Dustin Culbertson
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Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game

Working Title & Graphic


Designed for the 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1698963/2017-9-card-nanogam...

Components Ready

Corner Pocket
Age: 12+
# of Players: 1-4
Game Time: 15-30 Minutes

Game Components (So Far...):
[9 cards] - on [1] A4 letter size Double sided PDF sheet
[1] - A4 Letter size Double sided PDF sheet - Rules
[3] - d6 dice [1 White, 2 Black - 16mm]
[9] - plastic cubes/blank d6 - [1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, 1 Purple, 1 Orange, 1 Green, 1 Brown, 1 Black, 1 Multi-color - 16mm]

Game Summary:
In Corner Pocket, you're bringing 9-Ball to boardgame night by using your finger as the cue stick and dice as the balls on the table. Six cards representing the 6 pockets are on the table and the object of the game is to sink the 9-ball before your opponent does. The game plays similar to regular 9-Ball so combos, scratches, and ball-in-hand are all in play! You can take a normal shot or you can try your hand at a skill shot; Top/Bottom/Side English, Bank Shots, and Jump Shots are at your disposal. However, the harder the shot is the trickier it gets to pull it off!

Links to Files:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lmjjwumt85k1d2m/AAACEl1DJk-y435Z4...

Prospective Categories:
Best Overall Game
Best Solitaire Game
Best 2-player Game
Best 3 or more player Game
Best Dexterity game
Best Written Rules
Best New Designer
Most Innovative Mechanic Category
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Eric Miller
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
Okay- interested! I'm not one for dexterity games, but I'll give this a look when you get some files up.

And wouldn't something with more sides "roll" better? Couldn't I just SLIDE the cubes around? These will probably be addressed once the files come out, so no need to answer now.
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Dustin Culbertson
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
I'm usually not a dexterity game guy either but this one just popped into my head and started coalescing into a real game.

Since the restrictions for this contest are d6s that's what I'm going with for now. I've thought about using thicker wooden discs instead of dice for the balls (similar to family members in Agricola only a little thicker).

In play testing so far the dice add some interesting effects. The idea is you're required to flick with one finger only. If you are nice and smooth they slide fairly well and you can be pretty accurate. If you flick a little too hard things start getting a little less predictable.
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Eric Miller
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
JonasVenture wrote:
I'm usually not a dexterity game guy either but this one just popped into my head and started coalescing into a real game.

Since the restrictions for this contest are d6s that's what I'm going with for now. I've thought about using thicker wooden discs instead of dice for the balls (similar to family members in Agricola only a little thicker).

In play testing so far the dice add some interesting effects. The idea is you're required to flick with one finger only. If you are nice and smooth they slide fairly well and you can be pretty accurate. If you flick a little too hard things start getting a little less predictable.


Ah, was unaware of the restrictions. And yes, a choice of d6 could be important- some have much more rounded corners than others. And of course some weigh more than others- even of the same size.

If it's not too big a deal, could you put some pictures up when you put the files up? A playthrough video would be even better, but that's not everyone's cup of tea...
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
govmiller wrote:
JonasVenture wrote:
I'm usually not a dexterity game guy either but this one just popped into my head and started coalescing into a real game.

Since the restrictions for this contest are d6s that's what I'm going with for now. I've thought about using thicker wooden discs instead of dice for the balls (similar to family members in Agricola only a little thicker).

In play testing so far the dice add some interesting effects. The idea is you're required to flick with one finger only. If you are nice and smooth they slide fairly well and you can be pretty accurate. If you flick a little too hard things start getting a little less predictable.


Ah, was unaware of the restrictions. And yes, a choice of d6 could be important- some have much more rounded corners than others. And of course some weigh more than others- even of the same size.

If it's not too big a deal, could you put some pictures up when you put the files up? A playthrough video would be even better, but that's not everyone's cup of tea...


So far my tests have been with the more square corners but I plan on trying different corner types to see which play better. If this ever went to actual production some custom dice would be awesome!

