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Subject: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Contest Ready rss

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Rocco Privetera
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Here's my second entry (for my first year). As always I like to work around the framework of limitations and this game is all about the small game category.

This is an entry in the Solitaire 2012 Print and Play challenge!

"Leet" Traders is a two-page retro clone of the old wireframe from the 80s you may all remember. You start with a basic trading ship and some money, you fly around to planets buying and selling trade goods, having encounters and either staying the straight and narrow or becoming a dirty pirate yourself. The game is fully Solitaire and plays anywhere from 15 minutes to hours (one game I played took 90 minutes).

The game requires the two printed pages which contains the rules, the player card, the 13-Planet universe map, the encounter tables and matrices and so forth. At an 8 point font it's legible. Barely. The game also requires to regular dice and a pen/pencil. You basically print off the ship/map sheet and make alterations directly to it.

Let me know what you think!

http://www.mightyfistgames.com/design/leettraders.pdf

Here's a screen shot of the first page:

(I didn't include the second page as it's all tons of tennsy tiny text).

5/11/2012 Edited to add updated rules, pages, and image for here.
5/16/2012 Edited to add some updated rules, new Market system, additional encounters, and new image for front page.
6/6/2012 Edited to post the new rules which include the game sheets and rules in one pdf
7/21/2012 edited with updated version with new fonts, layouts, some new encounters and a few rules fixes/clarifications
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W.-L. T.
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Actually, if I read the rules right, the rules don't count towards the page limit! If you load them off to a rulebook, that may allow you to increase your font size to a whopping size 9 laugh!

Quote:
Best Small Game (limit to two pages of components needing cut. Player aids, player boards, and rules don't count to the page limit.)
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Eddie
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
What, no "Lave" planet? laugh

I'll have to give this a good once-over -- I absolutely loved Elite!
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
lordshadowisle wrote:
Actually, if I read the rules right, the rules don't count towards the page limit! If you load them off to a rulebook, that may allow you to increase your font size to a whopping size 9 laugh!

Quote:
Best Small Game (limit to two pages of components needing cut. Player aids, player boards, and rules don't count to the page limit.)


I wasn't sure. I suppose I should remove the rules then to a third page - increasing my unit cost by 66%! - and move the encounter matrix to the first page - and that would give me a little more room for additional encounters.
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Pelle Nilsson
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Loved Elite, but want to point out that not all versions were restricted to wireframes (the PC version could be run with filled polygons if your computer could handle it ).

There was some micro-(board)game ca 1980 that was also similar to Elite (from what I read; never played it), but I'm not sure if that was before or after Elite. Also iirc there were some older digital game(s) that inspired Elite. Read some article on the history of that genre not too long ago. Looking forward to see how this next step in the evolution of space trading games will play.
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Nate K
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Took me a while to figure out the encounter matrix. And I'll add in another vote for moving the rules to a separate page. After all, you don't have to print out the rules, but you do have to print out the components. As long as the components fit onto 2 pages, you qualify for Best Small Game.
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
I thought having it handy like that would be useful, but once you get the rules down, there's no reason, you guys are right. I'll get to editing. Also found a couple of mal-programmed encounters I need to fix now that I have the room.

And I suppose a sample of play on the extra rules pages couldn't hurt.
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Updated the design: removed most rules, added to actual rules document (which is part of the game file, which now has two pages of rules). Added some more encounters. Added Lave and fixed a few broken encounters.

Here is an example of play, starting with the basic starting setup.

Quote:
Captain Leet starts by buying 2 units of Tech and heading out to Dyzan. On turn 1, he enters the Lawless Space around Dyzan, paying 1 fuel. He rolls for encounter: a 6-6-2 for an s62 encounter: On the way, he loses a point of shields to a faulty capacitor. On his repair phase he restores the lost shield point.
Turn 2, he pays a fuel and lands on Dyzan. He rolls for encounters, rolling 4-2-3, or P23: A passenger who wants to go to (rolling 5) N-Core. I pick them up. Then the trading phase. I roll a 6 on the Market table (no change to the market), so I sell my 2 Tech for 16 (netting me $2 profit) and buy 5 food, the max I can carry, for $5, and top off my fuel for another $1.
Turn 3, I head back into Lawless space, pay one fuel, and roll for encounters, rolling X12, no encounter. Whew.
Turn 4 I head into the Standard zone around Tempus, and roll for encounters, rolling E24: A small pirate Corsair attacks. I pay the one fuel and decide to try and take it out. I don't move and attack with my Laser 1, rolling (2+4 on dice plus the laser's accuracy of +1) = 7 versus their Evade of 8, a miss. They attack: I roll a (2+3 plus my piloting 1) = 6, less than their ACC of 7 so I get hit. 2 pts damage, 1 stopped by shields, I roll to see where it goes: a 1 means my shield points drop to zero....
Will I survive the fight and see Mrs. Passenger to her cushy corporate job on N-Core? Stay tuned, space fans!

