Kathleen Mercury
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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Hello,

I teach strategy design to my middle school gifted students. We play a lot of games, develop themes, mechanics, objectives, and victory conditions. Now, students are developing their initial prototypes and they would really love feedback on what they are doing. Please read through their descriptions and feel free to comment, answer a student question, or post your own questions for any of the games listed. I will be sure to have them respond.

If you want to see final examples of what's been done in the past, take a look here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/596817/check-out-my-stud...

Edited to add: Geekgold will be sent to all responders! Thanks so much for your comments, my students really appreciate it.

Thanks!

Kathleen


Let's start the show.

Game Summaries


Food Truck Game Summary
My game’s theme is food trucks in a city. The objective of the game is to get the most money by going to the best city corner with the most amounts of customers. Each street block holds two tiles each. On the tiles are different amounts of costumers that are there on the edges or “street corners”. There are A, B, and C tiles. The C tiles will be the ones that are in the “Main Downtown” area and they will have the most customers. Yet, the thing about that is,( and this is where route building comes in a little), you will need certain amounts of gas tokens to get to there because it is farther away from your starting point so you will lose a lot more gas to get to that section. Then, it keeps going down onward to B (which is less city like- suburbs, more closer to you, and has less customers than C), and lastly, A (which is a more beaten down, rural area of the busy city, most closest to you, and had the least customers).
There will be four or three rounds. At the beginning of each round there will be the MATERIAL MADDNESS. At that time, players either trade their materials with other player’s materials or they use the money that they have earned from the last round of selling their food and getting money tokens.
After M ATERIAL MADDNESS, players will go out with their trucks using their gas to go to their wanted city corner. Each player goes one at a time and one you stop at your corner, you may not move to another one until everyone else has gone once and then so on until you run out of gas or you don’t want to move any more (because the more gas you save, the more money you get at the end). You will be able to block your opponents’ way. Finally you continue for three or four rounds.
The game ends after the rounds have ended and people count their left money, gas, and food. Each individual money is 2 points, each gas is 1, and each food is -1. I hope you like my game how it is so far!!!

Questions
How to do more sabotage?
How to make the MATERIAL MADDNESS better?
What are more key aspects and mechanics I can add?
How to make game better???!!!




Rain Forest Tycoon
My game is about players making a factory in the rain forest. They will send out “Me-ples” to collect resources around the area to upgrade their factory. They will compete for resources - Wood, Stone, Ore that can turn into Metal, and Coal that can turn to Diamond. They will compete to finish their factory first.
Mechanics =
Area Movement – The players will be allowed to move the pieces, only under their possession, around the board to collect resources. Players may get more pieces by hiring them.
Tile Placement – The players will place the tiles of their factory and of resources on the board. The placement of resources happens in the beginning of the game.
Trading – The players will be allowed to trade with one another on the person’s turn. Trade may only be completed if both players agree to the trade.
Victory Conditions =
The game ends when the whole board is filled up of its spaces. The victor is announced for whoever has the most points.
Each building you make has a certain amount of points. The player who has the most territory covered gets 10 extra points.
Each resource can be used for something; wood can be used for structures or fuel, stone can be for structures or tools, ETC.
This game should last 1 – 2 hours, I hope.
QUESTIONS =
What should I name this game?
What should I add to this game?




Area Conquest
This board game is about conquest. Your objective in this game is to conquer your primary area, which is assigned to you at the beginning of the game (more on that later). The end condition is the same as your victory condition. In order to complete your assignment, you will draw cards, the first mechanic, one for your primary area, one for your secondary area, and one for your tertiary area assignment. The primary card will tell you what area (A, B, C ect.) you need to conquer to win. The secondary and tertiary cards are there so players can confuse their opponents by heading into three different areas. These cards will also allow more players to interact with more people. Once you have received your area assignments, the game can really begin. I am thinking that each player will have four types of pieces. For the time being we can call them types 1, 2, 3, and 4. Most of the pieces will be type 1’s meaning they will move one space in any direction. There will be a less types 2’s than type 1’s; type 2’s will move across the board by skipping over one space in any direction. So say there is a type 1 in front of it, it can simply jump over it and onto the next square. Type 3’s will be even rarer, and can move forwards and backwards, and side to side until they hit another piece. There will be one type 4 piece, and it will be able to move as long as it wants in any direction until it hits another piece, and once it reaches that stopping point, it can move one more space in any direction during the same turn. I would also like to incorporate simultaneous action selection in my game. After each player has made one move, they will all make a move at the same time, if two players move to the same square, one of them must move from that square onto another. I would love some feedback about this and if you could answer some of my questions below I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Do you have any themes that would go well with this game?
How many pieces will each player receive and what is the ratio of types 1:2:3:4’s?
How large would the areas that are being conquered be?
Should the number of players be fixed?
If the answer to the above question is yes, then how many players do you recommend and why?




Duck Race
The objective of the game is to race your ducks to the finish line. There are eight boards with numbers 1-15 randomly placed on each one. Each player draws eight cards, and each turn you use one card, the number on the card indicates the place you move your duck to. Each round you have to place four cards down. The aim is to move your duck towards the finish line. After playing four cards, the round is over and you rotate boards, even if your duck didn’t make it to the finish line, you leave it on the board and it rotates too. After you place 4 cards and rotate you don’t pick new cards, you keep the 4 you have and play them for that board.

Once all your cards are gone or you have played 8 turns you draw enough to get you back to the eight cards.

When you do finish a board I am not sure whether to have the player win a set number of points or a ribbon, and ultimately you would win the game by collecting all of the different place ribbons or just by reaching a certain number of points?




Street Racers


This game is about getting to the finish line first. But, you don’t want to tear down the town. The game is for four players. The board is divided into hexagonal spaces. Each player has to drive his car to the finish by placing tiles down on the board to move his car forward. The car can move forward, or diagonally left or right. The tiles you lay down on the board represent different abilities. Some of the abilities include: drift pieces, slow turn pieces, traffic light pieces (to slow opponent), forward pieces (2-3-4 spaces), etc. Each player tries to get to the lapping point -- the point that a driver will turn around and head back -- and get back to the finish as quickly and carefully as he can. If you break a house or damage a building then you have to pay the owner a fine, which means you miss a turn. You can lose a race if your car “blows up” because of too much damage. A player builds up damage every time he places down a “slow turn” tile. When this tile is placed down, he has to draw a card from a pile containing damage cards, broken building cards, and a few nitrus cards, which propel you forward double the spaces,but only on forward pieces. So the object of the game is to be the champ by winning four games in a row.




See Ya Later Alligator!

My game is called See Ya Later Alligator! The theme of my game is time travel and I added alligators to add a twist. The mechanics of my game are set collection, action point allowance, and a specialty mechanic. The specialty mechanic is the act of jumping through time. My game board is an infinity sign divided into three bands parallel two the outline of the infinity sign(the three bands represent past, present, and future). Jumping from band to band represents time travel. The goal of the game is to complete mission cards and have the most points at the end of the game. The game ends when a player loses all his money or when a player has five of a certain type of mission card or three different types. Players use the money to time travel and move. Some spaces on the board have chips that have an element such as fire or metal. players collect certain chips to complete mission cards. Mission cards have different point values a toaster may be worth 2 points but a building is 4 points. The mission cards also are divided into categories such as military, architecture, basic, etc. That is my game.

Do you think I should make it a modular board?
How many types should I have for the mission cards?
Any questions?




The Five Elements

You have the power of water, fire, earth, or air and you’re trying to make buildings to start your own civilization. You must go to the temples of water, fire, earth, and air to collect elements. You will use the elements to build resources. You will use the resources to make a building. To get another worker, you must take your building to the temple of life. Along the way you can sabotage other people’s plans by making a “natural disaster”.

Mechanics:
Variable Player Powers-Everyone will choose an element. This will determine what “natural disaster” you make in the game.
Worker Placement-Players will place their workers on areas where they want to receive a certain element.
Chit Pull-Players that placed workers on an area will pull out whether they got the element or not and if so, how many.

Questions
1) I am still determining the victory conditions for my game. Should I have multiple ways to win? I was thinking that players need to build a certain amount of building or maybe bringing to life a certain amount of workers.

2) What resources should be made with the elements? What types of buildings should there be?

3) Should the game also be about supporting people in your little civilization? Should more people start to live in your civilization?

4) What should I name my bored game?

5) Any other suggestions? Indecisive




Steampunk Sabotage Factory (Working Title)

“We are now amused.”
-Queen Vicky, Supreme Overlordess of the British Empire and All of Its Territories.

Story:

In an alternative world, in the late 19th century, teddy bears build a factory town called Petite, which contain steampunk-style zeppelins, cybernetics, and golden steel.

The four most influential of these teddy bears are wealthy capitalists from four different families: Redd, Oranje, Gold, and Brown. With connections to ruthless sabotagers, and the charisma to buy anything off, they compete at each other’s throats to build the biggest industrial empire.

You are these capitalists! Which one of you will be the most successful teddy bear in Petite?

“Your Royal Highness! We insist that you intervene in this economic game!”
“Aw, forget it. Let it be.”

Objective:

The goal of this game is to accumulate the most Victoria Points (VP) worth of property. Each factory, worker, hull, warehouse, unit of money, and leftover raw good cost a certain amount of VP. This is calculated at the end of the game.

The end game is triggered when three factories reach the cap price of twenty. Once this happens, one more round is played, and after this, the game is over.

