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Brainstorming: need some ideas

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Chad_Ellis
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Joined: 12/31/1969

Hi All,

I'm working on a game in which players are gladiators on a planet called Arenaworld. One of the victory paths is going to be building up enough popularity with various fan groups. Each group has their own "flavor," e.g. there is one group that loves underdogs that win against the odds and another that loves sneaky plays.

Does anyone have any thoughts on good "fan" groups? I'm looking both for humor/flavor and for something distinctive that such a group would respond to wrt gladiators.

Thanks,
Chad

sedjtroll
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Re: Brainstorming: need some ideas

Chad_Ellis wrote:
e.g. there is one group that loves underdogs that win against the odds and another that loves sneaky plays.

Wow, is this the Chad Ellis of Your move Games, featured in this months The Games Journal and perhaps even known to old Magic players ho either follow the Pro Tour or hang out in #mtgwacky?

Hi.

When you say a group likes sneaky plays, are you referring to sneaky plays on the part of the player, or on the part of a gladiator? I've never thought of gladiator combat as 'making plays,' sneaky or otherwise.

One place to look for inspiration might be Scream Machine, which has different 'audiences' (customers who like different kinds of rides). Some like rides of type A, and some of type B. One customer likes any type of ride as long as it's the 'cheapest' (lowest total value).

I guess the question becomes how do you build up popularity? Do the fans like your attributes? Your actions? etc.

Hope that helps.

- Seth

Zzzzz
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Brainstorming: need some ideas

Hmmmm

Fans of the :

Pretty Boy
Bad Boy
Geek/Wimp
Cheater
Champion
Masked Gladiator
Flashy (clothes or moves)

Just a few rough ideas...

Scurra
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Brainstorming: need some ideas

I must confess that my first reaction to your posting was to think "yeah - Gladiators as Pro-Wrestlers - cool idea."

My guess is that you need to fly with character archetypes; as Zzzzz said, the "villain", the masked gladiator, the cheat, the righteous, the underdog, the wimp are all good starting points.

Then there might be the weapons or fighting styles that the gladiators use, which could attract allegiances from particular groups; so a character that switched from one to another might gain lots of support but would probably lose some fights since they aren't proficient in the new style...

Chad_Ellis
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Re: Brainstorming: need some ideas

sedjtroll wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
e.g. there is one group that loves underdogs that win against the odds and another that loves sneaky plays.

Wow, is this the Chad Ellis of Your move Games, featured in this months The Games Journal and perhaps even known to old Magic players ho either follow the Pro Tour or hang out in #mtgwacky?

It is indeed, lol. And hey, I'm back on the Pro Tour again, although since I Q'd for Japan so who knows if I can afford the time and money to go!

Quote:
When you say a group likes sneaky plays, are you referring to sneaky plays on the part of the player, or on the part of a gladiator? I've never thought of gladiator combat as 'making plays,' sneaky or otherwise.

The gladiators. In the game the gladiators have the option of taking a dive (and then betting on themselves), and basically there's one fan group I've already got that loves it when people get ahead by doing anything other than winning a legit fight.

Quote:
One place to look for inspiration might be Scream Machine, which has different 'audiences' (customers who like different kinds of rides). Some like rides of type A, and some of type B. One customer likes any type of ride as long as it's the 'cheapest' (lowest total value).

Cool, I'll check it out.

Quote:
I guess the question becomes how do you build up popularity? Do the fans like your attributes? Your actions? etc.

It could be anything, really...so long as it interacts well with the rest of the game/mechanics. Since the game is still in the concept/early development stage, that's pretty flexible too! :)

Thanks for the thoughts!

Regards,
Chad

Chad_Ellis
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Brainstorming: need some ideas

Scurra wrote:
I must confess that my first reaction to your posting was to think "yeah - Gladiators as Pro-Wrestlers - cool idea."

I hope so...the flavor of the game was what came first during some random daydream and I'm trying to build good mechanics around it now so I can playtest it.

Quote:
My guess is that you need to fly with character archetypes; as Zzzzz said, the "villain", the masked gladiator, the cheat, the righteous, the underdog, the wimp are all good starting points.

I agree. I don't think I want to create "player characters" that have to fulfill particular roles (or have special abilities that push them towards doing so), but I definitely want players to have those options and to have the Popularity mechanic reflect that.

Quote:
Then there might be the weapons or fighting styles that the gladiators use, which could attract allegiances from particular groups; so a character that switched from one to another might gain lots of support but would probably lose some fights since they aren't proficient in the new style...

