Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
 Hide
88 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: The BGG Perfect Dungeoncrawl Project rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James Hutchings
Australia
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
RanDomino wrote:
Maybe we need is a "BGG Perfect Dungeoncrawl Project" that'll pull together amateur designers who are all definitely working on the same problem. I've been fooling around with various ideas for a couple years and have made and discarded several playable games that weren't quite "it" and I'm sure there are dozens of other people around here doing the same thing.


Bring forth your half-formed abominations, that we may stitch them together into a golem of gaming goodness.

zombie arrrh devil robot ninja goo sauron zombie arrrh devil robot ninja goo sauron zombie arrrh devil robot ninja goo sauron zombie arrrh devil robot ninja goo sauron
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberta Taylor
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't have a half-finished project to contribute to this Frankenstein, but I do have a feature request. The Perfect Dungeoncrawl, in my mind, plays without a DM. All vs/ one games are harder to get on the table if you don't have the right personalities in your group. (I'm not suggesting that the game should be cooperative, just that it not be one against all the rest).

I'm definitely going to be watching this thread- even if only to see how people define perfect dungeon crawl!
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb


apeloverage wrote:
Bring forth your half-formed abominations, that we may stitch them together into a golem of gaming goodness.


For a lot of years I've worked on this... just like I am sure many people have. When I work on these things, I never think of them so much as for publication, so liberally borrowing from existing, good systems seems like a very good idea to me. So, it should be pretty easy to understand what I was most recently working on;

Arkham Dungeons

Yup... let's take a look at a really good game, Arkham Horror, that is almost a dungeon crawl to start with and build on that.

You have a character. There is an existing system for monsters, encounters, equipment, spells and skills already built into this game. Really, we just need to do some simple conversions;

Sanity becomes Mana - You use Sanity to cast spells in Arkham Horror, so this seems like a natural exchange with Mana. As losing your sanity is a core Lovecraftian idea, but losing your mana is not a core fantasy idea, fear checks will have to be substantially re-worked or dropped altogether.

Great Old Ones become Epic Quests - Rather than the threat of impending annihilation as the core focus of the game, instead players could go up against the Orc Invasion instead of Azathoth. The fundamental idea of a doom track can remain intact, representing the time available to satisfy the main quest... but instead of losing the game if it fails, you lose the big rewards that come from it. The same way GOOs alter the playing environment by adjusting monsters remains intact. In a way, this is reminiscent of Talisman - you must work the board until you are ready to confront the main quest.

Gates become Quests - When a gate pops up, it represents a basic quest that a character (or multiple characters) can team up to solve, with a basic reward structure. You can use the same "go through a few turns of special quest encounters a la Other Worlds" to help make the quests more exciting. There should be more "a monster appears" and skill checks and less random weirdness from these cards though.

Arkham becomes Configurable Board - If you were to cut the Arkham board into each of the streets, you could have a board that you could re-arrange to make Arkham different every game... so, if the Riverside streets are now the Mountains Of Doom, you could really benefit from a mix and match board. This also makes expansions easier and you can tie special monsters, quests, and Epic quests to small boards.

With this outline, it hope it is pretty easy to see how Arkham Horror has in it a great dungeon crawler foundation. It's not as easy as a retheme, but there isn't much more than that needed.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kai Scheuer
Germany
Eppelsheim
Rheinland Pfalz
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
apeloverage wrote:
RanDomino wrote:
Maybe we need is a "BGG Perfect Dungeoncrawl Project" that'll pull together amateur designers who are all definitely working on the same problem. I've been fooling around with various ideas for a couple years and have made and discarded several playable games that weren't quite "it" and I'm sure there are dozens of other people around here doing the same thing.


Bring forth your half-formed abominations, that we may stitch them together into a golem of gaming goodness.


define: "perfect"
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron Thorne
United States
Valley Park
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Styfen wrote:
Take Warhammer Quest and redesign it to be used with the greatest dice ever made. The D12.

Remove beards from the Dwarfs and job done.