“The people are out of stuffing!”
“Let them have fluff!”

Sample Rules:


Set-Up:

At the beginning of the game, all the players (two to four) receive the following items:
-A money table (one to one hundred)
-Several tokens of their player color
-Four workers, one of each type (Sabotager, Craftsman, Clerk, Guard)
-A starter factory of their color
-A starter warehouse of their color

After that, one person will unfold the board with the grid. The person will place markers in the Price Table in each column, under the three row. The zeppelin model will place on the Zeppelin Line, at the far end of it. The zeppelin will be set up on the left side of the board, with the two end pieces (triangles) on each end of it. The raw goods pile will be placed next to it, with all raw good tiles place in the appropriate square. One of each resource will be place in each of the starter hulls.

The extra tiles; such as the factory tiles, the expansion tiles, the hull tiles, and the warehouse tiles will be place in their own piles.

Lastly, the player will place their start factories and warehouses in their own quadrant, aligned with the grid. They would then place a token on the number 10 on their money table. The rest of their pieces will be in front of them.

“Just Exactly as planned.”
-Light Gummy Bear

Questions:

There is some dissonance between other people and I about how complex is the game. In my opinion, it’s very simple and mechanical; while others are worried it’s too complicated. I have trouble saying my thoughts, so I included a rough excerpt of the rules.

Another problem is the Worker Placement mechanic I’m using. Since there’s four types of workers (Sabotager, Craftman, Guard, Clerk), and up to four players, that’ll be sixteen workers, but just by doubling that number would increase it to thirty-two, which is a lot of pieces. But using only one type of worker per player is too limiting, and abolishing the types could lead to abuse.




Sports Team Tycoon

My game is about purchasing stocks in sports teams all around the world in multiple sports. So in other words, you try to build a sports-empire based on ownership of the teams.
The game works by everyone is allowed to purchase up to 3 stocks total (per round), but only 2 stocks can be from the same team (per purchase). You purchase the stocks with money. The point of collecting the stocks is so that the ownership of each team is discovered. Each team is made up of 15 stocks, and to own a team you must have the most stocks in a team, or you can own 8 stocks and you are the automatic owner. Ownership helps because you get a bonus at the end of the game. The cards are in a deck and can say something similar to: soccer +100/Basketball -200. This means that on the grid:
Soccer 300 400 500 600
Rugby 300 400 500 600
Basketball 300 400 500 600
If a little soccer ball that marks the value of the soccer teams was on 400, and the card said plus 100, then each stock for each team in soccer would then cost 500 dollars. And for basketball, if the value is at 600, then the value of each stock for all of the Basketball teams would move down to 400. But if the basketball was at 400, it would just move down one space, to 300, because there is no 200.
To win the game, you must either own 8 out of 15 stocks in 5 out of the 8 teams in one sport, or 8 out of 15 stocks in 2 teams for each of the 4 sports. The game can also end when all of the stocks are bought.
How muck money should each player start out with?
Do you think that the owner of a team should have some type of power in the game and not just receive a bonus at the end? If so, what?
Should the range of prices per stock vary with each sport, or should they stay the same?
Should I put a minority owner?




Post-Apocalyptic Cockroaches


This game takes place in a post- nuclear war apocalypse scenario. None of the humans survived, but instead a legion of cockroaches has. You must rebuild civilization and be able to sustain a certain population.
Gain this objective with the ‘trade-or-raid’ option: If somebody leaves their land, then you can raid them by taking two of any supply they have. If you trade with someone, you can barter for supplies of their choice, but it can be any amount, from 1-20 ‘tokens’. The supplies are as follows: Food, water, building bricks, and medicine. I mentioned earlier that you would have your own land, and that is the case; the board will be divided into four sections, each person getting their own section of board. Each section would be divided into a grid, with each square of the grid representing a different resource. At the beginning of the game, you drop your cockroach game pieces onto your section of board. Where they land represents what resource you will start with. The rest you will have to trade for. All supplies have an equal worth. When it comes to winning, you also need a high population. You can increase your population at any turn, but you need a house for every cockroach. You can build houses if you have enough building bricks. Obviously there are several options as to what you can do each round, and they are as such: trade, raid, build, or breed. One of these must be done every turn.
The endgame scenario: You have collected (undetermined amount) of food, water, and have (undetermined amount) of cockroaches that are all living in a house of their own. Once this goal is obtained, you must go one round and still maintain a secure balance of supplies. Once you have completed your ‘victory round’, you will have won the game.
Random event cards will be drawn at the end of every round. These cards can help or harm you when it comes to achieving your goal. For instance, a ‘genetic mutation’ may occur in one of your cockroaches, enabling it to carry twice the amount of food. Or, chemical poisoning could occur in the water and the person with the most water could lose a cockroach. A random event card will not be drawn during the ‘victory round’.
Your cockroaches cannot die of starvation or thirst, however. Only random event cards will kill your cockroach. The medicine supply does not exist to heal your bugs, just for the hypothetical purpose of healing them. Your cockroaches cannot actually get sick.


Extortion
Welcome to Opportunity City. A sprawling metropolis plagued with crime, corruption and economic tumult. As a citizen of a city on the verge of collapse, the power and fortune are yours to take. Whether you’re a mob boss feeding your power on the crime-ridden and turbulent underground of the slums by extorting and rallying your way to the top to becoming a criminal mastermind, or whether you’re a political candidate turning the city’s downfall to your advantage through “shadier” conventions such bribery of the police force and the media to rocket yourself to fame and glory, the fate of the city is in your hands. However, amongst the city’s dark streets and hidden amidst the turmoil, there are those who seek to undermine your efforts through any means necessary and snatch the wealth and power from your hands as deception and betrayal lurk around every block…
In my game, players are trying to gain as much power and money as possible in a city. To do that, they must turn to corrupt means, such as coercion, bribery and the like. One of the main mechanics is area control. Players can spend the money that they have to basically offer individual blocks of the city protection money, thus effectively controlling that block, and if the player controls all the blocks in a district, that entire district will be his or hers. In turn, each block that the player dominates will provide the player with power and generate money and men for the player’s syndicate. Another mechanic that players must use is hand management. Players can have action cards that allow players to spend money and men to perform corrupt actions such as buying off the police force, hiring mercenaries, framing other players or dealing with suspicious media and other actions, that in turn can provide you with money, men and power as well as give you an advantage when performing other actions or coercing city blocks. These action cards can also be traded in between players should they agree to collusion. Men and money and even blocks can also be traded in between players. Players also have the mechanic of variable player powers as they can either play as a mob boss working in the slums or a public official, who each have different advantages and disadvantages. For example, a public official might be able to gain more money as they can embezzle public funds while a mob boss might be able to gain more men as the slums are full of criminals and the like. A public official might also be able to control blocks in the financial district with lower costs and a mob boss might be able to control blocks in the slums for lower costs. The game ends once all of the districts have been completely dominated by various players and whoever has the most power accumulated from their blocks and from their actions wins. However I’d still like suggestions on how I could replicate the uncertainty and secrecy involved in corruption and crime. I’m having trouble thinking of sort of a bluffing and deception mechanic that could effectively allow players to undermine other players in secret. Any suggestions would be well appreciated.




Virus

My board game, Virus (Name not final), is a game based on the theme/idea of computer hacking. I haven't decided on an exact story for the game yet. In my game, your goal is to "hack" (gain control over) and connect as many computers as possible. This is done by spending points from a limited point pool that allows for different actions while still limiting the number of actions allowed. Another way to win is to have the most action points left over at the end. This can be acheived by making various decisions in the actions taken during the game, and computers (possibly) awarding points when hacked or networked together. The third way to win is to control the computer server/router/other. This would represent a computer that could potentially influence other computers. The server being found may also trigger the end of the game. These three options will give the players multiple paths to victory, as well as allow different strategies for different types of players. The first of the three mechanics I am using in my game are a modular board with hexagonal pieces. A modular board is a board that is made out of multiple pieces that can be rearranged to create different patterns and experiences for each game. My modular board pieces will have white pieces, which cannot be used to network computers, black pieces, which can be used to network computers, the computers themselves (maybe about 15), and starting places for up to six players. The second mechanic is route/network building, which gives the game a goal that ties into the theme of computers and computer hacking. The third mechanic is an action point allowance system, which is a limited pool of points that can be spent on actions such as moving or hacking computers. This number of points will start at the same point each game, with the number decreasing when they are spent on movement/hacking computers, and increasing when a computer is hacked or networked with another computer. The action point allowance system also eliminates the luck factor that comes with dice, giving the players more choices per turn. It can also be used to determine a winner at the end of the game, based on the number of points each person has. Moving one's piece on the board will probably cost one point per space traveled, and maybe two/three to take control of a computer/connect it to other computers. However, the point numbers are flexible at this point in the game and may change. The questions I have about my game are: How many pieces would be an appropriate size for the board? I am currently play testing with about 150 paper pieces, but I think it may be too many. I am also not sure about how many action points each person should start out with. If each movement costs one point, and two/three to hack or connect a computer, what would be a reasonable action point starting number? I am also not sure what my endgame conditions should be exactly. Should the server being found immediately end the game, or end it in a few turns? Other? And lastly, my game's story is not decided either. I am considering the story of some sort of "hacker competition," or a challenge between friends, but I don't like those very much and know it could be better.




Crackdown

My game is a co-operative game where you a political leader and your country is over thrown and you are trying to escape to a safe house in an adjourning country with as many of your friends as possible before escape is made impossible.

