Ryan Merrill
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The game is called Realities. You are on a timeline with multiple branches from it that represent parallel universes that travel alongside the main timeline. The players follow whichever path they can get to which is the fastest to get to the end of the timeline (the present?) first.

This is the theme that I have, but I can't really figure out the core mechanic in this game. How do you travel between Realities? How do you continue on the same line? Can you get forced to travel to another reality by some unknown force? Is there some antagonistic force that are coming after all of the players? Is that what is causing these shifts in reality? Do you travel through dice or cards or some other decision making mechanic?

Thanks for the help!!
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Ryan Byrd
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What about a currency that you can collect that allows you to move between time lines. Perhaps you could also use that currency to beef up some defence to prevent others from moving you off your timeline. That same currency could be used to move others off theirs. Each spot on the timeline could offer ways to get currency. Of course, there could be many things to add to this to manipulate the game. Just a first thought.
 
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Josh Uitvlugt
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Tile drafting and laying for making branching timelines, card based actions to let players do cool interesting things, maybe a deck of cards that governs antagonistic external forces. Pick a tile from the 5 or so randomly available and place it ahead of yourself or another player. Action cards either help you out or hurt opponents or both. Each round, you flip another card from the Antagonist deck, and do the terrible thing that it says.

Also asymmetric player powers because I will never not endorse that. And make the tiles a non-standard shape, like a rhombus or an elongated hexagon.

But basically, just go with whatever mechanics you are most familiar with/like the most.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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This sounds extremely similar to the award winning TIME stories series of games.
 
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1 Lucky Texan
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coupla thoughts

1. if 'too many' players are off the 'main' timeline, the parallel TLs 'collapse' and everyone is forced to jump back onto the main TL ?

2. You spend 'energy' everytime you jump, but can only gain energy while on the main TL ? (initial hand of cards, draw new cards when you return to the main TL ? maybe different value cards, some with special functions....?)

3. maybe you can secretly 'piggyback' on someone else? (could be a special function card.

4. maybe if all players are on the main TL, it triggers something - like they all go back the the player's spot at the 'earliest' time ? create an incentive to risk parallel TLs, but that has risk too - basically, find a way to create tension/chaos , but give them choices or powerful card functions to deal with the downside effects.
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Andres Montanes-Lleras
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You could also play with the idea that there are certain nexus points on the "track" where is possible to switch from one reality to the other.

If you really want to go with the time idea, it could be certain historic events that you can alter in order to create an alternate timeline; so you start with the regular timeline and then the game starts branching out more and more. Perhaps some sort of tile laying might work here?
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Nick Henning
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This is a racing game, right? Is it sillier or serious?

Silly could be like mariokart where people in the back can mess with the timelines which can send people in the lead into deadends who then have to backtrack.

More serious could use a similar consequence where in order to move on in timelines a certain problem needs to be solved. Timelines that are solved might close when players leave them so there is a time component.
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1 Lucky Texan
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might be fun and somewhat thematic to make the game simultaneous. Everyone can 'see' the other time travelr's positions, and perhaps their bank accounts or some other open info - but card selection from your hand is secret. Then, everyone plays cards, and results/actions resolved.
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Level 3 Tunt
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1 Lucky Texan wrote:
might be fun and somewhat thematic to make the game simultaneous. Everyone can 'see' the other time travelr's positions, and perhaps their bank accounts or some other open info - but card selection from your hand is secret. Then, everyone plays cards, and results/actions resolved.


I like the simultaneous idea. We really wanted Temporum to feel like the alternate timelines mattered/players suffered in relation to whatever the true timeline was but it doesn't end up feeling like that at all because the different ages are completely independent of each other.

Chrononauts has actions that are slightly more impactful to all players but I've only ever had a couple of games of Chrononauts that were actually fun.

It sounds like you might be able to almost make the game being described by combining simultaneous play with some mix of Temporum and Chrononauts components.
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Ryan Merrill
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Wow! I wasn't expecting so many replies! Thanks to everybody for their contributions.

I do enjoy the idea of the tile laying. It creates more replayability. I am thinking hex-shaped tiles; that will help with the timeline connections. I feel like the main line should be printed on a board and any tiles can be connected to it. I like the idea of the main line being this brooding shadow creating the tension rather than actual external forces. The players can thwart other players of course, but I don't think I want it to have a Tsuro feel. I think the player can play cards to destroy other timelines or parts of timelines, (as long as you have enough energy?).

If all of the players are off of the main timeline at one time, some or most of the parallel TLs will collapse forcing the players to recede back to the main TL. (The more branching, the worst off?) Lucky Texan, I am not too sure what you mean when you talk about when they are all on the main TL, but I think the "racing to the finish line" creates the desire to branch off so you could get there faster.