Best dunjun crawl evar!

Shoot, just get Warhammer Quest back in print and you're done, as far as I'm concerned.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hutchings
Australia
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
RobertaTaylor wrote:
I'm definitely going to be watching this thread- even if only to see how people define perfect dungeon crawl!


My most important aim would be to evoke fantasy, not evoke role-playing games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Phil McDonald
England
Staffordshire
UK
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Advanced Heroquest was pretty good
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
kSwingrÜber
United States
Ridgefield
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
lionrampant wrote:
Shoot, just get Warhammer Quest back in print and you're done, as far as I'm concerned.
philmcd wrote:
Advanced Heroquest was pretty good

Dunno about "perfect", but as I remember it, it Warhammer Quest was pretty darn close to perfect, and probably just a tad bit better than Advanced Heroquest. I think either would more than adequately scratch my Dungeon-Crawl itch...

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
Quote:
Warhammer Quest


Little things that bug me about WQ;

1) Monsters appear from nowhere.
2) Every room is just kick in the door and fight monsters. A good dungeon crawler should have quests, not just repeatedly random fights.
3) The "in town" part of the game is too removed from the monster slaying part of the game... too scripted too.

WQ always felt like Bard's Tale to me... a very simplistic, robotic interpretation of a role playing game. It would be good to have something that put more of the story and plot of role playing to the fore. It's still a dungeon crawl, but not a mindless dungeon crawl.

Graduate from Wizardry II and move up to World of Warcraft style video game inspiration... that's the perfect dungeon crawler.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne Hall
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Funny that you started this thread as I have just been working on an idea for this for the past couple of weeks. Just like cosine, I have no intentions of publishing this, just using it for my own enjoyment, so I'm happy to borrow and mix rules from any source.

Inspired by the news that the Dungeon Master's guide for D&D 4th Edition includes rules for playing without a DM, I picked up some of the official dungeon tiles and some D&D miniatures, along with the 4E "Roleplaying Game Starter Kit". But I think the actual D&D rules, while attractive to me, may be a great deal too complicated for my aims. I'm trying to find some rules that are easily, quickly taught to the poor people I drag into the game.

So far I'm thinking about mashing up the rules of the free RPG "Dungeon Squad, Yet Another Variant" with the creature/dungeon design automation from "Dungeon Plungin'" or "Heroes of the Dungeon Crawl". Or perhaps "Dungeon Bash" or "Mythic RPG".

And I want to use my snazzy tiles from D&D and Descent.

I don't own them yet, but "Song of Blades and Heroes" paired with "Song of Gold and Darkness" sound interesting as well.

Unfortunately, nothing has gelled yet. So you can believe me when I say I am very interested in this project and will check back later on when I have more time.

Wayne

EDITED: Forgot something.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Big Lebowski
Germany
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
The Dude abides!
badge
yeah? well… y’know, that’s just like, uh… your opinion, man…
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cosine wrote:
Little things that bug me about WQ;
2) Every room is just kick in the door and fight monsters. A good dungeon crawler should have quests, not just repeatedly random fights.


second THAT. if someone would come up with an interesting STORY mechanic (above "need blue key for blue door") - that would distinguish the perfect dunggeoncrawler from the rest of the pack.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Hutzol
United States
New York
flag msg tools
ive been a lurker on bgg for some time and thought this might be a decent thread for my first post.

as a big fan of dungeon crawlers ive been working on some PvE (players vs environment, play the occasional mmo too) rules for a dungeon game.

One mechanic/idea that ive been thinking about is loot. I want to try and replicate a Diablo level of random loot for a game. What i came up with would be 3 decks of cards for loot. One deck is the base/item card (things like swords, shields, helms, rings, etc). You would get these on basic drops, crappy vendors etc (basic grey/white items from a mmo) the next deck would be numerical bonuses +1, +2,+3, etc.. you would get an item consisting of a card from deck 1 and 2 on a good drop/quest reward (think green/blue items from a mmo) the last deck would be enchantments/curses (flaming, ice, cursed, glass, etc) things that would add positive or negative modifications to the initial item, special rules/conditional damage etc. these would be the really good drops, hard quest rewards and boss loot.