Interesting idea! My first thought is that this might complicate the game too much. (I'm prone to over-complicating things, so I want to be careful about that.) Right now the basic mechanic for resolving duels is quick and easy but still allows for lots of play because of the way betting works. Adding different fighting styles would blow things up a bit...but there are other ways to represent that idea.

Thanks (to all) for the ideas!

Regards,
Chad

sedjtroll
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Brainstorming: need some ideas

How about having the different characters gain support for fans when they do certain things...

So say it's wrestlers instead of gladiators. And say one character is a big cheater, another is a showoff.

The cheater might gain 'support' (fans cheer) whenever they do something dirty or underhanded. Doing so would be risky (because the ref might catch it and penalize you or something) but increasing your Cheering might be worth it. Maybe you can do some special moves only when you increase your fans cheering to a certain level.

The showoff might similarly increase cheering by posing or taunting the opponent. This isn't risky like cheating, but is costly in another way (you're giving up an action to taunt). You might also get some Cheer by doing gratuitous over the top moves (maybe climbing on the ropes and diving onto someone rather than just pinning them- an option which gives them a chance to roll out of the way or something).

So the game would be about doing moves (they should somehow cost- maybe adding to a fatigue value which once full keeps you from acting) to increase your Fan support. Fatigue level and fan support can control access to certain moves.

The point of the game would probably be to 'pin' the other player, and depending on the characters involved there could be some minimum level of crowd support you have to have and maybe a minimum fatigue level they have to be at (where attacks cost you fatigue but 'inflict' fatigue as well perhaps).

And/or there could be a general Crowd indicator, where instead of inflicting fatigue the attacks move the crowd indicator your way- Crowd indicator not to be confused with each player's fans.

I sorta rambled there, does it make sense? What do you think?

- Seth

sedjtroll
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Brainstorming: need some ideas

I'll probably put this in it's own thread later, but for now I just want to jot down a thought- this is a continuation of the ideas behind the wrestling thing I just posted.

Say an action is 'grab' where you try to grab your opponent. Other actions might only be available after you successfully grab- various holds and stuff.

So the Grab action would cost some Fatigue- you'd pick up maybe 2 Fatigue counters to attempt it. Then you'd see if you're successful. Maybe you roll 2d6, and you can spend fatigue to add to the roll to represent 'trying harder'. Also add the number of fatigue counters on your opponent to the roll (the more tired they get, the easier it is to grab them). The opponent will have a target number to grab... maybe small squirrley wrestlers are tougher to grab then slow, stronger ones for example.

I said in another thread that I liked Donovan's increasing cost thing in hie The Game Game, that could work here as well (take 1 Fatigue to add 1 to the roll, take 2 more to add another 1, take 3 more to add a third...)

There would be a short list of moves and each move might be limited (like a Hold: must Grab first, or a Reverse: only when you've been grabbed). As your fans cheer more and more, better and better moves become available.

there would be defensive and/or resting actions which would reduce your fatigue but also your fan cheer level.

At the end of each turn you should get a Recovery phase where you remove a couple Fatigue. I say at the end so that if you fill up during your turn then you can't spend any then you heal at the end... as opposed to healing a little at the beginning and being able to spend those Fatigue points again. In other words, if you're tired enough you can't even do the easy stuff. This recovery phase is sort of like an Income of Fatigue "action points"

The mechanic I described about grabbing and the die roll could be for any move, the more tired an opponent is, the easier they are "to hit", and you can spend extra energy to 'try harder'. Depending on the action the result of hitting might be different, and depending on the game state you'll have different actions available.

Hmm... that wasn't supposed to get so long.
Thoughts?

DarkDream
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Some great inspiring Ideas

Sedjtroll,

I think you're really on to something here. What I envision is each player having a certain wrestler card that has various moves on it: offensive and defensive moves. Some moves can only performed as a series. For example, a body slam must be followed first by a grab and then a pick up. The card would indicate with arrows what moves can be done when followed by others. As such, certain later moves may be more or less difficult to acheive but cause a lot more damage (maybe cause fatigue to the opponent -- if full on fatigue then super fatigue where 3 strikes and the opponent falls down exhausted). The current move a player just performed could be kept track with a pawn or something. Each move for a particular wrestler would have a success rating.

Each wrestler would have a fatigue limit rating.

Also when some successful moves are done, the player gains crowd cheer points. Or if the opponent falls for a bad move then he looses crowd points. Certain moves will also have a requirement of crowd points to get to their super move.