Nick, maybe a mixture of both silly and serious? I like the idea of these deadend timelines, that you could play in front of other players. And I would love some elaboration on your "serious" point, the solving a problem. Sounds interesting.

Lucky Texan and Level 3 Tunt, I do like the idea of simultaneous play, similar to Mission: Red Planet sorta? We could have the players in their own Time Ships, and have the cliche ranking officers as cards, or roles. And the highest ranked go first and so on.

Tell me what y'all think please! There is already so many more ideas and pictures going through my head than yesterday! I am going to put some pictures of what I am envisioning as the board/tiles.


Ignore the top bit. The bottom shows sample tiles that will be in any given pile.

This is what the board would look like. The main timeline printed on the board with a designated end point, where the game would end. There would then be markings of where to place tiles connecting to the main timeline's Nexus Points or any alternate TLs' Nexus Accessory Points. These tiles could be placed up to 3 high and 3 below, but could only be placed in a legal position (like Carcassonne, no connections leading to nowhere). There will be more than 4 Nexus Points on the Main TL, that is just what it happened to turn out as. Maybe 6-8 NPs?


Keep commenting!!
 
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Andreas Kortegaard
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Maybe staggered segments of gameplay, with programmed movement?
So each turn is a hidden programmed movement card and a tile placement. Then at intervals you reset, resolving the programmed movement, one card at a time RoboRally-style.
Everyone collapse to a designated main timeline, maybe anchored through the cards in some way. Maybe with some point scoring of sorts.
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1 Lucky Texan
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I like the idea of hex tiles! Makes it easy to have some offer a 'branch' or 2 when flipped over! They could have a single arrow on the top for set-up, but some unknown number/direction of arrows when flipped? And maybe some number representing 'energy cubes' required to jump?
 
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Ryan Merrill
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I like the idea of the main just on designated tiles to place as set-up. That eliminates the board, which isn't necessary now. Each tile of the main has different sorts of connections, so there is even more replayability within it.
 
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Ryan Merrill
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Based on this thread, I started writing some stuff up and brainstorming, so I am going to share that on here.

In Realities, Players are in their Time Ships racing to the "end of time" trying to find the quickest way possible. Alternate realities are constantly being created and destroyed and the players are the ones manipulating these realities.

This is a tile-laying game, where the alternate realities are built upon with branches from these tiles. During set-up the Main Timeline will be placed from 12 designated tiles, randomly placed. (Each with different kinds of connections)

Players draw up to a hand of 3 tiles or so (Carcassonne style). There will also be cards used for special actions, such as thwarting others.

Some tiles have Nexus Points, this just means a point where the players has to stop, and a special event or situation might happen, bad or good. Main Timeline has a Nexus Point on every tile (creates desire to get off the Main). Player wants to hit the least number of Nexus Points possible, ideally, in order to get to the end faster.

Going straight on the same line costs nothing, but if you ever want to branch off, you have to pay in energy. (with or without a Nexus Point). Getting off Main TL costs even more?

Getting energy: by being on Main TL (Recharging?) (creates desire to stay on Main) or by card actions

If all players are on Main at once, no energy is gained?

If no player is on Main, players recede back to the Main TL, and alternate Realities collapse? (This would definitely need to be tested!)

Order of Play:
-Everybody places their tile facedown where they want to put it. (has to be in front of their path, Tsuro style) If they can't place, they can move from a Nexus Point.
-Reveal tiles - let players move to the next Nexus Point or ending line.
-Choose which role to claim (maybe Puerto Rico style)
--Captain - Activate a Command Card (??) (this is where you can collapse other players' timelines?)
--Pilot - Move to next Nexus Point or Shift to Main TL (translate down from your tile to Main, and be put on the NP)
--Engineer - Fix ship or Gain energy
--Military Officer - shoot a Temporal Blast or
--(any other roles?)

Tell me what y'all think of that! Please bring up any concerns or anything!
 
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Julian Wasson
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If the main TL is a straight line down the middle of the board, why would players want to deviate from it? Maybe the main TL is something similar to the river start in Carcassonne. That would give you variable setup and some twists and turns means that players can cleverly short-circuit. Another option would be making movement along the main timeline more costly than movement along alternate realities.

How do the alternate realities and various timelines fit into this? How will you make the alternate realities feel meaningfully different? Perhaps each alternate timeline includes some special rules for while you're on it.

What if there were multiple paths each tile to represent each timeline, and you could have larger tiles (or longer contiguous lines on standardized tiles) to incentivize hopping to other paths.

