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Jeff Baker
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I've got the game-design-concept flu and I wanted opinions on how people would approach certain aspects.

Working Title: Forging an Empire

Theme: Fantasy

Mechanic: Cards for the most part, not sure about dice. Thinking about resource acquisition, and territory gathering with some combat here and there. Overall goal is to have the most of one Resource?

General Summary: The Emperor is dead, and there is no heir apparent. All the territories, nations, kingdoms, etc. are all posturing for the spotlight in taking control of the Empire. Everyone from Dukes of rich provinces, to Elf Kings from Wildlands, to Orc Warlords in Wastelands, to thieving Pirate Lords.

Resources (WIP): Military, Wealth, Faith, and Magic

Opinions, thoughts, etc. please.
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Nate K
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I would suggest nailing down the goal of the game, and use that to work backwards and build the mechanics. What is it the players are trying to DO? How do they win?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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JefferyB wrote:

General Summary: The Emperor is dead, and there is no heir apparent. All the territories, nations, kingdoms, etc. are all posturing for the spotlight in taking control of the Empire.


Rise of the Proletariat [2013 : 2P-PnP] -- Submitted

kurthl33t wrote:
I would suggest nailing down the goal of the game, and use that to work backwards and build the mechanics. What is it the players are trying to DO? How do they win?


I agree. My game did start with the goal / victory conditions already in mind: Get more control points to overcome any other opponent's influence. And then I worked my way to build up the rest ... how do you get control points? How do you get influence?
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Matt Green
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It sounds to me like you want to design a game with variable player powers in that elves, orcs and pirates have a different way to 'break' the game rules. It also seems that you have four resources that will directly or indirectly determine the winner. Marrying those up seems like the next logical step.

Orcs have a military power
Pirates have a a wealth power
Elves have a magic power
??? have a faith power

Rank the factions from 1-4 in each of the resources. Rank points in each resource after a defined number of turns and see who wins after n turns.

Build a map. Install a mechanism to prevent stalling and you have a game with quite an old school feel about it.
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Jeff Baker
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Thanks for the responses! I'm going to ramble here in the hopes to lock down conclusive answers.

- Players choose a Character who represents a Leader of a particular faction. (Orc Warlord, Pirate Lord, Sorcerer Supreme, etc.)

- Overall goal...hm...in the spirit of my concept-storyline, I want a Player to be the victor in becoming the newest Emperor. To accomplish this...hm...I would like different possible outcomes to achieve their goal. For example, a very Religious faction (lets say the Monks of Shangri'la), would want to convert the Faith of establishments (towns, cities, farms, outposts, etc.) and acquire X amount of territories by the end game to 'win'. While a Military-based faction (Orcs) would acquire territories through armed conflicts.

- So...territories would have a value that they grant to a Player, increasing resources (Military, Faith, Wealth, Magic). Obviously other Players will want to prevent a Player from capturing a territory. How would I achieve conflict resolution?

- The Player will have a deck of cards representing the race they play. Each deck will have units that can be 'bought' with the resources. (Orcs will have Warrior-types, Sorcerer will have Magic-types, etc.)

Thoughts, opinions, suggestions?
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Nate K
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Sounds like the game will need a time limit. Players only have X amount of turns to gain as much of a particular resource or resources as possible before the game ends and they tally up the victory points.
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Jeff Baker
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Should I make the end game be a set amount of turns? OR once a pile of territories have been played out?

I was thinking, very early thought process, a pile of territories (towns, cities, villages, forests, rivers, temples, ancient tombs, etc.) Each turn 4 territories are laid out in the playing field. Players place a unit on a territory, to claim that territory through various means (combat, magic, wealth, faith) Obviously their race's units are more inclined to one or two of those resources. And there must be some sort of conflict resolution needed when multiple players put a unit on the same terrain. Suggestions?

For example, a city, a town, a farmstead, and a village are in play. The Orc places a Warrior (which has Military strength of 2) on the town, which requires 2 Military resources to conquer. But a Duke player puts down a Mounted Knight (Military strenghth of 3) on the same town. Is the Orc Warrior unit destroyed and town captured by the Knight's player? OR perhaps run out?
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Nate K
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JefferyB wrote:
Should I make the end game be a set amount of turns? OR once a pile of territories have been played out?
Both would work. The point is to have a sort of countdown to the endgame.

