Dhaval Mistry
Canada
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Hey guys,

I have run into a design roadblock which I need help from you guys to overcome. Please bare with me as English is not my first language.

I am designing a game where all the players get a color which is hidden from others. This color identifies the player's pawn on the board. Each player also gets a target card which will tell them who from the other players is their target. The objective of the game is to kill your target before you get killed. A player is considered "killed" when he/she gets wounded 3 times. When you and your target are at the same location, you can wound your target. There are about 7 different locations in the game. All the players have same 7 location cards but the border of the card will be of the color of the player.

A sample round:

Let us say there are 6 people playing. Matthew, Josh, Leanna, Chris, Nick and Kelly.

Matthew (secretly) gets BLUE color
Josh gets GREEN
Leanna gets RED
Chris gets BLACK
Nick gets YELLOW and
Kelly gets WHITE

Then all the players get another card which will say who their target is. This information is conveyed through colors as well.

Matthew's target is WHITE
Josh's target is BLACK
Leanna's target is BLUE
Chris's target is RED
Nick's target is GREEN
Kelly's target is YELLOW

Next, players will select a location card (I still haven't figured out why they would like to go to any specific location) that they wish to travel to and place it face down in front of them. Once everybody has selected a location, all the location cards are shuffled and opened 1 by 1 and corresponding colored pawns are moved to the location on the board.

For example:
Matthew decided to go to the park (I haven't decided on the location names so these locations are just placeholders.)
Josh went to the bank
Leanna went to the bank
Chris also went to bank
Nick went to the mall
Kelly also went to the park

Then players will choose between wounding (if they and their target are in the same location) or not to wound. Not to wound means that their target is not in the same location or they let their target pass to throw them off. This will be done by cards as well. Select wound or no wound card and place it face down. These cards are also color specific. Everybody has wound and no wound cards for all the colors.

Matthew selected WHITE wound card
Josh selected BLACK wound card
Leanna selected (any color) no wound card
Chris selected RED wound card
Nick selected any color no wound card
Kelly selected any color no wound card.

All these wound and no wound cards will be shuffled and opened to see who got wounded. So this means that WHITE, BLACK, and RED got wounded. Wounds will be tracked on a secondary board.

Kelly, Chris, and Leanna got wounded. Kelly (WHITE) was at the same location as BLUE. She takes a mental note to avoid BLUE from now on. This single round will give so much information as to who is after whom.

This was the basic gameplay but I still need help/suggestions to figure some things out.

Problems I need help with:
1. How do I avoid a situation where a player gets the target color as their own color and what to do if that happens?
2. What incentive do players have to visit different locations?
3. If you know which color is targeting you then how can you prevent yourself from taking a wound.
4. What mechanics can I put in to help players figure out which color pawn belongs who (player).

Please feel free to suggest or comment on any aspect of the idea. If you see any potential problems (I am sure there are plenty) that I havent mentioned then please do not hesitate to mention them as well. I would also appreciate honest and brutal criticism.

Thank you
 
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Mark Stockton-Pitt
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I've thought about this as well, but a problem I'm not sure you've considered is this- how would the players get those cards back into their hand?

Regarding the how to make it a game question- I would say you need cards which influence the players as well as the pawns. How about between each round a player plays a card on another player, face up in front of them. Cards could say things like 'Move East' or 'Stand still' or 'Must attack (if sharing with another player)' etc. That would help you identify which player was which pawn, but also let you manipulate them to help you win.
 
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Dhaval Mistry
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I am sorry I forgot to mention a step in my main post.

Once the location card is used, it goes to the discard pile and before next round starts, a player has to declare if they want to get their location card back from the discard pile. If no one else wants their discarded location card then the player can just look at all the location cards and grab his colored location card without revealing his color. If multiple players want their location card back then some sort of bidding will happen and the player with the highest value will be able to go first. This way players who are going 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on will get a clue by observing which colors are missing. Of course, all of this will be done in a way that others can't see.
 
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T. Dauphin
Canada
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Ontario
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dhavalmistry wrote:

Please feel free to suggest or comment on any aspect of the idea. If you see any potential problems (I am sure there are plenty) that I havent mentioned then please do not hesitate to mention them as well. I would also appreciate honest and brutal criticism.

Thank you


Taking you at your word.
This seems like a battery looking for a game.
The hidden information game definitely has the possibility to create some good tension, but I think you need to figure out what 'story' you're trying to tell. Players will find it engaging if they can create a narrative through the play of the game. You're right to identify the need for the players to have a purpose for moving from room to room, but I see this as the starting point. Then see if this movement mechanic fits.

That said, we just had this conversation that is similar and may give you some ideas;

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1668519/cheater-prevention-...

Good luck with it.

edit: There's this one as well;

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1526551/secret-spatial-prox...

