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Subject: The unspoken designer rule. Broken... rss

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nat tact
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Well it's not really unspoken it is more like if someone has an idea and talks about it don't just steal the idea.

My friend broke it verbatim as in I told him about a game that I planned on working on two designs from now and after a playing a few games at a board game night he left and went and made a prototype of the game that I was talking about.

I honestly don't care but I figured I'd share the basic concept if anyone is interested in working on a game with the mechanic. I also don't care because I predict that the mechanic or something like it would enter the genre before I would get to making the game.

The game is deck builder/worker placement game. I love deck builders but the issue that I have with them is that you start off with awful cards that are stuck in your deck unless you get a card to get rid of them. In some games like Ascension and Star Realms you have a slight upper hand if you are able to get a trash card before your opponent. Even in Dominion if there aren't any trash cards in the set up you are stuck with your basic cards.

The idea that I have is this.
You start with a certain population of people in this example you have 100 population.

You then start with a 10 cards, all of them are basic humans but instead of trashing them you have the ability to upgrade all of your cards. A basic human would have multiple actions that it can do. Two humans together can raise a child which adds a child card to your deck. Reducing your available population now to 89. When your population reaching 0 you lose.

A human can also perform a basic resource gathering action gaining one of three resources. Those resources are gained and don't enter your main hand but can be spent on future turns.

You will use your resources to train your basic humans into specialized skills in either resource gathering or battle related characters. The result of the battles reduces either your total population or kills off a card.

That is the basic idea. I feel like it adds a dynamic to deck builders that isn't currently there. If anyone want's to go off this idea feel free to use it as it is open for the taking.
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maf man
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it is a good idea I'd like to see in some game....actually I have seen it just in video games. I guess its just much easier to manage a high amount of combos and outcomes when dealing with non-physical systems.
 
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A Deal with Death
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Friend sounds like a loose term in this case
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You have my sympathy. You still called him a friend, but retaliation isn't really the way to make it right.
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nat tact
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darthnice wrote:
You have my sympathy. You still called him a friend, but retaliation isn't really the way to make it right.


It's not really retaliation as I didn't mention their name in the post. I just figured if my words are public domain then they are public domain and I want everyone to have access to that idea if they want to work on it.

Sure I was upset because I did plan on making it and working on it at some point but I design at 1.3 completed games a year and this idea is like I said a few years down the road and thats one reason why it doesn't bother me as much because by the time I got to designing and publishing the game I believe that something similar or at least a game that fixes that "bad starter" hand problem would already exist.

The other reason why I don't care is my life doesn't ride on one single idea or new mechanic. I am smart so I have outlines of games that have new mechanics that I will work on at some point.

But I'm also smart enough to not share any new game ideas with this person.
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Jeremy Lennert
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If it's any consolation:

1. Two designers starting from the same idea often produce very different games in the end.

2. In my experience, if a game is two years down your priority list, you're going to come up with a better idea before you get around to making it anyway.

3. I published a deck-building game with a practical way to get rid of your starting cards about 5 years ago. (Though it sounds nothing like your idea in any other respect.) For the Crown
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K S
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Hello, Devil's Advocate here.

I'm not a game designer, but I'm pretty sure that "calling dibs" hasn't worked since recess in grade school. Not only is it unfair to expect everybody to stay away from some idea that you "totally plan to work on...at some point...eventually...honest!" it's also bad for the hobby. The way I see it, the game that your friend's designing is either better or worse than the hypothetical game you may have designed. If his is better, then he's just saved you all the wasted effort of designing an inferior game. If his is worse, then all's fair: you can just carry on with improving on his design once you get around to it. If it's neither better nor worse, then it's just a different game altogether and there's no reason to care.
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Curt Carpenter
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wamsp wrote:
I'm pretty sure that "calling dibs" hasn't worked since recess in grade school.

This.

This whole issue sounds like a recess monitor needs to get involved and maybe someone needs to go to the principal's office.
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Matt D
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wamsp wrote:
Hello, Devil's Advocate here.

