C Millard
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I've been developing this game on and off for the past two years. The game is called "The Gated Realm." It is a semi-cooperative science fiction game for 2-4 players. Two to three players control 6 crew members. You must manage your vessel the AI Trust, mine planets for resources, take part in missions to free alliance leaders, gain powerful rewards for defeating alien monsters and amass a force to take part in a final battle that will determine the fate of mankind. The fourth player is the overlord in the game. You must prevent the destruction of the final Galactic Gate, defeat the Intergalctic Alliance in preparation for the final extermination of mankind.

This is the first game I have developed. It combines my love of narrative driven, tactical miniature and hexgrid wargaming styles of boardgames. It is split into three phases:

Phase 1: Deck management: Manage your ship. Search the galaxy and mine for resources. Upgrade equipment and weapons. Repel enemy fighters and draw mission cards.

Phase 2: Tactical Miniature style gaming: Select your team. Three members of your crew must Infiltrate enemy bases, hack terminals, free alliance leaders, garner favour with an important crew members by breaking out prisoners and defeat alien monsters. Each crew member represents a different alien race with their own unique specialisms. Early playtesting has confirmed that all characters do play differently and force you into making tough decisions.

Miniatures: 6 crew, 1 Rovian defector prisoner, 2 captive alliance leaders, 1 Rovian overlord, 13 Rovian guards, 16 Rovian soldiers and 4 boss alien monsters.

Phase 3: Hexgrid Wargame: Lead the armies of your freed allies in a final battle.

The game is now 50% completed. Early playtesting has proved to be extremely positive and the narrative is extremely engaging. I'm seriously considering hiring a concept artist to take this further once playtesting has finished. Would love to hear if this is type of game that anyone would back?
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alex bermudez
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I never played Mass Effect but this sounds pretty cool. However, one thing I've learned about making games like this is people are going to want solo/co-op play. If you can finagle your game so there doesn't need to be a GM, you'll increase your audience by a lot, I'm betting. If you want there to be a GM, add that in as an option.
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But can you romance aliens?
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MA Wolfe
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I love the Mass Effect games. I mean, except the last ten minutes of EA's ME3 and their whole decision to let that be the original ending - which is a whole tirade for a different thread.

I'm not a huge fan of 1vsAll games. I like Descent, but I only play it with the app. I have Imperial Assault, but I've only done the first mission. I'm still waiting on FFG to release the app for that.

So making the whole thing co-op, would pique my interest.
 
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alex bermudez
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See? You'll get that a lot.
 
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Matt Drake
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I hate to say it, but unless you can keep play time for the entire experience to under two hours, you're not likely to find a lot of people willing to play the bad guy. I don't have a problem playing the bad guy, but it sucks to be the bad guy in a 12-hour campaign played over three weeks that results in you being trounced.

The thing is, board games like this are basically a big step over from a role-playing game. And the thing about RPGs that makes people not mind being the 'bad guy' (read: GM) is that it is not a competitive experience.

Now, if you were to frame the game in such a way that the role of the bad guy player is to make the game challenging, but not unwinnable, you might have a winner there. The problem is, board games are inherently competitive, and do not lend themselves well to a story-telling format unless you make them fully cooperative.

For example, I like Super Dungeon Explore. When I play it, I play the bad guy, and I generally just plan on losing. It's more fun for the players to win, but it can keep everything heated if you make them work real hard for it. If you consider it a cooperative experience, with one person's role being 'keep the heat on,' it frames it in a different light. Not to say I couldn't win - I could. But I also pull punches to make sure I don't.

The premise of the game sounds like a ton of fun. I hope to see something come out of it.
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C Millard
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VixenTorGames wrote:
I hate to say it, but unless you can keep play time for the entire experience to under two hours, you're not likely to find a lot of people willing to play the bad guy. I don't have a problem playing the bad guy, but it sucks to be the bad guy in a 12-hour campaign played over three weeks that results in you being trounced.

The thing is, board games like this are basically a big step over from a role-playing game. And the thing about RPGs that makes people not mind being the 'bad guy' (read: GM) is that it is not a competitive experience.

