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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Design Queries and Problems

Subject: Which theme for my game most interests you?! rss

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Kevin Crow
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Hey everyone! I am writing this in a cafe in Sri Lanka with reeeeally bad wifi, so forgive me for throwing this all at you in one post. I have been working on a cooperative story driven campaign game for a while and can't move forward until I nail down a theme.

The general overview is that you and your fellow players are crew members on a ship. Your overall objective is to capture beasts, which you will use to overthrow the oppressive government. There will also be a rival AI clan capturing these beasts for the oppressive government. You can freely travel to towns to buy equipment, ship upgrades, houses to gain rental income and even enter your captured beasts into racing and fighting competitions. The longer you stay in these towns, the closer your rivals get to capturing the next beast before you. Once you are ready, travel to the mission location, and start the next scenario. But be careful, traveling may trigger events which can cause unforeseen delays, pushing your rivals that much ahead.

Rewards for completing these story missions will not only include capturing beasts, but also unlocking new characters, gear and even ships.

Game mechanics include action point allowance, dice rolling, variable player powers, and area movement. Not to mention a whole lot of cards and paper.

So, now that you have an overview, the real question at hand is which theme fits best.

Option 1: An alternative space history theme! Im talking space pirates, samurai, vikings and other ancient civilizations and mythology in a futuristic setting. Capture alien beasts, upgrade your space ships, and travel an uncharted galaxy.

Option 2: A fantasy pirate theme! Travel to islands and capture mythological beasts! Uprgrade your ship! Gain crew from various nations. Gather intel in taverns, and sail through horrific storms!


Anyway, you guys are the best. Any help would be greatly appreciated!






Poll
Which theme for my game most interests you?
Space Pirates! Flying to planets and capturing alien beasts!
Fantasy Pirates! Sailing to islands and capturing mythological beasts!
      77 answers
Poll created by kcrow8516
 
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Nick
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Fantasy pirates for me. I don't go for futuristic stuff.
 
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Ryan Byrd
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Being a fan of Ulysses 31, I like the idea of space with classical feel. I think there is more to draw upon by having both settings (if done right).
 
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Brendan Riley
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Nos operamur, te ludere
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"Life is more fun if you play games." - Roald Dahl
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I prefer space, but either one could be good. The stumbling block for me is the last clause of your pitch:

You're the crew of a ship flying around capturing giant beasts that you will use to overthrow the oppressive government. I get that you might want beasts to sell to a Roman-style Coliseum master, but capturing beasts to overthrow the government is a really strange side element that I'm not sure will really advance the theme, unless there's a final war sequence in which you're riding your giant elephants or whatnot into battle.

Just first reactions. I love weird themes, though, so keep it up!
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marc lecours
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Both space and fantasy are overdone. I am tired of both. Its time for pirates in new contexts.

How about pirates in the Mediterranean in Roman times?

How about pirates in the great lakes in modern times?

How about pirates in the sewer system of Paris in 1900?

etc. etc.
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Michael Coniff
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I vote Space Pirates.

Treasure Planet is my number one favorite animated movie of all time.
 
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Tim Nagels
Belgium
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It's been long enough... Somalian Pirates is the theme you're looking for!
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Simon Aubrey
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Controversial - but it sounds like a slave trade game to me. Replace the word beasts with Slave and you pretty much have it. (and no i am not suggesting that slaves are beasts - it is just the word replacement).
 
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Mark T
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While I did vote on this poll, I will admit that the 30 second explanation of the game does not generate any interest for me at all. Capturing beasts to overthrow an oppressive government? That sounds utterly absurd. I hope that you are able to make your game and that others are willing to buy it. Good Luck!
 
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Kevin Crow
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"unless there's a final war sequence in which you're riding your giant elephants or whatnot into battle."

That was the general idea! Storming a castle with beasts as your ally. Thanks for the feedback. I actually don't disagree with you. But the end goal seemed to need more substance than simply beating out your rival. Perhaps simply fighting your rival at the end would be enough. I would have to change quite a bit in the overall story, but it would simplify things and that seems to be people's main gripe.
 
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C B
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Option 1 instantly transported me to the movie Time Bandits.

Edit: It is slightly confusing that you reversed the order of the options in the poll from what you originally wrote. To be clear, I mean the Space Pirates reminded me of Time Bandits.
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Freelance Police
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I like the "mythological beasts" part, because mythological beasts *were* caught and killed for their magical or whatever properties, such as the Nemean Lion Skin, Golden Fleece, Medusa Head, etc.

Would a "Labor of Hercules" or "Jason and the Argonauts" theme work better? You and your brother are rival kings who threaten to cause a civil war. Your father sends you and your select group of men on a series of trials, etc. etc. Whoever does blah de blah blah is crowned the new ruler.

Of course, mind you, the publisher is going to slap on a new theme and make it all dwarves and orcs. laugh
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Paul Goddard
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My daughter is currently obsessed with greek and roman mythology so I would be more inclined to take a look at the fantasy version if it included those kind of elements.
 
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r0t1 prata
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I'm equally okay with both
 
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Mindy G
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I think you should combine them, so the fantasy pirates are in spaceships gathering mythological beasts on planets.
 
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John McD
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Pirates don't overthrow governments? Usurped and rightful heirs might?

Captured beasts sound like they might be a little bit oppressed themselves, first thing I do as a captured beast is overthrow my oppressor (ie, you) not my oppressor's oppressor. Unless there is a whole brainwashing minigame perhaps?

Using the monsters to attack another pirates fort, I'm good with. Being a usurped Prince who rallies monsters to his cause I'm good with, but the whole oppression aspect is bizarre.

Overall, it's going to depend on the quality of the art. If you do the Space one it's going to have to be such high quality. The fantasy one you can probably get by with less.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I like option #2 the best. It would be weird having an alternative space theme with Vikings and Samurai.
 
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John Breckenridge
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I prefer boats to spaceships because an ocean is flat like a gameboard and space is not.
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Thomas Regala
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I voted for the pirates but personally if we're gonna go over the top why not make it space pirates that capture mythological creatures? I'd definitely want to overthrow whatever oppressive government it is while riding a sandworm while I am flocked with harpies or somesuch.
 
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