In the game players program their move by laying down a max of 3 different planks (blue) on a hexagon board at the same time. The red dot is a guards current position. Then a card is drawn from a deck and what it says happens on the board. Then a 2 dice are rolled for each guard to determine their patrol path for the turn. One die is the direction (1 is up, 2 is up and right ect.) and the other is the distance the guard goes. I don’t know what should happen when your path crosses with a guard. There are five rounds in the game and a round ends when a card is drawn from the deck that changes the round then new cards are added and a safe house is closed. When the card is drawn in round 5 the game is over and the board wins. You win if you get a certain number of people to the safe houses.




Thanks so much for your time and ideas.
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Re: Please read through my students' game ideas and make comments and suggestions!
funkdonut wrote:
Area Conquest
This board game is about conquest. Your objective in this game is to conquer your primary area, which is assigned to you at the beginning of the game (more on that later). The end condition is the same as your victory condition. In order to complete your assignment, you will draw cards, the first mechanic, one for your primary area, one for your secondary area, and one for your tertiary area assignment. The primary card will tell you what area (A, B, C ect.) you need to conquer to win. The secondary and tertiary cards are there so players can confuse their opponents by heading into three different areas. These cards will also allow more players to interact with more people. Once you have received your area assignments, the game can really begin. I am thinking that each player will have four types of pieces. For the time being we can call them types 1, 2, 3, and 4. Most of the pieces will be type 1’s meaning they will move one space in any direction. There will be a less types 2’s than type 1’s; type 2’s will move across the board by skipping over one space in any direction. So say there is a type 1 in front of it, it can simply jump over it and onto the next square. Type 3’s will be even rarer, and can move forwards and backwards, and side to side until they hit another piece. There will be one type 4 piece, and it will be able to move as long as it wants in any direction until it hits another piece, and once it reaches that stopping point, it can move one more space in any direction during the same turn. I would also like to incorporate simultaneous action selection in my game. After each player has made one move, they will all make a move at the same time, if two players move to the same square, one of them must move from that square onto another. I would love some feedback about this and if you could answer some of my questions below I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

Do you have any themes that would go well with this game?
How many pieces will each player receive and what is the ratio of types 1:2:3:4’s?
How large would the areas that are being conquered be?
Should the number of players be fixed?
If the answer to the above question is yes, then how many players do you recommend and why?


The first theme that came to mind for me was that the pieces were marbles. Although I think this could possibly work as an abstract strategy game.

In my opinion, whether the number of players should be fixed depends on the nature of the mechanics. In your case, having different numbers of players could lead to quite different gameplay experiences due to the different frequency of landing on the same space. You can consider leaving the game to be experienced in that manner or you could also consider changing the board size or number of pieces for different numbers of players.

As for the distribution between the types for the pieces, one consideration is whether the pieces are all placed on the board from the start or if they gradually come onto the board since two types require bumping into another piece for their movement. Another would be whether having too many or too little of a certain type might pose a problem, eg. too many Type 1s clogging up your starting point or not enough pieces for your Type 3s and 4s to move around. This kind of ties back to the point of managing the space available versus the number of players and pieces.

Regarding your simultaneous action mechanism, just to clarify, is this such that every move is simultaneous or is it such that after a round of movement, there is a bonus simultaneous action move? The mechanic could be very suitable depending on the theme.

Also, how would conquering of the area work?
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Re: Please read through my students' game ideas and make comments and suggestions!
funkdonut wrote:



Crackdown

My game is a co-operative game where you a political leader and your country is over thrown and you are trying to escape to a safe house in an adjourning country with as many of your friends as possible before escape is made impossible.


Firstly, I really like your theme. It creates a clear objective, an engaging storyline and brings game mechanisms to life; making the abstract implicit.

It's nice to see such ambiguous game mechanics. While your game has a good theme it is the mechanics that makes it; the same with all games

I am a big fan of co-operative games, although they often make games more complicated as some form of artificially intelligent opposition needs to be created.

The idea of pre-programing a move is reminiscent of the game Roborally, which demonstrates the flexibility and excitement that this system can bring.

Clearly by programing your moves before the AI has moved you include both luck and elements of strategy into the game. For example, one can guess it is better to choose a path furthest away from the guards. Likewise, I can imagine there is a tactical question about whether to split up your people, thus raise the chances of losses but reduce the chances of heavy loses or to stick together.

I can't quite picture the board yet, but I can imagine a similar board to that of The Downfall of Pompeii (a map with squares on it). I'd also like to know if players are aiming to get to a certain spot on the board or multiple spots also do there positions change depending on cards?

I really like your use of a deck of cards, as I consider this an elegant game-play option. Clearly for each round a deck would need to be carefully constructed, to make sure that the round did not go on too long. I was also wondering if special cards would be included like, helpful items or negative cards like reinforcements etc.

What happens when guards discover people is an interesting choice you will have to make. I wonder whether you want them to be immediately eliminated, be placed back at the start or be able to do battle whether by dice rolls or with items?

I am not entirely sure about rolling dice as this process takes time to do and can create some anomalies and creates some problems, eg what does a 5or6 mean using a up-down-left-right matrix or what if 1 is rolled four times in a row?. Perhaps you might consider that cards have guard movements printed on them? This saves time rolling dice, removes the above problems and makes the game more elegant in my opinion. This said lots of people will argue that my suggestion reduces the randomness and unpredictability of guards, thus fun from the game.

Overall I can see your game being exciting to play and providing a high level of replayablity through the ever changing event card deck and through the modular movement of guards.

Good work!

Some questions I would like to ask you:
(I refuse to create homework for you so these are all rhetorical )

How many players would your game support?
How big is the board and how many moves may a player make?
How many characters does each player get?
Can a player be completely eliminated?
Do different characters have different values/special abilities?
Can you create a variant that allows for players to play against each other?
Can two characters be on the same square or do they block each other?




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Re: Please read through my students' game ideas and make comments and suggestions!
funkdonut wrote:
Steampunk Sabotage Factory (Working Title)

“We are now amused.”
-Queen Vicky, Supreme Overlordess of the British Empire and All of Its Territories.

Story:

In an alternative world, in the late 19th century, teddy bears build a factory town called Petite, which contain steampunk-style zeppelins, cybernetics, and golden steel.

The four most influential of these teddy bears are wealthy capitalists from four different families: Redd, Oranje, Gold, and Brown. With connections to ruthless sabotagers, and the charisma to buy anything off, they compete at each other’s throats to build the biggest industrial empire.

You are these capitalists! Which one of you will be the most successful teddy bear in Petite?

“Your Royal Highness! We insist that you intervene in this economic game!”
“Aw, forget it. Let it be.”

Objective:

The goal of this game is to accumulate the most Victoria Points (VP) worth of property. Each factory, worker, hull, warehouse, unit of money, and leftover raw good cost a certain amount of VP. This is calculated at the end of the game.

The end game is triggered when three factories reach the cap price of twenty. Once this happens, one more round is played, and after this, the game is over.

“The people are out of stuffing!”
“Let them have fluff!”

Sample Rules:


Set-Up:

At the beginning of the game, all the players (two to four) receive the following items:
-A money table (one to one hundred)
-Several tokens of their player color
-Four workers, one of each type (Sabotager, Craftsman, Clerk, Guard)
-A starter factory of their color
-A starter warehouse of their color

After that, one person will unfold the board with the grid. The person will place markers in the Price Table in each column, under the three row. The zeppelin model will place on the Zeppelin Line, at the far end of it. The zeppelin will be set up on the left side of the board, with the two end pieces (triangles) on each end of it. The raw goods pile will be placed next to it, with all raw good tiles place in the appropriate square. One of each resource will be place in each of the starter hulls.

The extra tiles; such as the factory tiles, the expansion tiles, the hull tiles, and the warehouse tiles will be place in their own piles.

Lastly, the player will place their start factories and warehouses in their own quadrant, aligned with the grid. They would then place a token on the number 10 on their money table. The rest of their pieces will be in front of them.

“Just Exactly as planned.”
-Light Gummy Bear

Questions:

There is some dissonance between other people and I about how complex is the game. In my opinion, it’s very simple and mechanical; while others are worried it’s too complicated. I have trouble saying my thoughts, so I included a rough excerpt of the rules.

Another problem is the Worker Placement mechanic I’m using. Since there’s four types of workers (Sabotager, Craftman, Guard, Clerk), and up to four players, that’ll be sixteen workers, but just by doubling that number would increase it to thirty-two, which is a lot of pieces. But using only one type of worker per player is too limiting, and abolishing the types could lead to abuse.


Genius. Pure genius.
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funkdonut wrote:
Hello,
Steampunk Sabotage Factory (Working Title)


I really like your steampunk meets vivid surrealism meets economics theme - it's a unique selling point that immediately draws my attention.

Marrying such a diverse theme to an economic game is going to be tricky task but one it is clear, from your attention to detail, you will be up to!

I think your idea shows real promise. Too often economic games are given dry or safe themes, such as historical trading, you have broken with convention and I'm sure your game will be better for it.

I like your clear decision to have one final round after three factories have been built. This allows all players an opportunity to make some last second changes. Nothing annoys me more than when a game abruptly ends and I feel like a didn't get my final shot.

funkdonut wrote:

Another problem is the Worker Placement mechanic I’m using. Since there’s four types of workers (Sabotager, Craftman, Guard, Clerk), and up to four players, that’ll be sixteen workers, but just by doubling that number would increase it to thirty-two, which is a lot of pieces. But using only one type of worker per player is too limiting, and abolishing the types could lead to abuse.