I have some more ideas ive been working outlining the working on monster AI (borrowing alot of terms/mecahnics from mmo games). Styling a game that would almost play like running an instance in Wow for example. dont have the time now to post more but ill post what i have tommorow.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
R T
Portugal
LX
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Harv wrote:
No GM.

Playable solo.

Modular board system.

Rooms, monsters, traps, treasure, spells, skills all on individual cards.

Few stats: Agility, Strength, Intelligence, Health. D&D style stats generation; assign 18 points (or whatever) across your stats.

Arkham Horror skill check system; no rolling 1D6 and adding your strength. Removes a lot of the maths from the game.

No levelling-up. Instead, earn extra points on your stats as you go.

CCG-style attributes to monsters and equipment. 'Hmm, my sword has the 'Undead' icon; that's an extra dice against these skeletons'.

Doom track to ensure quick pace through dungeon.

Campaign mode; link difficulty (or at least quantity) of monsters and traps to combined power of party. 'Lets see, the party starts this dungeon with a combined 8 stat upgrades and 1,250 gold pieces worth of treasure; that means we draw 7 points worth of monsters per encounter'.


Well well well.
You almost just describe my pet project
I've been developing it by modules, so, some are nearly done, others need lot's of work.
No GM, why? because isn't required unless you are in a RPG, a good history and a "simple" game do the job.
Playable solo, of course, and best of it, made it modular, so the players can play it competitive, cooperative, solo, and a few others think and not implemented.
Rooms, monsters, traps, treasure, spells, skills all on individual cards: Check, more or less check, check, check, check, check. Explaining: monster, only made a few to test combat, the tricky part of my pet project is that the dungeon has level's, and as deeper as you go, you get though monsters, so you draw a skeleton card, you check how deeper you are and see in a chart the type and strength of skeleton.
Traps, I made traps like rooms, you enter in that room and surprise.
Treasure: You bet, and for basic gaming is the objective, also the only way to improve your hero, by having the best equipment. Spells, another type of treasure, as Skills, also a card.
Few stats: yap, more or less, because the idea is, you have the stats, the stats are dual, skill and amount, for example strength 10/48 means you have 10 of skill and 48 of amount, 10 to hit, 48 of power, also means that if find a sword (S+20/+20 S-5/-30) you can use it, it will give you +20 in skill and +20 in amount of damage, but requires 5 base skill and 30 of amount. The base use is cumulative, so if you have a shield that have (D+30/+10 S-5/-20) you cant have both equipped, you have the skill but not strength amount.
Arkham Horror skill check system: not... very complicated system of combat have been implemented... but far from tested.
No leveling-up, right on, you gain skills and equipment only.
CCG-style attributes, right, thinked, not implemented.
Doom track, only in mission, when in basic mode, no time limits.
Campaign mode, I don't call it that way, but the team start valor is equal to the start level valor of the dungeon.
Questions will be VERY welcome...
By the way, I've a picture of the dungeon tiles play
test
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lorenzo Carnevale
Italy
Roma
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I've come up with a "story-quest" mechanic.
Instead of having a particular objective for each game/dungeon level, the objective could be to reach 100 Quest Points.
Two variants:
1) There is a deck of cards that players draw under certain conditions. Each card has a Dilemma/Problem/Quest wich carries a variable Quest Point value. Examples: "The next closed door you will meet will be stuck and can be opened only with a Strength Check. If you succeed, you win 5 QP" or "You are immediately attacked by 10 Mutant Rats, if you win, 15 QP for you".
2) Player can invent quests on the spot and make a Quest Point offer. A reverse-bid is then started. "Okay, I'll kill that Ogre fighting bare-handed. I think it's worth 20 points!" "C'mon, I will do that for just 15 pojnts" etc etc. Of course there should be strict regulations on which types of quests are legal or not.

