Julian Jimenez
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I'm trying to brainstorm for a hockey game I want to design.

Most hockey games I've found are things like season simulations, team manager simulations, or match simulations without controlling the action.

I want to create a hockey game where the player actually controls the movements of each teammate they have on the rink.

I'm trying to think about which type of movement would be best. Either orthogonal grid based movement (four cardinal directions), hex based movement, or some sort of abstract movement like in chess.

I intend the game to have the player choose their team from a pool of "classes" who each have different advantages and disadvantages. Kinda like the old Nes black box hockey game. I don't have the classes worked out yet. I'm starting with movement and board type.

Just wanted to get some input.

Thanks.
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Steven Metzger
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Brewtal_Legend wrote:
I'm trying to brainstorm for a hockey game I want to design.

Most hockey games I've found are things like season simulations, team manager simulations, or match simulations without controlling the action.

I want to create a hockey game where the player actually controls the movements of each teammate they have on the rink.

I'm trying to think about which type of movement would be best. Either orthogonal grid based movement (four cardinal directions), hex based movement, or some sort of abstract movement like in chess.

I intend the game to have the player choose their team from a pool of "classes" who each have different advantages and disadvantages. Kinda like the old Nes black box hockey game. I don't have the classes worked out yet. I'm starting with movement and board type.

Just wanted to get some input.

Thanks.
I'd nix movement entirely, or restrict it to the three zones on the ice (making it one-dimensional). Hockey is just too fast to have spatial elements have any meaningful value.

The best sports game I ever thought up was a deckbuilder focusing on ice hockey line changes.
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peter newland

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This will be a trial-and-error research as you want the system that
a. keeps the game simple
b. keeps the game fun

I'm about to release a sports game for print-and-play and went back and forth on grid vs hex vs "open" movement (like miniature wargaming) and it really depends on the format for, in your case, the rink, how many things need to be moved and how far,etc. All of these come into play but really need to be boiled down to what is the simplest approach that keeps the "essence" of hockey. Games are, in general, an abstraction of reality, so try to not get too bogged down with nuances of a physical system and making the player determine the outcome of chaos.
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Russ Williams
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What is the distinction you're making between "orthogonal grid based movement (four cardinal directions)" and "some sort of abstract movement like in chess"? Chess is played on an orthogonal (square) grid, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

Hockey and football type games have been made on square grids and hex grids and board with specialized (nonregular nongrid) topology (generalized mathematical graph of edges connecting nodes). It seems all of them have pros and cons.
 
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Christopher Todesco
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Hmm.. If you're dead set on using a movement/position based system, I'd do a little research on hockey theory, training, and drills. A natural pattern may emerge and you'll have your answer.

Though hockey tends to be a lot of very circular and curvy movements. I don't think you'll get that out of a hex based system, and you'll definitely not get it out of a orthogonal grid. Russ mentioned a graph of edges and connecting nodes, and all I can think of is this:

But obviously on a hockey rink and more geared towards the way hockey moves.
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Julian Jimenez
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russ wrote:
What is the distinction you're making between "orthogonal grid based movement (four cardinal directions)" and "some sort of abstract movement like in chess"? Chess is played on an orthogonal (square) grid, so I'm not sure what you're getting at.


What I meant by abstract was like having different characters move in very specific ways. Like how knight for example in chess moves or how the bishop can only move diagonally.

This will not be a complete literal translation of a hockey game or have anything to do with nhl teams. I'm not going to try to implement every nuance of hockey. Mostly passing, shooting, goal tending, and fighting.

I really don't want to nix movement entirely because I feel it would really take away from what I want to do with it. I did actually consider only having "zones" for characters to move from point a to point b, but it really loses a lot.

I want the gameplay to focus on creating your team, the action on the ice, and the strategy of the placement of your characters. Fighting will be an important element as well and the game will most likely be played in single round single matches. Like a Hockey skirmish I suppose.
 
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Manchuwok
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Pond Hockey does some of what you mention, and does it very well.
 
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Julian Jimenez
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Another thing I've been trying to consider is how the puck would work.

Whether or not the puck should be it's own playing piece/token/chit/etc that would travel in front of the player piece and possibly end up on it's own when a shot/pass is missed.

Or if the puck would always be held with the player pieces. The player pieces could be double sided chits/tokens. One side would represent the player with the puck and the opposite side would be the player without the puck. This way, there would be no actual puck piece that would have to be fiddled with constantly. Maybe have a puck piece used only when the puck ends up "stranded"/on it's own somehow.

Although I'm considering having the puck end up "stranded" just not possible in order to keep the action flowing.
 
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I second the "zone" idea, but would go with more than three. I would say eight; the body of the rink split into 3x2 (the three zones, as suggested before, but further divided into left and right), but then an additional "behind the net" zone at each end.

