Sam Mercer
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Heya guys. Right EVERYONE is producing games. That's great. Boardgames are cool. If you don't believe me, take it up with Mr. Emu on the left there.

Have you got a cool game with a great theme that you developed for and were really excited about but ... it never really happened?

"There was something in the way "

"I couldn't get past this one bit..."

"I couldn't make it fun enough"

"I didn't like where it was going "

"It was too complicated"

"The theme needed changing"

"I JUST got bored of it...."




Well now we are going to fix that old dusty game of yours! Let us know these:

The game is called: (eg: Mega-Euro 3)
It's about: (eg: Farmers )
It's a little like: (eg: Catan )
The mechanics are: (eg: Worker placement and dice )
I got stuck because: (eg: I really didn't know how to create rules for the second player to keep the resources fair. )

And we will Fix your game!
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Kris Van Beurden
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Oh my, really. I don't know with which game to begin
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Maxim Steshenko
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Hmm... I'll try. Basically it's more like boardgame expansion, but it can grow in a stand alone boardgame.

The game is called: Thievish thoughts (Working Title)
It's about: It's a remake of Cadwallon: City of Thieves, which makes game feels more like stealthy thieving than open funny bloodbath. I was inspired by Thief: The Dark Project universe and tooke some stuff from there.
It's a little like: Cadwallon: City of Thieves, Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan
The mechanics are: Hidden Movement, Hidden Looting, Dice Rolling, Secret Unit Deployment, Simultaneous Action Selection, Action Point Allowance System.
I got stuck because: I couldn't solve problem of hidden looting for a long time, and then I was distracted by released of Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan. When I, after a while, summarized all mechanics and concepts I got more crazy quilt than solid game. shake
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Sam Mercer
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
silencewalker wrote:
Hmm... I'll try. Basically it's more like boardgame expansion, but it can grow in a stand alone boardgame.

The game is called: Thievish thoughts (Working Title)
It's about: It's a remake of Cadwallon: City of Thieves, which makes game feels more like stealthy thieving than open funny bloodbath. I was inspired by Thief: The Dark Project universe and tooke some stuff from there.
It's a little like: Cadwallon: City of Thieves, Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan
The mechanics are: Hidden Movement, Hidden Looting, Dice Rolling, Secret Unit Deployment, Simultaneous Action Selection, Action Point Allowance System.
I got stuck because: I couldn't solve problem of hidden looting for a long time, and then I was distracted by released of Ninja: Legend of the Scorpion Clan. When I, after a while, summarized all mechanics and concepts I got more crazy quilt than solid game. shake


Right all, lets FIX MAXIMS GAME called Theivish Thoughts


Things the game has going for it:
Great Name
Great Theme

Things that could bring the game down:
Based on an existing game. Therfore all your game decisions (whether purposeful or otherwise) will use the initial game as a grasping point.


Problem:
Thievish Thoughts is broken because the mechanics are too eclectic and too much game input has come from another game.

Suggested progression
As per the Best Advice in Game Design thread. "Removal is OK: One of the hardest tasks for a game designer (and me particularly) is knowing when to remove parts of a game design. Not because I do not notice the need to remove, but the issue of wanting to keep my rules/mechanics unchanged. BUT REALLY, removing things from a design is OK! You can always add it back later, if needed." coupled with "Simplify: When you want to add rules, refrain from doing so. Even if it's so clever you just can't stand it. Often, a later design will prove to be a happy home for that neat idea you thought you couldn't live without in your current design.".

This shows us that your game may be seen to be a patchwork of rules! What do we then do? We make your game Better. We make your game better by making it more simplistic. There is a LOT to be said about simplness in games. Use one or two great mechanics totally and completely - this will maximise their effectiveness. Bolting on others will just slow your game down: designging it / learning it / playing it. You must focus on the great bits of the game.