This is a classic problem, have a look at Carcassonne. The solution used by Klaus-Jürgen Wrede is to just use one piece but to distinguish it in someway: where it's placed or how it's placed.

Could you emulate this? Alternatively, why not just have a Token/chit that the piece sits on to demonstrate it's function?

When it comes to explaining your game I'm not surprised that others are struggling to understand it or suggesting it is complex. It's always very difficult to explain euro games or games that centre on an economic engine without the pieces in front of you.

I really like your vision of simple and mechanical gameplay, as this concept is at the heart of any good euro. Your design experience reminds me of the very popular game Puerto Rico, which is both simple and mechanical but utterly baffling until you have the game in front of you.

So I would try to make a simple prototype as soon as possible; as it will help you explain and refine what is already an exciting and unique idea. Likewise you're a skilled writer/communicator so why not try to write down your rules/game explanation before presenting to the class?

Some questions I would like to ask you:
(I refuse to create homework for you so these are all rhetorical )

I'd love to know the functions of the four workers, the cost of buildings/resources, how income is gained and more details on how a turn would work.

Also, is there a game you have played that has inspired your design and if so what is it?
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NateStraight wrote:
funkdonut wrote:
Steampunk Sabotage Factory (Working Title)

“We are now amused.”
-Queen Vicky, Supreme Overlordess of the British Empire and All of Its Territories.

Story:

In an alternative world, in the late 19th century, teddy bears build a factory town called Petite, which contain steampunk-style zeppelins, cybernetics, and golden steel.

The four most influential of these teddy bears are wealthy capitalists from four different families: Redd, Oranje, Gold, and Brown. With connections to ruthless sabotagers, and the charisma to buy anything off, they compete at each other’s throats to build the biggest industrial empire.

You are these capitalists! Which one of you will be the most successful teddy bear in Petite?

“Your Royal Highness! We insist that you intervene in this economic game!”
“Aw, forget it. Let it be.”

Objective:

The goal of this game is to accumulate the most Victoria Points (VP) worth of property. Each factory, worker, hull, warehouse, unit of money, and leftover raw good cost a certain amount of VP. This is calculated at the end of the game.

The end game is triggered when three factories reach the cap price of twenty. Once this happens, one more round is played, and after this, the game is over.

“The people are out of stuffing!”
“Let them have fluff!”

Sample Rules:


Set-Up:

At the beginning of the game, all the players (two to four) receive the following items:
-A money table (one to one hundred)
-Several tokens of their player color
-Four workers, one of each type (Sabotager, Craftsman, Clerk, Guard)
-A starter factory of their color
-A starter warehouse of their color

After that, one person will unfold the board with the grid. The person will place markers in the Price Table in each column, under the three row. The zeppelin model will place on the Zeppelin Line, at the far end of it. The zeppelin will be set up on the left side of the board, with the two end pieces (triangles) on each end of it. The raw goods pile will be placed next to it, with all raw good tiles place in the appropriate square. One of each resource will be place in each of the starter hulls.

The extra tiles; such as the factory tiles, the expansion tiles, the hull tiles, and the warehouse tiles will be place in their own piles.

Lastly, the player will place their start factories and warehouses in their own quadrant, aligned with the grid. They would then place a token on the number 10 on their money table. The rest of their pieces will be in front of them.

“Just Exactly as planned.”
-Light Gummy Bear

Questions:

There is some dissonance between other people and I about how complex is the game. In my opinion, it’s very simple and mechanical; while others are worried it’s too complicated. I have trouble saying my thoughts, so I included a rough excerpt of the rules.

Another problem is the Worker Placement mechanic I’m using. Since there’s four types of workers (Sabotager, Craftman, Guard, Clerk), and up to four players, that’ll be sixteen workers, but just by doubling that number would increase it to thirty-two, which is a lot of pieces. But using only one type of worker per player is too limiting, and abolishing the types could lead to abuse.


Genius. Pure genius.


Absolutely seconded, the theme gives me giggles and makes me love it. Maybe have different workers differnet types of bears? (Crafty gummer bear sabotagers!)

As for the worker distribution problem, maybe you can swap out X each turn for another role, so while there's not that many to place ont he board there's alot of flexibility?

I don't know, I'm not a euro gamer really and Victoria point(love it) factories usually make me sleep, but this theme is awesome.

My strong recomendation would be to have the game based on the theme alot stronger than most euros because the theme is genius.

For instance, from what I gathered, a zepplin arrives each turn (or an order for one) that the players need to patch up with factories for money? Why not attach fluff text to that like having a royal barge or a battered transport etc. etc.
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funkdonut wrote:
Post-Apocalyptic Cockroaches

This game takes place in a post- nuclear war apocalypse scenario. None of the humans survived, but instead a legion of cockroaches has. You must rebuild civilization and be able to sustain a certain population.
Gain this objective with the ‘trade-or-raid’ option: If somebody leaves their land, then you can raid them by taking two of any supply they have. If you trade with someone, you can barter for supplies of their choice, but it can be any amount, from 1-20 ‘tokens’. The supplies are as follows: Food, water, building bricks, and medicine. I mentioned earlier that you would have your own land, and that is the case; the board will be divided into four sections, each person getting their own section of board. Each section would be divided into a grid, with each square of the grid representing a different resource. At the beginning of the game, you drop your cockroach game pieces onto your section of board. Where they land represents what resource you will start with. The rest you will have to trade for. All supplies have an equal worth. When it comes to winning, you also need a high population. You can increase your population at any turn, but you need a house for every cockroach. You can build houses if you have enough building bricks. Obviously there are several options as to what you can do each round, and they are as such: trade, raid, build, or breed. One of these must be done every turn.
The endgame scenario: You have collected (undetermined amount) of food, water, and have (undetermined amount) of cockroaches that are all living in a house of their own. Once this goal is obtained, you must go one round and still maintain a secure balance of supplies. Once you have completed your ‘victory round’, you will have won the game.
Random event cards will be drawn at the end of every round. These cards can help or harm you when it comes to achieving your goal. For instance, a ‘genetic mutation’ may occur in one of your cockroaches, enabling it to carry twice the amount of food. Or, chemical poisoning could occur in the water and the person with the most water could lose a cockroach. A random event card will not be drawn during the ‘victory round’.
Your cockroaches cannot die of starvation or thirst, however. Only random event cards will kill your cockroach. The medicine supply does not exist to heal your bugs, just for the hypothetical purpose of healing them. Your cockroaches cannot actually get sick.


Gameboard represents an old human town, perhaps, with lots of rubble to build new cockroach houses from?

Can the cockroaches conquer other roach's land, or only build on their own?

How many cockroaches do you start with? What is the maximum number of roaches that can be born, since you need a high population, but you don't want an enormous number of counters/pieces?

How often will random events kill off roaches? How long do random events last--remainder of the game or just a turn or two?

Great idea--reminds me of the old role-playing game Gamma World from the 1970s, but that did have humans as well as mutations. What about a random event where humans return (from space, perhaps) with bug spray, rapidly ending the game.
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monkeyhandz wrote:
Quick questions:

When are you going to pass these comments onto the students - Tomorrow, next week, ongoing etc?

How old are the kids?

Longer question:
What games have the kid's seen or been discussed in the classroom?


Middle school kids (ages 12-14). They will see these on an on-going basis.

They have played a wide variety of games--Ticket to Ride, Fossil, Hollywood Blockbuster, Survive, Carcassonne, Pandemic, Hey That's My Fish, Wasabi, Cosmic Encounter, Detroit Cleveland Grand Prix, plus a lot more. Each student was assigned a game to take home, learn, and teach to the others.
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funkdonut wrote:
Hello,

Sports Team Tycoon

My game is about purchasing stocks in sports teams all around the world in multiple sports. So in other words, you try to build a sports-empire based on ownership of the teams.


Firstly, I love stock market games. Secondly, they are probably the most difficult to make appealing, which is why I think your theme of trying to create a sports-empire is so good.

Following this line of reasoning, any way you can add to this theme would be a positive. That's why I think your idea of special powers, depending upon what team you control, is clever. What powers can you come up with?

I think it was smart of you to place limits on the number of stocks a player can buy a turn. This stops the richest player from unduly influencing the game and forces players into a long term strategy.

The game I would most recommend you look at is the 1972 game Speculate, it's a very simple stock market game (it's on BGG as are it's rules).

Deciding upon the number of stock options, their maximum/minimum values and how much cash a player should start with is going to be tricky. I mention speculate, not only because it has a great design but because they got their values wrong, meaning that despite the design the game is highly flawed(IMO). My advice would be to build a quick prototype and play a few hands till you decide what's best.

Some questions I would like to ask you:
(I refuse to create homework for you so these are all rhetorical )

How will players gain income?: Do they get a dividend from what they own? Or do they have to sell stock to make money? When can they gain income?

Are the market cards drawn randomly or are players given a hand of cards? The latter would give them an opportunity to influence the market in a more meaningful way, which might make things more exciting and add another layer of strategy.

Do players start with some random shares?
Do players have to play open so everyone can see their money/shares or closed?
How many players is your game for? Will you have to tweak values with different numbers?

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funkdonut wrote:
Hello,


Virus

My board game, Virus (Name not final), is a game based on the theme/idea of computer hacking.


Wow what a fantastic undertaking. I presume you work for the board game company Fantasy Flight and this game has been 3 years in the making?

