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Subject: 4 Tile co-op treasure hunt needs help!!! rss

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Andy K
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I want to enter a game in the 4 Card/Tile PnP Contest. This is the farthest I've gotten on a game design, due in large part to the restrictions of the contest. That said, I'm stuck! Even though this is a very simple idea & short game, I just can't get it right.

Please help me get this to a playable state (I'm in over my head here) so I can justify making some nice artwork for it (something I actually know how to do). Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!

Here's what I have so far...

I keep envisioning the scene at the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones & the other guy make their way to the idol, take it, and then try to escape alive. They work together to get the treasure, but once that's done, the partner gets greedy and tries to take it and leave Indy to die (if I remember correctly).

=====

Treasure Team

 


Overview: 2 players work together to cross the game board (Explore). Then they discover treasure (Extract). Then they try to return to the start area - maybe cooperatively, maybe trying to sabotage the other player, all without running out of life points (Escape).

Equipment:
4 d6, 2 tokens, 4 tiles (see below), coins?, 2 more d6 (optional)

Expedition setup:
The 4 tiles are shuffled & laid in a row face down to form the board.
Players place their teammate tokens side by side just off the first tile (base) and then flip all tiles face up (see diagram above).
Each player begins the game with five life points. Keep track of these points using additional d6 or pencil and paper.

EXPLORE:
Both players roll one die, high roller goes first.
Player 1 rolls all four d6. These determine movement points for the round.
The team then decides together which dice they will use to move.
Players then take turns (starting with player 1) using each die for movement.
After all four are used, the round is over, and each players' life points are reduced by 1.

Movement: Each TILE is divided into four SPACES. The movement points required to enter a are determined by its type:
"Ground/Dirt" spaces cost 1 movement point;
"Rock" spaces cost 2 points;
"Lava" spaces cannot be entered.
Jumping from one TILE to the next costs 2 points, which are added to the cost of the space being jumped onto. A jump is not needed to enter the first tile from the starting position or to re-enter the last tile after securing the treasure.

Players can move in any direction vertically or horizontally as long as they don't pass through the same space more than once on a turn. Players may use some or all of the movement points from each die.

Special spaces: When a player uses all of the points from a die roll to end their move on a special space, the space is "activated." There are two kinds of special spaces: Hearts which add 1 life point and Re-rolls which allow you to re-roll any one die that hasn't been used yet.

Doubles: Whenever a player rolls doubles, they lose 1 life point.

If either player runs out of life points before during Exploration, the expedition ends and the team returns to base empty-handed.

Here's where I'm lost...Ideally, I'd like the last phase of the game to switch to co-op-but-there-may-be-a-traitor. Something with more tension, doubting your teammate's motives, or just trying to steal his treasure. And I realize that a Shadows Over Camelot experience may be a bit much to expect from a 4 tile print-&-play game :)


EXTRACT & ESCAPE Ideas:

Both players restore life points to 4.

1. First player off the 4th tile takes the treasure (coin) and must return to base alive (boring).

2. Each player takes 1 treasure (coin) OR 1 coin for each life point left; and must return to base alive (treasure may be sacrificed to add 1 or 2 life points?).

3. Each player takes treasure; players try to make it back to base first (or 1 round ahead of teammate) to get all the credit (points?). (slightly better)

4. Players try and return to base with their treasure & steal teammate's on the way.

5. Players draw one coin each (of a pool of 3). One of the coins is marked to indicate DOUBLE VALUE. If you draw that coin, try and get back first without arousing suspicion. If you didn't draw that coin, try and figure out if your teammate DID...???

6. Players draw one coin each (of a pool of 3). One of the coins is marked as CURSED. If you draw that coin, try and get back first and sabotage your teammate. If you didn't draw that coin, try and figure out if your teammate DID...???

=====

One last thing: I want to add something to the other side of the tiles but have no idea what that would be.
If you've read this far, please take a minute to send advice, comments or criticism. THANK YOU!!!
 