I agree with what was said about hockey being too fast for small-scale placement on a hex grid or whatever to be meaningful in a turn-based game. Also, in terms of the tactics involved, momentum is hugely important, and that's very hard to model in a board game.

 
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I'd start by asking who the game is aimed at. Hockey fans, or board gamers? And if board gamers, which ones?

Does a real hockey game have an opening, midgame and endgame (like many board games) or is it a series of basically separate contests (like many card games)?

How important is it to simulate an actual game?
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Since you're in Antioch, you should stop by the Antioch Indoor Sports Center on Sunset Drive and watch some roller hockey.

I am sure you have watched/played hockey before, but roller is a little slower and there are fewer players on the rink so it may help you to analyze the player's movements more easily or come up with some ideas for 'zones' and such.

Good luck with your design. thumbsup
 
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Russ Williams
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Desco wrote:
Russ mentioned a graph of edges and connecting nodes

To give a concrete example, the football game 11 (which I've not played, just noticed the board topology):
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Julian Jimenez
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The circular movement does look interesting.

If I do go with "Zones" I would probably go with 15. 3 lanes divided into 5 sections.
 
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Alex Weldon
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Brewtal_Legend wrote:
The circular movement does look interesting.

If I do go with "Zones" I would probably go with 15. 3 lanes divided into 5 sections.


I'm telling you, if you watch any hockey, "behind the net" is its own section and needs to be dealt with separately from the left/right division of the rest of the ice.
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Julian Jimenez
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I definitely watch hockey. Only sport I like to watch.

I fully intend to have behind the net access. The five sections would include the area behind the net as the last section on each side. with tree lanes for top, center, and bottom.

If you're suggesting that behind the net takes place somewhere other than the actual gameboard/rink, like on it's own mini-board, I doubt that will happen.

Again though, this will not be a literal hockey translation. There will be no penalties, but off-sides will be in effect. More than likely, line changes will not make it in. Face offs will only take place from center ice.

When I'm ready to discuss the other aspects and theme of the game specifically, I'll make another thread.

While I'm at it though, any thoughts on AI for solo play? I actually already have an idea for a simple system, but I'm curious what others think. Other than "can't be done", "why?", or "don't bother" though please.
 
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I know very little about hockey. Very little. But I am doing a soccer/football games with similar ambitions to yours! And I have been thinking that the same core mechanics, could work for a game like hockey.

I'm going with the ball/puck as its own separate token. Make it so it fits underneath a player piece, and it isn't fiddly or difficult at all. Definitely easier than making doublesided player tokens.

Asger
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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russ wrote:
Desco wrote:
Russ mentioned a graph of edges and connecting nodes

To give a concrete example, the football game 11 (which I've not played, just noticed the board topology):


I this idea! Obviously needs to be adjusted to hockey tho
 
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Alex Weldon
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Brewtal_Legend wrote:

If you're suggesting that behind the net takes place somewhere other than the actual gameboard/rink, like on it's own mini-board, I doubt that will happen.


No no, I just meant it probably shouldn't be divided into left and right. Because when they're fighting for the puck back there, it can easily come out on either side. That's why I said eight, originally. Five "vertical" divisions, but only the middle three are divided into left and right.
 
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manchuwok wrote:
Pond Hockey does some of what you mention, and does it very well.
Thanks, Mark. But I'd like to note that you played a version that isn't available online yet, so some of what you experienced will differ from the game people will find here at BGG (e.g., the supporting player movement and the slick ice being one long section rather than split into 3). Most of it's the same though, so the OP may wish to check it out. I'm still not entirely satisfied with the game but I'm getting to a point where I'll be able to stop and say it was good enough, then move on to something else....

Something that might be useful for the OP: Here's a video I made when I was toying with making a more realistic movement system than Pond Hockey currently supports. It's a fairly simple system that gets explained in the captions. The one thing it does, that I liked, is it makes the player movement gain that curving motion that people have mentioned here. If you were to draw a line to show the path each player moved through during the video, and drew each diagonal move as a curve, the circular nature of the movement would be more apparent.

I abandoned this development path because - although it could lead to a decent simulation of hockey - it would make for a very long game - probably on the order of 3 hours to play.... Hockey needs to be fast. The trade off between making the game play fast and making it have interesting decisions is what makes designing a good hockey game difficult.

I wish you luck!



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Stormtower wrote:
russ wrote:
Desco wrote:
Russ mentioned a graph of edges and connecting nodes

To give a concrete example, the football game 11 (which I've not played, just noticed the board topology):


I this idea! Obviously needs to be adjusted to hockey tho

I´ve tried to use that on a hockey game and I couldn´t make it work. I also had a box simulating the "Slot" which had connections to the dots/positions. The slot could hold 3 players from each team and if the attacking player gained possession of the puck inside the slot a shoot would be made. I also laid out the positions to replicate face-off positions on five of the nine face-off spots. If I remember correct, there where, in general, five positions from side to side and about 13 from end to end. I´m still thinking about that design from time to time and really would see it work.
 
