August Larson
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Kaiju Roadtrip is a game I have started designing in response to Indie Boards and Cards is looking for dice game. This game fulfills the requirements Travis has set forth. It uses specialty dice and a score pad for each player. The game is currently in idea phase, but I just wanted to get some preliminary feedback on theme, gameplay, and anything else.

You take control of a gigantic monster as you attempt to destroy cities across America. Power-Up your monster to be able to cause more destruction and screw with your fellow players. But don't forget to do a little sightseeing while you're at it.

The goal of Kaiju Roadtrip is to cause the most destruction throughout the US, receiving points based on which cities you have destroyed over the course of the game.

There are 11 d6 in total. Each player receives a Power die in one of six different colors. The Power die has one completely blank face, and the other five have different symbols of such things as a mushroom cloud, a question mark, and three other currently undetermined faces. Each of these five symbols also has a small number in the top right corner. The numbers are 1-5, no number being repeated.

There are also 5 Destruction dice which all players will use every turn to determine their actions. Die faces include: a skyscraper, a suburban house, a stalk of wheat, a palm tree, a question mark, a star. Skyscrapers, Houses, Wheat Stalks, and Palm Trees each are "terrain" descriptors, symbolizing Urban, Suburban, Country/Farming, and Coastal respectively. The Question Mark is a wild/joker. And the Star is used to determine which die face on your Power die you will use.

Score pads are 5"x7" (Yahtzee score pad size) and are printed with a map of the United States taking up the whole of it. Outlines of circles mark major cities and there are lines (roads) between cities, a la Ticket to Ride.

Each player is given their own personal score pad, a Power die in their color, and a half-inch diameter token depicting their chosen monster. (Much like King of Tokyo, chosen monster does not affect gameplay and is simply present for thematic purposes.)

Players will start the game in a predetermined location just off the coast. Place your monster token on your current location. This will mark where you are at any time in the game and will determine what choices you have available on subsequent turns.

Each city has a list of destruction requirements attached to it as well as a point value. Requirements are seen as a description of the city. For instance: New York City would have 5 skyscrapers, Des Moines would have 1 house and 3 wheat stalks, Los Angeles would have 2 skyscrapers and 2 palm trees. You get the idea. The Wild (question mark die face) can be used in place of any other die face besides Power-Up (star).

On a player's turn he will roll the 5 Destruction dice up to three times, holding back or re-rolling any dice he chooses, much like Yahtzee. Players attempt to roll the destruction requirement combinations of any cities adjacent (by roads) to their current location. If they roll any right combination after three rolls, they mark that location's empty circle with a pencil and circle the attached point value. Then they move their monster token onto that city. If they fail to roll a valid combination, they must mark any unmarked city on their map, but not circle the attached point value. Now they are not allowed to enter or destroy that city for the rest of the game. The game ends when all players have filled in every city on their score pads (this should occur on the same round).

The Power-Up (star) die face on the Destruction dice awards you with a special ability at the end of your turn. This special ability will be denoted on your Power die. Each player's Power die starts with the blank face up. You will turn this die at the end of your turn to the appropriate die face based on how many Stars you rolled during the Destruction phase. If you rolled one star, you turn the Power die to the face with a little 1 in the corner. If you rolled three stars, you turn it to the die face with a 3 in the corner, etc. Each die face has a different symbol. The explanation for each symbol can be found in the rulebook. After using the ability on your Power die, you turn it back to the blank die face. If you roll for a new ability but already have a current ability, you can use it on this turn and then switch the face to the new symbol, or you can just switch the symbol. You cannot keep your previous ability if you roll for a new one.

Some proposed Powers are: Super-speed - take another turn after this one. Obliteration - all players must mark off on their maps the city you just destroyed, and they don't receive points for that city. Wild - Use this die face as another Wild face during your Destruction phase. Tunneling - you can move to and destroy any city you have not already destroyed, even if it's not adjacent to you.

Alright, so that's the game, what do you think? Please ask any and all questions you have. This is my first time posting a WIP game and I want your help to make this better.