You like the world of Theif - me too. That's a cool world. How could we pick a strong and major element from that canon and build your game properly up around it? Well you have said it yourself that the stealth thieving is the aspect we really want to go for. I would then ONLY go for this. Lose whatever can be lost, then focus how to make this theivery mechanic really mainstay. How to win your game, IS: how to play your game (as per the article previously mentioned): Your scoring design is your game design. How do I win your game? Well I see it as: I need to steal and run away with 30gold worth of stuff. I can steal off guards, chests, doors etc etc. Bigger prizes are worth more and also give me in game bonuses (this would also nicely add to the scaling-up of the game speed towards the end of the game) such as speed +1, hiding +1 etc. Once I have the gold, I need to run away - meet my contact at the front: you could even do a cool theme campaign setting (similar to mansions of madness?) where each place is laid out differently and you need to get to different locations to excape (horse drawn carriage at front, blimp at top of building, back entrance to meet my carriage, through the window etc)

Now, once you have chosen your mainstay - important - "what is this game about" - overarching - mechanic. You build EVERYTHING to get that mechanic doing what it does best. e.g. You do not need dice rolls; if you do not need dice rolls.

Solution:
Invest everything into the single best mechanic (stealing things) and build everything else around it to help the mechanic succeed.

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Scott Nelson
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
The game is called: Frog-endazs
It's about: Frogs working in a ice cream company.
It's a little like: Pandemic
The mechanics are: Co-op, but each is in charge of their own part of the whole. Resource buying, selling, allocating to one fund, not to players.
I got stuck because: Couldn't find a way to do the individual areas, and have the resources of one area work with the others i.e. what one player did must impact what the other in a company was doing, but with less players, it fell short of working, and working with 2 places each was not fun. 3 player needed a dummy player. So, I need a way to make it modular and the rest of the factory is automated. The automation part is troublesome as well as it can't be more than a regular player would do. Tried it non co-op, and the balancing issues were horrendous when what I had was needed by another, sort of like Container, which I don't want. resources include ice cream, flavors chocolate shaped frogs, boxes to ship them in, transport. I have to look over my notes to remember the money aspect of it all, and finding funding for your part of the company. It is almost like an outsourcing game.
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Nate K
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
I used to do something like this with Magic: The Gathering called Deck Doctor. It got pretty rough as the patients piled up and I was the only Deck Doctor posting regularly. Hopefully that won't happen with this thread
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
The game is called: Shogun Express
It's about: A fast play version of Shogun (aka Samurai Swords, aka Ikusa)
It's a little like: the games it simplifies
The mechanics are: Area control, dice combat, spend resources to buy units
I got stuck because: A few reasons. (1) graphics: I just couldn’t find fun samurai graphics online that I like that aren't anime, (2) Map: I couldn’t make a cool map, (3) Express: even with a thinner map, simpler unit choices, and a very loosy-goosy mechanic for area control, it didn’t really feel like it was an “express” game at all.
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Sam Mercer
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
kurthl33t wrote:
I used to do something like this with Magic: The Gathering called Deck Doctor. It got pretty rough as the patients piled up and I was the only Deck Doctor posting regularly. Hopefully that won't happen with this thread


Haha, well go on then Nate help out!!! lol
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Nate K
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Cogentesque wrote:
kurthl33t wrote:
I used to do something like this with Magic: The Gathering called Deck Doctor. It got pretty rough as the patients piled up and I was the only Deck Doctor posting regularly. Hopefully that won't happen with this thread


Haha, well go on then Nate help out!!! lol


I just might!
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
ropearoni4 wrote:
The game is called: Frog-endazs
It's about: Frogs working in a ice cream company.
It's a little like: Pandemic
The mechanics are: Co-op, but each is in charge of their own part of the whole. Resource buying, selling, allocating to one fund, not to players.
I got stuck because: Couldn't find a way to do the individual areas, and have the resources of one area work with the others i.e. what one player did must impact what the other in a company was doing, but with less players, it fell short of working, and working with 2 places each was not fun. 3 player needed a dummy player. So, I need a way to make it modular and the rest of the factory is automated. The automation part is troublesome as well as it can't be more than a regular player would do. Tried it non co-op, and the balancing issues were horrendous when what I had was needed by another, sort of like Container, which I don't want. resources include ice cream, flavors chocolate shaped frogs, boxes to ship them in, transport. I have to look over my notes to remember the money aspect of it all, and finding funding for your part of the company. It is almost like an outsourcing game.




Right all, lets FIX SCOTTS GAME called Frog-endazs


Things the game has going for it:
Very unique and refreshing Theme
Family Friendly

Things that could bring the game down:
Asymetric - hard to get *just* right


Problem:
The Required and Asymetric nature of the players makes it hard for the designer to make the game fun and fair.