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Rolf
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Are the modifiers rolled during the trading phase permanent or temporary, e.g. if I land on a planet and roll a 4, then leave and come back later and roll a 6, would luxury still have the -2 modifier or not?
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
nessi wrote:
Are the modifiers rolled during the trading phase permanent or temporary, e.g. if I land on a planet and roll a 4, then leave and come back later and roll a 6, would luxury still have the -2 modifier or not?


Originally I didn't specify this, so the assumption is you roll before you come to the planet each time. if they were "stored" you'd need to write the market table roll onto the star map.

However, it does provide a neat, slightly less random RPG element if it stays the same, right? Is it to much trouble to write it down and if the player rolls the "no change" result, it stays to whatever the last roll was?

Another option of course is to modify the market value for goods, after you buy or sell (to represent supply and demand), which Elite used to do... but that seems like too much record keeping.
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Rolf
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Ok, I'll treat it as not stored for the moment.

Could you clarify the 'combat phase': at what range do the ships start? Maybe give examples (without the damage, just the movement) in the cases: both 'attacking', both 'evading', one attacking the other evading, both attacking but one switching to evading half-way through...

Regarding 'Upgrades' and 'New Ship Systems', it's not clear to me which is which.

So, I started a game house ruling the above as I went along. I ran into the following:

You need more of a 'timer', pushing the player to do riskier stuff as time goes on. What stops a player from doing an Earth-Tempus (Luxury), Tempus - N-Core (Metal), N-Core-Earth (Tech) run over and over again (with the occasional visit to Capitol for ugrades)? A supply-and-demand model would possibly stop this...
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Let's see. I guess I didn't write out the range rules that well. I'll take another stab at it today. The idea being that if someone is trying to get away, they keep making evade checks, moving further and further away until they disengage. but it's not written well. Good point.

Quote:
Regarding 'Upgrades' and 'New Ship Systems', it's not clear to me which is which.


damn, this was not the best rules writing on my part.
Since the ship comes with a Laser 1, Laser 2 would be an upgrade. Missiles would be a new system (since you don't start with one). And I'll add that to the rulebook.

I suppose you run the risk of encounters fouling things up, but looking over the #'s on that particular run, there's a base chance of about 30% of no encounters, and then another maybe half the remainder of a negative encounter.

Quote:
You need more of a 'timer', pushing the player to do riskier stuff as time goes on. What stops a player from doing an Earth-Tempus (Luxury), Tempus - N-Core (Metal), N-Core-Earth (Tech) run over and over again (with the occasional visit to Capitol for upgrades)? A supply-and-demand model would possibly stop this...


I thought about implementing a market system beyond what I had (some basic randomness so every planet wasn't always well known) but I had originally chalked it off to being too complicated for a game this size. What about something simple, like every time you buy or sell a good on a planet, you put a "+" or "-" next to the good, altering the value by one in that direction? And then instead of a random market chart for the planet you land on, maybe the market roll is for one random planet to produce (helping to reset the #'s) or something similar.

Another option would be to limit how many of each good are on each planet, and have some kind of production metric per turn: like next to each good is a series of check boxes you tick off, and a die roll adds new goods to certain planets each turn, but that seems like even more work?

Some encounters and reputation metrics help to push encounters: if you are in a zone and get an encounter that adds +1 E to the zone, for example, the chance goes up it will be dangerous, forcing you to contemplate other paths through space. but right now it appears encounter chances are low enough that this doesn't happen that often.
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Thanks for the feedback - i'll run a few test games today and see what seems to work better.
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Rolf
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Rocconteur wrote:
What about something simple, like every time you buy or sell a good on a planet, you put a "+" or "-" next to the good, altering the value by one in that direction? And then instead of a random market chart for the planet you land on, maybe the market roll is for one random planet to produce (helping to reset the #'s) or something similar.