Will do on the pics. I also plan on doing a play through video as well. More details should start popping up this week.
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Joseph Propati
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
Cool a pool game! I'm in!
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Joseph Propati
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
How will you be able to distinguish between the different balls? Dice do come in different colors that could maych the actual 9 balls but i think colored discs would be better.
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
kingspud wrote:
How will you be able to distinguish between the different balls? Dice do come in different colors that could maych the actual 9 balls but i think colored discs would be better.


My idea for the contest is to have at least one (maybe 2) cards be cheat sheets showing which colored dice equal which ball (or discs if I go that route). Then the other side of the card could have a breakdown of the special shot rules.

Haven't play tested discs yet but the dice are interesting because on a lot of shots the dice "roll" up onto or right over the pocket cards. It'll be curious to see how the discs behave.

Long term (if it was worth actually manufacturing) would be custom dice to represent the balls.
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
Initial Gameplay Ideas:

For those familiar with billiards (and specifically 9-ball) the goal is for the basic play to feel similar. If you're not as familiar then there are a few good references out there (http://www.borderbilliards.com/basic-nine-ball-rules.html is a good one). Still up in the air how much details will need to be in the rules; I'm assuming I'll have to write them with new players in mind.

Setup: The 4 corner pocket cards would be placed on the playing surface where they would be approximately 18" apart on the short end and 36" apart on the long end. The 2 side pocket cards would be placed on the long edge of the surface between the corner pockets. Set up should look similar to a standard pool table, only miniaturized. The playing boundaries would be considered the outside edges of the pocket cards.

Basic Play: Any die that touches a pocket card is considered pocketed, even if they don't end their movement on the card (i.e. roll across and through the card). If the cue ball die touches the pocket card it's considered a scratch. If, during attempting a shot, the cue ball die doesn't hit the lead ball die then it's a scratch. A scratch leads to a "ball-in-hand" for the opponent. They are allowed to place the cue ball die anywhere in the playing area on the playing surface for their next shot.

The Break: The breaking player would pick up all of the ball dice (including the cue ball die) and drop them at the same time in the middle of the play area. Any dice that end up beyond the boundaries of the pockets would be placed on the boundaries approximately where they left the play area. If any dice hit a pocket card they are pocketed and the breaking player gets to keep attempting shots. If not, it's the opponent's turn.

Shot attempts: Shots are attempted by flicking the cue ball die with 1 finger only. The goal is to hit the cue ball die into the lead ball die (die on the table with the smallest value) and subsequently pocket a ball die. The pocketed ball die could be the lead ball or any other ball that is pocketed after hitting the lead ball first (i.e. combo). If a ball is pocketed then you get to attempt another shot.

I'll post later on how skill shots are done. If you have any initial feedback or questions let me know!

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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
Skill shots:

The standard shot is always available to the player. However, if a player chooses they can attempt a skill shot. The following are the (current) list of shots that are possible:

Level 2: Backward/Forward English
Level 3: Bank Shot
Level 4: Side English Shot
Level 5: Jump Shot

Backward/Forward English Shot: After successfully hitting the lead ball die, the player can make a follow up flick of the cue ball die in either the same or opposite direction of the first flick.

Bank Shot: The player may flick the cue ball die to a boundary between the pocket cards. If the die crosses the boundary, the player may then place the cue ball die on the boundary and then make another flick at approximately the same angle back into the play area.

Side English Shot: After successfully hitting the lead ball die, the player can make a follow up flick of the cue ball die in a direction directly left or right from the first flick.

Jump Shot: The player may pick up the cue ball die and place it on the tip of their forefinger on their opposite hand directly above its previous place on the table. They may then flick the die off of their fingers back onto the playing area to attempt their shot.

For each of the skill shots, a die roll is required to see how successful the attempt is. The player will roll their skill shot (black) die. If the value rolled is equal to or higher than the skill level of the shot they may attempt the shot as normal. If the value rolled is lower, they must attempt the shot with their opposite hand.