Suggested progression

Your stuck in the design because there is too much going on and you're finding it hard to get the co-op yet asymetric nature of it developed enough to be a stable system.

In co-op games there is no stable system. Players either win or do not win. As such co-op games just need balancing, they don't need to be layed out in an easy to follow straight forward manner. In a Asymetric game; there is most defineltey a stable system. the game can never be totally equal (by it's very nature) if you NEED to use 4 differnet players that each must take up a specific roll then these players must have at least a "similarly" fun and complex roll to play as eachother. This will limit your game ALWAYS (if you build it in such a way) to only have a player limit of 4. If 4 are required. You won't be able to abstract out the system to form any part of it into a modular component if it is an asymetrical 4 player game. That can't happen. You need it to be way less complicated (see: symetrical) for that. That's probably what I would go for.

Make it symetrical but use simple coloured resources to add depth. Instead of player rolls that are drastically and completely differenet (youre entire gameplay is different to mine and 2 other guys) keep it simple; just add 4 resource colours. Red, blue, green, yellow (or something as simple as that in a different mechanical sense) where each resource/component is simply a different flavor. Blue can make green, red can make yellow, yellow can make blue etc.

If you do use this kind of system, then it would be reasonable to see that in order to "plug in" more players, or abstract out the system in order to be approachable by any number of players: this has created our "bolt on" effect where we do not need A.I. or anything: we can simply tack on some more players. (think Le Havre / 7 Wonders how it approaches multiple players: each player has their "say" in the world, and there are parts in the game that cater for more than a certain number (eg if there are more than 3 of you, also include THESE few cards) but it is quite logical to see that thoses extra players can be (nearly) added or removed on a whim. This kind of simple and straightforward expansion is normally something that really does make the most out of a good fun family game, which co-incidentally is already what you appear to have

Solution:
Make the most of your fun and family theme. Dispense with problems of automation / modulation / no-fun / requiring 4 players / etc simply by making the game symetric. One player must equal the next in all but colour (and maybe some very sparse player powers if you must), and all of your problems following that should evaporate


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Trystan
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
I'm not 100% sure I agree with the above fix to Scotts game.

Please bear in mind my advice comes from no position of authority, I have no published games, only a few gameideas that my girlfirend and I like to push around and that my game collection and exposure to board games doesn't cover everything done ever in terms of game design goals and methods.

However to me it seemed and important part of Scotts game was having the players acting as different parts of a production line, each with a different task to do, taking that out seems like the wrong move.

It might instead be possible to have it that the first cog in the machine is emulatable by a draw deck or something and when playing with 1 player you are the second cog, use the draw deck to drive the player and then score/win based on deliveries made to the 3rd cog. If 2 players you play the second and third cog and score/win based on deliveries to the 4th cog, and 3 players you would play the 2nd, 3rd and 4th and so on.

As I said at the start of the post, the above is not a fix, I have no where near enough information about the original aim of the game and it's current state, it's just an idea.
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
ropearoni4 wrote:

It's about: Frogs working in a ice cream company.


I have no idea how to fix it, but I do know that your people-frogs should look like the ones from 'Spirited Away' :


+

=
YOUR GAME
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
trystanosaurus wrote:
I'm not 100% sure I agree with the above fix to Scotts game. [...]

However to me it seemed and important part of Scotts game was having the players acting as different parts of a production line, each with a different task to do, taking that out seems like the wrong move.

It might instead be possible to have it that the first cog in the machine is emulatable by a draw deck or something and when playing with 1 player you are the second cog, use the draw deck to drive the player and then score/win based on deliveries made to the 3rd cog. If 2 players you play the second and third cog and score/win based on deliveries to the 4th cog, and 3 players you would play the 2nd, 3rd and 4th and so on.


I do agree Trystan that taking something so core out of the game could be seen to be the wrong move but all you would do (as I say) is keep everything the same just change the colours of players.