This looks good. However, I would tie rolling the die to the sell/buy action, as otherwise an 'empty' and fairly risk-free stop at a planet would help you with the market.
Another approach could be to spread the value of goods: say average values of 5, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100 (plus 'vice', which I have trouble evaluating at the moment). Then design the map so that high-value goods can only profitably be traded on longer (more dangerous) routes. Do this with more events which have the risk of 'loose 50% of your money'. That way, the beginner can improve his ship in a fairly risk-free way, but doing small runs endlessly will not work.
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire game Contest) Playtesting phase
Quote:
However, I would tie rolling the die to the sell/buy action, as otherwise an 'empty' and fairly risk-free stop at a planet would help you with the market.


I actually was thinking each turn you are on a planet (where you can logically "check the market") you can roll to select a planet (there are twelve rollable ones, or maybe I come up with some symbology to have it be more than one) and then how it's market fluctuates. So it you were on Earth, say, you could "hear" about how N-Core (which had been short on Food due to over-supply by yourself) is back to normal food prices, and how Capitol is showing a spike in Tech surplus. Maybe the roll benefits where you are currently but maybe not.

Something like roll 2 dice. first die indicates the planets (1 = planets 1 and 2, 2 = 3 and 4, etc). Second die indicates the result (1 = result planets back to normal, 2-5 reset one good back to normal (which ever is highest offset from starting value), 6 shortage one good one point, which ever is at shortage) or similar.

Thus you have your supply/demand, and once a turn occasionally a planet resets so the universe doesn't continually get stuck. I'll take a look at it.
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
New version up after your suggestions and some playtesting!

1. Added range rules (hopefully they make more sense now)
2. Specified ship systems and upgrades so that is explained.
3. re-vamped Market system in 3 ways: Players buying and selling alters planetary market prices, so repeated runs between worlds stops being valuable after a few runs. New Market table occasionally resets this, so planets aren't permanently altered forever. New Market table now includes 11 sub-results which can further alter planet markets.
4. Changed layouts, fonts, giving me some more room! So I added another dozen encounters, including a galactic monster menace scenario and a Space Opera storyline that can be discovered.

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Timothy
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
I love this sort of game! Looking forward to giving it a go!
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
Hi all. I've got some new friends playtesting this. I've got a new version up at http://www.mightyfistgames.com/design/leettraders.pdf

Mostly its just a few corrections, plus the new rules bundled in the same file as the game pages. All told it's 3 pages of rules and 2 precious pages of game components. There's 93 random encounters!

Based on the feedback of this, I might break this out into a larger game for multiple players. I imagine it wouldn't be hard - a larger map with plenty of planets and zones for encounters, a bigger encounter book, tokens for tracking the market on various planets, and "ship cards" for players would pretty much do it. Heck, it was easy enough to put 93 encounters on one page and use a three dice system to generate them. All I'd need to do is add a 4th die (or some other way of breaking down encounters - maybe more zone types) and I could blow it out to +500 encounters, easily.

Thanks for the feedback so far!
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Nate K
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
Wow, I'm glad you posted, I had forgotten about this game! I'm going to try to play it tonight.
 
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Chad Mestdagh
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
Having read the rules, I am not sure if there is a goal. Is the purpose of this game just to get as much as you can until you die?

Edit. Oops. Never mind. Just saw new post and rules!
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Queen Carlotta
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
The early game can be a bit frustrating - there's just no chance to survive one of those encounters that shoot back with the initial +1 piloting and +1 laser. Happened to me in my first three tries, each time medium and large pirate ships killed me before I even made it to Capitol for an upgrade.
3 suggestions to make the early stage less harsh should the dice show some animosity towards you:

1) Fighting those encounters is out of the question considering their high HPs, so the only way to survive would be to evade, however starting the combat at Close Range you need to beat the enemy Evade value 5 times in a row to get out of reach - good luck with that. I'd suggest to start at Medium Range instead for a slightly higher chance to evade. Would make more sense thematically too, I'd thunk.

2) Pirates. They're pirates, so why should they want to destroy your ship when they could get your goods instead? I'd say treat em similar to the Corrupt Cops encounter (without a Rep check): Once in boarding range - and only if you haven't shot at them in this encounter - they take all your trade goods and all your money except your last 10$ (you don't carry all your money in cash, do you?) then let you go without further harm. That way the player can decide to keep the combat as short as possible (they still shoot at you even if you don't attack) when no evade attempts are made.