I'm not a game designer, but I'm pretty sure that "calling dibs" hasn't worked since recess in grade school. Not only is it unfair to expect everybody to stay away from some idea that you "totally plan to work on...at some point...eventually...honest!"


Hi Devil's Advocate. I'm Spurious Comparison!

Calling dibs: While playing a game of Carcassonne, two gamers/game designers discuss making a version of Carcassonne with octagonal pieces instead of squares, at the same time. One says, "Hey, you developed that last idea we both saw." The other says, "Dang. Yeah. You got this one."

Stealing an idea:
One person tells another person an idea they had, and that other person decides to develop it on their own.

Calling dibs implies coming from an equal position. Take, for example, the pilot episode of Two Guys, A Girl, and a Pizza Place for a consummate example of that.

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Matt D
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curtc wrote:
wamsp wrote:
I'm pretty sure that "calling dibs" hasn't worked since recess in grade school.

This.

This whole issue sounds like a recess monitor needs to get involved and maybe someone needs to go to the principal's office.


Way to denigrate a member of your community.

It's not the same thing. Not even close.

It's not like they both had an idea for a car racing game, and he told his buddy not to make his because he wanted to make one first.

He told his buddy an idea for a game that he had, and based solely on that conversation, his buddy went and built that game.

Sure, we can't protect mechanics, and sure, few mechanics are truly "novel".

But if two guys liked the same girl and one said, "You know, I heard that she likes Billy Joel. I'm going to see if she wants to go to the Billy Joel concert in two weeks," and the second guy runs up and immediately asks her to go to the Billy Joel concert...

Eh, why do I bother. You're just going to turn around and mock me too.
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FWIW, I've done that to someone else twice now. Sort of.

Different people and different games, but in each case it went the same:
1. I played their prototypes.
2. I liked the core idea, but didn't like their prototypes.
3. I gave them feedback (I was nice about it -- honest!).
4. They rejected the feedback. Like, all of it. In both cases.
5. I really wanted to see if my ideas would work so I made prototypes of my own.
6. I liked mine better (big surprise, yeah?)

But that's as far as it went. I didn't like either enough to pursue it any further. If I ever do, I'll contact them and make sure it's cool. In both cases, my games are now really different from theirs, but you can still see some family resemblances when you squint and turn your head sideways.

I don't feel too bad about it.
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K S
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hestiansun wrote:
Hi Devil's Advocate. I'm Spurious Comparison!


Yes, you certainly are.

Bear in mind that OP isn't talking about a game he's designing now, or even a game he's designing next, but a game that he's thinking about maybe designing some time down the road. He even said that he expected to get scooped before he could get around to working on it. Is it really fair for OP to expect all of his friends to refrain from developing games that too closely resemble vague ideas he mentions until somebody else scoops him first?
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Matt D
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wamsp wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
Hi Devil's Advocate. I'm Spurious Comparison!


Yes, you certainly are.

Bear in mind that OP isn't talking about a game he's designing now, or even a game he's designing next, but a game that he's thinking about maybe designing some time down the road. He even said that he expected to get scooped before he could get around to working on it. Is it really fair for OP to expect all of his friends to refrain from developing games that too closely resemble vague ideas he mentions until somebody else scoops him first?


If they come up from the idea independently, not at all.

If they come up with the idea because he gave it to them, absolutely yes.

But, of course, we're all entitled to our different opinions about how to interact with others and what our responsibilities are when it comes to social contracts and such.
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Antistone wrote:
1. Two designers starting from the same idea often produce very different games in the end.

Half of my ideas come from descriptions of new games on BGG. I read a brief description and imagine how the game works. When it finally comes out it is nearly always completely different from what I thought it would be, so my idea of how it worked is now available for me to use.
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J C Lawrence
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Not a rule, not unspoken, not broken. Welcome to the creative commons.
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Austin Andersen
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Getting rid of cards isn't anything new as you pointed out. Valley of the Kings deals with this in a very interesting way. You should check it out. The game also did away with useless cards at the start. While the starting cards are less powerful, unlike most deck builders they are quite useful.
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Matt D
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bbblasterfire wrote:
Getting rid of cards isn't anything new as you pointed out. Valley of the Kings deals with this in a very interesting way. You should check it out. The game also did away with useless cards at the start. While the starting cards are less powerful, unlike most deck builders they are quite useful.


