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Subject: New Idea - Air Operations Game (with graphics) rss

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Filip W.
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My first question when seeing this is: how many times have you playtested it to date?

The reason I'm asking is due to two issues (that I've done myself when I started designing): you've spent quite a bit of time on graphics and how the game will look and you've got a large set of different elements.

The first, spending time on graphics early, is fun but it actually hinders you in making a good game as you're likely to be attached to your visual ideas and they may not work very well with the rules. Also, graphics are harder to change than rules. Therefore I always use as crude and fast created graphics as possible until I'm in the phase where the prototype is stable (i.e. when I can go at least 4-5 playtests without changing the rules).

The second, that there are many elements in the game, means that there will be a lot of complexity. That in turn means that you'll have a hard time figuring out what's wrong if the game doesn't play the way you intended. And you'll have a hard time changing the rules as even small changes will mean large implications due to the number of elements. Therefore it might be better to start with as base a skeleton of a game as possible and add rules one by one with each playtest. That way you'll be able to see when a rule breaks the game.

Good luck!
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mike
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The first problem you have is labeling your cards SECRET/NOFORN

You need to remove that immediately and I would suggest deleting the this thread and starting a new one.

That is a real classification for military and intel classified documents.

I realize that movies, TV shows and sometimes video games use fake classification markings, but its probably not a good idea, especially if this is something you're designing and want to sell in the future.
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mike
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player ranking by military ranks wouldn't make sense.

You're not going to see too many 2nd lts on combat missions as they probably haven't even made it through training yet if you're talking fighter aircraft, other aircrew sure.

If you want to have fighter or bomber missions then the ranks of the pilot crew are generally going to go from 02-06, probably not too many 06s flying and you're not going to have any general officers flying.

So progressing through missions by rank doesn't make that much sense.

You could have ranking based on the number of missions completed. If you had cards for air to air combat then after a certain number of kills the pilot would be an ace.

also tactical and operational really are mission types, not as far as aircraft go.

air refueling would be a mission for tankers
air re-supply for transports
air drop of paratroopers for transports
air medivac for transports

fighters you have air defense, combat air patrols, air to air, point defense, etc

fighter/bombers - close air support, suppresion of enemy air defense (SEAD)

bombers (b-1, b2, b-52) you could have close air support mission, more than likely these are being used to attack mass concentrations of troops or infratructure targets- airfields, power stations, fuel depots, etc

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Greggor Anthony
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filwi wrote:
The first, spending time on graphics early, is fun but it actually hinders you in making a good game as you're likely to be attached to your visual ideas and they may not work very well with the rules. Also, graphics are harder to change than rules. Therefore I always use as crude and fast created graphics as possible until I'm in the phase where the prototype is stable (i.e. when I can go at least 4-5 playtests without changing the rules).

The second, that there are many elements in the game, means that there will be a lot of complexity. That in turn means that you'll have a hard time figuring out what's wrong if the game doesn't play the way you intended. And you'll have a hard time changing the rules as even small changes will mean large implications due to the number of elements. Therefore it might be better to start with as base a skeleton of a game as possible and add rules one by one with each playtest. That way you'll be able to see when a rule breaks the game.


Thankfully, I am not really attached to the images and in fact I will probably change them several times during play testing. I think graphics are the easiest for me to change but I needed to make maps to playtest the game. I was a prior web designer so 45 minutes is not a significant investment of time to create the few images I did. The refueling card literally took 20 second by "cartoonizing" a picture and another minute of writing the text. But I do see what you mean, I have seen friends way too attached to an idea but in this case the images were made to get people to actually read the thread versus glossing over the wall of text and move on.

To your second point, I actually thought the game was over simple compared to most aerial based games, not complex. Could I trouble you to elaborate on the complex part? The map is very basic and the three mission sets I currently have been play testing are bomb targets, rescue targets, airdrops for targets. While initially play testing it last night I was trying to find the right movement system (as I mentioned in OP) and made this thread seeking advice and "an extra set of eyes".

