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Subject: Ideas for more 'evolving' games? rss

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Daniel D.
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Risk Legacy seemed to generate a lot of interest/controversy with the idea of permanent changes being made to the game, and it occurred to me that this idea would lend itself well to a pnp or pencil-and-paper (arguably all pencil and paper games 'evolve') format where the permanent changes would not translate into much of a financial setback (if any). I thought it would be fun to come up with and hear some people's ideas for possible 'evolving' games.
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Daniel D.
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One game idea I've been kicking around for a while would actually benefit from this mechanic; it would be an exploration-style game with the same theme as Geometra in which players encountered different alien species on randomly-generated planets (created by a combining a few planet cards). The species would have different basic traits (sentient vs not, carnivorous or not, etc.) as well as relationships with other species on the map, if any. Various markers such as settlements, food sources, and population groups were randomly placed on set markers that represented different things depending on a combination of the planet and alien data. The players would have to learn language and cultural skills as well as other properties in order to communicate with and influence various groups of aliens, with the ultimate goal being to get the aliens to accomplish set objectives. I was also thinking about adding an element where the players had to interact with other groups such as aliens that would abduct other aliens and working with public opinion that could give benefits or penalties.

While all of this was designed to be mostly card-driven and was kind of overly ambitious, having a permanently-changing set of cards and board(s) would probably benefit the game design by making all of the data more manageable.
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Daniel D.
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A very basic idea would be something like tic-tac-toe where players could add rules or boxes for each win. It probably still wouldn't be very entertaining, but it could be interesting after a while.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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Risk Legacy isnt a new idea, its just not one thats been applied to a board game hardly at all. The closest is How to Host a Dungeon. It might also be an interesting way to devise a Pocket Civ map, one that grows and evolves as you play the same world.

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dug fromthearth
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are you suggesting the game evolves during play?
or that it changes so the next time you play it is different?

it would be interesting to play a cyclical game - like a samurai game. How you play each game affects the next game you play. Die with honor and you start the next game off well. Engage in trickery and you may win that game, but you start at a disadvantage in the next game.

the meta game could be the story of rival clans throughout generations.
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Christian Link
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Of ideas I've been think of that are good for endless expansion: A board game inspired by the PC game Capitalism. News, cities, goods, player company names and logos, retail store types, even specialized departments for factories and stores could all be user submitted without having to alter or add the rules,necessarily.

For games that have a "persistent universe", change as you play or from play to play, I would call a "living" game. Imagine a simple fantasy themed war game, for example, (additions are irrelevant for this idea,) where the game universe always picks up where it left off from the last game; think RPG elements of D&D. Mechanics would include data sheets to record the universe from the last play of the game.

Daniel's "Geometra" strikes a chord. If "evolving games" are referenced, games that change as you play, then dug's idea is definitely a good one.

For games that have a basic rule set that allows for constant expansion (by users or developer), I express the following:

Existing examples of different game types definitely focuses the creative process: What games have had the most user contributed data or developer add ons? Can a user's contributions or expansions be used concurrently with all other user contributions/expansions?

One of my favorite games comes to mind: Illuminati Deluxe. User contributions and developer additions are mostly additional cards; as times change new cards are needed to keep the game updated to modern times. Generally, it seems all that's needed is a never ending theme.
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Daniel D.
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dugfromthearth wrote:
are you suggesting the game evolves during play?
or that it changes so the next time you play it is different?

it would be interesting to play a cyclical game - like a samurai game. How you play each game affects the next game you play. Die with honor and you start the next game off well. Engage in trickery and you may win that game, but you start at a disadvantage in the next game.

the meta game could be the story of rival clans throughout generations.


I think this would be an interesting idea; one area where I could see it being applied is in a game like Puerto Rico; I often tend to get a lot of money at a cost of less victory points, which loses the game. However, if the game were ongoing then the person/family represented by that player could start with more money but less influence (that would have to be a separate mechanic-maybe you'd always have a lower-priority pick on roles?). It would make for an interesting ongoing narrative
 
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Daniel D.
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Another idea of modifying a basic game would be a variant of battleship (pencil and paper) where players have a persistent 'navy' between games and can concede at any point during a game, so the overall game would become focus on balancing winning a given game against losing too many ships in that battle. Maybe there would be a set overall number of games representing a larger conflict (so you would have to manage forces) or winning x number of games would have a reward like getting a new ship.
 
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Daniel D.
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Or a conquest-like game where you get to carve up the map into territories as you play rather than starting out with predefined ones.
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Clive Lovett
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Here is my 2 cents on R:L

Risk: Legacy has me scratching my head. I don't know whether it is a brilliant idea or a flawed idea.

The game assumes that you want to play the same role every time and in many ways assumes that you are going to be playing against the same player (who will remember why the game changed and what decisions you made that affected that player). Howver, there is a certain excitement over past decisions coming back to haunt you in the future. Role playing games have this built in if you play the same character. Is Risk: Legacy a form of RPG where you take on the same role every time?

I have thought about whether this idea can be placed into a game and contained with a single play and I think it already does...play Sid Meier's Civilization and any move you make permanently changes the game physically and other players will certainly remember decisions you made (especially military)??

What does my rambling mean - well...I hope Risk:Legacy is successful and adds something new to game design and I hope that it becomes more than just a novelty but I have my doubts.
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Daniel D.
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Omega2064 wrote:
Risk Legacy isnt a new idea, its just not one thats been applied to a board game hardly at all. The closest is How to Host a Dungeon. It might also be an interesting way to devise a Pocket CivPocket Civ map, one that grows and evolves as you play the same world.



That would be interesting seeing a map within an existing system that has permanent changes.
 
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