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Subject: Designing a new board (suggestions welcome) rss

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Jonathan Starr
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So with the expansion in possible limbo (though still hoping), I've got an itch to try a new map. The current one is nice, and leaves for some different strategies, but it feels a bit the same every time.

So I thought, why not make one myself?

Mind you, it may be slow and take a while until I'm done, and I don't have the best graphic skills (might look less like specter ops, and more like flash point), but I'll try my best. I'll also, obviously, make the corresponding movement sheet.

Though I'm a bit unsure of what I want to do at this point. I saw a thread discussing the expansion and there were some ideas for a new map, but nothing concrete that I want to do. It might be nice to have the board work nicely with the fan expansion of hunters, agents and equipment made by the people here.

So anyone have any suggestions or ideas they want to see from a map?


Things that are a no (due to difficulty):

- I will NOT do a modular board. It would be too complex for me.
- I will NOT multiple levels (for now), unless it can be implemented simply.
- I will NOT do anything that changes the rules too much, if at all. Maybe small things, new additions, but nothing that requires too much testing, as I don't have time for that, sorry.

The following are all possible ideas to add from ideas I've seen or come up with. Feel free to tell me what you like, what you don't, and if you have other suggestions.


Possible new location:

- Outdoors - a fenced in complex with buildings and roads. Buildings have doors and windows to enter through.
- Outdoors - an open area, again with buildings and roads, but maybe some water introduced somehow
- Indoors - a complex like the current map, but just a different layout


Possible New layout of map:

- Something with the 4 objectives spread out to every corner (more square), with the exits in the middle of the map- maybe a helicopter or elevators to the roof.
- Something with exits on either end... but this might be too easy for the agents. It would have the be balanced.


Possible New Exits:

- Helicopters/Hovercrafts/ships
- Elevators
- Docks with boats
- Escape car
- Train
- Sewers


Possible New ways to get around for agents/hunters:

- Sewers
- Vents
- New vehicle (like a mini-bike, or something that flies)
- Water- which could introduce a boat or skidoo


Possible Ways to interact with the map (though this would be less likely):

- A console to hack
- Traps
- Doors that open and close (and a way to interact with them)
- Moving bridges or pathways
- Guard towers that let hunters see over obstacles, or a fixed distance over obstacles
- Explosives
- Machinery


Possible new obstacles:

- Water
- Fire
- Electricity (could be interactive, like barriers that the hunters switch around)
- Steam pipes

I obviously won't use all of these things, but I want to see what people want, and if people have other ideas. Let me know! Maybe after my first map, if it wasn't too daunting, I'll do more. Who knows?
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Peter Hazlewood
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Bromsgrove
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Re: Might design a new board (suggestions wanted)
Well...all I can say is

HELL YEAH!

I can't immediately think of anything better than you have suggested. I think an outdoorsy-type board would be great because it will offer something completely different to the base map. I agree that modular or multi-level would be too ambitious for an amateur and take a ridiculous amount of time to design and produce; let's just hope for something more official on that line. I also agree that you should avoid adding much at all in terms of mechanisms or rules- try to keep it simple and there's no way that it'll fail.

I'm behind you 100%- if you manage to do this there will be a large amount of geek gold for you!

Good luck. Keep us posted.
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Jonathan Starr
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Re: Might design a new board (suggestions wanted)
Thanks! Glad you're excited. If people really want this, it'll push me even more.

Yeah I think I'm leaning towards an outdoorsy type map, for sure. I keep thinking of new things to add, but I have to learn to keep it simple.

So for the map, at the moment I'm thinking that it could be a fenced in complex, with buildings. There would either be one large long building (with two objectives in it) and two smaller buildings (each with objectives). Or one long building (with two objectives), one small building (with an objective) and an outdoor area with the fourth objective. Of course there would be small buildings, machinery, etc. along the way to fill in the space.

Now here's where one issue comes in which needs to be tested. With outdoors and buildings, you then have enclosed spaces. If you look at each "section" of the specter ops map, it's nice and open, which makes me think that was done on purpose, especially since originally Emerson designed this to be a cops and robbers game in a small town, from my understanding. Maybe the limited windows and doors, even garage doors, makes it difficult for the agent to get out of sections and sneak out.

So perhaps there should be an advantage given to the agent. I'm thinking a limited ventilation system, tunnel, or zip line system, that lets them move quickly across a few tiles. Not across the entire map as that would be way to easy, but just something to help the agents out. Maybe a total of four points along the map (and they don't all connect, just two pairs), that appear at places in between objectives. I just don't want to make it too easy for the agent... though it might also be easy for the hunters to camp these areas... so it might balance.

I was also thinking that with a new map, a new vehicle would be nice. I heard bikes being suggested, and love the idea. Perhaps there can be two bikes that hold one or two people each. Each bike can zip through tight spaces as well, so no need to stick to roads. However, they can't go into buildings.

