GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
8,406 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
20 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
10 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Post-Apocolyptic Idea rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Joe Schmidt
Spain
flag msg tools
Hey guys,

So I have been working on an idea for a game based around the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Without ruining one of the greatest books I have ever read, it is about a man and his son living in a post-apocalyptic United States trying to survive amongst cannibalistic blood cults and a complete lack of anything but the love that a father and son share.

My idea for the game about the formation of a new society amidst invasions and starvation. Four factions must work together to protect and sustain their fledgling attempts at stability. I want the game to be co-operative in that they must work together for survival, but at the same time each player is working towards and individual goal.

My big question now is the map. Should it be a real world map or one of my own creation. My thinking has been a location that is well protected by natural geographical features. Any suggestions would help. Also, how dark can a board game be? The Road is incredibly dark with the possibility of death always around the corner. I haven't played Pandemic yet, but how does this mechanic work out?

Thanks in advance,

joe
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ferejohn
United States
Mountain View
California
flag msg tools
badge
Pitying fools as hard as I can...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, Pandemic uses a global scale, but I'm not totally sure that would be appropriate for what you are thinking of here. In Pandemic the players/characters have access to modern transportation (i.e. flight), whereas I would think that in a post-apocalyptic scenario you'd have to deal with a much smaller scale. A real location that is interesting could be a draw, but it can also be limiting (for example you couldn't do a modular map for increased replayability.

As far as tone goes, Pandemic keeps everything very high-level to avoid being too dark. The diseases don't have names, they are just colored cubes, and you are never dealing with specific numbers of dead or infected (the closest you come is that the city cards show the city population on them, but this is flavor and has no game effect).

If you're going to make a game based on (or at least inspired by) The Road, well, it's going to be dark. And yeah, that will turn some people off. However, I think you are better off designing the game that *you* would want to play and making that game as good as you can (and as dark as you like). Should you get to the point where publishing seems like a realistic option, you can worry about modifying the tone at that point, but if you aren't designing the game you want to design, you're never going to get to that point anyway...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Murray Lewis
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
Good at learning, useless at playing
badge
No secret message here
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Largely offtopic, but apparently the development team for Fallout 3 were told to read The Road before working on the game. I remember reading on a Bethesda blog about how much it inspired their work.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Should it be a real world map or one of my own creation.


Use a real world location... you can start with DarkFuture: Spain & Portugal and then publish dozens of expansions depicting other regions of the globe.

Quote:
My idea for the game about the formation of a new society amidst invasions and starvation. Four factions must work together to protect and sustain their fledgling attempts at stability.


Instead of another typical "Mad Max" setting why not take your game up one level... four small clusters of settlements have survived the apocalyptic event and each group of villages has a leader. The settlements exchange supplies and locally produced food or tools. Vagabond traders operating on the edge of the area bring in rare items. The leaders also have to deal with highwaymen and assorted roving bandit gangs, but conflict is not the primary element. Maintaining harmony among the squabbling survivors would offer a political angle. Players would also have to exchange women of child-bearing age to avoid inbreeding among the settlements... unless your game is set in KY or WV.

All of the players would struggle to rebuild their society -- the player doing the best job of creating a new Utopia is declared the winner.

Suggested reading: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

Good Luck!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Florida
flag msg tools
designer
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
If you're going to make a game based on (or at least inspired by) The Road, well, it's going to be dark. And yeah, that will turn some people off.


A valid point.

thumbsup

Keep the game light... the people who want a darker theme will add their own house rules anyway.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mr Pavone
United States
Ruby
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I was imagining something more like this:

A post apocalyptic game is one made from a number of games cobbled together randomly. Throw a couple bits from 5 or 6 games, an unrelated Texaco road map of Nebraska from 1967 and a page from the local newspaper (burned around the edges and heavily water damaged of course) for the rules. Settle arguments over your interpretation of the rules with live combat.

Make sure you cry every turn or so when you remember how easy it used to be after The Big Bad Day Everything Went To Hell In A Handbasket.

In fact, that should be the name of the game.

Give it a try.

OPTION: Use an old brown paper grocery bag and do a crude handmade board. Try to recreate a Monopoly board without looking at one.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe S
United States
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
badge
Life is too short to be angry all the time. Smile and enjoy the ride.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
READ Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog.


do NOT watch the Don Johnson movie

Major contributor to the genre. Funky novella.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ed G.
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pete belli wrote:
Quote:
Should it be a real world map or one of my own creation.


Use a real world location... you can start with DarkFuture: Spain & Portugal and then publish dozens of expansions depicting other regions of the globe.

Quote:
My idea for the game about the formation of a new society amidst invasions and starvation. Four factions must work together to protect and sustain their fledgling attempts at stability.


Instead of another typical "Mad Max" setting why not take your game up one level... four small clusters of settlements have survived the apocalyptic event and each group of villages has a leader. The settlements exchange supplies and locally produced food or tools. Vagabond traders operating on the edge of the area bring in rare items. The leaders also have to deal with highwaymen and assorted roving bandit gangs, but conflict is not the primary element. Maintaining harmony among the squabbling survivors would offer a political angle. Players would also have to exchange women of child-bearing age to avoid inbreeding among the settlements... unless your game is set in KY or WV.

All of the players would struggle to rebuild their society -- the player doing the best job of creating a new Utopia is declared the winner.

Suggested reading: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank

Good Luck!


The world which you describe also closely matches the setting and high-level events of The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Californias_Trilogy).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Schmidt
Spain
flag msg tools
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Right now I am working on finishing up the prototype board so I can begin some play-testing. I did look up 2012: The Day of Fallout and it gave me some ideas. I will make sure to keep everyone posted on my progress. Nice to see some people are interested!

Joe
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.