This is so true. I can rarely bring myself to get rid of all my Shabti's...
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Matt D
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clearclaw wrote:
Not a rule, not unspoken, not broken. Welcome to the creative commons.


I think the rule he is talking about is more a rule regarding social engagement versus rule of law.

Going back to the "dibs" thing, if I meet a girl before my friend and decide I like her, it's reasonable to expect him to give me at least a little time to say/do something. It's not reasonable to expect another guy who meets her at the mall to do the same thing.

Maybe not the best example. But perhaps this is what's making the discussion as divided as it is.

It's not like the OP posted something on BGG asking for ideas about how to fix an issue with his game, or just randomly commenting about the idea that he had, and a stranger took it and ran with it. This was a friend of his who, after being told his idea, ran home and immediately worked to implement it.

To me, it's more a betrayal of trust on the part of a friend than a "stealing of a design" thing.
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K S
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hestiansun wrote:
Going back to the "dibs" thing, if I meet a girl before my friend and decide I like her, it's reasonable to expect him to give me at least a little time to say/do something. It's not reasonable to expect another guy who meets her at the mall to do the same thing.

Sorry, bruh. All's fair in love and game design.
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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I've got good news and bad news...

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1603902/review-frost-solo-d...
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nat tact
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Thanks for all the responses I like the discourse on the subject.

I guess I thought the situation was a little peculiar which is why I posted it and I am going to check out the games that have been mentioned because that element in deck builders is the catalyst of why I wanted to make the game.
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Curt Carpenter
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hestiansun wrote:
I think the rule he is talking about is more a rule regarding social engagement versus rule of law.

The OP broke a more fundamental social engagement rule by creating this thread. Buddies don't go airing minor grievances in public forums. If the game design were actually published, or sold, etc., then that would be different. This sounds like an incredibly minor quibble to not be able to resolve in private. Hence the reference to grade school.
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nat tact
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curtc wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
I think the rule he is talking about is more a rule regarding social engagement versus rule of law.

The OP broke a more fundamental social engagement rule by creating this thread. Buddies don't go airing minor grievances in public forums. If the game design were actually published, or sold, etc., then that would be different. This sounds like an incredibly minor quibble to not be able to resolve in private. Hence the reference to grade school.


I guess maybe my first thread could have been interpreted as me trying to burn my friend or trying to get a bunch of people to egg his house. That wasn't the plan but I can see that I could have worded it differently to convey the situation.

Rereading the OP I should have asked if the situation is something I should expect when talking about game design as it hasn't been a problem in the last two years in my limited hobby of game design.

Then I should have said this is the game that I want to make but I don't have time to make. I also like my friend but I want this game to be made and I still believe that it is a cool idea so I want people to make it.
 
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J C Lawrence
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hestiansun wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Not a rule, not unspoken, not broken. Welcome to the creative commons.


I think the rule he is talking about is more a rule regarding social engagement versus rule of law.


Yeah, not buying it. Welcome to the creative commons -- it is much better here.
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nat tact
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clearclaw wrote:
hestiansun wrote:
clearclaw wrote:
Not a rule, not unspoken, not broken. Welcome to the creative commons.


I think the rule he is talking about is more a rule regarding social engagement versus rule of law.


Yeah, not buying it. Welcome to the creative commons -- it is much better here.


Not to get to far off topic but if you are referring to creative commons like the copyright it is actually a decision made after the art is made. I work with a lot of musicians who uses creative commons and I'm not sure if we are talking about the same thing.

I guess when new designers post on this forum, like once every other month, asking when they should share their idea because they fear someone will "steal it" we should tell them don't share it, instead of the regular, no one is going to take the idea that you have described and post away?
 
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