Quote:
I was thinking, very early thought process, a pile of territories (towns, cities, villages, forests, rivers, temples, ancient tombs, etc.) Each turn 4 territories are laid out in the playing field. Players place a unit on a territory, to claim that territory through various means (combat, magic, wealth, faith) Obviously their race's units are more inclined to one or two of those resources. And there must be some sort of conflict resolution needed when multiple players put a unit on the same terrain. Suggestions?

For example, a city, a town, a farmstead, and a village are in play. The Orc places a Warrior (which has Military strength of 2) on the town, which requires 2 Military resources to conquer. But a Duke player puts down a Mounted Knight (Military strenghth of 3) on the same town. Is the Orc Warrior unit destroyed and town captured by the Knight's player? OR perhaps run out?
How are these military units represented? You could have force the losing unit (in this case, the Orc Warrior) to retreat, and lose some Military Strength. So it's not a total loss, but the value of the Warrior is degraded. That way, Military Strength acts as both attack/defense value AND hit points.
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Jeff Baker
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Thanks Nate!

Let me try to analyze this through examples.

Four territories are laid out in the playing field. In parentheses will be the resources you get once you conquer them (each turn?), as well the values also represent the values required to conquer (if your unit has equal to or greater).
1) Town - (+1 Military, +2 Faith, +2 Wealth)
2) City - (+2 Military, +1 Faith, +3 Wealth, +1 Magic)
3) Ancient Temple - (+ 4 Magic)
4) Shrine - (+4 Faith, +1 Wealth)

Player 1 (Orc) spends 1 Military and 1 Wealth to play a Warrior (has Military strength of 2) on the Town. The Warrior Military of 2 is higher than Town's 1 Military, so the Orc would conquer the Town.

Player 2 (Elf) decides to contest the Town. Spending 3 Military and 2 Wealth, the Elf Player puts a Centaur (Military strength of 4) on the Town. The Centaur exceeds the Orc Warrior Military.

End of turn, the Town goes to the Elf Player's controlled territory and the Centaur is placed in the bottom of the Elf Player's deck. As well, the Town gives +1 Military, +2 Faith, and +2 Wealth to the Elf Player. The Orc Warrior is placed in the bottom of the Orc Player's deck.

How is that sounding? Suggestions?

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Jeff Baker
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Should all four resources be collectable?

Resources: Military, Faith, Wealth, Magic

- Wealth: I could make it that when you capture territories you acquire Wealth, which is used to purchase/play Units from your card-hand. Should buying fortifications/structures for conquered territories be another possibility? Purchasing mercenaries? Buying certain special territories?

- Magic: This would be a resource used to play cards dealing in Magic effects, spells, and special Units. Certain territories would grant Magic resources, perhaps each turn.

- Faith: I can see Faith being used to convert a territory over to the Player's religion, conquering a territory through non-combat. How could this play out in the game? And would it be a renewable resource from conquered territories? And how else could it be used?

- Military: If Wealth is used to determine the 'cost' of a Unit to be played, is it necessary to have Military as an additional consumable Resource? Perhaps Military is just the value of a Unit's strength and the value needed to conquer a territory through combat. What other way could Military be used?

Thank you for all the suggestions!
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Nate K
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JefferyB wrote:
Should all four resources be collectable?

Resources: Military, Faith, Wealth, Magic

- Wealth: I could make it that when you capture territories you acquire Wealth, which is used to purchase/play Units from your card-hand. Should buying fortifications/structures for conquered territories be another possibility? Purchasing mercenaries? Buying certain special territories?


Do you want these to be possibilities? If so, then yes. Otherwise, file the idea away for now.

Quote:
- Faith: I can see Faith being used to convert a territory over to the Player's religion, conquering a territory through non-combat. How could this play out in the game? And would it be a renewable resource from conquered territories? And how else could it be used?