Quote:
One player must equal the next in all but colour

Of course by this I do not literally mean "red player, blue player" but infact I mean a different "flavor" of player. To take this to its next step I would perhaps call each player a numbered "cog" and give them a slightly different deck to draw from. But you see the game play is fundementaly the same. One player is doing the same thing as the next player (red & blue or cog 1 % cog 2) just taking their cards from a different source. In order to have a truley asymetric game for 4 players you essentially need to have 4 entirely seperate games that fit together. There is no point making 4 seperate games when this is a game about frogs making icecream! ^^

If it was an epic overview of a civilization trying to conquer the outer galaxy rims while fending off alien invasion and earth-born spies. Then maybe there would be merit in making a slightly asymetric game. There are only a few big asymetric games that make the most of something similar to this. two of which are battlesatar galactica (cylon + non cylon) and a few acres of snow. Both of which pitch a maximum of two "sides" and make a BIG deal out of it. The major premise of BsG is that you are either with us or against us: so this being such a core mech. means that they are able to do it. And remember the game is ESSENTIALLY the same both sides. you still add cards to a pot, you still move around a ship and you still take special actions, just as if you were on the goodies or the baddies side. Hence: different "colour" of player.

Taking the concept a little further in both our mutual directions: something perhaps where one player could pay its end-resources (icecream cones, box crates, factory springs etc) and pass it to the next player. If they do that they gain a standard X VP's but the player then recieves this resource as a "level 2" resource in their own production. Perhaps flip the card to reveal a "Level 2 resource!" with a picture of a generic "man power" or "resource" logo, or perhaps a selection of each: meaning that this card in one players hand is thematically different (crates as opposed to cream) from another players card: yet all players cards function the same. This is (as said) a workable idea but still includes a different colour of player only.
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Gylthinel wrote:
The game is called: Shogun Express
It's about: A fast play version of Shogun (aka Samurai Swords, aka Ikusa)
It's a little like: the games it simplifies
The mechanics are: Area control, dice combat, spend resources to buy units
I got stuck because: A few reasons. (1) graphics: I just couldn’t find fun samurai graphics online that I like that aren't anime, (2) Map: I couldn’t make a cool map, (3) Express: even with a thinner map, simpler unit choices, and a very loosy-goosy mechanic for area control, it didn’t really feel like it was an “express” game at all.



Right all, lets FIX GYLTHS GAME called Shogun Express


Things the game has going for it:
Samurais Are Cool

Things that could bring the game down:
I have never played Shogun and so can't give specific advice


Problem:
1) Sourcing appropriate illustrations & map
2) The game is too complicated for its desired label

Suggested progression

1)
Money + http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/722152/concept-artist-commis...

or

GG + http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/701659/contest-thought-two-p...

or

Time + http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/345848/graphics-cafe-post-il...

or

Emails + Time + http://www.deviantart.com

or

kickstarter.com + http://www.conceptart.org/

or

Graphicless PnP

2)
Make the game easier. Or change the label. You must be fluid enough to either allow your game to change enough to say "no, it's not a quick game, it's pretty full on" - remember some people prefer these types of games that they can get their teeth into. Or you must be fluid enough to say "I WANT my game to be quick. It is far far to long at the moment and totally not want I want of what I think people will like" then get your scissors out and start ruthlessly and abhorently cutting out large swathes of your rules. If you take this route it will be hard. But I can guarantee you will become a better designer for having done it. Historically, boardgames design is rife with succesful companies slashing their rules in half(see my http://www.purplepawn.com interview with Emmanuel Aquin who designed the most money making kickstarter game ever D-Day dice, to see him specifically say "Because I cut out so much stuff, the game works far better now than it ever did"). This would be my preferred method for you to do. Become ruthless. Only accept the best and don't use rubbish "just because it's there". You want to be a king games designer - therfore focus on the good only. It's a bastard hard task but you go up +1 designer level if you can do it

Solution:
1)Decide what your resources are so you can work out how best to get artwork done, then follow the best path with your available resources.
2)Slash the rulebook in half.

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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Cogentesque wrote:

Solution:
1)Decide what your resources are so you can work out how best to get artwork done, then follow the best path with your available resources.
2)Slash the rulebook in half.