(I'm thinking that for those that are ambidextrous or would have issues with using their opposite hand, the attempt must be made with their pinky finger)

Any other ideas for skill/trick shots that I'm missing? Those are the key ones I could think of. Also, does the description on how to execute make sense? Any feedback welcome!
 
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
Couple of prototype images for the pocket cards.

Side Pocket:



Corner Pocket:



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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest!
I'm contemplating an adjustment to the bank shot for a few reasons. I think the execution of the bank shot with the cue ball may be too easy. In testing it's pretty simple to fire the cue ball anywhere past the "rail" boundary and then basically just reset yourself from the rail. On top of that, this idea also needs to be applied to when your planned shot intends to bank the target ball off of the rail instead of the cue ball.

One option is to use one of the 3 cards I'm not using as a "target" for the bank (only really need 6 cards for the pockets, hoping to save at least one for a table reference for which dies = which balls). The thought process would be to place the target card on the boundary to represent how accurate you need to be to make the shot. If the ball you're trying to bank hits it, you can set up from the target card to make the "ricochet" shot.

The additional question is: should the die have to stay in contact (touching or landing on) the target card to consider it a success? Since I've been testing (a.k.a. practicing) quite a bit I've gotten to the point where it's pretty easy to hit the card. To land on the card is trickier, especially on longer shots.

I have a feeling that the target card is a good idea, but adding in the landing restriction may be too much. Especially since (on average) 33% of those shots will be with your off hand.
 
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Re: [WIP] Corner Pocket: The 9-Ball Dice Dexterity Game - 2017 9-Card Nanogame PnP Design Contest! (Initial Playtesting)
More playtesting today. Some highlights:

- My 4-year old son played with me for a bit and actually made a few good shots! (with a few straight-up rockets off of the table...)

- I'll need to test more on what is considered the table boundary. I tried three iterations: inside edge of cards, outside edge of cards, and middle of cards. I think inside edge will actually be best to minimize weird angles on rail shots.

- The gamble of having to use your offhand (left for me) was interesting. Had to make interesting choices between focusing on making the shot vs. taking a risk to set yourself up better for the next shot.

- Need to figure out a way to deal with combining two skill shots together. One that came up a few times was wanting to do backwards English combined with a bank shot. Maybe combine rolls? Or one for each where the results would effect the primary shot and "leave" shot separately. Any ideas are appreciated!

If I get a chance I'll put up some pics tonight. Also should have the draft cards and rules put together Monday or Tuesday. I also need to see if I can find some more rounded corner 16mm dice. I only have enough squared corners in that size but I'd like to test out both. May need a trip to the FLGS soon.

(P.S. I put up a poll in the Design Queries and Problems forum to help me finalize on a name. Feel free to chime in! https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1703203/help-naming-my-9-ca...)
 
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Corner Pocket is now Components Ready! The draft rules and cards are available via the dropbox link below. Feel free to take a look and let me know if you have any feedback.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lmjjwumt85k1d2m/AAACEl1DJk-y435Z4...

 
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An interesting idea that a buddy helping me playtest proposed:

For executing a jump shot, instead of picking up your cue ball die and flicking it from your hand in the air he suggested just picking up the ball die/dice that are in the path you're trying to jump and flicking the cue ball die as normal. Then you'd replace the ball die/dice picked up into approximately their original position.

It would still be a high skill level shot so the attempt roll would require a good number (5+ for the current iteration in the rules); otherwise you're flicking with your off hand. But it would fix the problem that even with your primary hand, pulling off a jump shot from the palm of your hand is extremely hard (have yet to successfully make the shot, and only hit the lead ball die about half of the time).

We'll playtest some more, but I'm leaning towards making the adjustment.
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Micah Quantz
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Not a huge fan of dexterity games (I'm more the strategic game type) but I do enjoy billiards so I printed and played around with it. It was okay, but I have a few suggestions:

1) Make the play area a little larger it just feels so small.