I really like your theme. The only IT game I can think of is Netrunner, which while good is more than a little dated now. I think choosing the theme of hacking and computer networks is very clever because it fits the abstract nature that underpins all board games.

Your game mechanic of using VPs as APs is quite an exciting idea. Although I wonder whether it would be possible to end with less than you started with or run out of APs midway through the game?

Overall it sounds like you have thought a good deal about building re-playability into the game through providing multiple paths to victory and a modular board.

Deciding upon how big the board should be will no doubt be difficult. 150 paper pieces does sound a lot. I'm sure you'll know what right with more play testing. Once you figure out the board size I guess you will also be able to decide upon how many APs players start with.

I think your story lines sound good - perhaps it's worth thinking about why people might hack a computer network; espionage, to stop a defensive/offensive system, revenge, etc.

I'm a little unsure of what the board looks like at the moment (just because it's tricky visualise without pictures). Can players build their own connections or do they have to follow the connections that are on their modular boards? Likewise can players claim connections/computers or are they shared? Will it be possible to block opponents from sections of the board?

How does scoring work - do different computers have different values?
Will there be any special rule breaking technologies/events?
How large a factor will luck be in this game?


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Quote:
Rain Forest Tycoon
My game is about players making a factory in the rain forest. They will send out “Me-ples” to collect resources around the area to upgrade their factory. They will compete for resources - Wood, Stone, Ore that can turn into Metal, and Coal that can turn to Diamond. They will compete to finish their factory first.
Mechanics =
Area Movement – The players will be allowed to move the pieces, only under their possession, around the board to collect resources. Players may get more pieces by hiring them.
Tile Placement – The players will place the tiles of their factory and of resources on the board. The placement of resources happens in the beginning of the game.
Trading – The players will be allowed to trade with one another on the person’s turn. Trade may only be completed if both players agree to the trade.
Victory Conditions =
The game ends when the whole board is filled up of its spaces. The victor is announced for whoever has the most points.
Each building you make has a certain amount of points. The player who has the most territory covered gets 10 extra points.
Each resource can be used for something; wood can be used for structures or fuel, stone can be for structures or tools, ETC.
This game should last 1 – 2 hours, I hope.
QUESTIONS =
What should I name this game?
What should I add to this game?


I'd almost be inclined to go the other way.
You actually have more of a villain scenario here. (Not that I'm a tree hugger.)
But it might be interesting to take this one from the animals' perspective. They're developing ways to shut down the factory before the forest is abolished.
That sounds quite fun. (Like a certain movie that was recently released.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiOyRyd5byI&feature=player_de...

Your student might be going a different way with this, in which case you might look at mechanics in games like Settlers of Catan, Agricola, Power Grid, etc.
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What a great idea! I only wished we would have had something like this as kids.

I think this is pretty cool and so I wanted to comment on each. No need to send me Ggold but if you could do us a favor and keep us posted (maybe send us each a private message) of the progress or the completed projects that would be great,

For now I've only gotten through maybe half of the entries but I'll post my thoughts on the rest later...


funkdonut wrote:

Food Truck Game Summary


Initial Thoughts:

I’m not sure if we are getting the full picture here but I think you are on to something. If I understand correctly the map is created with (randomly?) placed tiles with customers at each of the 4 corners; these representing city blocks and with C blocks placed the furthest distance from the players’ starting area and each corner can support a finite number of food purchases per round.

During Material Madness there is the purchasing/trading of materials which so far can be narrowed down to money or gas.

So you have some components of a pick-up delivery/route game (Himalaya, Merchant of Venus, Elfenland) as well as a trade game (China Town, Colosseum) and maybe even an action point allowance game (Power Grid: Factory Manager), thus I encourage you to read about games like the ones mentioned above and try and get some tips from them. If you think of gas as action points the idea of purchasing action points in a game is unique and a strength you should build upon.

A main problem I see is resolving who is the first to play as it seems like that player would have a clear advantage (I.E. they can immediately go to the best spot, block the other players, sell to the highest value/rarest customer). Other games circumvent this advantage in either giving the first player some kind of penalty, having all players bid for turn order (the 1st player has to pay the most) or both. This is something you should consider.

Other things to think about is whether or not there is more than one type of food and maybe customers who will only buy certain foods (and/or whether certain foods are more profitable than others.)

funkdonut wrote:

How to do more sabotage?

If you introduce a bid and/or more different types of food, players can additionally bid to foil one another's plans.

funkdonut wrote:

How to make the MATERIAL MADDNESS better?

You say this happens first? What about the first round, does everyone start with just money and need to determine what to do from here? Personally I would find it more interesting if I had more of a choice than deciding how much gas to purchase vs. how much food. Also, why would I trade?

funkdonut wrote:

What are more key aspects and mechanics I can add?


Some kind of bid may work well. There needs to be more random elements also otherwise it becomes a puzzle game of figuring out which set route is the most profitable.

funkdonut wrote:

How to make game better???!!!


Theme. Think about it, how often do you buy food from a truck on a street corner? What if each player ran a food stand (hot dog stands, pizza stands, etc.) Then, not only could you move the stands but you would also need your trucks to deliver to them to make sure they stay stocked.

funkdonut wrote:

Rain Forest Tycoon


Initial Thoughts:

There are a few things I may want to know more about. You mention diamonds in the beginning which initially made me think "what would the purposes of a diamond be?" Another diamond mine game would be cool (Cavum comes to mind). It seems like you would be using up resources/depleting them so the efficient use of these resources, including workers, would be paramount. What would this factory be for and is there a specific reason it needs to be in the Rain Forest (which initially alludes to some kind of conservation theme). Also, why would you get more points for having a larger factory?

I am assuming you have already looked into the game Settlers of Catan or if not you should as the games feel similar. Otherwise I do admit the building-a-factory part of your game had me scratching my head a bit but I do have some ideas of where you might go. (A) On one hand you could have it like an engine-building type game with a snowball effect. As you build your factory you can get more resources which allow you to build more onto your factory and get even more resources (check out the game Phoenicia). To go with your theme then I initially thought of the tale of the Lifted Lorax by Dr. Seuss, take a look at it to see what I mean but here is a factory machine that gobbles up a forest. (B) Another way I see it is as a base-building game, almost like a Real Time Strategy (RTS) video game. Here players would be building a base (the factory) and sending out units for a purpose (such as claiming resources). There could be an element of your units vs. other player units competing for the same space then. See if your teacher will let you play a game like War Craft 3 to see if this helps with this description.

funkdonut wrote:

What should I name this game?

That ultimately depends on where the final game leads you. I would take "rain forest" out of the title however. If you go with a diamond mine idea you could go with something to the effect of "Solomon’s Diamonds" or the like. Otherwise there are a lot of "factory" titled games so it will be your challenge to think up something gripping and unique.

funkdonut wrote:

What should I add to this game?


Moreso maybe try and envision how the game will play out. I think an RTS type game might be interesting (look up the Star Craft board game perhaps). I’m not sure I would include trade as you probably have enough here without it.

funkdonut wrote:

Area Conquest


Initial Thoughts:

There is a lot of potential here but let me speak (write?) my thoughts out loud as I wrap my head around the "conquer your primary area" end mechanic. The first thing that comes to mind is Chinese Checkers. Now here you throw in a twist that the area each player is going for is a secret. And really you would only need 1 card per player describing their objective (and it would be up to them to fool their opponent into thinking their card was different).

For more ideas on pieces that move randomly and how it affects gameplay, the game Hive and Shogi come to mind and you should review those. Otherwise what you are talking about specifically isn’t exactly an area control game; area control games typically give players advantages for holding certain areas (not win them the game immediately once they have 1 area). So you could look at it as a game like Condottiere where you have to get and hold multiple areas to win, you could look at it like a game like Chaos in the Old World where held regions gain you points, or even a game like Samurai where a region gives you some kind of item or set you need to collect.

Again, I think your strength is in how open you started your design and the challenge will be working out the details. I like the random piece movements and I think you can expand upon it.

funkdonut wrote:

Do you have any themes that would go well with this game?


This is the $10,000 question and one that may decide where your game goes so you should be the one who ultimately makes the final say. Personally, I see it as a commando or Indian type game.

funkdonut wrote:

How many pieces will each player receive and what is the ratio of types 1:2:3:4’s?


I might suggest having more than 4 different types. I would also absolutely rethink how each piece moves/interacts with other pieces or what powers they might have. (again, look into Hive and... just thought of it... Arimaa may be another game for you to look into. The idea of one piece being able to "pull" another piece may interest you.)

Of the most powerful type, 1 is always a good number. For all other pieces you need to think that your number selection will have a multiplying effect with each player and will cause some issues with the board size. Chinese checkers perhaps has one of the best ratios of 60 total pieces (with 6 players, 10 pieces each) on a playing space of 121. If you go with 4 players and make your ratio bigger you could realistically have 20 pieces each on a 320 space board using indents like CC, Squares or even hexes. I wouldn’t make it any bigger than that. Otherwise you could have each piece have a unique (and maybe even balanced power-wise) movement and each player only has ONE. Then think of it like a platoon where a player has 6 different pieces, moving uniquely that need to coordinate their powers for an objective (IE gaining the area).

funkdonut wrote:

How large would the areas that are being conquered be?


