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Subject: Creating Custom Player Boards for 1995 edition rss

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Kenneth Stuart
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EDIT 7/28/12
Potentially the final product as a result of this thread:






I have spent a good many (far too many) hours working on a player board for my 2nd edition copy of this game. After numerous attempts to find a design style I liked, I have settled upon what you see here.



This is currently incomplete, but I wanted to get some feedback to work with while I continue to work on these boards. Obviously my name (wizcreations) will not be on the final product. First I'll tell you what I am going for, and then you can tell me where my implementation may have failed and should be improved.

The board is sized for 10x5 inches. I wanted to make it printable on standard letter paper as not everyone has access to legal paper. This sizing constraint makes the 1&5 registers slightly cropped, though the spacing is appropriate for the size of the cards.

All font used on the board is the same font used for the actual game.

The LIFE area shows a red X over each possible life a robot may have. I left room for all 5 possible lives (3 starting, +1 for 5 players, +1 for 5 boards) though not all need to be used. I thought about putting some indication on the extra life locations for the conditions for more lives, but thought that would be too cluttered.

The POWERED ON location is an (improved) implementation of the one in the Avalon Hill version. The board shows POWERED ON and can be covered with the POWERING DOWN / POWERED DOWN token as appropriate. I will be making 8 of these tokens.



The robot icon is a direct scan from the rulebook with enhanced images. The text under the robot icon also matches the rulebook.

The damage token locations display the number of program cards a player draws for however many uncovered token locations there are on the board. I attempted to put this information next to the token icons, but it looked too cluttered. I am currently wondering what the 9-8-7-6 damage locations would look like if they were in a line above the 4&5 instead of a 2x2 grid.



THINGS YET TO BE COMPLETED:

I still need to add the rivets to the Power and Damage locations as I have done with the Life and Robot areas.

I plan on using the space on the left of the board to include the robot description from the rulebook. I figure a little flavor text is a good filler for that area.

I plan on using the space on the right of the board for a description of turn sequence. I will probably use the same setup as the one from the Avalon Hill version, but with improved wording and layout.
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Kenneth Stuart
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In case you missed it in the previous post:

I am looking for feedback on this design and implementation. Let me know what you think, good or bad! Don't feel a need to sugar-coat your feedback, either. I can take it!
 
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Jimmy Sorel
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Have you thought about have the 6,7,8,9 go vertically up the right side of the board, directly above the 5.

I think that group of 4 seems a little out of place, and the vertical drop could feel almost like a countdown until you start locking registers.



................................
..............................9.
..............................8.
..............................7.
..............................6.
.1.....2.....3.....4......5.
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Kevin Riddle

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in the empty space on the left put a little somthing about the robot (the bio)
the empty space on the right could be the sequencing of conveyors, crushers, laser, etc ...

DO you need a spot for upgrades?

edit -- that's a cool idea Jimmy suggested with the count down
it does look a little strange in a small grouping
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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Immediately after posting this I thought that I might put them like this:

9 8 7 6
1 2 3 4 5


I can try up the side too though and see which looks best.



Also, as stated in my first post, the empty spaces will be used for Robot Bio and Turn Summary, unless someone has a better suggestion
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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As for upgrades, I was originally thinking of using the spot on the left for a player variant of Bot-specific upgrades, but after perusing the threads I found that most of those variants are unbalanced.

I also thought about putting indicators for Turn Programmed option cards that need to be placed on one side of the robot, but that might be too cluttered too. I could make a sidebar on the left or right that says "Option Cards" and it could just indicate a place for players to put all their cards, but I don't know if that is really necessary.

What do YOU think about a spot for upgrades or otherwise?
 
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Christian Rehm

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I think you should put your time into creating some movement stickers to put on poker chips. Pulling those out of a bag would be far superior to all that shuffling!
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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christianrehm wrote:
I think you should put your time into creating some movement stickers to put on poker chips. Pulling those out of a bag would be far superior to all that shuffling!