Just my two cents sauron
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wouter Dhondt
Belgium
Anzegem
flag msg tools
My armor is contempt. My shield is disgust. My sword is hatred. In the Emperor's name, let none survive.
badge
Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed. Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cosine wrote:
Arkham Dungeons

Yup... let's take a look at a really good game, Arkham Horror, that is almost a dungeon crawl to start with and build on that.


Your post reminds me of the Arkham Horror / Betrayal at house on the hill hybrid I'm / was working on. Arkham type characters and skill checks, and you choose a Betrayal like scenario you want to play (like selecting a GOO). Keeping the betrayal tiles, but they do include monster movement arrows so it's full coop and can be played alone. And you get Arkham style encounters on the color coded tiles.

Scenarios include stuff like fighting Ming the Merciless (Flash Gordon), disarming a killing device (Saw) and lame stuff like that. I even included Gelatinous cubes wandering around for the D&D fans. At first the scenario is kept secret and revealed by a triggered event like in Betrayal.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hutchings
Australia
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Harv wrote:
apeloverage wrote:
RobertaTaylor wrote:
I'm definitely going to be watching this thread- even if only to see how people define perfect dungeon crawl!


My most important aim would be to evoke fantasy, not evoke role-playing games.


Well, the thread is really about dungeon crawls, which traditionally means combat against monsters. I think your comment misses the point, but what you say still interest me.



What I mean is this:

There's this set of conventions which you could call 'vanilla fantasy', which are kind of Tolkien as modified by Dungeons & Dragons (and then seen in computer games).

Warriors, wizards, priests, rogues - dwarves, elves, halflings - orcs, goblins, green slimes - dwarves dress like Vikings but have Scottish accents - elves live in the forest and are pretty - dark elves live in the ground and are emos...

This 'fantasy' world isn't fantastical, it's as familiar as suburbia. And, just as suburbia isn't the world, so 'vanilla fantasy' isn't fantasy. Even the worst hack writer is going to have some ideas outside this box. Xena is an imaginative tour-de-force by comparison.

It seems to me that 'vanilla fantasy' as a theme has the same characteristics as Renaissance/medieval town planning as a theme. It has nothing interesting about it, but you can do it without having to think about the theme, and it communicates the nature of the game mechanics. If a game's about the grain merchants of Bergen you expect exchanges of tokens for other tokens in a resource-management race for Victory Points. If it's got a dwarf with an axe in an underground ruin on the cover you expect mechanics derived from D&D.

The problem with that is that Renaissance/medieval town planning is a theme for people who aren't interested in themes anyway. Whereas people who are interested in fantasy are interested in a particular theme by definition. People don't play Talisman for the intricate resource management decisions, they play it for the 'story' of the game.

So you have people who are interested in stories, writing a game for other people who are interested in stories, and using the lamest story you could possibly come up with. I'd suggest that that might lead to a situation where a would-be designer thinks "wait...there's nothing interesting about this, there's no point in finishing it." And perhaps that's the reason for at least some of the unfinished fantasy games which inspired this thread.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JonnyRotten
United States
Montpelier
Ohio
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am working on a very light weight dungeon crawling framework, that I plan on fleshing out for a more involved version. The current features I am implementing in mine:
- Randomly generated dungeons.
- Quick and flexible mechanics, that you can adapt and mutate to fit different situations as you see fit.
- Quick game play. You can rip through a dungeon in about 20-30 minutes, but my current version is designed for playing in spurts throughout the day, 2-3 minutes at a time.
- Simple Combat and Spell system that work almost identical to each other.

Things I plan on adding eventually:
- Monsters get stronger as you go.
- Character advancement. With the current quick play style, this isn't really needed, as its designed to play and toss, but eventually it would be nice.
- Quest generation.
- Simple NPC generation system (for the quests)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think a functional game is likely to come out of this thread, but I'm sure we can learn from one another.

