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Subject: Where are the Discworld themed games? rss

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Peter Enzerink
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Apart from Thud and http://cripplemronion.info/, both of which are variants on checkers and standard deck of cards games, there seems to be a paucity of Discworld themed games.

Where are the strategy board games like Arkham Horror or card games ala Munchkin that use the Discworld's rich descriptive and humorous content?

Is it a rights issue? I notice most of the books have movie rights locked up but we've only seen some tele-movies and theatre adaptations so far.
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Chris Ferejohn
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My best guess is that unless and until a movie comes out and is fairly popular, the value of that IP to a board game is...not much. It might get a few gamers who might have missed it a reason to take a second glance, but it's recognition outside of fairly serious fantasy buffs is nearly nil.
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Werner Bär
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There are two scenarios for Catan:
Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork
Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork
(both are together on a double sided map)
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Bruce Murphy
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placid wrote:
Apart from Thud and http://cripplemronion.info/, both of which are variants on checkers and standard deck of cards games, there seems to be a paucity of Discworld themed games.


Thud is not a variation on checkers, it's a rather cute variation on Hnefatafl, see my review/article.

B>
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Andy Leighton
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I wouldn't say that Thud is a draughts variant at all. Related to the tafl family maybe.

I doubt it is a rights issue - there have been Discworld games on computer - starting with The Colour Of Magic adventure game by Delta 4 in 1986.

I'm not sure but I doubt that Pratchett (at least before illness) would sub-license all game-rights to a single company but would work on a case by case basis after talking about, or even seeing a prototype of, what is proposed (which I think is what happened with Thud). I doubt he would want to see Ankh-Morpork Monopoly more than anyone else.
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Jon M
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If it's not a rights thing then lets turn the question around. Why have no game designers been inspired by Discworld?
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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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There was an "clue" like game in development, but something made it disapear, and there is geeklists of Discworld games somewhere.
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Andy Leighton
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cferejohn wrote:
My best guess is that unless and until a movie comes out and is fairly popular, the value of that IP to a board game is...not much. It might get a few gamers who might have missed it a reason to take a second glance, but it's recognition outside of fairly serious fantasy buffs is nearly nil.


Umm no, at least in the UK.

Pratchett is one of the biggest selling authors in Britain. Not just fantasy fans but general people too. Some years he is the top selling fiction author for that year.

The TV movies got around 3 million viewers in the UK, on Sky. The highest audience at that time for drama on a non-terrestrial channel.

Admittedly things may be different in the USA but then the USA isn't the world and isn't the centre of the gaming world.
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Bruce Murphy
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Jon_1066 wrote:
If it's not a rights thing then lets turn the question around. Why have no game designers been inspired by Discworld?


Because the Discworld has, for the most part, complex and slightly sarcastic literary themes rather than black and white things that can easily be represented in games. This also means that their appeal may be somewhat limited to people already aware of the complex and intertwined backstories.

If anyone, I'd think that Kosmos might be able to do something with one of their literature series titles. Which of the many discworld stories you'd choose to use, I'm not sure. I think a big Ankh-Morpork board would be a rich playing surface, but I'm not sure how you'd be able to use the detail to good effect. Guilds would likely figure into it somehow.

B>
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Luke Venechuk
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Jon_1066 wrote:
If it's not a rights thing then lets turn the question around. Why have no game designers been inspired by Discworld?


I am getting inspired. There are so many things that could make for a rich and full game in discworld.

The Guilds of Ankh Morpork alone would provide tons of inspiration for mechanics and special abilities in a territory control based game.

What I'm really starting to think about though are the time-turners and the history monks. Imagine a (maybe cooperative) game, with action point allowance where you had to spend some of your action points to wind your time turner to stay in the same time period. The closer you get to making the changes necessary in that specific time, the more it costs you (comparably) to wind your time turner because your action points would become more and more valuable to you as things get more difficult and problems require more action points to resolve. You'd have to guess how much "time" you'll need before your turn starts, and if you skimp on the amount you wind your time turner you risk being sucked back in to a previous time period and have to regain the ground you lost.

Mmmm, my brain's fizzing a bit here...
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Philip Thomas
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Jim, just use the flag like everyone else.

Indeed, too few Discworld games. One of the ironies of this is the fair number of explicit gaming references in the Discworld Novels. I think Terry Pratchett is a gamer, at least a casual gamer. In Discworld "the gods play dice with the fate of men" isn't a metaphor!

One thing which would put me off designing a Discworld game is the fear that I wouldn't do justice to the wierd and wonderful world of Pratchett, especially Pratchett's rich sense of humour (humour is difficult to capture in a boardgame at the best of times, since a good boardgame will be played over and over again, which renders even the best jokes somewhat stale). However, I would have the same fear about Tolkein, and that hasn't stopped others...

Has Reiner Knizia read any Pratchett?
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Chris J Davis
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A friend and I are currently working on a DW game, and although it's coming along very well, progress has recently, err... stalled.

We've even approached TP's agent regarding it, and he seemed open to the idea. He told us to get in touch once it's complete.
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Luke Venechuk
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Philip Thomas wrote:
In Discworld "the gods play dice with the fate of men" isn't a metaphor!