Then I was thinking, it might be fun to have the bikes still be detectors, but omni directional. So the direction they're facing is important. You could point one south, and say "can the bike detect you?" and the agent says yes or no. You can use the two bikes to pin point the agent. How it works with the puppet might be difficult to work out. This will be the most complex aspect I think, and I may scrap it if it doesn't work after testing- and just do one vehicle with a motion detector.
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Peter Hazlewood
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Re: Might design a new board (suggestions wanted)
I think 2 bikes that both hold 1-2 people is a brilliant idea but theoretically could make things easier for the hunters to split up and still travel quickly. I think the range would need to be less- and I like the idea of the pointing of the bike determining motion sending. Yeh, I don't know what to suggest re the Puppet but something needs to be worked out.

I don't know if I'm so worried about enclosed spaces. I mean I think every building would need at least 2 exits but the agent will always know if they're about to be cornered and should be able to avoid this. I don't know about adding in a limited ability to move faster in certain areas- it bears thinking about but I wouldn't worry about including it from the start, maybe just if the agent is finding things too difficult in testing.

PM me if you want to discuss further and maybe test this by playing remotely?
 
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Jonathan Starr
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Re: Might design a new board (suggestions wanted)
PM sent.

Well I wanted to include things like vents, etc, not just for balancing, but because it might be fun. I'll see.

I was also thinking of having the exits be in the middle, with two helicopters. There need to be enough exits, spread out enough, that the hunters can't camp.
 
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Jonathan Starr
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Re: Might design a new board (suggestions wanted)
So it got off to a good start so far. I did a design on graph paper, and now I'm transferring it over to photoshop. So far the numbers and letters took me a long time.

Anyways, just thought I'd show everyone my progress so far with a little preview.

(click for larger image)
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Peter Hazlewood
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Re: Might design a new board (suggestions wanted)
JonathanStarr wrote:
So it got off to a good start so far. I did a design on graph paper, and now I'm transferring it over to photoshop. So far the numbers and letters took me a long time.

Anyways, just thought I'd show everyone my progress so far with a little preview.

(click for larger image)


Great start! It looks fantastic.
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Mike Greubel
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Merrick
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What's the idea for the helicopter pad? I think think it could make for a really cool exit point if done right! I wouldn't make it available all the time however. Maybe only available after turn 30 or 35. Another idea would be to only have it available on certain turn numbers. For example every five or ten turns (ex. 20, 25, 30, etc.)to represent the escape helicopter circling.

I'm really excited to follow this and would definitely be willing to help playtest.
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Jonathan Starr
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3greubs4 wrote:
What's the idea for the helicopter pad? I think think it could make for a really cool exit point if done right! I wouldn't make it available all the time however. Maybe only available after turn 30 or 35. Another idea would be to only have it available on certain turn numbers. For example every five or ten turns (ex. 20, 25, 30, etc.)to represent the escape helicopter circling.

I'm really excited to follow this and would definitely be willing to help playtest.


Thanks! Glad you're excited! I'll definitely contact you when it needs to be tested.

So the helicopter is indeed an exit point. I was thinking of the exit to be on the south side, on the road, so that it's a bit tricky to get to, even though it's closer. The other exits will be near the south wall.

As for the revealing it after X amount of turns, I'll keep that in mind. At the moment I'm not sure as I'm introducing so many new rules already just by the nature of the board. Though I do like the idea.

Right now there are three new mechanisms with the map:

1) New vehicle - twin bikes with omni directional motion sensor
2) Walls - they act similar to structures, except certain things need to be contained, like the beasts senses, blue jays hacking, smoke grenades, etc. I'll need to work that out.
3) Doors - which require the use of a movement point/action to open and close the door without alerting the hunters. You can also move through without using a movement action, but it opens the door, revealing your position.

Opinions and ideas are always welcome!
 
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Tolis Koutsikos

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Remember: there always needs to be more exit spaces than the number of hunters. Why? Because the hunters can block the exit spaces to prevent escaping. If you go with 2 exit points for example, you should make them at least two spaces wide each.

Regarding new mechanism 3, doors. Better to think of them as automatic security doors that you can open if you know how (maybe requiring a movement point or having completed at least one objective to get the data), but in any case close automatically behind you. Else you'll have players opening and closing doors to get better LOS or hinder movement, which I think would detract from the game. Also better to keep it simpler rules-wise.
 
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Jonathan Starr
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tokou wrote:
Remember: there always needs to be more exit spaces than the number of hunters. Why? Because the hunters can block the exit spaces to prevent escaping. If you go with 2 exit points for example, you should make them at least two spaces wide each.


Yes, I know this.

tokou wrote:
Regarding new mechanism 3, doors. Better to think of them as automatic security doors that you can open if you know how (maybe requiring a movement point or having completed at least one objective to get the data), but in any case close automatically behind you. Else you'll have players opening and closing doors to get better LOS or hinder movement, which I think would detract from the game. Also better to keep it simpler rules-wise.


