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Subject: Two Game Ideas to Run By You rss

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Stephen Hall
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Hi there fellow Geeks!

So I have been wrestling with these two ideas, and I would input so I can further develop them into enjoyable games. I would appreciate feedback on the premises of these game ideas, as well as your thoughts and suggestions.

1) "Moonshine" - This would be a thematic game that takes place during Prohibition, 1920's Chicago. It would be a co-op (and/or competitive) game where you play as a group of smugglers working to supply illicit alcohol to speakeasies. You would each have a role, such as the Brewer, the Supplier/Bartender, the Dirty Cop, the Transporter, etc, and at least the co-op game would rely on the mechanic of dependence on others. For example, the Supplier couldn't supply until the Brewer had brewed. If the Dirty Cop couldn't succeed in distracting the rest of the police, the Transporter would be at a higher risk of getting caught. The Brewer can't brew until the Supplier/Bartender has given him supplies and money.

I'm still working on the overall concept of the game, but that's why I would love your ideas! Should the game have a board? Maybe. Solely card-based? Perhaps. Will the game end itself after a set number of turns? What do you think? What other roles should there be? What other mechanics should the game utilize, and how so?

2) "Outside the Box" - I made an observation recently that led me to this idea. Just about every game I know of has one thing in common: the box. What do we do with the box? Open it, take out its contents, and put it aside for the rest of the game. But what if the box itself was part of the game? In this idea, the box lid would be flipped over so it was upside-down, revealing the game board, built into the lid. From there, players assume the roles of tiny creatures (humans/bugs/whatevers), trying to escape from the box lid.

I could see this, too, being co-op or competitive. Either the characters are racing to get out first, or they are helping each other out. This is about as far as this idea goes, but I would love input!

Thanks!

-Stephen
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Curt Carpenter
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1) Seems like it could be a fun theme. But right now it's just a theme. It doesn't sound like there's any game there.

2) Niagara is probably the most well-known game to have done something like this (use the lid, but in a different way than you describe). Many people, myself included, felt that it was more of a gimmick than any practical value. I would worry about playing a game inside the lid, as the sides of the box would get in the way of utilizing the space inside, as well as obstruct people's view.
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Joah Manderson

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For using a box as the board, i would think about a design where the top or bottom can be unfolded, the sides could link/"hook" together like the way Chinese food boxes do. Just an idea
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Toco
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Niagara made clever use of the box. And Mighty Warriors used the lid to modify dice rolls. I always thought the ideas were cool. So you're on the right track. Use that box(lid)!
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Jake Staines
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Vikerus wrote:
For using a box as the board, i would think about a design where the top or bottom can be unfolded


If you do go for this kind of approach, be very careful to ensure that the creases/hinges are loose and floppy enough for the board to lay flat when unfolded; most unfolded cardboard boxes will retain the corner at least a little bit, meaning they don't lay flat, which is a bad property for a board game board!
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Jonathan Warren
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Idea 1) Love the theme. Based solely on the theme, I would be interested to see what kind of game you could make out of it.

Idea 2) I'm not keen on using the game box as part of the game, but it works, as has been said, for other games. Along with those already mentioned Cleopatra and the Society of Architects uses the base of the game box within the game.
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Sam Mercer
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Hiya Stephen,

"Moonshine" is a cracking theme. I would happily play that and try and get into the mindset of some 1920's flappers and zoot suits and what not.

The board pieces ould have to be absolutely littered with retro paraphenalia and artwork and you would HAVE to have little chits or meeples of little tiny barrels of booze and bottles of mooshine ^^ - I would happily happily play this game

BUT (oh no!)

The way you initially described it is similar to another game that someone else was making in the "let's fix you game", hold on let me get it for you...

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/7966268#7966268

-"Frog-Endazs" a game about making icecream, getting supplies, and delivering the product once it's been packaged.

I would say, looking at your description thus far that the game will be an Asymetric Co-Op game (right?) as the gameplay for each person will be vastly different from the next (policeman must trow others off the scent, brewers must brew, supplies must supply etc)

So it will be very hard to make a very balanced fun asymetric game, and not have it that "being a brewer is boring as you don't get to shoot anyone..." which would kill such a game.

Now I would be a BIG fan of making the entire game symetrical with player powers (same as pandemic) where every char CAN DO each "thing" in the game, but some are much better at it than others. You could turn it into a Mansions of Madness deal, where each character is specifically "wholey different from the next" but that would require too much investment into the micro scale (board mats, maps, inventory, stats and what not) which I think this game would not benefit from.

