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Subject: Meaningful symbols for a game rss

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Moss Doerksen
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I am speculating about a game idea, and I want to be able to display lots of information on the game material succinctly with symbols.

There are two concepts I can't think of obvious symbols for or ways to indicate: "requires" and "expects". I'm sure many games indicate requirement in various ways but I can't think of any at the moment. I suppose a lot of games just have an area on a card or whatnot that you just know means the requirements. But I need a symbol that could fit inline with text like "(requires)X". Meaning something is forbidden until X is satisfied. I suppose I could use "R" if nothing else. But it would be nice to make it not English-centric. I could just use special formatting or something, but I would prefer a meaningful symbol.

For the "expects" symbol, that would mean "you should have this" and if you don't have the expected thing then there would be some cost or penalty spelled out with more symbols. The best idea I have for now is just an exclamation mark.

Any (better) ideas? The more universally understood the better. I'm not going for originality, but I also don't really want to rip off something unique to just one game.
 
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B C Z
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X: do Y

A => B
AZ => BC
AYZ => BCD
 
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Charles Ward
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require:

With X you can Y.
If you have X you can Y.

expect:

With X (or Z) you can Y.
If you have X (or Z) you can Y.

so...

X : Y
X/Z : Y

I like arrows too, providing movement is not X Y or Z.
 
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Tess Lynx
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You could always use wingdings for inspiration! Wingdings might be a little more cumbersome to put inline, but you still can do it.

If that is not an option I'd go with (*) or (?) for expects (which is really more of a " do you have this") and (!) for required.
Explore tunnel (!) light source
or
Heal Character (*) First Aid Kit
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Brian Herr
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Moss wrote:
For the "expects" symbol, that would mean "you should have this" and if you don't have the expected thing then there would be some cost or penalty spelled out with more symbols.
Is it possible to look at this from the other end? What I mean is: don't list penalties if you don't have something, list bonuses if you do have it. That way, you may be able to get away with using the same positive symbol for both cases.

For example: rather than saying, "If you don't have a tool, a building costs an extra gold", raise the default cost by one gold, and say, "If you have a tool, buildings cost one less gold."
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Carel Teijgeler
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For Requires : =

For Expects : > (Expects 3 then > 2)
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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The notations involving colons or arrows I think are more commonly used for costs, where something is required for and consumed by the action. For something that is required but not consumed, you might consider doing something different just to disassociate yourself from common cost notations.

I've recently been playing Spirit Island, which calls that a "threshold", and shows it on cards like this ("if you have"):


For "expects", it sounds like you basically want an either-or construction. Like "either pay $1, or suffer 1 damage". This is frequently expressed with a slash.

On the other hand, if it's strictly a warning or ominous foreshadowing, like "before you flip this card, you probably want to make sure you have a lantern", then you may need a different approach.
 
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Michael Brettell
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You could express your "expects" as
"If Strength < 2, then lose 1 health"

Maybe a ?

Strength < 2 ? -1 Health
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I'm not sure that ?: is a good model to follow for board games...
 
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JPotter
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Antistone wrote:
The notations involving colons or arrows I think are more commonly used for costs, where something is required for and consumed by the action. For something that is required but not consumed, you might consider doing something different just to disassociate yourself from common cost notations.

I've recently been playing Spirit Island, which calls that a "threshold", and shows it on cards like this ("if you have"):


For "expects", it sounds like you basically want an either-or construction. Like "either pay $1, or suffer 1 damage". This is frequently expressed with a slash.

On the other hand, if it's strictly a warning or ominous foreshadowing, like "before you flip this card, you probably want to make sure you have a lantern", then you may need a different approach.


Had the same thought; "expects" is a weird word. The difference is between that of a hard and a soft requirement. Require vs. recommend is probably better pair of terms.

Not that I have, offhand great symbology for either.

But I do have this suggestion .... some actions require conditions to be met to perform/attempt them at all, while other actions require conditions to be met in order to enjoy a bonus on the attempt/performance. Looked at that way, it's one concept, not two.

so that's like ...