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Michael Barlow
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1. Thanks for entering my contest. meeple

2. This is a great start I like it even just as a co-op game.

3. You've got about three weeks left to fiddle with it.

4. Although I cannot speak for everyone who's voting, I look at games for fun and playability rather than graphics. meeple

Now off to the outward journey:

How about using the other side of the tiles to make a nastier exit?

There's nothing in my rules that prevents you from using the backs of the tiles to basically make a second tile-set.

The way in to the tomb in that great Indiana Jones movie was a cake-walk compared to the way out, when the traps were sprung! So, I'd make the design for the other side of the tiles harder, with less 1's and more X's.

On the way out, the special re-roll squares could be replaced with this idea:

You could have a treacherous trading system, where if the treasure at the of the first tile-set was, say 2 coins each, and then on the way out, one player runs into trouble, then the other player could "offer" a re-roll to his opponent in exchange for a coin.

The player who gets out with the most coins wins. So, even if your rolls are great and your opponent's suck, you have to stay by him to help him out if he needs it, just to get that tie-breaking coin off him.


Just a thought.


Back to my troublesome design (and I'm not even eligible to win),

Mike B.
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Sean Ross
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Quote:
Here's where I'm lost...Ideally, I'd like the last phase of the game to switch to co-op-but-there-may-be-a-traitor. Something with more tension, doubting your teammate's motives, or just trying to steal his treasure. And I realize that a Shadows Over Camelot experience may be a bit much to expect from a 4 tile print-&-play game
I would need to think about it more, but here's some initial comments that might be of some help.

To be honest, I couldn't see how the mechanisms in the EXPLORE part of the game induced players to co-operate. Without something to force them to co-operate - or at least be co-dependent upon one another - to succeed in the first phase of the game, switching to a non-cooperative mode would be meaningless - they already were in a non-cooperative mode. There needs to be something in mechanisms, but also - and more importantly - in the scoring system, to drive the behavior of the players in the direction you want. So, you need to reward the players for making sacrifices to help the team in the first part of the game, and then switch the scoring/mechanisms to reward selfishness/self-preservation in the latter half.

fibroptx wrote:

Player 1 rolls all four d6. These determine movement points for the round.
The team then decides together which dice they will use to move.
Players then take turns (starting with player 1) using each die for movement.
After all four are used, the round is over, and each players' life points are reduced by 1.



To make the players dependent upon one another you might require that it takes both players presence in a single square to help one player cross from one tile to the next. The second player can cross only if the first player remains in the adjacent square on the next tile. You could reward the helpful player by giving them life points or something. Something that will benefit them more than their partner when the game switches to selfish mode. In selfish mode, there would be no requirement for the players to help each other cross the tiles (thematically, let's say they build bridges or something during the first part).

Another idea would be to use something like the pie rule for selecting dice rather than the players discussing who gets what. Let's say that after the first round, the player who is further behind on the tiles is the start player for the round (if both players are the same distance from the destination, then the player who started second on the last turn starts this turn)**. Have the roller split the four dice into pairs and then choose which pair to give to his partner. Give the roller a reward or penalty based on the difference between the two pairs of dice. For instance, say I roll 1,3,3,6. I could split that into [1,3],[3,6] or [1,6],[3,3]. In the first case, I could be selfish and take the [3,6] for 9 moves but get a penalty of 5 somewhere else (where 5 is the difference between what I took, 9, and what I gave to my partner, 4 or [1,3]. Or, I could do the reverse, to take a 5 point reward that will help me during the selfish phase. With the other split, [1,6],[3,3], the reward or penalty would only be 1 instead of 5.

Instead of a penalty, there could just be a reward: the roller gets the reward if they take fewer points, otherwise the reward goes to the opponent.

On the way in, the player that is closest to the entrance, will decide who gets which pair of dice. Both players will want to help the other player in order to gain the reward that will help them more when the game turns to the selfish phase ("After you...", "No, no. I insist. After you..."). On the way out, however, the player who is furthest from the entrance will be deciding who gets which pair of dice. Since it's a race, they will be choosing the pair that moves them further than their former partner. I'm not sure if the penalties/rewards would still need to be in effect during the race to the exit....



