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The Manhattan Project» Forums » Rules

Subject: The Rules rss

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Brandon Tibbetts
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[EDIT] I've taken the rules down from this thread, as there is a much more complete version now in the Files section.
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Dann May
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All looks quite neatly put together.

If I can offer some opinions and creative criticism, in a very broad way about the game concept/theme now I think I've got a grasp of your treatment?

I know there are a lot of worker placement games, and most tend, despite the theme to be economic/resource games of a sort. I may be wrong, and happy to be proven so, but it seems to me that with a theme like "The Manhattan Project" the real drawcard is the idea of being able to game play more of the creative science. Also my gut feel, and again I could be was off, is that people that tend to like economic flavoured games are more likely to play softer themes, like powerstations or farms or trains and that The Manhattan Project theme would spark more puzzle or even wargame tastes. The game as is, despite the theme feels like a pure resource management game.

So that said, do you think there is room to introduce more involvement into the actual bomb creation and science? Or maybe explore whether its something people would expect and want from the theme? Could the economic engine power a tile/card drawing/laying bomb creation puzzle of sorts? So you are getting pieces/elements of the bomb, much like you are getting buildings. One piece becomes available, that might not fit with another you have already developed, etc, so you need to be making choices that impact that design and changing your tactics and strategy.

All in all I think for me the science and the scientists/designers were the stars and main players in the Manhattan project, thats where the glamour is. and I think it would be fitting if it played more of a part in the game. But as I say, I could be wrong, just what would appeal to me personally.
 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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You have offered some great ideas, but I must state that I aimed to make this an economic/efficiency game at its heart. The real Manhattan Project brought many challenges. To me, the most impressive of these was the rapid development of a monstrous industrial engine where none had previously existed.

Your idea about the puzzle element for bomb creation is very interesting. To integrate something like that though, I'd have to slim down what is already there considerably in order to get the length down. This is something I'm working on as it is. Depending on how far I get with it, I might start thinking of spicing up the actual bomb construction. Right now it's "place workers, spend uranium/plutonium, get bomb." As far as I understand, with the gun-type bombs, the design practically was that simple, and it just came down to how much u-235 could be produced. The implosion designs were a different matter entirely, requiring a particular never-before-imagined engineering feat. I've represented this in the game with higher construction costs, and also a "sliding scale" for points on these bombs based on whether you have tested one or not.

In any case, I don't see something like this changing the economic nature of the game - only adding thematic flavor.

The game is heavy on engine building. Half of it (maybe more) is what buildings you are able to get and then your timing of activating them.

The invasion feature also sets it apart significantly from other "peaceful" worker placement euros. It doesn't take up lot of space in the rules as written, but the threat of it and occasional execution of it weigh heavily on gameplay. I wouldn't want this any other way.

Mechanically, I think my return to the conventional turn order adds something new to the worker placement foundation. It puts all of the game time back into player turns, since it eliminates end-of-round administration. Even so, I feel like the game is running too long and I'm trying to get it down. I'd love to hear suggestions like yours that add flavor - but that also speed up the game while leaving the engine building intact.



 
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Dann May
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Groovy, I'll have another ponder with those things in mind.

(By the way, I like your avatar, Jref, SGU man myself.)
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Brandon Tibbetts
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Jumpseat wrote:
Also my gut feel, and again I could be was off, is that people that tend to like economic flavoured games are more likely to play softer themes, like powerstations or farms or trains


Is it that they like these softer themes or that they are less particular about themes than other gamers?

Also, wouldn't a softer theme be easier to "paste on?"

There is a segment of gamers who feel that the main purpose of a theme should be to explain and justify the mechanics. I have strong leanings in this direction. Even so, given a choice, I believe almost anyone would prefer a strong theme with tightly integrated with mechanics over a loosely integrated softer one.

I started The Manhattan Project and will finish it as a game that I would love to play, not one specifically designed to reach an audience (though that would a most welcome reward!). I am one of those people who can only truly excel when passion drives my work. Unfortunately for me perhaps, maximizing ROI has never been a passion of mine. If it were, I'd be an investment banker or in dental school or something and not designing board games!
 