3) Have an Upgrade yard on N-Core instead of the Shipyard for new systems, that way the new player needs to cross only 1 encounter zone to get the first laser upgrade.

-
Some holes and rough edges I came upon here and there:

- How to resolve Reputation checks: 2 dice or 1 die? Descriptions in the rules differ from the game sheet
- The Movement-in-Combat rules still seem garbled. I assume it's intended to work thusly: The player ship always remains in "Boarding Range", any change of range is executed by the enemy ship only, relative to the player position, e.g. the player manages to retreat, this is indicated by moving the enemy ship from Close range to Medium Range etc.
Now, those sentences in the rules go off in decidedly different directions
Quote:
...player succeeds, he moves a unit further from the enemy

Quote:
that means moving the enemy to Boarding and moving the player closer
???
No idea about that one:
Quote:
When moving, the player must always "reduce" the distance if possible in a way that puts off the end of the encounter


- There are gaps between encounters A55 and A61 and between C51 and C61
- Some references in the encounters are a bit confusing, e.g. M55 Space Slug family reads: Will leave player alone unless he has ever killed a M31 ...
Now, M31 is in the "Amoeba" range, and we have to treat the space slug babies as such, so much is clear, but why reference the specific M31 when the Amoeba range is M21-M32? Of course, that's no biggie, however when learning the game it makes the player question if he fundamentally misunderstood the encounter concept.
Also, in this example, I guess the Slugs only attack if you ever killed a baby/amoeba in the same Slug family encounter and not if you killed an Amoeba encounter amoeba?

-
I'm in my 4th game now, this time with a little more luck I managed to upgrade the laser before running into my first pirate who happened to be one of the easier ones... 90 minutes? I'm expecting to play for weeks now.

With the large number of varied encounters at its heart this is an enjoyable game, I was a bit sceptic about writing on the play sheet at first, but with wrapping it in plastic and using an erasable pen, that's not much of problem really. I still might add a track for money and fuel though...

Thanks for the game!
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Grégory Guazzelli
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
Hi,

Well, i just have done a first Vassal Module release... but before diffusion i would like to have the feedback from guys who know the game.



How to Use it :

- Point your mouse on Shields or Fuel and Right clic to change values of the entire listing.
- Put cube as markers on the right level (right clic on a cube to duplicate it)
- Move the ship
- Roll dice using toolbar or roll a die by a right clic on it.


Please put here you interest to test the Vassal Module and i will send you the link

Regards,

Grégory
www.VassalFactory.org

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Nate K
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
I'd be willing to test it, but I may not have time until Saturday.
 
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
There were a bunch of questions above: now that I got BARBARIAN VINCE done I'll look at these today, so expect some changes on this game (minor ones). Thanks.
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Rocco Privetera
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Re: WIP: "Leet" Traders (2012 Solitaire Contest) Public Playtesting phase
OK, answering some questions/updates:

Regarding difficulty in the early game, I've worked on a slightly updated version. I've fixed some fonts and moved some things for legibility.
- Fixed the reputation system (it was listed slightly differently in two places). A rep check now works like a regular skill check - you roll two dice and add your rep. When the rules do not specify a number, the Rep Check "Success" is 5 or over.
- Added a series of "starter missions". You pick one as the "backstory" for your character. Each of them gives you a slight leg up (along with a slight disadvantage for some of them). Choosing the newbie "fresh out of flight school" option is a definite "easy" way to start the game.
- Added rules for pirate encounters that allow you to bribe and surrender.

Now some questions:
Regarding range issues, I can see how starting further away makes some sense. The only issue is that starting further away makes it easier to avoid space encounters (both for you and for your victims, if you go pirate). However in gameplay it seemed to work, so I change it that *you* start at boarding range and the enemy start at medium range. This seems to work.

The garbled moving rules I re-wrote to make more clear.
Gaps between the encounters are fixed.
Space slug encounter (M31) fixed - the typo in the Space Slug family may have been before I renumbered stuff. Also baby slugs have stats now. And the encounter has been renamed to "Baby Space Slugs". And yes, if you kill a baby space slug ever, anywhere, a family of baby slugs anyplace else in a new encounter attacks you. Word gets around space slugs.

With that, I republish the new files and move the game into Contest Ready mode! Thanks for the all the help!

Now - I have to make this into an iphone app!
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