I have no dillusions of being a great game designer, but... I might be able to cut it in half. I'll look into it, and let you know.
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Cogentesque wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
The game is called: Frog-endazs
It's about: Frogs working in a ice cream company.
It's a little like: Pandemic
The mechanics are: Co-op, but each is in charge of their own part of the whole. Resource buying, selling, allocating to one fund, not to players.
I got stuck because: Couldn't find a way to do the individual areas, and have the resources of one area work with the others i.e. what one player did must impact what the other in a company was doing, but with less players, it fell short of working, and working with 2 places each was not fun. 3 player needed a dummy player. So, I need a way to make it modular and the rest of the factory is automated. The automation part is troublesome as well as it can't be more than a regular player would do. Tried it non co-op, and the balancing issues were horrendous when what I had was needed by another, sort of like Container, which I don't want. resources include ice cream, flavors chocolate shaped frogs, boxes to ship them in, transport. I have to look over my notes to remember the money aspect of it all, and finding funding for your part of the company. It is almost like an outsourcing game.




Right all, lets FIX SCOTTS GAME called Frog-endazs


Things the game has going for it:
Very unique and refreshing Theme
Family Friendly

Things that could bring the game down:
Asymetric - hard to get *just* right


Problem:
The Required and Asymetric nature of the players makes it hard for the designer to make the game fun and fair.

Suggested progression

Your stuck in the design because there is too much going on and you're finding it hard to get the co-op yet asymetric nature of it developed enough to be a stable system.

In co-op games there is no stable system. Players either win or do not win. As such co-op games just need balancing, they don't need to be layed out in an easy to follow straight forward manner. In a Asymetric game; there is most defineltey a stable system. the game can never be totally equal (by it's very nature) if you NEED to use 4 differnet players that each must take up a specific roll then these players must have at least a "similarly" fun and complex roll to play as eachother. This will limit your game ALWAYS (if you build it in such a way) to only have a player limit of 4. If 4 are required. You won't be able to abstract out the system to form any part of it into a modular component if it is an asymetrical 4 player game. That can't happen. You need it to be way less complicated (see: symetrical) for that. That's probably what I would go for.

Make it symetrical but use simple coloured resources to add depth. Instead of player rolls that are drastically and completely differenet (youre entire gameplay is different to mine and 2 other guys) keep it simple; just add 4 resource colours. Red, blue, green, yellow (or something as simple as that in a different mechanical sense) where each resource/component is simply a different flavor. Blue can make green, red can make yellow, yellow can make blue etc.

If you do use this kind of system, then it would be reasonable to see that in order to "plug in" more players, or abstract out the system in order to be approachable by any number of players: this has created our "bolt on" effect where we do not need A.I. or anything: we can simply tack on some more players. (think Le Havre / 7 Wonders how it approaches multiple players: each player has their "say" in the world, and there are parts in the game that cater for more than a certain number (eg if there are more than 3 of you, also include THESE few cards) but it is quite logical to see that thoses extra players can be (nearly) added or removed on a whim. This kind of simple and straightforward expansion is normally something that really does make the most out of a good fun family game, which co-incidentally is already what you appear to have

Solution:
Make the most of your fun and family theme. Dispense with problems of automation / modulation / no-fun / requiring 4 players / etc simply by making the game symetric. One player must equal the next in all but colour (and maybe some very sparse player powers if you must), and all of your problems following that should evaporate




I'm not going to disagree with Sam's suggestions, merely offer another alternative.

Try coming up with three or four mechanics, and have each player run their own little "mini-game" that uses just that mechanic.

For example, player A has a small worker placement game, player B a tableau-building game, player C an action point allowance game, and player D a press-your-luck game.

Each player can make different decisions that will either help their own part of the production, or aid the next person in line. So player A can place workers in areas that will give her more workers next round, or she can place them to allow player B more freedom in selecting cards for his tableau. Player B can select cards that give him more options, or cards that give player C more options. Player C can perform actions that will help him, or that will help player D with her part of the game. Player D can play it safe and have a good turn next round, or can push her luck and try to give player A with more to work with.

Then give the game a turn limit--say, ten rounds. At the end of the turn limit, the players need to make X amount of money for the company. Thus, players have to figure out how to quickly get the engine running. They can't all just maximize their own output for the first few turns--they have to make sure to help the next person down the line. But they cannot ignore the needs of their own part of the game, either, or they'll fall behind!