I think some kind of resource managing game with a very interesting element welded on to the side of it - I will have a think for you man. The game I think also must have tounge in cheek elements and not take itself to seriously to emphasize the golden age that everyone was in at the time - profits increasing, the first making of the "yuppy" being carved into stone, increasing womans rights combined with their want to prove themselves as equals more and more (hence all of the straight edged "flapper" dresses & ideal straight/square figure to somewhat mimic the masculine ideal (the origination of "Tom Boy" can be traced to this era), the corruption of the police with the influx of wild riches, the gold rush around the city hubs and the people that set out to exploit it (most of the big traditional american gangs formed around this time too, to make the most of the influx) the huge increase in culture from abroad due to increased ease in international transport and the invention and application of music redording, making the music and dance scene change from year to year in the "underground" speakeasies. The new music allowing people to dance without boundaries as they had never ever done before; peopl didn't need to waltz or even hold each other during dances anymore, the traditional show dances merged with bizarre new types of mad dancing where people could move themselves however they wanted to (the lindy hop, the charleston, the fox trop, the black foot (n.b. the black foot, a very stompy dance, was called such as originally it was created to mimc the black children as they stomped in the mud), the jitterbug etc. The initiation of
America as a huge nation: industrial projects were starting, the WW1 and build up to WW2 had a massive effect on the moral of the nation also etc......

Huge huge ellements could be taken from all of this Stephen - it will be hard to take JUST the right bits (gangsters are a must btw) of this enormous era and abstract them into a fun boardgame to really help out the super great theme.

The second game (using a box lid) was that inspired (at all) by my recent "innovative uses for boardgame parts" (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/746328/innovative-and-non-st...)
Quote:
The Box the game comes in
Using it as an integral part of the game. Perhaps a miniature game and the box represents some kind of landscape element? Bunker, house, hill? Or have scoring tracks on the front of the box, or even having the traditional roll and move board printed on the box cover?

Because if so ... that is TOTALLY awesome ¬_¬


as far as the practical elements go; unfortunately I think that the entire game played inside the box would limit it somewhat, especially due to the rasied edges and peoples hands being inside the box / not being able to see what was directly infront of you under the ledge etc. Think about any game that you have in your collection - they all (ideally) need about 12 inches more space (projecting out from the board) than a stnadard boardgame box allows. The only way to get around this would be to hold "some" of the game in the boxes (eg: creatures and the X cards or the scoring track or the rooms or sumthin') and have the "rest" of the game specifically outside of the box - perhaps game cards / aide memoirs / resources / player mats etc outside the box - so most of the physicla game would take place outside of the box.

BUT the game idea is absolutely brilliant
I was like : "here we go another lame game ..." and then I read "little monsters trying to get out of the lid" to which I promptly snorted out a little bit of tea through my nose and went
"Teeheeheehee!!"

so I am taking that as a good sign as far as your game is going ^^ I love the super sweet cuteness of it all, little angry harmless monsters growling tiny squeaks and jumping at the box ledge with their little hands teeheehee! ^_^
I believe the word *Kawaii* would be appropriate here - but I am not going to say it... *stern look*

So either you could have it so inside the game box is essentially a "different world" and have it all nicely illustrated, with little areas where the monsters have like made a house out of dice and made a campfire out of chits - that would look great. OR you could have it as if the monsters were literally alive and trying to get out in which case a grey chipboard box would do fine and perhaps you could use some kind of measurement or non-displayed movement patterns for the little monsters (how for example "ice house" has no board or how warhammer miniatrures could be played on any surface due to physical distance measured)


So yeah, bot your ideas I think are really really awseome - my favorite is moonshine but if you could manage to get a simple and elegant monster game sorted for kids and adults - that would be pretty cool

Hope I've helped!

sam
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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Don't like using lid like that.
Obstructs view
I'd worry about harming it
Hate shallow lids
Would be small

I like the IDEA of using the lid, but these are my concerns
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Nate K
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I'll likely leave some thoughts about the lid idea later. For now, I want to discuss some thoughts about "Moonshine."

The theme is "jolly good," as they say. I would totally play a game with that theme. Now you just need to figure out how the game is actually going to work.

I would suggest coming up with "mini-games" for each role. The Brewer might play a quick set-collection game, wherein he or she must gather all the necessary ingredients to make some good booze. If he or she doesn't make enough or it lacks some key ingredients (i.e., doesn't taste good) then the Supplier won't be able to move the goods.

Meanwhile, the Supplier plays, say, a worker-placement game, trying to get the booze to all the speak-easies without getting caught. If he or she gets caught, or doesn't sell enough, then the group won't be able to pay off the Dirty Cop, and they lose.

The Dirty Cop would probably do some sort of push-your-luck game, trying to distract the police without being obvious. If he or she lets on that it's all a ruse, then the jig is up.