From my perspective I think there are two distinct types of games that get lumped into Dungeon Crawls. There are the Warhammer Quest/Descent games and then there are the Prophecy/Arkham Horror/Runebound games. The first group is the one I call "Dungeon Crawls"; while the second set I call "Adventure Games". I think there is a large difference between the two groups. A dungeon crawl is a tactical game where all the characters are in the same building hacking and slashing hordes of bad guys (you can quite literally end up crawling through a dungeon). An adventure game involves traveling the countryside completing quests and going up levels (The players don't usually have to stick together).

I think that most people can see the difference quite clearly. Talisman is easily an adventure game, while Doom is obviously a dungeon crawl. I like both kinds of games; I'd just like to narrow the discussion down so people aren't talking past each other. Somebody could make a separate thread on adventure games if they want to talk about those.

I'll post my thoughts on dungeon crawls in a separate post.
5 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Frank Hussey
United States
Olympia
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hey apeloverage, you make a good point about the difference between vanilla received fantasy as opposed to something that feels fantastic and mystical. But I gotta tell ya, there are plenty of us who love themes such as medieval town planning. Despite the abstract nature of the games, the theme is what first drew me to games like Princes of Florence and Caylus.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
apeloverage wrote:
The problem with that is that Renaissance/medieval town planning is a theme for people who aren't interested in themes anyway. Whereas people who are interested in fantasy are interested in a particular theme by definition. People don't play Talisman for the intricate resource management decisions, they play it for the 'story' of the game.

I play games for the gameplay. Part of a good game is emphasizing gameplay with an evocative theme. If the gameplay consists of taking my player marker and moving it around the board removing antagonist markers in the search for victory points; a generic fantasy theme might do just the trick. In fact a generic theme might be better since I can immediately tell what's going on and what to do (one of the benefits of being as familiar as suberbia). My dwarf's axe is obviously used to cleave orc skulls (or my shotgun to blow up zombie brains).

That doesn't make your preference for playing games with good 'story' wrong. But, stating all dungeon crawl/fantasy fans share that preference isn't right.

Edit: I'll post my thoughts as soon as I finish writing them (I had more than I thought).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As a big fan of DungeonQuest, I think it's important to consider the difficulty level you want to aim for here.

While I admire Descent: Journeys in the Dark, it's too darn long. Ditto for many of the other games mentioned. I'm willing to trade complexity for speed. (Of course, your mileage may vary.)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There is a large design space when dealing with a dungeon crawl.

The first question that has to be answered is if there is a Game Master. This has a massive impact on the direction the game takes. A GM allows for monsters who can form long term plans and perform more sophisticated tactics. It also means one player is playing a completely different game than the others. This can result in one player always having that role, and the group forming a dependency on this (woe be the time when the GM wants to try playing a character and nobody else wants to step up to GM).

The next question is if the game is competitive or cooperative. This also has a massive impact. The discussion must split depending on if there is a GM or not.

If there is a GM you're deciding if the GM is cooperatively forming an exciting adventure or is competitively trying to snuff out the lives of the characters. The first option is much closer to a traditional RPG. The GM can have more power since the game is assuming he will use it to create enjoyment for the other players. The second option must restrict the GM's power so the game is balanced (with the odds of a GM or player win at whatever the designer wants).

If there isn't a GM the game must have rules to automate the enemies. In a cooperative game it would be a bit odd to control the enemies too (since you can just kill them at your whim). This means the game system needs to step up and handle the enemy AI (some player involvement is probably inevitable). In a competitive game it's not that odd to have players control the enemies a bit more.

That's four options: GM w/ players; GM vs players; Coop; and Competitive. Those are the terms I use anyway (I'm no authority of course).

I generally don't design GM w/ player games. They feel like an RPG. Which means I could just go play one of those if I wanted. They also put a lot of power in the hands of the GM.

I personally don't like playing Cooperative games, so I don't design them. I'm sure lots of people would like a game where they can get with their friends and romp through a dungeon and have everyone rejoice in a hard fought victory over evil. I just don't happen to be one of them.