Or to back up a step and keep brainstorming, what about taking a page from Chrononauts book and each tile is a double-sided event that you must overcome to progress, and there's some way for changes to ripple. You'd draw and lay them down in a set of lines to show the different timelines as they get fleshed out and you try to race to the finish. You could have different stacks of events for different timelines, and characters could have different abilities that encourage different players to seek out timelines and versions of events that are more favorable to their unique abilities, and players can cause ripples to make certain events more difficult for players further down the timestream as changes earlier in time propagate to later times.
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1 Lucky Texan
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thematically, I guess an alternate timeline avoids 'threats' of some type on the MTL. But may have threats from other T Travelers as well as 'costing' power cubes w'ever to take advantage of ?

threats on MTL could be financial collapse, pandemic illness, war, etc. - stuff that I suppose would cause a player to lose 'cubes' lose a turn, lose a hand of cards, be 'set-back' in time, etc.? perhaps IN ADDITION to the threats from other players that may be on the MTL ?

not sure, but, seems like you almost have enough to kinda mock-up and play test a little.

Wonder what the goal/MacGuffin is? Be in the right place/time to be Emperor? Capture an asteroid made of platinum? Or, are they going backwards to stop something?



 
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Ryan Merrill
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Julian, to your first comment, I am assuming you mean thematically. Mechanically, staying on the Main will take longer than taking alternate TLs. I like your idea about differentiating these timelines thematically.

This goal we are working towards will have to be something in order for the players to strive for that, not sure what. But I don't think we have to worry about that right now. Entertaining the idea though, I kinda like that we are going back in time to stop this (pandemic or financial collapse or what have you) from happening, but you don't want to just time travel because you will still have to go through all this chaos, so you want to travel alternate routes. I like that.
I might start building a prototype and play around with it. (:
 
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Ryan Merrill
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I would love to hear what y'all think of the Puerto Rico roles for this game specifically. Good idea? Captain, pilot, etc.
 
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B C Z
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Look at Time Agent for some inspiration.

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Kirk K

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First thing I imagined was a modular board where different sections represent different timelines. Not sure how to implement it, but that's what came to mind.
 
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Ryan Merrill
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Time Agent looks quite interesting. I'll have to find a play through of it soon.

What I'm thinking is these alternate timelines are more abstract than definite timelines, they can come and go as the tiles are placed. A timeline could start and end in two tiles if that's what the players and tiles decide. We can play around with it (;
 
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Might be interesting if secondary timelines collapsing could somehow alter the main timeline? Maybe if you push your timeline far enough ahead of everyone else, your alternate version of events overwrites the original course? Could act as a sort of "catch up" mechanic preventing you from going too far ahead because suddenly your course becomes the one with stopping points on every tile. Then you have to pay a big chunk of energy to go into a new alternate line if you want to speed up.

Or those nexus points could "link" the alternate line into the main path. If you play the right nexus point, it can string your alternative route back into the main line smoothly, but if not, your line collapses and you get pushed back depending on how badly it falls apart. That may be a function of how far you travelled off the main line, or of how big a deviation the nexus point is from the one you needed.

And just had another weird idea. The game starts with a scientist publishing a formula that becomes the key to time manipulation. This is a public release of information, and prompts a series of factions (players) to try and gain exclusive control of it. To do this, they have to race to build their timeships, then travel back in time to prevent the formula from being shared with anyone else, thus preventing the other timeships from being built and erasing their courses back toward the discovery point. The game would start as a LINEAR tile placement game where you have to progress forward as you build the main timeline. Once a player has lined up all the pieces they need to start working backwards, they can branch off from the main timeline and start the race for control of time. Rushing to build the first timeship would give you the advantage of a shorter trip back, but waiting could give you a chance to develop upgrades and move back in time faster.
 
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Ryan Merrill
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I made this in AutoCAD. This is what I am envisioning, with what we have said and a little tweaking on my part. So you have the Main TL designated tiles randomly placed, except of course, the start and end. (This is the orange line) The circles on each tile or the Nexus Points. You have to stop at every one. There are also these lines that are branching off, including blue and green lines. (Hard to see, might be dotted with both blue and green) Anybody can branch off above or below the main line. Each half is going to have a distinct feel (the blue side and the green side). Not sure what the actual effect is going to be yet. There has to be good and bad to both sides. One can't be better than the other.

Before, I said that the main tiles are going to be the dotted blue and green lines branching off. That is so these tiles can be placed either way and not affect the continuity. There might be a power later on that lets the player turn a Main tile around (that is a future one, so nobody has placed next to it yet).

Tell me what y'all think!
 
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