I hope that at least gives you something to think about.
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll work through some of the angles mentioned here. The mini game idea is neat, in that it would only work best as a co-op, which this is.
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
I'm loving this thread. Remember guys that we are offering different suggestions to peoples games so it is not a "you are wrong, you are right" it is a collective push to offer alternatives to help re-invogorate someones game

Nate is a king.
Trystan is a king.
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
The game is called: Bard's Tale, generic prototype name
It's about: Typical fantasy story of wizards and warriors beating the bad guy
It's a little like: Diablo 2, D&D, ADOM, Warhammer Fantasy, most fantasy games
The mechanics are: Only cards/no board, stat allocation, resource management, facing random events, Cooperative game against AI monsters
I got stuck because: I wanted to make a game where you spend your stats to face different obstacles. When you draw an encounter you have a choice:
Zombies
Fight: Spend 5 Combat
Turn Undead: Spend 2 Faith
Cast: Spend 3 Magic
Fail: Lose 5 Endurance


Experience, Items, Levels and everything you'd expect is also there.

The problem was that, when we actually played it, it didn't feel like fighting. It felt like cube-pushing. min-maxing your resources while trying to beat each combat. The playtesters said 'where's the dice?'.

Can there be conflict without a luck factor? Can the players actually accept that? Can there be a eurogame about conflict?

Adding dice or another luck factor is pretty easy. I just can't believe that the stat-pushing mechanic can't work on its own
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Andy Day

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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Moonleaf wrote:
The game is called: Bard's Tale, generic prototype name
The problem was that, when we actually played it, it didn't feel like fighting. It felt like cube-pushing. min-maxing your resources while trying to beat each combat. The playtesters said 'where's the dice?'.

Can there be conflict without a luck factor? Can the players actually accept that? Can there be a eurogame about conflict?

Adding dice or another luck factor is pretty easy. I just can't believe that the stat-pushing mechanic can't work on its own

That is a tough one.

Part of what makes a combat experience exciting is not having 100% perfect control of the situation. Dice give that to most games. But there are other games with combat mechanics that do not use dice, and have some degree of uncertainty.

Example: In the Game of Thrones board game, you have perfect knowledge of your opponent’s strength and your own. But there are 2 chaos factors in the game. (1) you know which cards he has, but not which one he’ll use. (2) You don’t know what any of the third parties might do, and this can sway the battle. The game gets most exciting when 3+ people tussle for a given region.

So the question is, how can you put this sort of chaos into the game without dice?
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Angelo Nikolaou
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Well, not just dice. Rune Wars has a deck of cards that show the effect of attacks.

I could add a randomizer for combat, but i'd like to see if I can make this a non-random combat system.

There is uncertainty in games like Game of Thrones and Diplomacy, but it comes from other players' actions. In this case, the game is co-op, so there can be no such thing.

Also consider that the 'choice' the players are given is vital to a secondary mechanic, so i can't change that.

I considered rolling a die to increase the required stats to spend. Three sides of +0, two sides of +1, one side of +2. If the players are confident they can overspend to succeed for sure. If they are running low on stats they can try to risk spending stats and still failing.

Still, it is an interesting problem to see if I can do without it
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Moonleaf wrote:
Well, not just dice. Rune Wars has a deck of cards that show the effect of attacks.

I could add a randomizer for combat, but i'd like to see if I can make this a non-random combat system.

There is uncertainty in games like Game of Thrones and Diplomacy, but it comes from other players' actions. In this case, the game is co-op, so there can be no such thing.

Also consider that the 'choice' the players are given is vital to a secondary mechanic, so i can't change that.

I considered rolling a die to increase the required stats to spend. Three sides of +0, two sides of +1, one side of +2. If the players are confident they can overspend to succeed for sure. If they are running low on stats they can try to risk spending stats and still failing.

Still, it is an interesting problem to see if I can do without it



What about if on the back of the card you are going to fight has a range of the possible levels it could be, so full knowledge is only known when you begin the fight? it wouldn't be pure luck, but a mix of the two, minus random dice. It would be thematic in that rarely do you know completely how tough a fight is going to be before the first blow is taken, but you have an idea on how tough it might be just by looking at the guy. It is kind of like playing a card to boost a low level looking guy to a tougher dude, but some knowledge of how much of a boost the dude might be given.