For me that leaves two options. GM vs players, or Competitive. The former is basically a team game with one team being made up of a single player. If I was going to make a team based game that's not the kind of configuration I'd make [It would look more like Space Hulk (only with two teams of multiple players kinda like a first person shooter video game) or a gladiator/dueling/melee type game]. It also forces the designer to make two different games and somehow balance them. Along with that it has the problem of having one player getting stuck in the GM's role. All that adds up to me preferring the Competitive game.

The rest of this post is about competitive dungeon crawls, but I'm not trying to force the thread in that direction. It's interesting to talk about the other kinds even if I don't ever plan on making one.

In a competitive dungeon crawl the players are obviously going to be trying to get each other killed. But, on top of that you can design the game so that the players must rely on each other to some extent. I think this is a big strength that the dungeon crawl theme allows for and it shouldn't be passed up. A mutual goal, but only one winner is a great start for a game design. The genre even has the added bonus of allows players to semi-control antagonists to that mutual goal (the monsters).

The next step is to pick what that mutual goal is. You know the characters are going to be entering said dungeon and crawling through it. Even if the board is made up of a single large room the characters and enemies will be running around in it. This movement system allows for goals of getting from point A to point B. In all likelihood you'll have at least a good chunk of scenarios having this goal. The other thing you know is going to happen is combat. You could theoretically design a dungeon crawl where the characters spent the whole time running away, and you'd still need a combat system for the enemies. The goal of the game could be linked to the combat system. The most obvious is killing the most enemies. Both of these are solid goals for a good competitive dungeon crawl (you can of course still screw it up; take a look at Zombies!!!).

At this point you can start defining arbitrary parts of the game based on creating interesting gameplay or theme (many times one leads to another). The essential parts of a dungeon crawl are the map, characters, enemies, and combat system. That's the minimum of what you need for a dungeon crawl.

The map can be modular or stand alone. There are strengths to either way. In a modular system you can have a large number of different configurations. This is a strength if different configurations leads to interesting gameplay. Integrating a combat/movement system that takes advantage of the modular system would be a high priority for me. The weakness with modular systems is that they may take longer to set up or require rules for placing them. Along with that is the fact the maps will always look like a string of lego block “rooms” (not organic/natural). That leads me to the strength of a non-modular system. The map(s) can be more organic/natural. A forest can look more like a forest. Scenarios/Missions can be designed around a thematic location. The set up time is also much shorter.

Nows a good time to talk about procedural vs hand crafted. These are two different ways of creating missions/scenarios. In a procedural game the rules (along with some player input) create them with a large variety and variability of permutations. A modular map is the better choice for this type of game. The sheer diversity provides replay value and unexpected challenges. In a hand crafted game the designer creates them as well as he can. A coherent story can be created if desired. Very specific surprises or events can be designed. The weakness of this design is replayability. This may be alleviated by players designing missions at home (and a likely community created on the web).

You should know the type of map system along with the way scenarios are generated at this point. Now you need to make the combat, character, and enemy systems pretty much all at once (since they're so intertwined). How complicated are the characters? How many options do players have when using their characters? How complicated are the enemies? How much influence do the players have over what the enemies do? (Are the enemies all AI or do players have lots of influence to harm each other with)? How complicated is the combat system? What meaningful decisions are the players going to make?

That last question is really important and ties everything together. It's basically asking what the gameplay is. What do the players actually do during the game? (that's players, not characters). Some games amount to players making very few meaningful decisions and rolling lots of dice. (I hate those games). You can focus on bluffing and reading your opponents minds (requires a good amount of hidden info and the ability to plan far ahead). Or you can go with the old trusty risk management. There are many types of risk management systems and they all have their pros and cons. The two most common implementations of risk management are dice and cards. There's lots to talk about here, but I gotta post this thing eventually.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Hutchings
Australia
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Brazen Hussey wrote:
But I gotta tell ya, there are plenty of us who love themes such as medieval town planning. Despite the abstract nature of the games, the theme is what first drew me to games like Princes of Florence and Caylus.


blush

I stand corrected.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Jome
United States
Franklin
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mb
MusedFable wrote:
That doesn't make your preference for playing games with good 'story' wrong.