2) And this one would be the really big one for me. Change the victory condition to be score the most points (based on the nine ball point system) and then if any ball leaves the playing surface it is still a foul but it is replaced on the center (or behind the one on the center if it is already occupied) then due to the high number of fouls it counts as only -1 or -2 instead of the normal -3.

3) If you need a score chart for the suggestion above, put the information on the reference cards into the rule book and use those as a score sheet for each player, using a die for each player to keep track of their scores.

Those would be my suggestions, but not a bad game overall, I think though that the nine ball scoring system would make it better. Hope this is helpful, and thanks for the game!
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BGGFAN124 wrote:
Not a huge fan of dexterity games (I'm more the strategic game type) but I do enjoy billiards so I printed and played around with it. It was okay, but I have a few suggestions:

1) Make the play area a little larger it just feels so small.

2) And this one would be the really big one for me. Change the victory condition to be score the most points (based on the nine ball point system) and then if any ball leaves the playing surface it is still a foul but it is replaced on the center (or behind the one on the center if it is already occupied) then due to the high number of fouls it counts as only -1 or -2 instead of the normal -3.

3) If you need a score chart for the suggestion above, put the information on the reference cards into the rule book and use those as a score sheet for each player, using a die for each player to keep track of their scores.

Those would be my suggestions, but not a bad game overall, I think though that the nine ball scoring system would make it better. Hope this is helpful, and thanks for the game!


Thanks for the feedback! To a few of your points:

1) Yeah, I contemplated this. I may expand the size by around 12" but state in the rules to fit your playing surface as best as possible & still keep the 2-1 dimensions.

2) Do you have a good reference for the point system? I don't think I've ever played 9-ball using points before. Points probably is a little fairer since it is tricky and it puts it more into the board game realm.

3) I think I could figure something out using one of the reference sheets and an additional d6 or two.

Thanks again!
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Micah Quantz
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JonasVenture wrote:
BGGFAN124 wrote:
Not a huge fan of dexterity games (I'm more the strategic game type) but I do enjoy billiards so I printed and played around with it. It was okay, but I have a few suggestions:

1) Make the play area a little larger it just feels so small.

2) And this one would be the really big one for me. Change the victory condition to be score the most points (based on the nine ball point system) and then if any ball leaves the playing surface it is still a foul but it is replaced on the center (or behind the one on the center if it is already occupied) then due to the high number of fouls it counts as only -1 or -2 instead of the normal -3.

3) If you need a score chart for the suggestion above, put the information on the reference cards into the rule book and use those as a score sheet for each player, using a die for each player to keep track of their scores.

Those would be my suggestions, but not a bad game overall, I think though that the nine ball scoring system would make it better. Hope this is helpful, and thanks for the game!


Thanks for the feedback! To a few of your points:

1) Yeah, I contemplated this. I may expand the size by around 12" but state in the rules to fit your playing surface as best as possible & still keep the 2-1 dimensions.

2) Do you have a good reference for the point system? I don't think I've ever played 9-ball using points before. Points probably is a little fairer since it is tricky and it puts it more into the board game realm.

3) I think I could figure something out using one of the reference sheets and an additional d6 or two.

Thanks again!


That's odd I've never played nine ball where the person to sink the nine ball wins, but I looked it up and can't find anything about a scoring system. Perhaps the scoring system comes from when I've played nine ball on wii play. The system is that a foul is -3 points (but as mentioned above, fouls should probably only score -1 as there are so many, at least in my experience). And every ball you sink is worth the same amount of points as its value (i.e. sinking the one ball is worth one point). The game ends when all balls are sunk and the winner is the one with the most points. When playing this way you would also need to address what happens when you sink a ball and on the same shot foul (i.e. you sink target ball and cue ball also goes into pocket). One more thing that we have always played, is that cue ball in hand only happens on a foul when the cue ball is sunk or goes off the table (instead of on every foul, like when you miss the target ball). Did some more playing around, needs to be ball in hand with every foul, otherwise game takes to long. Hope this is helpful!
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