Wrestlers would have on their cards also defensive moves, that a player can only play if grabbed, or held or pinned. Like the offensive moves, a success role will break a grab or pin, this disallowing the grabbing or pinning player playing the next successive move. As indicated, a wrestler at the top of the card would have a pawn maybe for the wrestler's current state (laying down, grabbed, ready, back showing).

If you keep the wrestlers varied and a neat set of moves, I could see different strategies being used.

Also obviously some moves, would have no success rolls to it and are automatic like egging on the crowd which raises crowd cheer, however, it may put the player in a more vunerable state (back turned). Another maybe a strictly non-agressive resting move (to reduce fatigue).

Great stuff. If you want to flesh out this idea anymore contact me. I think you may be on to something really neat.

--DarkDream

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Brainstorming: need some ideas

As I read this thread I my thoughts went in a completely different way than others, so i will try to describe them.

I think it should be gladiators and the sole point of the game is to win cheers from the crowd. This could be done by awarding VP to the player with the most cheer points after so many rounds. The cheer points would be divided into different categories

Quote:
Pretty Boy
Bad Boy
Geek/Wimp
Cheater
Champion
Masked Gladiator
Flashy (clothes or moves)

etc.
There would be a token to represent each of the crowd categories. This token would be passed to the player with the highest rating in that category. As each player performs moves/actions they gain favor with 1 or more of these crowds, and the tokens might move. The challenge would be to gain enough favor with different categories without losing any of the tokens you already control. At the end of the set number of turns the player with the most tokens gets a VP (or you get 1 VP for the total number of tokens controlled). The game ends when a certain player reaches so many VPs.

Some of Seth's ideas could easily be implemented into this system as well, i.e. fatigue. Of course any time one of the gladiators pins another they would gain points in a number of different categories thus giving them higher odds of controlling those tokens.

It would also be interesting to add a, NPC mehanic, like a lion/beast that acts randomly based on cards or something. This could be its own category. The crowd loves it when a gladiator takes on the beast instead of mere men. This way you could also add a teamwork strategy to the game. Two gladiators team up against the beast or something.

Just the thoughts that went through my head while reading this thread.

Deviant
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Brainstorming: need some ideas

It seems like we're answering questions that haven't been asked yet. The original question was "Do you have any ideas for fan groups?" I can't think of anything particularly interesting in this regard (cheater, flashy plays, massive hits v. numerous "sneaky" probing attacks, one-hit KOs, etc) so I'll jump on the bandwagon and add my own impromptu thoughts on this game.

All fighting games, like most games of other types, rely on hidden information to add an element of bluff and chance. One very common element is to give each player a hand of cards. Every player is in the dark as to what each other player is holding, and must overcome this through clever play and intuition.

But here's another approach. Suppose this game plays out as Darkdream and sedjtroll have described - players take turns playing cards with different effects (example: knockdown), which make other cards available (kick him while he's down). But as an added factor, the attacker conceals a number of counters which represent the effort he throws behind the attack. This is an unknown quantity to the defender, who must choose to defend using her own counters and/or cards to block the attack. So the attacker could bluff - maybe he needs to grapple his opponent, but instead tries to knock her down instead. The defender doesn't know any better, so she blocks the attack with more counters than she really needs, weakening herself and giving the attacker a golden opportunity to grapple next turn. Does that make sense?

Chad_Ellis
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Various responses

Very cool ideas, guys!

I'm not sure whether my current plan is "better" or not, but I should say that you're going in a different direction than the 0.1 concept of the game. My thought was as follows:

1. Three victory paths -- money, skill and popularity.
2. Some interaction among the paths -- e.g. higher skill will let you win matches with a larger purse and players would receive sponsorship income based on their popularity, so you wouldn't be locked in to winning on just one track.
3. The matches themselves would actually be fairly simple to resolve -- at the moment I'm thinking just a die roll for each contestant added to skill and modified by cards.

In short, while the game is about a gladiator planet, the game play would be less about individual matches and more about bluff and maneuver as the other players tried to figure out whether you're going to spend cards to win a duel (and the purse and popularity that comes with it) or take a dive and bet against yourself.

I think there are two advantages to doing it this way:

1. There's less time in which other players are just spectators. In my version a duel is set up, players decide what cards if any they want to play and what bets to make, and then it is resolved pretty quickly. That means a shorter game (my first game Succession is a bit on the long side) and less time in which players aren't engaged.

2. The play is more about interaction between players than on duel mechanics. I think this would be more consistently fun, as long as I can still keep a reasonable amount of flavor in (for example) the cards themselves.

What do you think?

Best,
Chad

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