Chris, if I were to spend my time on that, I would put it on chipboard and throw them into a bag. No need to waste poker chips!

I may do that in the future, but I want to start by getting this done. It makes it easier to understand how the locked registers work.
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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Well, here is the finished(?) product. Any comments or ideas for improvement?

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Kevin Riddle

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looks awesome
do you need to list specifically which board elements go first?
that's usually the only thing I have to check when playing
 
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Lori
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I like the way you have a specific place to put all the damage tokens. That not only makes it clear which cards are locked, but makes it way easier, when dealing the cards, to see who gets how many.

But I think I would number them differently. This board makes it look as if the first damage you take locks your first register, which of course is not at all the case. I would number the row above the cards #1-4, then number #5-9 from right to left as they lock cards (so that, for instance, the damage token that goes on the 4th register to lock that card is #6). It'll look wacky at first glance if you don't know the game, but it will be a much more accurate and useful guide to what really happens as you take damage.
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Kevin Riddle

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ahh, yes, great idea
reverse the numbers to represent the count down to locked registers

I really don't think the deal cards, program cards are needed
that happens so much they should understand that immediately ...
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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scout13 wrote:
looks awesome
do you need to list specifically which board elements go first?
that's usually the only thing I have to check when playing

I would not even dream of doing that. The list is HUGE if you include all the fan-made boards. I have a separate printout for that.


ellephai wrote:
I like the way you have a specific place to put all the damage tokens. That not only makes it clear which cards are locked, but makes it way easier, when dealing the cards, to see who gets how many.

But I think I would number them differently. This board makes it look as if the first damage you take locks your first register, which of course is not at all the case. I would number the row above the cards #1-4, then number #5-9 from right to left as they lock cards (so that, for instance, the damage token that goes on the 4th register to lock that card is #6). It'll look wacky at first glance if you don't know the game, but it will be a much more accurate and useful guide to what really happens as you take damage.

The numbers are ordered to say how many cards you draw. If I reverse the numbers, I think I would need to put a negative sign in there too to indicate -1 card, -2 cards, etc. I will see what that looks like.

I wanted to put text on there that says, "10th damage kills you, discard one option and withdraw archive copy with 2 points of damage," but I couldn't find an appropriate place on the board or good phrasing to fit it.


scout13 wrote:
I really don't think the deal cards, program cards are needed
that happens so much they should understand that immediately ...

That is how a turn progresses, so that is what I included. That turn summary is based on the turn sequence listed on page 12 of the rulebook. I might change the word SUMMARY to SEQUENCE, though.
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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Here are those changes

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Jimmy Sorel
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All those numbers should be 1 less...if you go with -9, you won't get any cards

I think sticking with the 9 to 1 countdown is best
 
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Rich Shipley
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Titaniumator wrote:
I think sticking with the 9 to 1 countdown is best


I agree that the original way was best. You get cards equal to the largest number not covered up.
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Kenneth Stuart
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Titaniumator wrote:
All those numbers should be 1 less...if you go with -9, you won't get any cards

No, it's correct as is. You get 9 cards with no damage, 8 cards after your first damage, etc. You get ZERO cards if you have 9 points of damage!

9 cards minus 1 card for every point of damage. 10th damage equals death! robot


edit: I now see my mistake! Yes, with no damage, a -0 should be showing, then after 1 point of damage, -1 should be showing, etc. I see what you meant now. Please forgive me for my misunderstanding.
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Sure, but it is inelegant to say: "Hey, you know that first number you can't see? Yeah, that's how many cards you don't get this turn. If you can see '-2', it means that you are covering '-1' and that's 1 less than the 9 you would otherwise get."

Man, it looked better, and is a lot easier to tell rookies what's happening the previous way with the count-down. "The highest number you see is how many cards you are dealt. When you take damage, cover up the highest number first."
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
Sure, but it is inelegant to say: "Hey, you know that first number you can't see? Yeah, that's how many cards you don't get this turn. If you can see '-2', it means that you are covering '-1' and that's 1 less than the 9 you would otherwise get."