This is very dependent on your final numbers. Again I would reference Chinese checkers which demands all players pieces must fit inside an area and balance that with how hard it would be for your pieces to do that and reduce the number needed accordingly. You don’t want it to be too easy, you don’t want it to be impossible, and you don’t want it so that another player can block you too easily.

funkdonut wrote:

Should the number of players be fixed?


Maybe you should start with a 2 player prototype and see if you can expand from there. From 2-4 players? Take a look at the game The Bridges of Shangri-la to see if it helps.

funkdonut wrote:

If the answer to the above question is yes, then how many players do you recommend and why?


No more than 4 with your idea or else the board/play area may get to big or the play area will get too bogged down.

funkdonut wrote:

Duck Race


Initial Thoughts:
I am not sure if I am seeing exactly how a duck crosses the finish line. In this scenario, if one or more of the numbers represent being "over the finish line," then luck plays a huge factor as a player is either going to randomly draw those numbers or they are not. I am also not exactly seeing how, if you can’t play a number that gets your duck across a finish line, how any other number helps you or how rotating might help.

However, for tactical placement games with a rotation mechanic I thought of Pentago which you should look into. Oddly enough, you may also want to check out a game called Ducks in a Row (in this game you are trying to get your ducks to line up.) Another race game that comes to mind when you described your game is Lemming Mafia. As a side note, when I think of the ducks you describe, at a carnival let’s say, I think of that game where you have to pick up the right duck and not necessarily race it.

funkdonut wrote:

Street Racers


Initial Thoughts:
I like it. I have some thoughts though and while I would keep the tile laying idea you want to make sure you also have a premade board, let’s say with 2 streets on opposite ends as a "start" and "finish" as well as obstacles players have to place tiles around. Each player draws a hand of tiles and can either play a tile or move their piece according to the rules of the tile they are on. There may be more than one route going at any one time, your roads may have more than one turn, and you would try to place good tiles in front of yourself while placing bad tiles in front of your opponents.

For your idea, definitely check out Drakon. Be careful of player elimination rules as these tend to be unpopular with people.

funkdonut wrote:

See Ya Later Alligator!


Initial Thoughts:

The idea is very artistic but time travel is a hard mechanic to develop. Here is the gotcha: how does what you do in one timeline affect the other timelines? If it doesn’t, you have to give me, the player, a reason for why I think of this as a time travel game and for that you’re going to have to look at the game Khronos. Timeline might also be a good game to check out.

One idea would be for the outside, or future, ring be the track that the active player pawn can actually collect things. It is up the Past pawn to "push" a resource to the appropriate Present area and for the Present pawn to likewise "push" that same resource to the future.

funkdonut wrote:

Do you think I should make it a modular board?


Again, this makes me think of Khronos. The advantage would be a clear separation of past, present and future however you first have to work out how these parts of the board interact before coming up with the best design.

funkdonut wrote:

How many types should I have for the mission cards?


Container is the game that first comes to mind here; maybe all cards have the same resources but are worth different points depending on which one you have

funkdonut wrote:

Any questions?


Do all players start with a finite amount of money? If so I find that a bit problematic in that you would essentially have to plan out your entire game from the start. I’m not sure I like the idea of an end condition of one of the players running out of money either. Otherwise do players get more money and if so how? Can players interact with one another and spoil each other’s plans? Also, if you are going to include alligators, can you find a way specifically that alligators should be included vs. using any other type of piece?

funkdonut wrote:

The Five Elements


Initial Thoughts:
This sounds like Stone Age meets Avatar so I hope that was what you were going for. I like worker placement games but almost all of them involve some sort of "get their first=block other player from getting the action" type mechanic. It would be interesting to see how you work around that using natural disasters. Balancing the players’ powers will also be a trick.

You may want to look into Cyclades for some ideas on variable player powers and/or look at the creatures. Caylus, Pillars of the Earth, and Stone Age are natural places to look at other worker placement games. How do the buildings help you toward your goals?

funkdonut wrote:

1) I am still determining the victory conditions for my game. Should I have multiple ways to win? I was thinking that players need to build a certain amount of building or maybe bringing to life a certain amount of workers.


I like the idea of multiple ways to win or maybe, like Race for the Galaxy, building a certain number of buildings is an end condition. I also like the idea of population as a victory condition as I don’t see a lot of games that have this.

funkdonut wrote:

2) What resources should be made with the elements? What types of buildings should there be?


If there are 4 main elements, and if your combinations include any 2, any 3, or all 4 types then there are 11 different combinations you can make. Make sure the building that uses all 4 is the most powerful/worth the most. As for what to name each building, maybe it would help to think that you don’t have to limit yourself to "just" making buildings and instead you could make anything (volcanoes and trees, spirits, etc.)

funkdonut wrote:

3) Should the game also be about supporting people in your little civilization? Should more people start to live in your civilization?


Yes and, if one of your goals is to have increasing population, yes.

funkdonut wrote:

4) What should I name my bored game?


You should definitely not name it "The Bored Game." Personally I like "The Five Elements."

funkdonut wrote:

5) Any other suggestions? Indecisive


It does seem like there needs to be more places for workers to be able to go. Can workers use the buildings? If so, look into Le Havre for ideas with that.








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XendoBreckett wrote:


I'd almost be inclined to go the other way.
You actually have more of a villain scenario here. (Not that I'm a tree hugger.)
But it might be interesting to take this one from the animals' perspective. They're developing ways to shut down the factory before the forest is abolished.
That sounds quite fun. (Like a certain movie that was recently released.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QiOyRyd5byI&feature=player_de...



Several of the game ideas here could provide a focus for ethical issues as they explore areas of human behaviour that produce losers as well as winners.

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funkdonut wrote:

Rain Forest Tycoon
What should I name this game?

I may be misunderstanding some of the mechanics, but it seems like eventually the board will fill up with factories. So as is, I would name the game something like "Progress?" or "Deforestation".

funkdonut wrote:

Rain Forest Tycoon
What should I add to this game?

I think it would be interesting to have a resource balancing aspect to the game. Possibly a way that you could claim a game resource space and collect a small amount of resources each turn, or you could collect a larger amount but it would destroy that area of rain forest and it would no longer produce resources. This would allow players to make some come-from-behind type moves but at the expense of the environment. You could also limit the amount of environmental destruction a company is allowed to do, so they would have to choose wisely when they want to strip a board space of it's resources permanently.

If you want to keep things more along the original lines you had (collecting resources to make buildings for your factory) perhaps you could set a minimum distance between buildings so the board doesn't completely fill up, but the available locations to build does.

Good luck with your game, I hope this helps!

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I am going to show my students today the comments so far! They are going to be so excited! Thanks so much for all your helpful thoughts and comments, and please keep them coming!

My goal is to keep this dialogue going as students work on their games throughout the next quarter through playtesting and final prototype development, and hopefully some of them will be print and play as well.

BGG is awesome!!!!!!!!
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funkdonut wrote:
Hello,

Extortion
Welcome to Opportunity City. A sprawling metropolis plagued with crime, corruption and economic tumult. As a citizen of a city on the verge of collapse, the power and fortune are yours to take.


I really like your introduction, already I can see this is a very dark but engaging theme. It reminds me of many of the dystopian cities in comic books; Gotham City springs to mind. A very nice macabre vision that would no doubt interest many.

I think your choice of setting an area control game around urban blocks is a really good idea. The uniformity of urban cities lends itself very well to the abstract traditions of the area control mechanic and vice versa - Good work!

Developing a board around blocks that make up larger districts is a really neat idea and I could see it creating some very interesting game play. Including a mechanism that gives extra rewards for owning whole districts is a great idea and reminds me of Risk. This would also create some interesting tactical options: do I continue to expand into unclaimed areas or do I attack someone else in order to stop them getting the district bonus.

Deciding upon cards to control actions is a really clever and elegant game play choice. I can imagine you coming up with all sorts of cards that give normal and special abilities. This would make every game different while adding a nice measure of luck, hand building and re-playability to the game.

The only thing I might suggest is that you create the core cards first before creating too many special/complicated options. I think your choice of providing rewards for ownership of blocks and districts throughout the game is clever as it encourages players to be aggressive rather than hiding in one corner.

I always like games that include both destructive and constructive engagement with other players, so including a trading option adds value in my book. I wonder if you might have to set some limits to protect against unbalanced trades?

Your end game condition, when all blocks are claimed, creates both positive and potentially negative consequences. On the positive this provides a dominant player an interesting option, to quickly end the game before they get ganged up on. Likewise it means an end to the game is always assured. On the negative side what if the player who started first ends the game, would this not be unfair as the other players got one less turn?

I really like your idea of having different character abilities although I wonder whether having only two is enough and how these are assigned/picked? Having special characters would allow for more re-playability but may make the game more complicated to play and design.


funkdonut wrote:

I’m having trouble thinking of sort of a bluffing and deception mechanic that could effectively allow players to undermine other players in secret. Any suggestions would be well appreciated.


A bluffing/deception is a great idea. I note you have played cosmic encounter; could you emulate this system and have cards with certain numbers on them? When a player wants to capture a block from a rival, both players put in X number of men and then place one card down face down before reveling and adding the numbers together.

This way cards have dual functions of providing special abilities and giving a value in combat. Thus players would have to tactically decide how they were going to use their cards: for combat or actions.

It would also create a metagame where you are trying to figure out what cards other players have. For example if someone just used the card with a high combat value for an action does this mean they have other high combat cards or not???

Overall it seems like a really exciting and well-designed game to me.

