Chris Deliz
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Ohio
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For the last few months, I've been designing a game that I call Deathmatch!, which is an adaptation of the Deathmatch gametype found in multiplayer FPS like Doom, Quake, and Unreal Tournament. I specifically designed it to be easy to make and simple to play, and thus its current form requires only a deck of cards and a d10. The game plays like this:

First Phase:

Players start by drawing four cards from the deck and putting them into their hands (this is the 'reload'). These will consist of weapons (for killing people), items (equipped to increase stats), and supports (one-time use cards with various effects). Several options exist in Phase One:

1. Ready a weapon by playing it face-down in front of you from your hand. This will be your attack during Battle.

2. Equip an Item by playing it face-up in front of you. You can only do this once per turn, and you can only have up to two items equipped at any time. Items are discarded only by choice or when you die.

3. Play a Support. Unless the card states otherwise, you can play these anytime. Battle Supports are a special form of Support to be played only during Battle. Supports are discarded after use.

After everyone is finished with Phase One, then Battle (Phase Two) begins.

Battle starts with everyone flipping face-up their readied weapons. The weapon with the lowest speed value (the number in the top right corner of the card) goes first. The person who played it can now choose a player (their 'target') to attack. The target now rolls the die. If their roll is equal to or less than the speed value of the weapon used to attack them, then they successfully dodge all damage and effects of the attack. If they fail this requirement, then they take all damage and effects listed on the weapon (Some weapons have special rules in which damage and/or effects are done to the target even if they dodge the attack). After this attack is complete, the weapon is discarded (regardless of whether the player hit or not).

After Battle is over, then a new Phase One starts, with everyone 'reloading' back to four cards.

Players have only 10 HP, and if they lose all of their HP (ususally from an attack), then they are dead. They discard their hand and all equipped items and sit out for one turn. After this turn is over, they rejoin the game, reloading their hand to four cards. The player who killed them receives a point. The first to five points wins the game.


Hopefully everyone understands how the game plays based on that description. If not, then I can help with difficulties.

The reason that I've started this thread is because I have some questions regarding an idea I have for the game. I'm enamored with the idea of making Deathmatch! into a board game, with a modular board that the players can make different every time. I feel that it could breathe even more life (and play time) into the game. However, I'm not sure how to adapt the system that I currently have working to a board game format. I'd like to keep it similar to the current, cards-only version, and If change is necessary, then I'd like to keep it simple. My main problems are:

1. How do I make movement work with every player moving their character simultaneously? Or should they move at another point? Perhaps only move during battle?

2. How do I keep a fast pace to the game if players are spread out? Right now, it moves quickly because it's always possible to target and hit any player. With movement and rooms, it's possible for someone to be far away and impossible to hit, which would reduce the game to boring cat and mouse. If the maps are too small, however, then the players will always be able to hit each other, and it will just be the current card game with unnecessary extra steps slowing it down.

3. How do weapon, item, and support pickups work? I'm not sure how to do this with people running around all of the time, and I don't think that lasting weapons (with ammo and such) are a good idea, as it's just more clutter to the game's pace.

Any insight to these or other problems would help immensely.
 
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Scott Arnone
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1. Movement could be secret. If each area of the board has X number of exits, just have them be numbered. Each player has cards with the exit numbers on them. They play their movement cards face down (including one for "Hold position" and they all flip them together and then move their pieces.

Additionally, you could have a mechanic where each player also has a color or something assigned to them. And then, along with the move order, you can select a colored card, which basically represents a "Pre-emptive target"--the player is expecting to find the Blue Player, for instance, in the location they move to. If they do, then they're ready and get an advantage in their attack against them.

2. Small board and have players only able to attack people in the same room, except in the case of special weapons. This would give people the chance to play cat and mouse and predict moves, and along with the secret movement mentioned above, could be pretty interesting and also allow for you to even make the game work with something like capture the flag.

3. Board can have specific item drop locations, and each round you roll to see which pickup zones "activate"?
 
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Chris Deliz
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InkSplat wrote:
1. Movement could be secret. If each area of the board has X number of exits, just have them be numbered. Each player has cards with the exit numbers on them. They play their movement cards face down (including one for "Hold position" and they all flip them together and then move their pieces.