Now, if you were to frame the game in such a way that the role of the bad guy player is to make the game challenging, but not unwinnable, you might have a winner there. The problem is, board games are inherently competitive, and do not lend themselves well to a story-telling format unless you make them fully cooperative.

For example, I like Super Dungeon Explore. When I play it, I play the bad guy, and I generally just plan on losing. It's more fun for the players to win, but it can keep everything heated if you make them work real hard for it. If you consider it a cooperative experience, with one person's role being 'keep the heat on,' it frames it in a different light. Not to say I couldn't win - I could. But I also pull punches to make sure I don't.

The premise of the game sounds like a ton of fun. I hope to see something come out of it.


I understand the concerns regarding playing the overlord. It was/is also my main concern. So far under playtesting this game has remained balanced. This is because of the three phases. There are easy and harder versions of phase 2 missions (they are drawn at Random) and can be initiated by any player at any time. Do you risk initiating the easier mission before you have fully equipped your crew? Or do you wait build up your equipment and risk the overlord drawing a harder version of the same mission and initiating it before you?
The game is very different to anything I've played. In the phase 2 Monster mission there is no overlord at all; you must make a choice. The last hit that kills the alien monster gains the reward. Do you work together initially to destroy the monster with the alliance, then sneak in the winning blow at the end? Do you attack the alliance and hope you are strong enough to defeat the monster on your own?

There are many ways to win and you do have to discuss what your final victory will be. A game may finish after 3 hours or 12 hours.

A typical campaign:

Prologue: overlord

Phase 1: no overlord

Phase 2: mission 1 overlord

Phase 1: no overlord

Phase 2: monster mission no overlord

Phase 1: No overlord

Phase 2: mission 2 overlord

Phase 3 Hex-Counter Final Battle. No Overlord.

I must admit even even in the overlord sections I didn't ever feel like the overlord. It's almost like the game is 1 v 1 (plays very well like this) but can be played 3 or 2 v 1. So far the game is very balanced and competitive. Phase 3 has not yet been completed or playtested yet. I really don't want to design a game where one side has no hope. If it all becomes unbalanced in phase 3 it will be back to the drawing board!
I've worked hard at trying to create a strong narrative but it is not going to be comparable to that of a traditional rpg. My aim was to create a strong tactical game that makes you think and make choices.
I am quite concerned that having a hexgrid counter style wargame for the final battle might put people off.
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Pouya Ostadpour
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MillardC13 wrote:
I've been developing this game on and off for the past two years. The game is called "The Gated Realm." It is a semi-cooperative science fiction game for 2-4 players. Two to three players control 6 crew members. You must manage your vessel the AI Trust, mine planets for resources, take part in missions to free alliance leaders, gain powerful rewards for defeating alien monsters and amass a force to take part in a final battle that will determine the fate of mankind. The fourth player is the overlord in the game. You must prevent the destruction of the final Galactic Gate, defeat the Intergalctic Alliance in preparation for the final extermination of mankind.

This is the first game I have developed. It combines my love of narrative driven, tactical miniature and hexgrid wargaming styles of boardgames. It is split into three phases:

Phase 1: Deck management: Manage your ship. Search the galaxy and mine for resources. Upgrade equipment and weapons. Repel enemy fighters and draw mission cards.

Phase 2: Tactical Miniature style gaming: Select your team. Three members of your crew must Infiltrate enemy bases, hack terminals, free alliance leaders, garner favour with an important crew members by breaking out prisoners and defeat alien monsters. Each crew member represents a different alien race with their own unique specialisms. Early playtesting has confirmed that all characters do play differently and force you into making tough decisions.

Miniatures: 6 crew, 1 Rovian defector prisoner, 2 captive alliance leaders, 1 Rovian overlord, 13 Rovian guards, 16 Rovian soldiers and 4 boss alien monsters.

Phase 3: Hexgrid Wargame: Lead the armies of your freed allies in a final battle.

The game is now 50% completed. Early playtesting has proved to be extremely positive and the narrative is extremely engaging. I'm seriously considering hiring a concept artist to take this further once playtesting has finished. Would love to hear if this is type of game that anyone would back?


Is there any update on this work?
 
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Momo Momo
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Yeah, now I'm interested.
 
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