Can players use Faith to acquire territories WITHOUT booting out another player's military presence? So the Elves can hold a territory through conversion with the Pirates hold it through military presence? And they both get resources from that territory? Then you can have players gaining and "sharing" territories while bypassing armed conflict, which is a strategy that appeals to certain types of players.

Quote:
- Military: If Wealth is used to determine the 'cost' of a Unit to be played, is it necessary to have Military as an additional consumable Resource? Perhaps Military is just the value of a Unit's strength and the value needed to conquer a territory through combat. What other way could Military be used?


Military could also be a sort of limiter on the level of tech that an army has. Units have both a Wealth AND a Military cost. So the Orcs may have cheap units, but can't get the really good stuff (like, I don't know, captured dragons) without investing and hoarding a lot of Military. Pirate units, on the other hand, are more costly in terms Wealth, but tend to require very little Military compared to other factions.
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Werner
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Hi,

The tricky part of the resource mechanic will be to keep things balanced.

All players must be able to use all four resources but excel at using their own resource (is an advantage maybe that orcs spend less military)

I would say, get an old deck of cards out of a cupboard stick blank labels on them, mark the values on them and play test your concept.

I read a book on game design that suggests one start play testing at 20% of the desired schedule you want to finish the game in.

Play testing will quickly reveal things you did not think off, or what things you though will work but does not.

Use it, don't use it.

Regards,

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Jeff Baker
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kurthl33t wrote:

Can players use Faith to acquire territories WITHOUT booting out another player's military presence? So the Elves can hold a territory through conversion with the Pirates hold it through military presence? And they both get resources from that territory? Then you can have players gaining and "sharing" territories while bypassing armed conflict, which is a strategy that appeals to certain types of players.


Interesting. I would like to hear more on how you would address this.

Example; a Town. Lets say it requires Military 2 and Faith 1 to capture. Orc Player puts a Warrior (Military 2) to capture the Town through combat. Elf Player puts a Druid (Faith 2) to capture the Town by converting its religion. So both the Orc and Elf Players 'conquer' the Town.

Do they BOTH get the Town's resources? Can another Player try to re-take the Town by Military or Faith? Perhaps, if you conquer by only 1 type (ex. Military or Faith) then you don't get the full benefits of the resources, maybe only half? So it pays to control a territory through 2 or more means (ex. Military AND Faith).

kurthl33t wrote:

Military could also be a sort of limiter on the level of tech that an army has. Units have both a Wealth AND a Military cost. So the Orcs may have cheap units, but can't get the really good stuff (like, I don't know, captured dragons) without investing and hoarding a lot of Military. Pirate units, on the other hand, are more costly in terms Wealth, but tend to require very little Military compared to other factions.


Would Military make more sense as a resource for 'quantity' of units (ex. Orcs have LOTS of infantry)? And then Wealth represents 'quality' of units (ex. Heavily armed/armored Knights)?

How could I incorporate Faith as a usable resource? Other than as a means to 'conquer' a territory. For special units?
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Nate K
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JefferyB wrote:

Example; a Town. Lets say it requires Military 2 and Faith 1 to capture. Orc Player puts a Warrior (Military 2) to capture the Town through combat. Elf Player puts a Druid (Faith 2) to capture the Town by converting its religion. So both the Orc and Elf Players 'conquer' the Town.

Do they BOTH get the Town's resources? Can another Player try to re-take the Town by Military or Faith? Perhaps, if you conquer by only 1 type (ex. Military or Faith) then you don't get the full benefits of the resources, maybe only half? So it pays to control a territory through 2 or more means (ex. Military AND Faith).


I would say they both get the resources, yes. After all, if a city is under military control AND being manipulated by an oppressive religious sect, the population's wealth would get drained more quickly than if it was just one or the other.

This turns Faith into a sort of game-within-the-game. It is a way to gain resources with having to confront the other players. While the red, blue, and yellow players are fighting over territories and losing their units, green is patiently converting territories to her side with Faith, thus gaining resources without having to lose them to maintain the military machine. The downside? All her enemies are gaining resources at a rate equal to her's, so she can never overwhelm them with a superior force if/when it becomes necessary.