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would love a good hockey game that actually represents the game play. it would be cool to have some kind of daft mechanism that you picked teams by allowing you to build your team to suit the game you like. You for sure need to have skaters with different attributes. So having a mechanism in the game at the start that allows you to build the type of team you like seems like a must. You would be able to build a team around defense or around scoring and the players you draft would allow you to utilize different things. The worst sports games are ones that don't take into account the different skill sets that players have.

I love the concept of the puck being able to move on its own as per the video to allow for dump ins. It would mean if you had fast skating forwards you could have them dump the puck past a slower D and beat them to the puck in the corner to set a scoring chance up.

As others have mentioned using a chess like movement system would be best. I recently was beta testing a free online game that had a really cool movement to it. Nothing too innovative it just worked really well. The battles were based on a grid system and the different units had movement and attack characteristics. For instance a jet might be able to move up to 6 spaces and then could attack 1 space. The game would highlight the spaces there were valid places to move with obviously doesn't work for a board game but getting that visual aid was kind of a cool insight into the movements. For this game I could see if you could have your players having similar attributes. The player would have a movement, passing, and shooting value. Say they were fast moving, they could move 4 spaces with the puck. Then if they were a poor passes they could only pass the puck 2 spaces or they could take a shot based on how many spaces they could shoot the puck.

When it comes to scoring and shooting you might be able to use this same idea. The goalie would have a movement and save attribute. it could be set differently for low and high shots. Say the player has a slap shot rating of 5 spaces and the goals has a high shot save value of 3, not sure how this would work yet but some how you would take the shooter value and the distance from the net and if it is something like double that of the goalies save and movement you score.

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Daniel Quinones
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or you can roll a dice and add shot value to beat the goalie's "save value". I actually put together a really extensive hockey game that covers all these things. I've worked on it for like 2 yrs.. I put the idea away thinking i'd never find people interested in the idea. I have like 4 notebooks full of ideas dedicated to this... I should put together a final copy.. and post it for you guys and we'll go from there. Whaddya think?
 
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Julian Jimenez
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@Monochichi
Quote:
would love a good hockey game that actually represents the game play. it would be cool to have some kind of daft mechanism that you picked teams by allowing you to build your team to suit the game you like. You for sure need to have skaters with different attributes. So having a mechanism in the game at the start that allows you to build the type of team you like seems like a must. You would be able to build a team around defense or around scoring and the players you draft would allow you to utilize different things. The worst sports games are ones that don't take into account the different skill sets that players have.


Drafting and different player types with different attributes is all planned already. Probably have about 8 to 12 different player classes to choose from. There will be a movement, passing, and shooting stat for each player. They work more or less the way you described, but you will also be able to pass and shoot beyond your range, but at a penalty for each space over the range.

The goalie's will have a defense stat too. Also working similar to how you described.

Still trying to decide on whether or not to use random modifiers or not. It would be good because it would add some luck and make it so you can't completely predictable or shut anyone out from the beginning. Although non randomized would make it quicker playing and more stream lined.

I'm considering going with a hex board. I think it would be good at simulating the circular patterns in which players skate. You don't often see them make perfect 90 degree turns. I'll probably make a hex version and a checkerboard version when the rest of the rules are done to see which works better.

The game is also intended to be solitaire playable. The opponent team will work by an AI system where each opponent player type has specific rules for how it moves including how it intereacts with other specific player types. This will be combined with probably one type of randomizing event. The game will also be two player of course.

One thing I'm wondering about is whether each player should move their whole team each turn, or one player piece each turn?

The game will also not be nhl/standard hockey. It will be afantasy based hockey game with some extra things like items to be used in the rink, fighting of course, weapons, and rink hazards.
 
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Daniel Quinones
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Good luck... You are where I was about a year ago... I been made my decision on whether you move on player per team turn or the whole team. With that said, I'm going to get to working on mines... I feel like I have to compete to makes mines better lol or we can share ideas. regardless I will be posting it here when I'm done.
 
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Julian Jimenez
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prproblemz wrote:
Good luck... You are where I was about a year ago... I been made my decision on whether you move on player per team turn or the whole team. With that said, I'm going to get to working on mines... I feel like I have to compete to makes mines better lol or we can share ideas. regardless I will be posting it here when I'm done.


Glad my thread inspired you to start working on your design again. I'm taking my time with this though so, no real competition here. I have a feeling they will be quite different anyways.

You might want to make your own thread when you get your done and post a link to it in this one.

If I get more feedback soon from my current solitaire pnp contest entry and get it to a finished state, I may start work on this one more to enter it in the contest as well.
 
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