 
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Dhaval Mistry
Canada
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tanik wrote:


Taking you at your word.
This seems like a battery looking for a game.
The hidden information game definitely has the possibility to create some good tension, but I think you need to figure out what 'story' you're trying to tell. Players will find it engaging if they can create a narrative through the play of the game. You're right to identify the need for the players to have a purpose for moving from room to room, but I see this as the starting point. Then see if this movement mechanic fits.

That said, we just had this conversation that is similar and may give you some ideas;

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1668519/cheater-prevention-...

Good luck with it.

edit: There's this one as well;

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1526551/secret-spatial-prox...



Thank you for your input. I will definitely take a look at those 2 posts.
 
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JT Schiavo
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Frederick
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The premise and gameplay of this concept sound very similar to AssassinCon.
 
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Dhaval Mistry
Canada
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crinaya wrote:
The premise and gameplay of this concept sound very similar to AssassinCon.


Hey, thanks for pointing that out. I was completely oblivious to that game. It is about 80-85% similar to what I had in mind. I will change things around.
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Jeremy Lennert
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Question: Why is keeping your own color secret important? I can see why it would matter to keep your target secret, but I don't see why it would matter if the other players knew which player was controlling which color.

dhavalmistry wrote:
1. How do I avoid a situation where a player gets the target color as their own color and what to do if that happens?

Probably just redeal. The probability that no one gets their own color is probably around 1/3, so you'll need to deal an average of about 3 times per game, which is annoying but doable.

dhavalmistry wrote:
2. What incentive do players have to visit different locations?

I'd probably add some kind of resource system. Maybe it costs you a bullet each time you wound someone, and bullets appear at random locations so you have to go pick them up. Or maybe you get tired, and have to stay where you are for one turn to rest. Maybe every location has a different resource that you need to periodically refresh, and so you're forced to visit it at least once every X turns.

dhavalmistry wrote:
3. If you know which color is targeting you then how can you prevent yourself from taking a wound.

Similarly, how can you try to end up in the same location as your target so that you can give them a wound? With 7 locations, if either player chooses to make their movement random, then there is only a 1-in-7 chance they will end up in the same space as another given player.

This is a typical problem with simultaneous-movement systems: they are fine when you mostly care about where on the board you end up, but they are not so great when you mostly care about who ends up close to you.
 
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Dhaval Mistry
Canada
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Antistone wrote:
Question: Why is keeping your own color secret important? I can see why it would matter to keep your target secret, but I don't see why it would matter if the other players knew which player was controlling which color.

Keeping your own color hidden adds another layer of paranoia. That way if your target figures out which color is targeting them, they still dont know which player on the table is targeting them. This in my opinion will avoid obvious/biased outcomes.


Antistone wrote:
I'd probably add some kind of resource system. Maybe it costs you a bullet each time you wound someone, and bullets appear at random locations so you have to go pick them up. Or maybe you get tired, and have to stay where you are for one turn to rest. Maybe every location has a different resource that you need to periodically refresh, and so you're forced to visit it at least once every X turns.

The resource system is what I was thinking but I dont want too much clutter floating around on the table. I am aiming this game to be a party game (4-12 players).


Antistone wrote:
Similarly, how can you try to end up in the same location as your target so that you can give them a wound? With 7 locations, if either player chooses to make their movement random, then there is only a 1-in-7 chance they will end up in the same space as another given player.

Again I think this will have to be done with some type of valuable resource.

My main problem is how do I get players to reveal key information without making it obvious?
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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dhavalmistry wrote:
Keeping your own color hidden adds another layer of paranoia. That way if your target figures out which color is targeting them, they still dont know which player on the table is targeting them. This in my opinion will avoid obvious/biased outcomes.

Once you know that the blue pawn is trying to kill you, how would you behave differently if you knew that the blue pawn is being controlled by Alice rather than Bob? Does the blue pawn have some different options or abilities based on which player is controlling it?
 
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Dhaval Mistry
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Antistone wrote:
Once you know that the blue pawn is trying to kill you, how would you behave differently if you knew that the blue pawn is being controlled by Alice rather than Bob? Does the blue pawn have some different options or abilities based on which player is controlling it?


Player abilities are not something I have thought of and personally I would like to avoid it. I see what you are saying and I think you might be correct on this one!
 
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JT Schiavo
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Modify the win condition so that you can kill your target, or kill player targeting you. Now you have incentive to determine who is tracking you, and a risk/reward for fighting. Of course, you'd also have to make a player lose if they kill the wrong player. That leads to the problem of having a wrong guess possibly eliminate two players.

Tracking which color has which location cards available would seem very important, as it's the only way to determine which place is worth moving to.

You could always borrow a couple tricks from Shadow Hunters and making it so that a) Some of the locations are connected and you can attack both locations, causing more options and more deception, and b) Locations have special abilities such as healing, gaining bonus damage, gaining resources to buy back cards, or learning more about other players.
 
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