Quote:
Doubles: Whenever a player rolls doubles, they lose 1 life point.
Personally, I'd just lose this rule. I'm not sure I see a need to punish one of the players randomly - let their opponent choose to punish them.


Quote:

[size=10]EXTRACT & ESCAPE Ideas:


Quote:
One last thing: I want to add something to the other side of the tiles but have no idea what that would be.


On the back of the tiles add a boulder rolling down a circular tunnel towards the viewer, getting larger on each tile as it approaches the entrance. While the explorers are extracting the gold pieces (I'm not sure exactly what needs to be involved in that process) one of them can decide to trigger the boulder. Now the explorers need to race out of the tunnel before the boulder over takes them. You'll need someway to determine when to flip the tiles over to the boulder side. Perhaps when one player crosses from the tile ahead of the boulder to the next tile, the tile ahead of the boulder will flip at the end of the next turn. If a player is still on that tile by the end of their turn, they are crushed. Or, perhaps dice could be used to trigger a tile flip in conjunction with or instead of the rules I just outlined.

On the way out of the tunnel, it might be fun if the trailing player could cause the tiles to rotate - for a cost - to slow down the opponent and create quicker escape routes for themselves. This would be something like having the player who runs ahead first spring the traps, making it safer for the next player to pass through.


** I'm not sure about always letting the trailing player roll during the EXPLORE phase, that's probably something to remove after play-testing...
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Andy K
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Mike & Sean,
Thank you so much for the invaluable feedback and advice!
I really appreciate that you both took the time to read through the game idea, think it over and type out your thoughts.

Mike - Thanks for running this contest, what a great idea!
Reprint wrote:
How about using the other side of the tiles to make a nastier exit?
... I'd make the design for the other side of the tiles harder, with less 1's and more X's.
... The player who gets out with the most coins wins. So, even if your rolls are great and your opponent's suck, you have to stay by him to help him out if he needs it, just to get that tie-breaking coin off him.

I really like these ideas and look forward to trying them out soon!

 
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Andy K
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Sean, you've given me MANY things to think about!

seandavidross wrote:

... I couldn't see how the mechanisms in the EXPLORE part of the game induced players to co-operate.


What if there was only one life points "pool" to be shared by the two players in the Explore phase? So that either one landing on a special space would benefit them both?

But that wouldn't really address this issue...
seandavidross wrote:
There needs to be something in mechanisms, but also - and more importantly - in the scoring system, to drive the behavior of the players in the direction you want. So, you need to reward the players for making sacrifices to help the team in the first part of the game, and then switch the scoring/mechanisms to reward selfishness/self-preservation in the latter half.
...not to mention the current LACK of a scoring system blush

seandavidross wrote:
Have the roller split the four dice into pairs and then choose which pair to give to his partner. Give the roller a reward or penalty based on the difference between the two pairs of dice.
This would be a very interesting change, I like it!

seandavidross wrote:
Quote:
Doubles: Whenever a player rolls doubles, they lose 1 life point.
Personally, I'd just lose this rule. I'm not sure I see a need to punish one of the players randomly - let their opponent choose to punish them.
Completely agree, rule is removed!

seandavidross wrote:
On the back of the tiles add a boulder rolling down a circular tunnel towards the viewer, getting larger on each tile as it approaches the entrance...
Love the idea, but I don't think I'll will be able to implement it with my 4-tile limit. Maybe the first expansion though laugh

seandavidross wrote:
On the way out of the tunnel, it might be fun if the trailing player could cause the tiles to rotate - for a cost - to slow down the opponent and create quicker escape routes for themselves. This would be something like having the player who runs ahead first spring the traps, making it safer for the next player to pass through.
Yes! Another great suggestion.
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Andy K
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Finished game:

Two Teammates Toil Together Traversing Treacherous Terrain To Take Top Treasure Total!

Here are links to rules and tiles on BGG:
Tiles
Rules

(I couldn't get the other images to show up)
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