Quote:
kurthl33t wrote:

Military could also be a sort of limiter on the level of tech that an army has. Units have both a Wealth AND a Military cost. So the Orcs may have cheap units, but can't get the really good stuff (like, I don't know, captured dragons) without investing and hoarding a lot of Military. Pirate units, on the other hand, are more costly in terms Wealth, but tend to require very little Military compared to other factions.


Would Military make more sense as a resource for 'quantity' of units (ex. Orcs have LOTS of infantry)? And then Wealth represents 'quality' of units (ex. Heavily armed/armored Knights)?


That seems perfectly sensible, yes!

Quote:
How could I incorporate Faith as a usable resource? Other than as a means to 'conquer' a territory. For special units?


I would say this depends on what the victory conditions are. Is it all about gaining enough territories and resources? Or are there other factors involved? For example, if the main way to win is to gain X number of territories, then Faith could be a secondary victory condition: control Y territories through Faith and have Z amount of Wealth. (No one's going to listen to a church unless it has lots of money.)

On the other hand, if the goal is to conquer a certain territory or particular territories, then things change a bit. (For example, say the players were trying to build up enough power by conquering smaller Towns and Cities so they can try to take control of the Capitol, which is a really tough nut to crack.) If that is the goal, then you can have Faith be an easier way to conquer the Capital, but then make Faith more difficult to obtain. The way to do this is to not have Cities and Towns give players a Faith resource bonus unless the player controls them through Faith. So players can battle over Cities and Towns through their Military and gain all the Wealth, Military, and Magic resources of those areas, but they cannot gain their Faith unless they send out proselytes.

This creates an interesting tension for the players. They must ask, "Do I go for Faith and try to 'sneak in the back door' of the Capital? Or do I fight the other players over resources and then siege the Capital for the win?" What I find most delightful about this method is that if too many players try for the Faith victory, then the one player who chose Military instead will be able to conquer unopposed and will win while the others squabble over converts.
 
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Jeff Baker
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I'm really enjoying how this is developing. Thanks Nate K (kurthl33t)!

Well, for victory conditions I really need to nail down a conclusive answer. I just came up with one possible concept.

- The overall goal is to become the next Emperor, in the vaccuum caused by his untimely death and amidst the turmoil caused by many factions seeking to take over since the Emperor left no heir. To accomplish this, in my eyes, a powerful figure would need to win over the hearts/minds of the people or perhaps just the Emperor's Council (a handful of key advisors who run the Empire for the Emperor).

- Therefore, a Player wants to influence the Emperor's Council members to become the next Emperor. Influence can be gained through converting towns, cities, etc. by military force, religious conversion, etc. SO, each territory 'conquered' grants a player Influence Points, which are used to 'purchase' the votes of a member on the Emperor's Council (Lord of Coins, Lord General, Arch-Bishop, Arch-sorcerer, etc.)

- Thusly, a Player must acquire territories, which give them resources (Military, Faith, Magic, Wealth) and the Influence to affect Council members for the final vote to become the newest Emperor.

- Faith (which is spread about by Proselytes, Acolytes, Priests, etc.) is a non-combat method to acquire territories.

- Military (Warriors, Cavalry, Big Monsters, etc.) is a combat method to acquire territories, easier and faster, but you can lose units and be contested easier?

- Wealth, the obvious use of monies to 'purchase' better units to be used to conquer territories. What do you think about using wealth to purchase structures to reinforce territories conquered?

- Magic is a resource used to activate spells and as another item to 'purchase' certain units?
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Nate K
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JefferyB wrote:


- Wealth, the obvious use of monies to 'purchase' better units to be used to conquer territories. What do you think about using wealth to purchase structures to reinforce territories conquered?


Sounds sensible. You may also want to toy with the idea of being able to buy Influence (at a high price, of course).

Quote:
- Magic is a resource used to activate spells and as another item to 'purchase' certain units?


It sounds like you might not have Magic fully fleshed out as a resource? That makes me nervous, as a designer. If I'm not certain what something is going to be used for, it's probably time to throw it out.

Having said that, I do think that Magic could be a good secondary resource for acquiring units. It's harder to get than Might or Wealth (for most factions, anyway) but allows the player access to really powerful or interesting units.
 
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