Now, I can also see the glaring similarities between Kaiju Roadtrip: USA and King of Tokyo. But there are many differences too. But despite those differences, is it too close? Should I change the theme to, space empires destroying planets? Terrorists destroying US cities? Suggestions???

Any comments about gameplay or suggestions for how to make it better? Any other questions I SHOULD be asking?

Thanks everyone in advance,
-August
 
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Cliff Roberts
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The "Kaiju" theme seems to be popping up a lot recently. Kaiju City is the first that comes to mind from the past month or so. King of Tokyo is the biggie (at this point) and a few other notable mentions.

The gameplay itself seems pretty straightforward, but honestly, the terrorist attack theme seems more appealing to me. To avoid the risk of offending, maybe take the role of DEFENDING said cities AGAINST attack?

Those are my 2 cents at this point.
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August Larson
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godurmyall wrote:
The "Kaiju" theme seems to be popping up a lot recently. Kaiju City is the first that comes to mind from the past month or so. King of Tokyo is the biggie (at this point) and a few other notable mentions.

The gameplay itself seems pretty straightforward, but honestly, the terrorist attack theme seems more appealing to me. To avoid the risk of offending, maybe take the role of DEFENDING said cities AGAINST attack?

Those are my 2 cents at this point.


Thanks for reading and responding!

Is straightforward a good or bad thing? Or neither?

The reason I picked the Kaiju theme is because I felt it would work better than some of the others. Monsters aren't quite so preoccupied with completely demolishing a city. They just want to cause some mayhem. But there is still some city left for the other monsters to destroy.

I threw out the terrorist theme just as an example, but I'll think about it a little more to see if it'll fit well. As for defending, that would probably require an NPC to be attacking, and I'm trying to keep this game fairly simple. But I will still keep thinking about it to see if it will fit.
 
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Cliff Roberts
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If a basic dice game is what you're looking for, I think "straightforward" is the way to go. Yeah, it's like Yahtzee with a fun theme, but lots of people like Yahtzee. Those looking for a quick pick-up-and-play would be well served by something a bit familiar.

As for the defending of cities, it could be like rolling to defeat terrorists in various ways: counterintelligence, local police, double agents, FBI, scientists, hackers, etc. Each city might be tackling a different type of threat (cyber, bomb, hostage, water supply, etc.), thus requiring different dice combinations, or each city might just be making use of its most prolific resources (NYPD for New York, Silicon Valley hackers, CDC scientists in Atlanta, or something). Just trying to expand my thinking box.
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August Larson
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Here are some other themes I came up with last night:

- Players are pillaging Vikings burning towns for the fun of it and looting any money (points) they can.
- Set in a fantasy world. You are any race of evil: Orcs, Undead, Lizardman, etc.
- Pirates plundering islands and collecting booty.

Which of these themes sounds more interesting? I personally like them all, it's really hard to choose!
 
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Cliff Roberts
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Vikings and Pirates are both good ideas. Or just ditch this galaxy for a made-up one and have a band of marauding aliens reeking havoc. Or go microscopic and have a virus attack the human body.
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Nathan Woll
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I like your ideas.
Questions:
1. Would having "speed up" as a power-up mean some players finish their map before others?

2. How do you win?

3. There seems to be a lot of factors involved in the map. This is good but will require a lot of testing. (Are certain cities worth more points? Are the least accessible worth more or the ones that are harder to roll the requirements because they are so different than their neighbors worth more? Etc.)

4. The theme of monsters attacking sounds good to me though I'll admit I've never played king of Tokyo.

5. What does "kaiju" mean? (I assume it means big monster or something? You may want to change the name to make it more accessible.)
 
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Levi Mote
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nswoll wrote:

5. What does "kaiju" mean? (I assume it means big monster or something? You may want to change the name to make it more accessible.)


It translates to Strange Beast and has become somewhat interchangeable with Daikaiju which is probably a more accurate term.
 
