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Subject: WIP - The thing board game (any thing fans here?) rss

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Jonathan Hj.
Norway
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Hey everyone

I've been working on a board game based on the movie of John carpenter's "the thing". It's been something i've been fiddling with on and off for about 6 years whenever i had too much time on my hands I know there's a card game PNP out there, and it looks really good. But i think my game brings a few new things to the table, and is quite different

*3-4 players (preferably 4)
*Goal is for it to be shorter than 2 hours to finish.

What makes this game interesting is the paranoia aspect, and the fact that during playtesting some mechanics of the game genuinely instilled fear in me and the testplayers xD (that's good right?)

You're (the reader) not meant to understand perfectly how the game works, but get the gist of it and perhaps state what you think

Also, my English isn't perfect, but here goes

Edit: If you haven't seen The thing, or don't know what it's about,
the following might be a bit confusing:

______________________________________________________________________

Short summary: As one of 4 players, you own and control 3 characters on the board. These 3 characters are randomly and SECRETLY given to you in the start of the game. Only YOU know which 3 characters on the board is yours. Same with the other players, they have 3 characters they control secretly as well. You are able to move these characters throughout the camp and perform actions of your choosing, EVEN interacting with other characters, WITHOUT other players knowing that it is in fact you pulling the strings. The way we're able to do this is through a mechanic that I've developed, and never seen the likes of before.

At some point during the game, personal cards are given out to the players. One of the players will receive only "thing" cards in secret, and the rest of the players will receive Human cards. The player who received the "Thing" cards, is now, and for the rest of the game a Thing player. His 3 characters are infected, and must sabotage, Scavenge equipment and infect the rest of the crew as best they can. Thing player wins if he still has any characters alive by the end of the game. Or has managed to escape or spread infection somehow to the mainland. If the human player characters suspect or finds out that a specific member of the crew is a "thing", he can easily be torched and killed. So the "thing" player has to be clever with how he goes forth.

There's One problem though, in order for this system of secret control to work, the game ends up very component heavy.

The card system in the game is pretty unique. You build the story by playing cards secretly through your characters. The cards can be anything from accusations towards other characters, to suggestions of what actions to take or theories about events that has happened. The system has an inbuilt logic to it. For example: Characters cannot burn corpses until it has become an open fact, that there's a chance of the corpses coming alive again and "thing out". In order to come to such a conclusion (that burning corpses is a good idea), players must share idea cards and do research. (Autopsy may reveal cellular activity in dead remains) Or, simply experience that very thing happening, a dead person becoming alive again and attacking the crew. Anyone can discard an idea/opinion card, and recieve a small pay for it that only serves the specific character any good. In the guise of this action, a thing player can discard any idea cards he has, instead of playing them out in the open. But how do you discard ideas?, An idea unsaid, is an idea discarded.

There are 3 ways to play a card:

*Upwards: The character playing this card, is basically the one coming with the suggestion. And everyone can see the card and the effects written on it.

*Downwards: Card is played by a specific character, but is played face down, and is placed back in the deck (and shuffled)

*Discard: Card is discarded by the character, and is placed facedown in the discard pile.

The last discarded card may be flipped by someone playing an idea card later such as "Hey wait a minute!?".

The best thing about this system is that it creates personalities in each of the characters in the outpost. You're able to judge their actions, and analyse whether they are "things", human or just irrational humans who do more harm then good.

Throughout the game, characters vote other characters up or down on the trust meter. You never wanna be the least trusted, trust me They also vote for "El Captian", a character that does the decision making when it comes to what actions to take, out of the suggestions he received from the other characters. (and more).

There are Items in the game that can be picked up by the characters, these range from flamethrowers to material and equipment that can be used to barricade a door and such.

Some of the actions characters can make each round besides moving, and playing cards:

**Melee attack
**Defend (can target other characters in order to protect them, or just yourself, gives a bonus to you should you be attacked)
**Use item
**operate vehicle
**pickup/drop
**vote/suggest vote
**Perform mission nr" 1,2,3 etc. (which ever active ones el capitan has chosen, requirements must be met to succeed).
**Snatch item (from other characters)


________________________________________________________________________

**The game incorporates a board showing a Birdseye view of an outpost in the antarctic A3 size. And a similar sized board that contains 12 squares. within those squares are the pictures and information of the 12 outpost members needed, information which can change throughout the game (for example their trust "level" in the group). The characters are color coded and have colored round magnet representing each character on the board. (these magnets can stack almost infinitely high, and are useful for when characters are cramped up in the same room.



**Other components are 120+ cards with quotes from the movie, which causes/performs action relevant to the quote. (for example: "How long were you alone with that dog" if played will reduce the target character's "trust" within the members of the outpost. Trust is very important in this game, because it has an impact on which cards the individual character can or cannot play. Also, players with low trust run the risk of being killed off, being mistaken or suspected of being a thing player.



also:
**600 meeple balls of 12 different colours.
**25 item tokens (equipment, vehicles.)
**5 NPC tokens
**12 Boxes, which use is kept secret for now (dont want to reveal any mechanics yet)
**A3 sized board, which tracks what path the players are progressing through story wise.

**Something I call (for lack of a better name) Wheel of unfortunate events. It's basically a dinner plate that spins really well. It has sectors dividing it. Each sector has it's own meaning. An example of one of these sectors: "A storm will arrive next turn, any character still located outside goes missing. Another example: "The character with the lowest trust, located outside of the line of sight of any other character, goes missing". A thing player has a chance to infect this character now, unless it's allready a thing character.