80sgamer wrote:
]The first problem you have is labeling your cards SECRET/NOFORN

You need to remove that immediately and I would suggest deleting the this thread and starting a new one.

That is a real classification for military and intel classified documents.

I realize that movies, TV shows and sometimes video games use fake classification markings, but its probably not a good idea, especially if this is something you're designing and want to sell in the future.

Thank you for the concern. It really isn't an issue but I will change them since these were just examples. Instead of deleting the thread I can just change the images the thread links point to.

But, just a small aside, the document is purposely wrong in the fact that it only has the marking on the bottom, it needs to be top and bottom for a legit document. Also none of the text is portion marked.

I just made these images very quickly, this is not my final product I plan to ship out tomorrow

80sgamer wrote:

player ranking by military ranks wouldn't make sense.

You're not going to see too many 2nd lts on combat missions as they probably haven't even made it through training yet if you're talking fighter aircraft, other aircrew sure.

If you want to have fighter or bomber missions then the ranks of the pilot crew are generally going to go from 02-06, probably not too many 06s flying and you're not going to have any general officers flying.

So progressing through missions by rank doesn't make that much sense.

You could have ranking based on the number of missions completed. If you had cards for air to air combat then after a certain number of kills the pilot would be an ace.

also tactical and operational really are mission types, not as far as aircraft go.

air refueling would be a mission for tankers
air re-supply for transports
air drop of paratroopers for transports
air medivac for transports

fighters you have air defense, combat air patrols, air to air, point defense, etc

fighter/bombers - close air support, suppresion of enemy air defense (SEAD)

bombers (b-1, b2, b-52) you could have close air support mission, more than likely these are being used to attack mass concentrations of troops or infratructure targets- airfields, power stations, fuel depots, etc


First, about the different missions. I am well aware that each aircraft has a different mission and this is why I did not specify what aircraft you would be flying. We could VERY easily overwhelm and confuse players if they need to juggle specific missions, corresponding aircraft, AFTO 781 for flight hours, their role on the aircraft, etc. This game is not the hardcore aircraft archtype seen in many related games.

Also, a pilot may fly several different birds and do varying missions downrange during their career (F15 pilots moving to anything else, they aren't happy). You could even take the angle that you are directing these pilots and gaining rank on their achievements (hey this is what real OPRs use as bullets ).

My operational/tactical mission type is a mechanic to define if you had to complete all objectives on one map or several maps, that's all. Can you think of a better way to describe that aspect?

But to be honest, the rank progression is just a leveling up mechanic in an officer rank package. This can easily be changed later in design phases. Call of duty, the most popular video game every year uses officer ranks to level up your character who are completing "low rank infantry style" achievements (you're ranked as a 3 star general out there running down terrorists with dual shotguns, really?!) and I do not think it detracts from the game at all.

I am open to changes and again, the graphics AND theme were just here for people to visualize the game and not stare at a wall of text. I am just a little surprised that no one actually addressed my movement mechanic help requests, lol.

I do appreciate all the feedback but I guess the images backfired as that is the main focus.
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Ed G.
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Take a look at and try to play the following, which exist in the same thematic space as your idea:

Versseon's Air Leader Series

Duel in the Dark
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Greggor Anthony
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Thank you. I will take a look at those for inspiration and ideas.
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Filip W.
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Greggatron wrote:

To your second point, I actually thought the game was over simple compared to most aerial based games, not complex. Could I trouble you to elaborate on the complex part? The map is very basic and the three mission sets I currently have been play testing are bomb targets, rescue targets, airdrops for targets. While initially play testing it last night I was trying to find the right movement system (as I mentioned in OP) and made this thread seeking advice and "an extra set of eyes".


Looking at your images you've got:
1) a tile based tactical combat game which is fed by
2) a card based strategic management game with objectives that lead to
3) a campaign game with rewards

Each of these will contain numerous elements and might even be viable as a standalone game. Thus lots of complexity in how your elements interact with one another, which is hard to debug.
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mike
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any updates on this?
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