.



Can y'all work out how to play?
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Here's an outline of the current rules:

Essentially you're trying to build a set of cards (with no minimum or maximum) such that every square on the grid is covered with a pink one. The complicating factor is that you have at least one more white than black space. So, if you have a Pingo (every section covered with a pink square) and say two black squares, you need to have cards totalling at least three white ones.

When I posted about it on FB a few days ago I was made aware that colour blind folks would have a problem distinguishing the pink and black squares. The two solutions I'm mulling are 1) change the pink to a different colour, or 2) have symbols instead of block colours. I chose the colours for a specific reason which I won't go into now, so my current preferred option is to have symbols, but we'll see.

I played out a few turns last night with the cards I'd mocked up, and even with the black and white spaces the game tended to finish very quickly, and there was another potential another problem: I found that my imaginary players were holding onto the partial set they had at the beginning (which is a problem in itself - they were able to build up around 80% of a Pingo within two or three moves), and simply changing one or two cards each turn. My original idea for levers to pull to make it either easier or more difficult was to increase or decrease the black and white spaces, but forbidding overlap may be a better solution to this problem.

Anyway, I aim to run a few playtests with the current deck and see what happens, and then re-think, replay and so on until it's humming. If anyone would like to try it out for themselves, Geekmail me or reply here and I'll send you a link to the file. I painstakingly made a set of rounded cards but you could just as easily print out, laminate and cut into squared off cards.

Finally, don't be fooled by the photo, there are actually 48 cards in the deck, plus four wild cards, which I haven't thought how to use yet - suggestions welcome. Actually, I may do a competition to decide that. Anyway, I want to see how the main cards work before I look at the wild ones.
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Following a couple suggestions in the FB Boardgamegeek Group, I've redesigned the cards, making the colours bolder and replacing block colours with symbols.

Here are some of the new cards.
 
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[Brushes away the tumbleweed]

Ok, I've managed to get it onto three A4 pages, which if you print them out give you the cards about two-thirds size, which mean you save paper and ink, and you can print them in b/w 'cos the operational cells now have symbols rather than colours. Or print them in colour full size, whichever suits.

I also found that I previously had 18 black spaces and 22 white ones, which made it little bit too easy. I've now got 16 of each (noughts and crosses instead of black and white spaces). Haven't playtested the current version yet - hope to start doing that soon - but I already have an idea there'll still be the problem of some of the players having most of the requisite stars at the beginning of the game, although I don't yet know exactly how much of a problem this will be. What I want to happen is for players to swap out cards they'd rather keep, in the hope of getting better ones back. As things stand that isn't the case, or at least not enough.

Possible solutions:
1. Have one star on each card instead of two. This would mean that each position is covered four times rather than eight.
2. Have more crosses and/or fewer noughts, or keep the current number of cards with a cross but give some them two crosses instead of one.
3. Have a rule where instead of saying players have to have one more nought than the total number of crosses, they have to have an even number of each.
4. Other.

Ok, will report back once I've have the chance to playtest it a bit.

Link to file.
 
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[Looks around at all the tumbleweed; wonders if it could be chopped up for firewood]

Following some more practice plays (where I imagine a number of hypothetical folks playing out a game) I've come up with some major changes, mostly in order to reduce how much of their Pingo players have at the start of the game. I'll put up the new files on Dropbox once I've compiled a guide to how to shuffle in a set of additional cards in order to produce alternative decks.
 
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Gene Haas
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I haven't tried playing this yet, but...

I think trying to keep track of which spaces have been covered by a 'pink' square is very hard using the actual cards themselves laid out over a large area. You would have to scan all cards laid out to tell if a certain square has been covered by a pink yet or not.

I wonder if you could have a main board that represents all the squares. And then when a card is played with two 'pinks' on them at certain squares, you could put a pink cubes on the board in those locations on the board. Then you discard the card played off the playing area. The board is keeping a running total of all the places you have played a 'pink' square on cards in the past.

Except if the card has a blank or black square on it. Then you could placed the card in one of two piles in front of you. These two piles could keep count for you of how many blanks and how many black squares you have played.

I use 'pink' because it doesn't look very pink on my computer. But it doesn't really matter what exact color it is.

 
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Having a board or mat is certainly a possibility, or a dry wipe slate to record the build-up of stars and where they all are.

The picture in the OP is quite old now. Here's the current file. The symbols at the bottom denote cards that can be swapped out and replaced with other cards to create alternative decks, so that while playtesting the game one can simply and easily switch from the base deck to one with duplicate cards, extra noughts and crosses, and cards with zero, one and three stars instead of two. (I'm still working on the replacement cards and will put up a link to them when they're done).

The stars were originally light pink, but someone in the FB group said they looked a bit weak and suggested making them bolder, hence going with the dark red that you see now. However, the current colour is only temporary and will replaced with dark pink before publication.
 
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Garry Hoddinott
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The image on the first post invites play - the last image (here link) is just ugly. Its a simple idea, I think a pretty good one, I hope you can dress it up to show it in the best way possible.
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GarryHoddinott wrote:
The image on the first post invites play - the last image (here link) is just ugly.