Additionally, you could have a mechanic where each player also has a color or something assigned to them. And then, along with the move order, you can select a colored card, which basically represents a "Pre-emptive target"--the player is expecting to find the Blue Player, for instance, in the location they move to. If they do, then they're ready and get an advantage in their attack against them.

2. Small board and have players only able to attack people in the same room, except in the case of special weapons. This would give people the chance to play cat and mouse and predict moves, and along with the secret movement mentioned above, could be pretty interesting and also allow for you to even make the game work with something like capture the flag.

3. Board can have specific item drop locations, and each round you roll to see which pickup zones "activate"?


1. The way I see this is with rooms being large, undefined areas connected to one another. Players would just be 'in the room', rather than at a certain point in it. Exits would probably be north, south, east, and west, but there's probably a better system than using cards. I'm not really hot on printing up six sets of five cards that have to be kept in a pile and put face-down and flipped, but it might work, so I'll give it a shot. There's probably a better solution, though it still eludes me. As for the predicting movements part, I'm not really sure about how that would work, as giving players colors would become really confusing in team matches. Numbers, perhaps?

On second thought, cards might be effective if only because teammates could show their movement cards to one another in secret, thus allowing strategies to unfold.

2. I agree. Capture the Flag was one of many appeals for a room system that cards couldn't capture effectively.

3. This is a tough issue with me. Because weapons are one-time shots, it would be harsh to make players run around searching for weapons, and it would go against the main point of the game, which is for as much killing to be going on as possible. Perhaps the current Reload system will work best, if only to keep everyone at a more or less equal footing.
 
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Isaiah Tanenbaum
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I'm a big fan of dual-use cards, as in Twilight Struggle. So you could use a gun card to activate the gun, or for "movement points" which can be used to move to a different room or added to attempt to "dodge" a shot fired at you. This makes for interesting choices, and the option of attempting to "camp" a location by constantly playing gun cards, hoping to hit whoever walks by, or playing movement cards to try to stay slippery until you're ready to unleash your firepower.

It's tricky to accomplish this with a simultaneous reveal though. The most obvious solution is to give everyone a chit that has two sides (gun on one, combat boot on the other) that they slip under their card. You could accomplish the same thing with two additional cards that are returned to the hand each turn.

If you want to avoid adding a component, you could instead have them hold up their left hand in a gun or a fist, similar to the "draw" mechanic in Ca$h 'n Gun$. There's no time to calibrate a simple gesture to respond to the other players; you have to decide ahead of time and stick with it.
 
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Ryan Hackel
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Do you know about Frag yet?
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B C Z
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cerulean wrote:
Do you know about Frag yet?


I was going to suggest that he buy and play Frag before continuing.
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Chris Deliz
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cerulean wrote:
Do you know about Frag yet?


I found out about Frag about a month or so after I started on Deathmatch!. I've yet to play it, but what I've seen has not really impressed me as something that I'd like to add to Deathmatch!. I will see if my view changes after I get a chance to play the game.

As for the movement debacle, I think that I came upon a good idea that doesn't add anything extra to the game. Movement will simply be done by the speed value of the weapon. A player who plays a Shotgun, which has a speed of 5, will be able to move 5 units, attacking anyone they find on their way. The units are currently rooms, though it might change to tiles if players end up moving too quickly across the board.

I decided that moving simultaneously would just promote confusion, and just choosing between moving or attacking wouldn't fit the FPS genre at all. Since Battle is a turn-based process already, the movement ends up being easily integrated into what already exists, removing any additional complications coming from adding more steps to the gameplay. In addition, it rewards players who use slower weaponry by letting them move further in a turn. There are other things that might happen, but I need to test this out first.

Other things I'm considering with this system:
1) Whether or not players can counterattack.
2) How to keep this fast-paced.
3) How many attacks a weapon should get.
4) How to put ranges in simply.
5) How to let players without a weapon move during Battle (considering a standard movement, perhaps with a standard weapon).

 
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