I have lots of questions for you:
(These are all rhetorical, I refuse to create homework )


How can you take blocks from others?
How is power calculated?
Will there be any special blocks that give additional attributes?
What do players start with?
Can a claimed block ever return to neutral?
When are men important – what is their function?
Why is money important – what is it's function?
How do players get new cards?
How many cards can a player play per turn?
Does your game include player elimination?
Will you have a standard balanced board or a randomised modular board?
How will you demonstrate on the board who owns what?


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funkdonut wrote:
Virus
My board game, Virus (Name not final), is a game based on the theme/idea of computer hacking. I haven't decided on an exact story for the game yet. In my game, your goal is to "hack" (gain control over) and connect as many computers as possible. This is done by spending points from a limited point pool that allows for different actions while still limiting the number of actions allowed. Another way to win is to have the most action points left over at the end. This can be acheived by making various decisions in the actions taken during the game, and computers (possibly) awarding points when hacked or networked together. The third way to win is to control the computer server/router/other. This would represent a computer that could potentially influence other computers. The server being found may also trigger the end of the game. These three options will give the players multiple paths to victory, as well as allow different strategies for different types of players. The first of the three mechanics I am using in my game are a modular board with hexagonal pieces. A modular board is a board that is made out of multiple pieces that can be rearranged to create different patterns and experiences for each game. My modular board pieces will have white pieces, which cannot be used to network computers, black pieces, which can be used to network computers, the computers themselves (maybe about 15), and starting places for up to six players. The second mechanic is route/network building, which gives the game a goal that ties into the theme of computers and computer hacking. The third mechanic is an action point allowance system, which is a limited pool of points that can be spent on actions such as moving or hacking computers. This number of points will start at the same point each game, with the number decreasing when they are spent on movement/hacking computers, and increasing when a computer is hacked or networked with another computer. The action point allowance system also eliminates the luck factor that comes with dice, giving the players more choices per turn. It can also be used to determine a winner at the end of the game, based on the number of points each person has. Moving one's piece on the board will probably cost one point per space traveled, and maybe two/three to take control of a computer/connect it to other computers. However, the point numbers are flexible at this point in the game and may change. The questions I have about my game are: How many pieces would be an appropriate size for the board? I am currently play testing with about 150 paper pieces, but I think it may be too many. I am also not sure about how many action points each person should start out with. If each movement costs one point, and two/three to hack or connect a computer, what would be a reasonable action point starting number? I am also not sure what my endgame conditions should be exactly. Should the server being found immediately end the game, or end it in a few turns? Other? And lastly, my game's story is not decided either. I am considering the story of some sort of "hacker competition," or a challenge between friends, but I don't like those very much and know it could be better.

I like the idea behind this one. You ask about changing the story a bit. Maybe something like the Stuxnet worm (which the origin is speculation). You are working for a government agency to develop a computer virus/worm that will destroy a terrorist's computer network before they are able to develop nuclear weapons (or something like that).
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Quote:
See Ya Later Alligator!

My game is called See Ya Later Alligator! The theme of my game is time travel and I added alligators to add a twist. The mechanics of my game are set collection, action point allowance, and a specialty mechanic. The specialty mechanic is the act of jumping through time. My game board is an infinity sign divided into three bands parallel two the outline of the infinity sign(the three bands represent past, present, and future). Jumping from band to band represents time travel. The goal of the game is to complete mission cards and have the most points at the end of the game. The game ends when a player loses all his money or when a player has five of a certain type of mission card or three different types. Players use the money to time travel and move. Some spaces on the board have chips that have an element such as fire or metal. players collect certain chips to complete mission cards. Mission cards have different point values a toaster may be worth 2 points but a building is 4 points. The mission cards also are divided into categories such as military, architecture, basic, etc. That is my game.

Do you think I should make it a modular board?
How many types should I have for the mission cards?
Any questions?


Re modular: I didn't know infinity was modular , but I guess that you'd make the board bigger for more players or something. another choice could be to reduce the required mission points for victory. It depends on movenment rules etc too but this isn't really specified so I can't really say if modular was better than a single board.

Re Missions: Mission cards could be divided in a serious manner, so that would be technological, cultural, biological etc.
OR you could take a less serious look at it and go the way that Chrononauts does their missions.
I can't give you an exact figure for the number of missions cause I'm not a designer just some guy and wether the balance is to be found at 3 vs 5 or 4 vs 7 or some such thing, playtesting will tell I guess.

The other problem I can see is that if the balance in points isn't right you could still lose even if you have three different things
For example:

I collected:
a laser rifle (tech; future) 2 points
a T-rex egg (biology; past) 2 points
the NY times of 3-11-11 (culture; present) 1 point
John Doe collected
a laser rifle (tech; future) 2 points
a M16 assault rifle (tech; present) 2 points
a .45 pistol (tech; present) 2 points

John doe hasn't completed his five goals(tech) but he has won but playtesting will sort stuff like that out

now for my final question but I think the most important one: What's up with the alligator?
apart from the fact that it adds a "twist" and works well as a title it's not tied in with the mechanics at all unless you didn't specify to add mystery ninja

Does it eat you?
Does it eat trophies?
Can It time travel as well?
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Just as an aside, I think this is a really cool project. I've typed out some basic thoughts/questions for some of the games (just kinda whatever came to me), and I hope that's helpful. I may have more later for some of the other games.



Food truck I like this idea, have some questions. Do the tiles all get played before the game starts? If so, one way you could make more sabatoge (like you wondered) is to have each player start in a certain corner and have the players themselves (in turns) play the tiles to make the board. That way the game is random each time, and the amount of fuel to get to certain corners varies. And it opens up interesting strategies of blocking your opponent's turn.

Area Conquest I like that this seems almost like a chess variant in some ways (with different pieces and different movements). I also like the idea of the simultaneous action. I might suggest for that finding some way that players can choose their action (maybe by writing down or picking what square they choose to go to from a deck of cards) so that they don't 'read' what the other players are doing before they move. Does that make sense? That way the moves are really made at the same time.

Street Racers This seems interesting too. Just wondering, do the cars all have to take the same track, or can they choose their own path? I'm just thinking you could structure this so that players can lay 'sabatoge' tiles on one another at times (making players behind or ahead of them miss a turn, or else go around a problem area), which would make it tense.

Five Elements Just one quick thought here. You might consider making some buildings that require multiple elements so that you can include trading (or stealing, as you decide) between players.

Sports Team Tycoon I think your question about the owner of a team having some power in the game might be intersting. I'm thinking if players who owned a team (or a lot of stock in a sport) could invest money to make the card draws more favorable, that might be interesting. (i.e., pay a certain amount so that any baseball card is +50 to whatever the card says)

Post-Apocalyptic Cockroaches I'll admit, the idea of a bunch of cockroach houses creeps me out a bit, but I like the design. Just one question. Is there a way to scavange for resources, or are all the needed resources on the table at the start of the game (and just needed to be traded-or-raided in appropriate amounts?

Extortion I like the underhanded theme you have going here. When a block is taken over, can another player take it back by force or persuasion? You're right that the deception element is difficult, but I think it could be really cool. I don't have any suggestions for that yet, but I'll keep thinking about it.

Virus I think the modular game board is a perfect fit for this game, I think it could make for a very cool 'map' of computer connections. I also really like how you get more actions when you take over more computers. I'm wondering if you've given thought to allowing other players options to sabatoge by maybe re-arranging tiles or taking over opponent's computers. I guess that depends on how competetive you'd like the game to be.













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NEW IDEA:
We have PnP design contests here all the time.
Why not create a CLOSED Entry GeekList just for your kids' designs, and we can vote for our favorites. (Give the winner some extra credit or something.) The kids would need to assemble their artwork, scan it (if handdrawn), and use a PDF printer like CutePDF to make it available for us to try.
It would also allow us to give some positive feedback to your kids.
Deadline would probably need to be 2 weeks before class ends, to give us enough time to choose the winner.
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Extortion
Welcome to Opportunity City. A sprawling metropolis plagued with crime, corruption and economic tumult. As a citizen of a city on the verge of collapse, the power and fortune are yours to take. Whether you’re a mob boss feeding your power on the crime-ridden and turbulent underground of the slums by extorting and rallying your way to the top to becoming a criminal mastermind, or whether you’re a political candidate turning the city’s downfall to your advantage through “shadier” conventions such bribery of the police force and the media to rocket yourself to fame and glory, the fate of the city is in your hands. However, amongst the city’s dark streets and hidden amidst the turmoil, there are those who seek to undermine your efforts through any means necessary and snatch the wealth and power from your hands as deception and betrayal lurk around every block…
In my game, players are trying to gain as much power and money as possible in a city. To do that, they must turn to corrupt means, such as coercion, bribery and the like. One of the main mechanics is area control. Players can spend the money that they have to basically offer individual blocks of the city protection money, thus effectively controlling that block, and if the player controls all the blocks in a district, that entire district will be his or hers. In turn, each block that the player dominates will provide the player with power and generate money and men for the player’s syndicate. Another mechanic that players must use is hand management. Players can have action cards that allow players to spend money and men to perform corrupt actions such as buying off the police force, hiring mercenaries, framing other players or dealing with suspicious media and other actions, that in turn can provide you with money, men and power as well as give you an advantage when performing other actions or coercing city blocks. These action cards can also be traded in between players should they agree to collusion. Men and money and even blocks can also be traded in between players. Players also have the mechanic of variable player powers as they can either play as a mob boss working in the slums or a public official, who each have different advantages and disadvantages. For example, a public official might be able to gain more money as they can embezzle public funds while a mob boss might be able to gain more men as the slums are full of criminals and the like. A public official might also be able to control blocks in the financial district with lower costs and a mob boss might be able to control blocks in the slums for lower costs. The game ends once all of the districts have been completely dominated by various players and whoever has the most power accumulated from their blocks and from their actions wins. However I’d still like suggestions on how I could replicate the uncertainty and secrecy involved in corruption and crime. I’m having trouble thinking of sort of a bluffing and deception mechanic that could effectively allow players to undermine other players in secret. Any suggestions would be well appreciated.