Just some ideas to get your brain going. I'd suggest thinking about what sort of mechanics you enjoy and figure out how you could use them in miniature games, each of which affects at least one other mini game.
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D Conklin
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Another box-as-game-board game: The M.U.S.C.L.E. Mega-Match Game

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Péter horog
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Escaping from a box with tiny beetles would be a fun challange and an interesting point of view with a nice athmosphere. Only the rules would be tricky.
The gangster theme is a bit overused (even i have a concept like that), so it's a bit hard to make something new from it.

Yeah, and the box idea is great! Don't put this idea aside!
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Nate
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Dixit uses the box insert as the scoring track.

I think using the insert, rather than the lid, has more design potential.

But why stop there?

Have the insert come in two pieces. Set the lid next to the box bottom, take one of the pieces of the insert and put it into the lid. Now the box lid plus the box bottom, and the insert pieces therein, are your board!

And that's if you're limiting yourself to standard boxes.

What if your game came in a something more like a book or a big binder? You open it, and both sides have trays for components with the board layout spanning the two halves, folded in the middle. And then, the board layout is actually a page, so you can "turn a page" and get a whole new game board.

I think a game has done that too, though. Not that it's a bad idea. Gives you an interesting design space, at least.
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Christopher Zinsli
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Last week I was up late not really watching TV when a show called Moonshiners came on. It's a reality TV show about actual moonshiners and bootleggers in Appalachia. I thought briefly to myself, That would be an interesting theme for a game. And then I promptly forgot about it.

Maybe it could give you some ideas for fleshing out your concept.

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-schedules/series.html?paid=1.142....x
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Kevin Brown
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juggler5 wrote:

1) "Moonshine" - This would be a thematic game that takes place during Prohibition, 1920's Chicago.


The word "moonshine" has a rural connotation that doesn't fit the Chicago setting. "Bootlegger", "Rum Runner", or "Speakeasy" would be better titles.
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Aaron Morgan
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tocoking wrote:
Niagara made clever use of the box. And Mighty Warriors used the lid to modify dice rolls. I always thought the ideas were cool. So you're on the right track. Use that box(lid)!


Operation: Maccabee uses the lid to keep a dreidel in check.
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One Armed Bandit
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Bootleggers already has the moonshine theme, but it's not a co-op

As for using the box... don't do it just as a neat gimmick.
If you have a fundamental mechanic that CANNOT be done better without the box, then go for it.

If it's possible to do the same thing without the box... do it without the box.

Incidentally, a lot of pre-70s games had the rules printed inside the box lid. This became an issue when the lid was damaged or destroyed.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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palmerkun wrote:

If you have a fundamental mechanic that CANNOT be done better without the box, then go for it.

If it's possible to do the same thing without the box... do it without the box.


I gotta agree with this. And just as an aside -- for many boardgames with a "scoring track", I am constantly stressed out by the many accidental nudges that can push those scoring tokens out of place. Sometimes, I feel that just having a scoring pad, or using poker chips would work out a lot better.


My gut, however, tells me that in order for the box to be uniquely / fundamentally keyed to the game ... it would need to be specially produced. And that may lead to production cost issues.
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Derek
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"Moonshiners" needs mobsters and direct conflict. Firefights with Tommy guns? A racing aspect (stock car racing was born out of the moonshine industry)?

I can see it now.
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Thomas Hanna
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MOONSHINE!!!
What a great theme!
Unfortunately I don't have any ideas for you, but I wish you all the best!
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Paul Imboden
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juggler5 wrote:
Hi there fellow Geeks!

So I have been wrestling with these two ideas, and I would input so I can further develop them into enjoyable games. I would appreciate feedback on the premises of these game ideas, as well as your thoughts and suggestions.


The guy who wrote Perry Bible Fellowship had people write to him all the time asking for advice. And I hope you find some answers in his response which, while a bit brusque, cut to the heart of the matter:

"As a prospective member of your audience, I need you to not ask that question. I need you to make something on your own accord and, discovering the unique challenges that face you, make things that further that dialog between your dreams and your reality."

They're great premises, both of them. If we give you too much advice on them, they'll stop being your ideas and just become another soul-draining thing in the marketplace. Make them your things.
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Mark McGee
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The Moonshine idea has great potential. When I read your description, I started thinking about a co-op game with a traitor. Maybe the game could make use of hidden information. The Brewer would give a shipment to the Transporter, who would give it to the Bartender, who would give it to the Dirty Cop. Somewhere along the line, everyone would have to play a card "to the cops" that would reveal some piece of evidence. The traitor would try to give accurate evidence, the other players would try to lead the cops (which is just a sideboard that has all the collected evidence) in the wrong direction. The traitor wins if the cops can get enough evidence to identify all of the non-traitor players and their roles, and the non-traitors win if they can successfully move 10 shipments of moonshine.

And regarding the box lid idea, I echo this:
palmerkun wrote:

As for using the box... don't do it just as a neat gimmick.
If you have a fundamental mechanic that CANNOT be done better without the box, then go for it.


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