Barney Iley
msg tools
Hullo hullo,

Am creating a game with resource management elements. All resources are objects on the board. When the resources are 'harvested', the player changes their orientation to show this (e.g. they turn an upright 'wood' resource on its side). I want some resources to 'reveal' a bonus once harvested, allowing the player to draw from a special deck, but obviously these resources have to look the same as all the others before this point.

Initial idea was to have some pieces with (e.g.) red coloured bottom faces, so when they are turned over (harvested), the player sees the red and knows they can draw from the special deck. But resources are continually added to the board throughout the game by all players, so the pieces need to be added without players knowing they are placing a 'special' resource, and without too much fiddly 'i'm not looking while I do this' type stuff.

Any ideas for how to represent this mechanic with physical tokens, in a way that doesn't risk players knowing which tokens are bonus until they have 'harvested' them?
I'm hoping to find a solution that incorporates the physical shape/attributes of the resources on the board, as opposed to adding an external system via a deck or something. Am sure there are lots of examples out there???

(one wild thought was using a mini UV torch, with some resources with UV painted bottoms, so you harvest and then check by shining the torch to reveal the otherwise invisible UV paint, but think this is too fiddly (and maybe impossible) as the harvesting will be reasonably frequent).

Thanks! Let me know if anything above wants clarification

B
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Xander
Switzerland
Basel
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
Is this a one-time bonus, or does The Special need to remain with the harvested resource on the board, or does it need to go to the player who did the harvesting?

You say the harvested resources stay on the board (in a different orientation), and resources are constantly being added. Is running out of spaces for new resources part of the point, or do you ever remove the harvested resources and put them back as harvestable?

Two possible directions to think in:

1. two-part resource thingies. If you have e.g. a cylinder with an indentation in the top, and a marble sitting in that, you can assemble them all as part of the setup. Harvest by removing the marble, which in case of bonus reveals a small marking in the middle of the indentation.

Or forget the marble: using a second smaller cylinder (Ayanu-style) lets you put the bonus marker in the part to be removed instead (if you prefer for the bonus not to stay on the board).

Cheaper version: use stacks of two cardboard chips. If there's a stack of two, the resource is harvestable; if the top one is gone, it's already harvested.

All this is a little too multilayered though: you have the wood you harvest, you have the tree it grew from, and you have the spot on the board where trees can exist. Too many levels, perhaps?

2. Don't randomise until after harvesting: We're getting close to the dreaded external deck again here, but if you're OK with a specific statistical chance of getting a bonus rather than a fixed number of boni to be hidden on the board, then the resource objects could themselves be prismatic dice with as many sides as makes sense (one of the sides displaying the bonus). Set them on end as unharvested, and everybody can see the bonus side; but it doesn't matter: you roll it only after harvesting to find out whether the resource does a bonus thing.

Afterwards having to put the harvested resource back in the spot it came from is a bit ugly though, so this seems like more of an option for the case where players remove the resource from the board (and presumably put it in their own stash).

But again, this seems like a cheating way to only technically fulfill your requirement that the bonus be on the object itself: you could just as well if not more easily roll a separate die, or draw from a special is-it-a-bonus? deck.

But really I think I'd recommend a third, far simpler solution: use blanks to inflate the "special deck" of bonus effects. You just draw every time you harvest, but most of the cards do nothing.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
With Ameritrash, it's common to have a pool of cardboard (or molded plastic) tokens that are face down and "scrambled". If drawing from a bag, you could have pieces with texture on one side, so players will intuitively draw the pieces with the "face side" down. This might be as simple a wooden disk with a sticker on one side, much like the wooden discs briefly seen with base game Dominion.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barney Iley
msg tools
Ah thanks so much for your reply Xander!!

Harvested resources do get removed from time to time, yeh, so there isn't an infinite influx of resources onto the limited board space!

Really like your idea of the two-part system; Think there could be a solution there if I can find a way of doing it that doesn't become too fiddly to set up...

And of course you're right, a deck mostly filled with blanks would probably save a lot of effort, and achieve much the same mechanic; but I'm eager to create that moment of turning the resource and being like 'oooh a bonus!'I expect for testing this will be the solution though, for sure!!

Thanks again,

Barney
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Barney Iley
msg tools
Thanks Sam and Max! I am glad to know there are examples of this out there - I knew there must be. The crucial question is, I suppose: if you can create a shape with an obvious 'bottom' will players draw it from a bag facing downwards?? Hadn't thought of textures; had only thought of shapes, but I think if it's just being done by touch then textures are probably more intuitive actually... nice one. Thanks so much!

Barney
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John
United Kingdom
Southampton
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
barney10 wrote:
All resources are objects on the board. When the resources are 'harvested', the player changes their orientation to show this (e.g. they turn an upright 'wood' resource on its side).


I would be concerned about how easy it would be to accidentally knock resources over, and how east it would be to remember which resources were in which orientation if this happened.

barney10 wrote:
I want some resources to 'reveal' a bonus once harvested, allowing the player to draw from a special deck, but obviously these resources have to look the same as all the others before this point.



Znirk wrote:
2. Don't randomise until after harvesting


I think this is going to be much the easiest thing to do. Roll a dice, draw a token from a bag, use blanks to inflate the "special deck" (though having lots of blanks seems a bit inelegant, could you make use of the blanks for something else?)

barney10 wrote:
but I'm eager to create that moment of turning the resource and being like 'oooh a bonus!'


My feeling is that finding out the bonus instantly would be better (if possible) and for a little while it might seem better even if it made other parts of the game slightly more fiddly. However after a number of plays ease of playing the game will be more important for most people. Of course it depends a bit on what ind of game you are making and who your target audience is.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Byrd
United States
Griffin
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What about having a magic window on the flipped side that requires a gel to check. Meaning, place a red film over the token to reveal the blue text below telling of the bonus (or none). An example is the Jumanji game with the riddles on the cards that are placed inside the reader.

The key would be to have a similar shaped/sized blue text/symbol for bonus and none (for those that will try to look hard without the film).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Breckenridge
United States
Richmond
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I suppose the easiest would be to have the resources in a bag and only draw them when they're harvested - then the player can see what color it is.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jan Åke Hansson
Sweden
Malmö
flag msg tools
mb
barney10 wrote:

I want some resources to 'reveal' a bonus once harvested, allowing the player to draw from a special deck, but obviously these resources have to look the same as all the others before this point.



Why not simply let them draw from the special deck every time they harvest, and have most of the cards in the special deck be blank?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.