There's a happy medium between story and grinding monsters.

When you look at something like World of Warcraft, you get an experience that is very friendly to the dungeon crawling mindset as different from the storytelling mindset. They do this without just plain grinding monsters - that was the Everquest way. Instead, they use quests.

A quest in WoW often boils down to something very simple - "Wild boars are eating all the farmer's crops! Go kill 10 wild boars and come back to me for your reward." That is, they dress up the monster grinding in a pretty little box with an explanation tag on it to make it go down easier.

"Escort my robot chicken back to town.", "Defend the flag from the monsters who will try to get it.", "Bring me the head of the bandit leader that has been plaguing out town."

Little things like these go a long way to making a monster slaying festival more palatable. Think Space Hulk here - you are on a mission and need to finish it. A little window dressing goes a long way.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew Kloth
United States
Wausau
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cosine wrote:
MusedFable wrote:
That doesn't make your preference for playing games with good 'story' wrong.


There's a happy medium between story and grinding monsters.

When you look at something like World of Warcraft, you get an experience that is very friendly to the dungeon crawling mindset as different from the storytelling mindset. They do this without just plain grinding monsters - that was the Everquest way. Instead, they use quests.

A quest in WoW often boils down to something very simple - "Wild boars are eating all the farmer's crops! Go kill 10 wild boars and come back to me for your reward." That is, they dress up the monster grinding in a pretty little box with an explanation tag on it to make it go down easier.

"Escort my robot chicken back to town.", "Defend the flag from the monsters who will try to get it.", "Bring me the head of the bandit leader that has been plaguing out town."

Little things like these go a long way to making a monster slaying festival more palatable. Think Space Hulk here - you are on a mission and need to finish it. A little window dressing goes a long way.


I think apeloverage was arguing against things just like WoW. It's the epitome of generic fantasy. Here are apeloverage's posts:
apeloverage wrote:

My most important aim would be to evoke fantasy, not evoke role-playing games.

apeloverage wrote:
What I mean is this:

There's this set of conventions which you could call 'vanilla fantasy', which are kind of Tolkien as modified by Dungeons & Dragons (and then seen in computer games).

Warriors, wizards, priests, rogues - dwarves, elves, halflings - orcs, goblins, green slimes - dwarves dress like Vikings but have Scottish accents - elves live in the forest and are pretty - dark elves live in the ground and are emos...

This 'fantasy' world isn't fantastical, it's as familiar as suburbia. And, just as suburbia isn't the world, so 'vanilla fantasy' isn't fantasy. Even the worst hack writer is going to have some ideas outside this box. Xena is an imaginative tour-de-force by comparison.

It seems to me that 'vanilla fantasy' as a theme has the same characteristics as Renaissance/medieval town planning as a theme. It has nothing interesting about it, but you can do it without having to think about the theme, and it communicates the nature of the game mechanics. If a game's about the grain merchants of Bergen you expect exchanges of tokens for other tokens in a resource-management race for Victory Points. If it's got a dwarf with an axe in an underground ruin on the cover you expect mechanics derived from D&D.

The problem with that is that Renaissance/medieval town planning is a theme for people who aren't interested in themes anyway. Whereas people who are interested in fantasy are interested in a particular theme by definition. People don't play Talisman for the intricate resource management decisions, they play it for the 'story' of the game.

So you have people who are interested in stories, writing a game for other people who are interested in stories, and using the lamest story you could possibly come up with. I'd suggest that that might lead to a situation where a would-be designer thinks "wait...there's nothing interesting about this, there's no point in finishing it." And perhaps that's the reason for at least some of the unfinished fantasy games which inspired this thread.

He's clearly arguing against things like WoW. Orcs, dwarves, etc are vanilla fantasy and hence are not "fantastic" anymore.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
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.