I guess this is also like Munchkin's kick in the door, to see what is there. But until you fight, you only know a little bit about the guy/thing. Also treasure on him wouldn't be known until the fight happens, but a hint might be available. Keeping the backside with little knowledge as possible would keep anyone from guessing "it's that guy we killed last game, he has a staff of..."
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Moonleaf wrote:
The game is called: Bard's Tale, generic prototype name
It's about: Typical fantasy story of wizards and warriors beating the bad guy
It's a little like: Diablo 2, D&D, ADOM, Warhammer Fantasy, most fantasy games
The mechanics are: Only cards/no board, stat allocation, resource management, facing random events, Cooperative game against AI monsters
I got stuck because: I wanted to make a game where you spend your stats to face different obstacles. When you draw an encounter you have a choice:
Zombies
Fight: Spend 5 Combat
Turn Undead: Spend 2 Faith
Cast: Spend 3 Magic
Fail: Lose 5 Endurance


Experience, Items, Levels and everything you'd expect is also there.

The problem was that, when we actually played it, it didn't feel like fighting. It felt like cube-pushing. min-maxing your resources while trying to beat each combat. The playtesters said 'where's the dice?'.

Can there be conflict without a luck factor? Can the players actually accept that? Can there be a eurogame about conflict?

Adding dice or another luck factor is pretty easy. I just can't believe that the stat-pushing mechanic can't work on its own


Adding on to what Gylth said, combat needs a sense of risk. In Warhammer Fantasy, when you send in your Wood Elves to fight the Tomb Kings (or whatever), you might be confident that unit X can take out unit C, but then roll poorly. All the sudden, unit X is threatened with annihilation by unit C next turn, and unit E is going to be in range the turn after that. Unit X is screwed!

...Accept that your opponent then rolls badly, and you have a miraculous roll that allows you to destroy unit C and sweep forward and take out unit E!

In Magic: The Gathering, you know that your 6/6 creature is bigger than your opponent's 2/2 and 3/3 creatures. What you don't know is whether your opponent has a removal spell in hand to kill your creature, or a pump spell to make one or both of her creatures bigger. The tide could turn against you if things go badly. Do you attack anyway?

In BattleCON: War of Indines, each player simultaneously selects a style and a base that, combined, add up to an attack with three stats: range, power, and priority. The attacks with more power will deal more damage, but if your opponent has a higher priority, he might be able to deal enough damage to stun you before your blow ever lands. And each attack has a two-round cooldown period, so you won't be able to reuse your best attack for a while. Do you go with the most powerful attack and hope that your priority is higher, or that your opponent doesn't deal enough damage to stun you? Or do you go with a quick attack, even though it deals less damage?

The key to the tension in all three games is risk. There is an element of the unknown. You can never be completely sure that you will succeed.

In your game, is there risk? When you spend 5 Combat, is that a guarantee that the creature will die? When you lose 5 Endurance, does that really hurt?

You don't necessarily need to include dice to make combat interesting. There just needs to be a feeling of threat. What if, for example, you could not spend the same type of resource two turns in a row? Sure, you can spend 5 Combat this turn to eliminate the Zombies, but then your soldiers will be too tired to attack next turn. What if you run into a creature that you cannot deal with in any other way besides Combat? The tension then comes from the unknown. You don't know what you'll have to face next, so you can never be certain that you are maximizing the use of your resources.
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Andy Day

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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Alas, combat mechanics are my weakness. But I do know that if there is no mechanic for uncertainty, then it will not feel like a fight. It’ll like the adrenaline. Especially in a coop game. If you know what you have to do to win, and you know your allies will give you their full cooperation, what will make the game a rush?
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Angelo Nikolaou
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Re: ITT: We fix the game that you were stuck with and stopped developing!
Yes, I understand the risk and tension issue. When you enter the dungeon, you are full of stats that guarantee you will defeat the first 2-3 challenges. Later on, there's a push-your-luck factor that brings tension. Do you town-portal back to rest, or do you push one more encounter?

There is a certain risk and tension in that mechanic, but until you get there, it feels like cube pushing 'so I pay X money and buy the factory'.

My initial idea was 'I want a light cooperative RPG that only uses cards and beads'. I don't know any other RPG with cards only, plus I love beads

So the mechanics evolved around having beads that represent stats, that you spend in order to fight off the encounters. In theory it sounded nice, but in practice it felt not like fighting
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