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Dann May
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Yeah, absolutely, you need to make the game that you want to play, it will surely be best that way and find the best audience for it.

I think its mostly because you have been asking for opinions, preferences and polling the masses that the thought occured to me to raise the question of where the game would fit into the current market.

What I personally meant by softer themes was irrespective of whether it
was a patched on theme or one highly integrated into the mechanics, I meant "soft"themes that arent going to raise any hackles or some people might have qualms over, eg. building and dropping nuclear bombs.

As I say, I dont know, it's just my impression that there are very broadly speaking the more wargamer types who go in for combative ideas and are fine with them and there are the more euro gamer end of the spectrum who tend to shy away from those themes.

Aside from your idea and its development, which as you say isnt driven by market research, I'd still find it interesting to see what response the game got if pitched on select game forums, eg. Agricola, Power Grid, Twilight Struggle and I dunno, Memoir 44.

Bottomline is ultimately though, after exploring and getting some feedback as you are, you should make the game you want to make/play and I totally respect that, I think its genuinely the best way to go also.
 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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Jumpseat wrote:
...I meant "soft"themes that arent going to raise any hackles or some people might have qualms over, eg. building and dropping nuclear bombs.
I see what you mean, but I think you're describing the Family Game market. I think, marketing-wise, when it comes to Gamer's Games, you can get away with a certain level of glossed-over aggression or at least the suggestion of it. In the right context it might even boost interest in a game. Looking at the top 50 or so Gamer's Games there are many examples.
Jumpseat wrote:
...it's just my impression that there are very broadly speaking the more wargamer types who go in for combative ideas and are fine with them and there are the more euro gamer end of the spectrum who tend to shy away from those themes.
I agree that these are 2 significant groups - but I don't think they are the only 2 worth targeting. I don't see my game being a favorite of any strict wargamer or strict light/family game enthusiast. I mean for it to be a solid Gamer's Game, which I believe to be a whole separate niche.
Jumpseat wrote:
Aside from your idea and its development, which as you say isnt driven by market research, I'd still find it interesting to see what response the game got if pitched on select game forums, eg. Agricola, Power Grid, Twilight Struggle and I dunno, Memoir 44.
Would it be appropriate for me to do this? I'd be curious too.
 
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Dann May
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schmanthony wrote:
Would it be appropriate for me to do this? I'd be curious too.


I'm not sure if it would be appropriate either.

It might okay if it was to the point, eg. "Would Agricola fans like..." with a very brief paragraph pitch of the hypothetical game and just have a yes/no/maybe poll. I spose at least that way it is as much about Agricola and the people who like it as it is about the new game idea.

I think if I was going to do it I'd feel it was okay as long as it was an entertaining for the people on the forum and its a fun little question people would enjoy answering.


 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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I'm sorry, I should have updated this thread. I have removed the rules since the contract was signed to publish the game.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Err... That's nice, but why would that necessitate a removal of the rules? Will they be put back up prior to Spiel? (Yes, I know the game won't be on sale there, but it will still help me decide whether to spend game time on it.)
 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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Here's a link to a much more recent version of the rules than I ever had on BGG:

http://www.miniongames.com/ManhattanProject.pdf

I would call the text "near final" and the images "placeholders." In other words, they are not final at all and are likely to contain inconsistencies with the text that references them.

I will upload more recent versions of the rules to the Files section as soon as I have the go-ahead...
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Muchas gracias—this document is sufficiently clear for me to obtain a very good impression.
 
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Joe Mucchiello
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The mixture of old and new artwork in there is amusingly jarring. Does the latest main board really limit plutonium and enrich uranium to 8?

No playtesters in the credits? Don't forget to thank the folks at BGG for help and support, too.
 
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Brandon Tibbetts
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It seems that the file is being updated as we speak. Last time I looked at it the artwork was all from the prototype.

Yes, the bomb fuel has indeed been limited to 8. This forces players to build bombs a little earlier in general.

 
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