Well, this kid has a vivid imagination, but I see this background story as very assymetrical and hard to balance design-wise. Everything, every piece of the game system is different, particular or unique (characters, blocks, actions). This is a recipe for disaster (unless you are Fantasy Flight). Plus, you are adding direct interaction + negotiation between players (kids!). That may easily spawn leader bashing, unfair partnerships or kingmaking issues. These effects do tend to cause negative feelings, especially with kids playing (well, grown ups too).

Now, the good part is, I like are control using bluffing. I think is cunning and adds a whole lot of metagaming in terms of outguessing your opponents. This is the main concept of one of my favorite games Ys. You see, while bluffing, you are not directly "attacking" your opponent to "hurt" him, you are just "teasing" him to being "unefficient". This is way more subtle, but more rewarding, IMO for complex minds.

So, to address the first part, I recomend the typical Dr. Knizia's auction mechanic and set collection scoring style. Maybe checkRevolution! for a little more flavour. Allow players to negotiate, but keep them from actually giving away resources to one another. Use a tiled modular board for blocks and use a Small World's like proffesion/trait combo for characters. Keep the background story flexible and variable. Bright kids will fill up the gaps with their own fantasy.

Sorry for misspellings. Nice work you are doing. Congrats!
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Quote:
Virus
My board game, Virus (Name not final), is a game based on the theme/idea of computer hacking.

2600

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funkdonut wrote:
Hello,

Post-Apocalyptic Cockroaches

This game takes place in a post- nuclear war apocalypse scenario. None of the humans survived, but instead a legion of cockroaches has. You must rebuild civilization and be able to sustain a certain population.


Post-Apocalyptic Cockroaches… you had me at post-apocalyptic! This sounds like a well themed settlement/civilisation building game. I really like your choice of cockroaches as it sets your game apart from others while making your game both intriguing and fun.

I think you have designed some really good foundations for your game. Coming up with a four options of actions - : trade, raid, build, or breed (I love the rhythm of these words!) and your four commodities: food, water, bricks and medicine. Overall this is a major building block towards creating an elegant game. Good job!

I wonder how turn order will work? There are lots of options here – do players each take their turn in sequential order or do you plan on players all making decisions at once and then revealing their choices?

The option to do a raid is something I am very excited by; but I think it will also require some clever game design. Can you can come up with a reason why a player would not just opt for raid every time; is there some way you could limit raids or defend against them?

It’s nice to see that you can already picture your board. Currently, it sounds like it’s a board made up squares that is cut into four sections, one for each player, also in each section are squares that relate to certain commodities. Will there be any neutral ground or contestable commodity producing squares?

Your cockroach drop idea, at the start of the game, sounds like a really fun mechanism; it reminds me of the paratroopers used in the wargame Memoir44. Linking this drop to the number of cockroaches and commodities a player starts with is a really exciting and unique prospect. Will you have to include any additional rules to facilitate this mechanism?

Currently it seems that you can use commodities to build houses for cockroaches. Will you be developing other uses for commodities? Eg would it be possible to build special buildings or upgrade individual cockroaches?

Your thoughts on developing a certain threshold of population and commodities as the victory condition is an interesting idea. I particularly like it if this forces players to do multiple things. This said I wonder whether this makes the game too complicated – could you develop a simpler scoring system for beginners?

The last round (victory round) sounds like a really exciting, although possibly frustrating, round. I like the idea that players have to hold on, to make them earn their victory. Although, you may want to design some way of stopping the game from going on indefinitely; eg what if everyone gangs up on the would-be-winner every time a player reaches the victory round?

Your decision to have random events sounds like a fun idea, which adds to the re-playability and excitement of the game. I think you have made the right choice in deciding that random events do not occur in the victory round.

Overall I would recommend you look at the game The Settlers of Catan as I think you might be interested in some of its design choices.

Some questions for you:
(These are rhetorical; I refuse to create homework )

Why is it good to have more cockroaches – what do they give you?
How many players can play this game? What happens to the unused part of the board in a three-player game?
How will you represent commodities in the game?
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funkdonut wrote:
Hello,
Duck Race
The objective of the game is to race your ducks to the finish line.


I like your theme, it seems cute and I can imagine some really nice game boards. I wonder if you have decided what market you will be targeting with your game? For me it sounds as if this game would be very successful in the family game market, where the demand is for elegant, fast and fun games that can be played by many ages.

Your game mechanic of rotating board blows my mind! I have never seen this used before and it’s what makes your design so exciting! I can imagine that on some boards I doing really well but on others I am behind everyone else.

This is a great idea as it means that everyone, even if they lose overall, will likely have won some races. More often than not this will guarantee a positive gaming experience for all. Guaranteeing a positive experience for all is a fantastic achievement in any game - It’s the hardest thing to do and the most important concept in the family game market. Superb!

I like your decision to base movement on cards, as I find this an elegant gameplay choice. I’m not yet quite sure how many/types of cards you have to draw or lay to move ducks (just because it’s difficult to visualise without the board). Equally I would encourage you to design a card system that allows players to make meaningful decisions.

There are lots of other card options that you might want to consider; two spring to mind. Firstly, have a look at the card system in Ticket to Ride. Secondly, I also though a possibility would be that each board has a colour and each card has a colour; meaning you need to match the two colours to move the ducks.

I think your game offers two really interesting scoring options, as you have outlined. I can imagine quick games where you do it by adding up the scores from the different boards but also longer games, where the winner is the first player to complete all the races. It will be interesting to see what you decide is best – could you include both? The latter system creates some design challenges – as what happens if I am handed a board that I have already completed?


Some Questions:

(These are rhetorical, I refuse to create homework )

How many players is this game for?
If I were playing with 4 players would I still use 8 boards? How would this work?
Can two ducks sit on the same number?
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funkdonut wrote:
Hello, Area Conquest
This board game is about conquest.


This sounds very much like a classical abstract board game. These rely on the ingenuity of the options available to the player while offering few mechanisms and no luck. Chess would be the most obvious example of such a game.

These types of games are incredibly elegant but are very tricky to make. Not only do have to create a simply game system that provides a multitude of options, you have to create a puzzle that does justice to your system. Ouch hard but brilliant work.

I’m not quite sure what your vision of this game is yet – does this game involve conflict; Eg Can pieces capture one another? Or do they just block one another.

From what you have written thus far I presume that you cannot take one each others pieces? If this is true Wow! This would make the game all about spatial awareness and using skill to block, confuse and out manoeuvre your opponent. Great stuff!

I really like the designs of your pieces thus far. I can imagine desperately trying to use 1Ones to create walls… while punching holes in my opponents walls with my 2Twos… meanwhile he outflanks me with his 4Four. Such a simple design, that takes moments to understand but offers such depth of gameplay.

I really like your rules for the pieces 3 and 4's moment. What is so clever, is it makes these pieces both your most powerful but also worthless until you or your opponent is in position. The slowness of 1Ones, however, makes me wonder how you are going to design a board that makes sure they can reach their targets fast enough.

When it comes to the objective areas I’d like to know how big are these areas are going to be? Do you just have to get one piece in or do you have to fill all the squares? What stops your opponent from sitting in your area.

I like your decision to give players different cards to identify a primary target and too other possible targets.

The fact that your opponent does not know what your objective is creates a deep meta-game were you are constantly trying to interpret your opponents actions, while simultaneously masking your true intentions.

Additionally the multiple cards suggest that the board will have multiple targets and so the objective will change each game. This would be very good for re-playability. However, it could be argued that if the other targets have no value then why draw extra cards? Equally how do you stop a player from claiming a different card was her/his primary objective?

Your desire to incorporate simultaneous movement is fantastic but really tricky. I don’t know whether you have a mechanic for this yet? The only thing I can come up with is if the board had grid references and they both wrote down their moves. A criticism of this would be that it might remove some of the elegance from a really elegant design. Although, at the same time I see that the player who moves first would have an unfair advantage/disadvantage. Bottom line is you have some interesting design decisions to make.

Overall really good work on an ambitious design that I see creating an brain burning game!

When it comes to theme I thought of space; as it lends itself well to abstract design and spatial movements. The pieces could represent spaceships and the areas different planets.

Having said this the wonder without having game mechanics before theme is that your game could be almost anything and I do mean anything. For a crazy example, your game could be a business deal; the whole game symbolising some sort of debate, with pieces arguments and the objective area symbolising the contract.

How large the areas should be really depends upon the rules you come up with. I imagine them being around four squares but without play-testing I have no idea.

When it comes to the number of players it really depends upon what your board is going to look like and where players start. I imagine a square for a 2-4 player with each player starting next to a number of areas that could be captured by other players. How could a three player work?

There are a number of games you should look at Halma, ‘Chinese Checkers’ and for 3/4 movements Ricochet Robots.

Some questions for you:

How many moves can a player make per turn?
How will your simultaneous movement system work?


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