Man, it looked better, and is a lot easier to tell rookies what's happening the previous way with the count-down. "The highest number you see is how many cards you are dealt. When you take damage, cover up the highest number first."

Oh I see what you mean. I guess then it would be -0 to -8. Please forgive me for my misunderstanding, Jimmy.


After looking at this conversation, I think 9..8..7....1 is best. if I did go with the MINUS #, what happens then when you take the 9th point of damage and there is no longer an indication for how many cards you draw? What should I do about that?
 
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Dennison Milenkaya
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Probably change "Life" where it appears top-center to "Archives" or "Archive Copies" since robots don't have lives. It would be more consistent with the rule books.

You have a different graphic for a powered-up 'bot to contrast the powered-down token. This is great! Perhaps implement the same idea with the archive tokens? As it stands, if you put two archive tokens on the "Archives" track, you'd still see five archive icons!

A similar implementation can be used for the damage locations, but since they have the big numbers there and players are meant to add stuff to that spot (instead of starting with tokens there and removing them as the game progresses), it remains clear that this is where damage tokens go. Besides, how do you illustrate non-damage?

Can you include a six-space track to indicate robot's check-point progress? As it stands, players occasionally need to declare which check-point they last touched to remind other people of their current race placement. This is difficult to remember with several players and criss-crossed goal paths. Obviously you wouldn't need to demonstrate that you already touched the sixth check-point but you would should indicate if you haven't touched any, so these could be numbered 0-5 to show the last check-point touched but it would be more visually pleasing to number them 1-6 (like the flags themselves) to show which check-point the 'bot needs to reach next.
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Kenneth Stuart
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FlatOnHisFace wrote:
Probably change "Life" where it appears top-center to "Archives" or "Archive Copies" since robots don't have lives. It would be more consistent with the rule books.

Good point! This is why I posted it here for discussion before making them available. I will definitely change LIFE to ARCHIVE COPIES.
 
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Matt Smith
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wizcreations wrote:
FlatOnHisFace wrote:
Sure, but it is inelegant to say: "Hey, you know that first number you can't see? Yeah, that's how many cards you don't get this turn. If you can see '-2', it means that you are covering '-1' and that's 1 less than the 9 you would otherwise get."

Man, it looked better, and is a lot easier to tell rookies what's happening the previous way with the count-down. "The highest number you see is how many cards you are dealt. When you take damage, cover up the highest number first."

Oh I see what you mean. I guess then it would be -0 to -8. Please forgive me for my misunderstanding, Jimmy.


After looking at this conversation, I think 9..8..7....1 is best. if I did go with the MINUS #, what happens then when you take the 9th point of damage and there is no longer an indication for how many cards you draw? What should I do about that?

I think it's pretty obvious if you have nowhere to program a card (all cards are locked), then you get no cards.

Personally, I liked the 9 to 1 countdown better, but either way would work.
 
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Kevin Riddle

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oh, I see, that makes sense to know how many cards to draw
I like the original way better
must have missed that I guess, sorry
it looks really good
any way you're going to upload these with each bot image on it?
or maybe a generic RoboRally
 
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Kenneth Stuart
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scout13 wrote:
oh, I see, that makes sense to know how many cards to draw
I like the original way better
must have missed that I guess, sorry
it looks really good
any way you're going to upload these with each bot image on it?
or maybe a generic RoboRally

After this discussion I will be uploading a PDF of all boards plus my Powering Down / Powered Down tokens. I will also submit 1 image to the gallery as a sample file so that people can see what they're getting before downloading, and so people can be directed to the file listing from the images.
 
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Christian Rehm

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wizcreations wrote:
Chris, if I were to spend my time on that, I would put it on chipboard and throw them into a bag. No need to waste poker chips!

I may do that in the future, but I want to start by getting this done. It makes it easier to understand how the locked registers work.


Other then the fact that poker chips are WAY cooler. Put the bots backstories on those mats too, everyone could use a little more theme in their life.
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