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Levi Mote
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I like the theme and concept (obviously).
Have you thought about making the monsters individuals instead of so vanilla?
If you have a half-dozen Kaiju with different starting locations and individualized Power Dice you create more tactical layers to your game so that hardcore gamers can use it as a gateway game for their friends who are comfortable with Yahtzee.

No matter what theme you pick, the gameplay has to be solid. You can use the theme to fill in the blanks in your mechanics to some degree.

Good luck, I can't wait to see where this goes.
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Nathan Woll
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Also this game has no "push-your-luck" element which is something Travis is specifically looking for.

It doesn't matter to me, I just thought I should point that out since you said this game was made to fulfill certain design requirements and you may not have realized that Travis added to his requirements.
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August Larson
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nswoll wrote:
I like your ideas.
Questions:
1. Would having "speed up" as a power-up mean some players finish their map before others?

2. How do you win?

3. There seems to be a lot of factors involved in the map. This is good but will require a lot of testing. (Are certain cities worth more points? Are the least accessible worth more or the ones that are harder to roll the requirements because they are so different than their neighbors worth more? Etc.)

4. The theme of monsters attacking sounds good to me though I'll admit I've never played king of Tokyo.

5. What does "kaiju" mean? (I assume it means big monster or something? You may want to change the name to make it more accessible.)


Thanks for reading my thread, even though it was really long To answer your questions:

1) Yes, speed up would allow you to finish your map before others. When one player completes their map, though, you play till the end of the round. One player speeding up will make the others want to try to get the speed-up power as well so they don't get left in the dust. But I still need to playtest this before I finalize it as a power.

2) You win by having the most points at the end of the game. Not all players will receive the same points if they can't destroy every city. I'm designing the game to be difficult to get a perfect score.

3) I am still in the process of designing the map, but I will have it be a combination of both. Highest scoring points will be harder/longer combos to roll as well as more difficult to reach, ie: only being accessible from two road instead of four.

4) I really like the monsters attacking theme too, but for the Yahtzee-style gameplay and theme, my game is a lot like King of Tokyo (which was part of my inspiration). One thing in favor of the monsters theme is that later on I can create more maps of different countries for those that want a little different experience. Our world's countries are already interesting and I wouldn't have to make them from scratch like if I wanted to set the game in another world or universe.

5) Kaiju is a Japanese word meaning "strange creature" but translates roughly to "monster" in English. Kaiju is the word that fans of Godzilla and other monster movies use as a general descriptor for that genre.

Any other questions?

I'll be posting more details, especially about the map as I design them.
 
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August Larson
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nswoll wrote:
Also this game has no "push-your-luck" element which is something Travis is specifically looking for.

It doesn't matter to me, I just thought I should point that out since you said this game was made to fulfill certain design requirements and you may not have realized that Travis added to his requirements.


Ya know what, I guess you're right. Obviously I based this game on a Yahtzee mechanic, which Travis listed as an example of game he was looking for. I read all of Travis's thread before posting my game, but I guess I neglected to note that he defines Press Your Luck as continuous action that can keep going till you decide to stop, which Yahtzee doesn't do... I might change the game to fulfill the requirement, just to see if I can and if that'll make it a better game. But if not I'll still make my game to be as good as it can either way. Thanks for pointing that out!
 
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August Larson
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levimote wrote:
I like the theme and concept (obviously).
Have you thought about making the monsters individuals instead of so vanilla?
If you have a half-dozen Kaiju with different starting locations and individualized Power Dice you create more tactical layers to your game so that hardcore gamers can use it as a gateway game for their friends who are comfortable with Yahtzee.

No matter what theme you pick, the gameplay has to be solid. You can use the theme to fill in the blanks in your mechanics to some degree.

Good luck, I can't wait to see where this goes.


That's a great suggestion! One thing that originally disappointed me about King of Tokyo was how vanilla each monster was. Now I have to get the Power-Ups expansion. I think monsters lend themselves better to specialty powers much more than Vikings or some other themes I've been toying with. I will definitely implement specialty powers into my game. Thanks!
 
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