I wonder, do others feel the same? Would love to hear some more feedback.

Though personally, I feel it would be a waste to introduce the idea of outdoors and indoors on the same map, and not have a door mechanic. The walls do add a certain challenge, but the doors make it interesting. I doubt there would be a lot of opening and closing of doors anyways for LOS as it'll be tight in the buildings. On occasion you need to use a movement point to keep the door closed, or a hunter might run in and leave the door open, but I doubt it would hinder things too much. Of course to know if this works will come with testing.

Also there's nothing to stop people from deciding to forego the door mechanic. The map will be here to use as people wish. I could always state the door mechanics as optional.
 
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Peter Hazlewood
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Personally, I don't think opening a door should be automatically detected by the Hunters or Agent. If it's a big area, guess what? I could probably open a door and go through it without making enough sound to alert you. Let's not make this too complex; perhaps opening the door, walking through it, and closing again costs 1 movement point. If you have the possibility of leaving doors open then you need a way of indicating this, which alerts the other player to what's going on. Alternatively, leave the doors out and just have doorways.

I completely disagree with the idea of only being able to escape by helicopter on certain turns. This gives the Hunters way too much help and information and I think could lead to situations where it's virtually impossible for the Agent to escape. However, I wonder if thematically the Agent needs to be close to the helicopter pad (within say 2/3 spaces) to call it in and then the helicopter whisks away the Agent next turn?
 
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Jonathan Starr
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sneakypete21 wrote:
Personally, I don't think opening a door should be automatically detected by the Hunters or Agent. If it's a big area, guess what? I could probably open a door and go through it without making enough sound to alert you. Let's not make this too complex; perhaps opening the door, walking through it, and closing again costs 1 movement point. If you have the possibility of leaving doors open then you need a way of indicating this, which alerts the other player to what's going on. Alternatively, leave the doors out and just have doorways.


Well originally I was thinking that the 'opening door' could be like kicking in a door, which would make a lot of sound. But yeah, you make a point.

Hmm, alright. So yeah maybe I'll just leave the door mechanic out of it then, since two people are suggesting no. For testing, I'll leave it as an open doorway (or something that opens and closes automatically), and if I feel it's too open during testing, I may consider forcing you to use a movement point to move through it. But the walls keep things restrictive enough already.

sneakypete21 wrote:
I completely disagree with the idea of only being able to escape by helicopter on certain turns. This gives the Hunters way too much help and information and I think could lead to situations where it's virtually impossible for the Agent to escape. However, I wonder if thematically the Agent needs to be close to the helicopter pad (within say 2/3 spaces) to call it in and then the helicopter whisks away the Agent next turn?


Good point about giving too much advantage to the hunters.

I do like the idea of having to wait a turn though. I'll definitely consider that.
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Tristan Snaer
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Man, I just saw this thread and I must say, you beat me to it. I'm still playing this game like crazy and a week ago, I started sketching out a new map as well, on paint however since I am not able to use photoshop as well as others.

I was also planning on creating maps for different game modes as well, like assassination, search and rescue/steal, escape, etc.

But I am super excited for this! Following this thread right here! And my map is currently multi-level (2 levels).

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Jonathan Starr
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SnaerSnare wrote:
Man, I just saw this thread and I must say, you beat me to it. I'm still playing this game like crazy and a week ago, I started sketching out a new map as well, on paint however since I am not able to use photoshop as well as others.

I was also planning on creating maps for different game modes as well, like assassination, search and rescue/steal, escape, etc.

But I am super excited for this! Following this thread right here! And my map is currently multi-level (2 levels).



Awesome! I definitely want more maps, so let me know how yours goes! I'm curious to see how yours ends up. What are you thinking of doing?

I had an idea for another map after this one, if I feel up for it. A map that takes place partially on a cargo ship, and partially on a dock.

It's a bit of a pain on my end to do this. Time consuming. I sketched it on graph paper first. I know photoshop enough to produce something, but it's still a pain. Getting all the letters and numbers was time consuming, especially to line them up (I did it line by line, not square by square). Now I'm doing all of the obstacles. I want it to be more than just a box, but designing all of the obstacles is time consuming as well. I'm keeping it simple though, maybe two types of single blocks, one type of double, one type of L-shaped, etc. I may get lazy and just do blocks in the end.

I may consider releasing the .PSD afterwards so that people can make a map from my pieces, so it doesn't all just go into one map. I certainly welcome more maps!
 
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Tristan Snaer
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Will do! Was definitely planning on showing everyone the layout of my map as well as the a file or two for the items to make maps as well, however most of it would go into paint so you'd have to be good with it.

And I'm multi-leveling my map, so what it is, is a simple half and half board, where one half is the lower level, and the other the upper level, with stairs indicating when you can go move to a different level.

I'll definitely take a look at any .PSD given, really excited for this thread!
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