There are some aspects left out that i might update with later. Also some aspects of the game aren't developed yet, and therefore not included.

Edit: pictures of prototype added:











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Terren C
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Re: The thing board game WIP
First off, I love The Thing. One of my favorite sci-fi movies. This concept you've come up with seems pretty solid and quite good to me. I'd personally love to play this.
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J H
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Re: The thing board game WIP
This sounds pretty cool. Is there a negative effect if you elect to torch someone who is not infected? Would that lower Trust?
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Jonathan Hj.
Norway
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Re: The thing board game WIP
jmzero wrote:
It's worth noting that there's a recent Thing board game called Panic Station. I don't know the history, perhaps it was once the PNP you're referring to, but it's now a commercial game.


I was referring to the the card game "The thing". But yes, i've heard of panic station. And i might pick it up one day. However, i'm 100% sure my game is completely different mechanic and gameplay-wise from panic station.

Also worth mentioning, is that i'm making the game first and foremost for my own pleasure and to play with friends. But should it become really good, i'll consider giving it a new theme/story and see where i can go from there

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Jonathan Hj.
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Re: The thing board game WIP
Havox wrote:
This sounds pretty cool. Is there a negative effect if you elect to torch someone who is not infected? Would that lower Trust?


If you kill another member, suspecting that he's a thing or for any other reason, and a bloodtest later reveals that he was human all along, You're not gonna be very popular among the other characters/players

They can choose to vote you down on the trust meter or even simply kill you off or disarm/drug you with morphine.

Or, if the Character you killed, had been behaving erratically or suspiciously, and had low trust, maybe you'll get away with it, seeing as you only did what you thought was in the best interest of the outpost members
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Captain Ameritrash
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Re: The thing board game WIP
Draugtroll wrote:
But should it become really good, i'll consider giving it a new theme/story and see where i can go from there


Sounds very intriguing, especially the hidden character control mechanic. I'd love to know how that works, but I get why you don't want to publicize the details at this point.

If you get as far as retheming and releasing the game, it sounds like it would be super-easy to turn into a game about either vampires/werewolves or infectious diseases. Or the McCarthy-era "Communist threat".
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Jonathan Hj.
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Re: The thing board game WIP
TrashGameLover wrote:
Draugtroll wrote:
But should it become really good, i'll consider giving it a new theme/story and see where i can go from there


Sounds very intriguing, especially the hidden character control mechanic. I'd love to know how that works, but I get why you don't want to publicize the details at this point.

If you get as far as retheming and releasing the game, it sounds like it would be super-easy to turn into a game about either vampires/werewolves or infectious diseases. Or the McCarthy-era "Communist threat".


Hehe, yeah I was actually toying around with the idea of communist infiltrators, double agents etc during the cold war, should i retheme



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Jonathan Hj.
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Re: The thing board game WIP
I've had some scientific breakthroughs regarding this game today, which i'll post more about at some other time

I've got a question though:

What would make the perfect "The Thing" game in your eyes? What sorts of thing would you like to see, and what would you not want in there?

(keeping in mind that it's suppose to be a 1-2 hour game.)
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J H
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Well, my favorite scene in The Thing is the blood test scene. You could cut the tension with a knife. If there was some way you could incorporate that kind of tension into the game, you would have a winner.
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Jonathan Hj.
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Yes that's definitively something I'll try to incorporate
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Jonathan Hj.
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Creative process on the way

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Nate K
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Okay, the paper plate with the sticky notes has me really intrigued. What's going on there?
 
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Jonathan Hj.
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Well i can tell you this much, there are numbers on the side of the plate 1-100. Sticky notes have different events/effects on them.

The numbers correspond with the numbers on the board. So items, and characters, npc monsters etc may randomly appear anywhere on the board, without the use of D100 dice.

The plate will get more uses as i continue to develop the game.

BTW, it spins like a roulette wheel
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I. J. Thompson
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Draugtroll wrote:
What would make the perfect "The Thing" game in your eyes? What sorts of thing would you like to see, and what would you not want in there?

(keeping in mind that it's suppose to be a 1-2 hour game.)


I'd enjoy seeing the Thing player(s) being able to sabotage/scavenge equipment, to try and build a flying saucer like Blair was doing under that shed - an alternate goal to explore, when opportunities to 'thing out' on people in secret aren't presenting themselves.

I love The Thing, and will be watching this thread with interest!
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Jonathan Hj.
Norway
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ijthompson wrote:
Draugtroll wrote:
What would make the perfect "The Thing" game in your eyes? What sorts of thing would you like to see, and what would you not want in there?

(keeping in mind that it's suppose to be a 1-2 hour game.)


I'd enjoy seeing the Thing player(s) being able to sabotage/scavenge equipment, to try and build a flying saucer like Blair was doing under that shed - an alternate goal to explore, when opportunities to 'thing out' on people in secret aren't presenting themselves.

I love The Thing, and will be watching this thread with interest!



Yes, I'm allready working on implementing this

Thing player will be able to scavenge the helicopter, thiacol (tractor), generator (risky), Lab computers and snowmobile
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I. J. Thompson
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Awesome. You might even want to add the kitchen to that list - I remember in the (great) novelization of the film, Nauls noticed some of his things gone missing, too.

I don't have any gamers in my area, but if you make a Vassal module (or have one made), I'd love to give this a whirl!
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Jonathan Hj.
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"Developer only" version of the game



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Jonathan Hj.
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