I changed it bc people in the FB group expressed a strong aversion to the original design, saying it was unclear, so I came up with what I thought was a stronger and clearer one, and they reacted much more positively to it. So if I go back to the first design I'll gain you (and possibly some others) but lose them (and possibly some others), and if I go with the current one I'll gain them (and possibly some others) but lose you (and possibly some others). That's the way of game design unfortunately, with the one type of image or layout or whatever you please some folks but displease others, and with a different one vice versa.
 
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Gene Haas
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GarryHoddinott wrote:
The image on the first post invites play - the last image (here link) is just ugly. Its a simple idea, I think a pretty good one, I hope you can dress it up to show it in the best way possible.


I agree. I like the cards in the first post with just boxes than all the symbols. You could change the colors though to dress it up.

Maybe you could do both, one set just boxes and one set symbols. Can you post your first set of cards just for the fun of it. I'd like to try it...with the board idea.

 
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leifericson wrote:
GarryHoddinott wrote:
The image on the first post invites play - the last image (here link) is just ugly. Its a simple idea, I think a pretty good one, I hope you can dress it up to show it in the best way possible.


I agree. I like the cards in the first post with just boxes than all the symbols. You could change the colors though to dress it up.

Maybe you could do both, one set just boxes and one set symbols. Can you post your first set of cards just for the fun of it. I'd like to try it...with the board idea.

It's quite a common thing in game design that marketing and art departments have very different imperatives and outlooks. I'm not an artist but my father was, and I think I've picked up from him something of his eye for colour and shape etc. FWIW I like the original design better too, but I think from a marketing pov the current one will have more of an impact. As to having two different editions, that's certainly an idea, or maybe a collector's edition? Incidentally, the reason I changed from colours to symbols is that I was informed that colour-blind people would have difficulty distinguishing red and black, so it would be better to have symbols so everybody's happy, in other words its an accessibility issue.

I've nearly finished putting together all the cards needed to create alternative decks (duplication, more noughts and crosses, and cards with 0, 1 and three stars), and I'll restore the file to my public Dropbox folder when I'm done.

Btw, for reference, here's part of the original deck in pdf format.
 
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Colin Gillespie
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No comment for or against the game itself, but the name seems a tad similar to Pingo Pingo, and several other games with "Pingo" in the title.
 
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coligill wrote:
No comment for or against the game itself, but the name seems a tad similar to Pingo Pingo, and several other games with "Pingo" in the title.
This comes up a lot on forums. Having names similar to those of other games is difficult to avoid nowadays, and one frequently sees posts along the lines of 'I came up with a name for my card game about zombie pirates, only to find that it was already in use by another publisher for their roleplaying boardgame about mutant car salesmen', or the converse, 'I found out somebody is using the name of my game, how can I stop them doing so?'

Realistically, in either of the above scenarios, unless you're the game design equivalent of the Diana Estate (which would be WotC or Paizo I suppose) there's not a lot you can do. I think that unless your game name is deliberately or very obviously similar to that of an existing one of a similar type (which from a brief squizz at the link I don't think applies in the case of Pingo! and Pingo Pingo), then I'd say don't worry about it, use whatever name you want, and cross the bridge of dealing with DC Thompson's or the Elvis Estate's sharp-suited lawyers if and when they turn up on your doorstop.
 
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Caezar Al-Jassar

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BigCat97 wrote:
Having names similar to those of other games is difficult to avoid nowadays;


I would disagree, what's the big deal with changing the name?

Pingo is also so common it would be difficult for people to find your game online....
 
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caljassar wrote:
I would disagree, what's the big deal with changing the name?

It's not a big deal, but the deal is that's I want to call it.

When you say you disagree, are you saying you don't agree with my point that it's difficult nowadays to find a name that's totally original?
 
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First off, just to confirm, I've completely abandoned the name Pingo! However, I'm keeping it as a reference until I come up with a new name.

Ok, so here's the new file, including the foundation deck (which I've established is unplayable as it stands (since from the start the players will have about 75% of the set already, and thus are likely to simply sit on those cards and pick up and discard until they have stars in all twelve positions, which won't make for a very interesting game IMO), along with some ideas for fixes.

The symbols at the bottom of the cards indicate which ones are to be swapped out to create a deck with either more noughts and crosses and/or duplicate cards and/or cards with three, one and zero stars on them. The symbols probably look a bit abstruse, feel free to contact me or ask here if you'd like an explanation, although as a quick guide, the ones to be swapped out have a single symbol, and the ones that are to swapped in to replace them double symbols, except for the hollow and filled stars. Cards with both a hollow and a filled star can be replaced with ones with a single hollow star for complete duplication, and the ones with a single filled star for duplication of the star pattern but a redistribution of the noughts and crosses.

Yeah, I said they were abstruse!
 
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Crikey, eleven A3 laminated sheets, this is starting to get rather expensive. Thankfully this will be the last print off for a while as I think the answer lies in one or more of the alternative decks I've created.
 
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Gah! Managed to mix up about thirty of the cards. To the drawing-board Batman!
 
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Ok, I think they're now all correct. I'll print them off in b/w and scrutinise them to see if everything is on order, then off to the copy bureau again. I hope to have the basic set and all current alternative decks available for download by the end of next week, should folks wish to take it for a spin.
 
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