Man, this would be another great game idea! Have the players be the Gods, each with special capabilities, and play with the "fates" of characters on the board, as they do in the books. Imagine having Rincewind on the board in the shades of AM, Io just had a couple of thugs step out of the shadows. Things are looking grim until it's Luck's turn, and they roll high enough that the Luggage arrives in time.

I'm not sure about the mechanics or end game requirements but there's definitely a game in there.
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Bruce Murphy
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imsquare22 wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
In Discworld "the gods play dice with the fate of men" isn't a metaphor!


Man, this would be another great game idea! Have the players be the Gods, each with special capabilities, and play with the "fates" of characters on the board, as they do in the books. Imagine having Rincewind on the board in the shades of AM, Io just had a couple of thugs step out of the shadows. Things are looking grim until it's Luck's turn, and they roll high enough that the Luggage arrives in time.

I'm not sure about the mechanics or end game requirements but there's definitely a game in there.


I suspect what you describe is something open ended enough to only work as an RPG, though.

B>
 
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Jonathan Leech
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I always thought the "gods play dice" is straight from old mythology and not really a Pratchett creation anyway. I would still like a Discworld game though.
 
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Philip Thomas
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jonnyalpha wrote:
I always thought the "gods play dice" is straight from old mythology and not really a Pratchett creation anyway. I would still like a Discworld game though.


The saying has been around for ever, but you'll never find any old myths which say "Thunder rolled. He rolled a 6." Or have a mortal hero, challenged by the Gods to roll a 7, cut the die in half as it flies through the air. Or something like the scene in which the Gods decide what to play in Interesting Times ...

As usual, the idea is old, but Terry has gone to town with it and cornered the market. (for another example, the notion that beleif in a God strengthens the God has probably been around for a while, but Terry's treatment of it in Small Gods transforms it into a vivid and hilarious rule of nature.)
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Chris J Davis
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imsquare22 wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
In Discworld "the gods play dice with the fate of men" isn't a metaphor!


Man, this would be another great game idea! Have the players be the Gods, each with special capabilities, and play with the "fates" of characters on the board, as they do in the books. Imagine having Rincewind on the board in the shades of AM, Io just had a couple of thugs step out of the shadows. Things are looking grim until it's Luck's turn, and they roll high enough that the Luggage arrives in time.

I'm not sure about the mechanics or end game requirements but there's definitely a game in there.


You're psychic - that's pretty much how our game works.
 
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Peter Enzerink
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thepackrat wrote:
placid wrote:
Apart from Thud and http://cripplemronion.info/, both of which are variants on checkers and standard deck of cards games, there seems to be a paucity of Discworld themed games.


Thud is not a variation on checkers, it's a rather cute variation on Hnefatafl, see my review/article.

B>


I was describing Thud in (overly simple) terms my 8yr old would understand. I see that it is a variant of Hnefatafl and Ooepaajuok.

This thread seems to be generating some interesting thoughts!
 
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Bruce Murphy
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I struggle to see the similarities with checkers. They are both two player games...

B>
 
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Peter Enzerink
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thepackrat wrote:
I struggle to see the similarities with checkers. They are both two player games...

B>

My mother rolls her eyes when I start talking about boardgames and she wants to know what's so wrong with Monopoly that we want to play weird games instead so I keep it simple!

Black and white alternating squares with a bunch of different colour pawns facing each other? Sounds close enough to checkers or chess.
 
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Chris J Davis
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placid wrote:
thepackrat wrote:
I struggle to see the similarities with checkers. They are both two player games...

B>

My mother rolls her eyes when I start talking about boardgames and she wants to know what's so wrong with Monopoly that we want to play weird games instead


This simple sentence fills me with so much sadness...
 
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Bruce Murphy
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placid wrote:
thepackrat wrote:
I struggle to see the similarities with checkers. They are both two player games...

B>

My mother rolls her eyes when I start talking about boardgames and she wants to know what's so wrong with Monopoly that we want to play weird games instead so I keep it simple!

You could try explaining. Most people have at least an inkling that Monopoly runs too long.
Quote:

Black and white alternating squares with a bunch of different colour pawns facing each other? Sounds close enough to checkers or chess.


Ah "Checkers" becomes "Checkers or Chess" and you indicate through the phrase "different colour pawns" and "facing each other" that you've never actually player or seen Thud!.

B>
 
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Celina
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http://www.boardgamegeek.com/tag/discworld

AHEM.
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Peter Enzerink
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thepackrat wrote:
Ah "Checkers" becomes "Checkers or Chess" and you indicate through the phrase "different colour pawns" and "facing each other" that you've never actually player or seen Thud!.

B>

I've read the book and the rules but I've never played a game and based on the reviews I don't expect I will as it is not my cup of tea despite the nice integration with the story.

My comparison was simply to provide a comprehensible example for 99.9% of the BGG audience, not just the other 0.1% who are familiar with Hnefatafl.

As I mentioned in my original note, I'm more interested in games with different mechanics than Thud.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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Then I'm surprised you didn't compare it to monopoly or cluedo.

B>
 
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