Fly (requires 1 miracle)
Heal (requires 1 potion for reduced duration)
Buy Weapon (requires gold)
Steal Weapon (requires skill for success modifier)
Attack (requires weapon for bonus damage)
 
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Moss Doerksen
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The specific example I can give right now for "expects" is "expects X oxygen (for stable health), -1 health per amount of deviation (too much oxygen is bad too)". So framing it as a bonus doesn't really work because I don't want to have a constant health loss but a bonus of stable health if oxygen is at the right level.

Nevertheless it is true that "requires" and "expects" can be thought of as similar. "Expects" is basically "requires, or else", as some have pointed out. So maybe I can do it that way.

That Spirit Island game shows exactly the kind of use of symbols I am going for, except I am trying to pack a lot of things into a small space so even "if you have" is too long. I want a single symbol.

To be a bit more clear, there would be scales for different resources or conditions, and beside each scale would be other scales showing consequences for having said resource at a certain level. So for example there would be an atmosphere scale, and beside it there would be an "expected oxygen" scale. Yeah, actually it is not "expects X oxygen", it is "this scale indicates expected oxygen". And there would be an additional label explaining the penalty for not having the expected oxygen. Elsewhere in the game "requires" would certainly be used in a simple fashion like "to buy this requires Tech level 3". I am not sure if I would use "expects" in such contexts.

Maybe that makes it clearer what I am looking for. Thanks for all your input but so far I am not excited about any of the suggested symbols. They don't have to be existing characters or wingdings, it could be a custom drawn icon. Maybe I should have said icon from the beginning.
 
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For expects, what about one of these?
* <X> oxygen
* >X< oxygen

So: > O < -1H
where O is the symbol for Oxygen
and H is your symbol for Health

would be your symbology for your example above where deviating from the expected health.



Edit: I gave up. Even tried Jeremy's suggestion of using code tags. BGG keeps deleting the middle of my post. But, the gist is there.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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ampoliros wrote:
I give up, BGG keeps deleting the middle of my post.

Consider using code tags?
 
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Moss Doerksen
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ampoliros wrote:
For expects, what about one of these?
* <X> oxygen
* >X< oxygen


At first I was confused about your symbolism but now I think I get it. It is like "zeroing in" on the ideal value for oxygen? I am not sure about wrapping things in arrows, but you did get me thinking and I think I have come up with an icon that works well.

Basically, imagine a horizontal line with ruler notches on it (vertical lines of alternating height), and then have a downward pointing triangle hovering over the middle notch. I think that says "this is the value it is supposed to be" pretty well.

Crude example:

Atmo:[ 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 ]
̲̌O [ 1 | 2 | 3 ] (expected oxygen level)

and then:
-1H × ‡O

‡ means "difference", but I have another symbol in mind that looks kind of like that. I don't know if that is too mathy, but it is probably the best I can get with this approach. Thanks for stimulating my brain CB.

I could still use better ideas for a "required" icon.
 
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How about thumbs up and thumbs down?

O2---- thumbsdown S heartheart
O2------ thumbsup N bag

So, in above saying if you don't have 4 oxygen, lose two health. Second saying if you have 6 oxygen gain money.

 
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Moss Doerksen
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Corsaire wrote:
How about thumbs up and thumbs down?

O2---- thumbsdown S heartheart
O2------ thumbsup N bag



Nice use of the BGG emoticons. But that is not quite the kind of formulas I need to... formulate. I need to say lose health equal to the lack or surplus of oxygen you have. But anyway, I think have that part figured out now.
 
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Moss wrote:
I could still use better ideas for a "required" icon.

How about the international symbol for "mandatory action required"
 
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Brian Herr
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Does this make sense?

O2 = // → -2/-1/+1

Define the "danger/red", "warning/yellow", and "good/green" on your O2 track. Obviously, your values will vary.

It may be simpler, however, since you have a track along which (it appears) an O2 marker will move, make it a transparent marker and place a +/- heart symbol(s) directly on each space of the track. I would think you wouldn't need any more symbols than that.
 
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