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Design a game calendar

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doho123
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Joined: 07/21/2008

So, Ive been thinking what are the possiblities of creating a game out of a calendar. This would be a standard "flip book" type, where the bottom page would be your regular dates and stuff, while the top half would be a game board. The pieces would be standard stuff from around the house (poker chips, dice, playing cards).

My first idea was 12 simple games, each month being a different game. But now I'm thinking of doing something a bit further, using the whole calendar, and things trigger you moving from month to month somehow (think of the LotR board game with it's different boards) or maybe something like the flip books in Cities and Knight expansion for Settlers (assuming some perforations in the pages so in 'game-mode' different parts of different months can be visible). I'm also thinking that maybe every player has his own calendar, ala Puerto Rico or Princes of Florence.

So, the challenge is to brainstorm a game idea around these mechanics:
The requirements of a calendar with some secondary operations possible (die cutting of holes, perforations, etc) and Simple household components.

GO!

Anonymous
Design a game calendar

An interesting idea, but I'm not sure how you're planning to execute it.

At first I thought you meant a calendar where there was a game printed on it every month. That would be interesting, except, who would want to constantly take down their calendar to play the game printed on it?

Although a calendar with rules variants to an existing game could be a nice little suppliment. "Oh we're playing by December rules" Or "Sunday rules", or whatnot.

That's more of a side note to a game, than a game in it's own right.

A game with a calendar as a component would require some pretty hard thinking to make fun and interesting. I mean, twelve months is kind of a lot to have players keep track of. And even if it wasn't, are player writing on their calendars? Or are they placing counters on the dates? And if so, then how do they keep track of the counters in diffferent months, or how do you reuse the calendar after the game?

A game that lasts for 2-3 months though might work. That way there'd be only 2-3 "month phases" to the game which brings down the focus to a more manageable level with only 2-3 "pages" to the calendar. Or even a psudo calendar that represents seasons as opposed to actual months.

The summer season calendar could have a board for summer rules, while winter would be winter rules. The game changes as virtual time passes, and you can have a secondary game board that changes with it.

I'm interested to see where this goes.

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
Design a game calendar

Bandecko wrote:
are player writing on their calendars? Or are they placing counters on the dates? And if so, then how do they keep track of the counters in diffferent months, or how do you reuse the calendar after the game?

These are the questions that doho123 was leaving open. His posting was presented as a design challenge. By voicing the questions, you've already taken the first step in designing the calendar.

Bandecko wrote:
A game that lasts for 2-3 months though might work. That way there'd be only 2-3 "month phases" to the game which brings down the focus to a more manageable level with only 2-3 "pages" to the calendar. Or even a psudo calendar that represents seasons as opposed to actual months.

The time frame isn't a problem, we just have to design the game around it. For example we could do a stock trading game. Each player starts with $100,000 and every day they can make trades on NYSE stocks at the previous day's closing price (by writing the trade on the top part of the calendar). Then each day, players total their portfolio value and record their current balance on that date on the lower half of the calendar. At the end of the year, whoever has the highest portfolio value wins.

This isn't the sort of game most of us would like, but it proves the calendar concept can work.

Another idea is a racing game, each month is a track and the game is like a simplified version of Formula DE. The track artwork reflects the time of year, and the 12 tracks make up a complete season. Whoever has the most points at the end of the year wins.

Bandecko wrote:
The summer season calendar could have a board for summer rules, while winter would be winter rules. The game changes as virtual time passes, and you can have a secondary game board that changes with it.

That's a good idea, but I'd rather see it all integrated into one game themed around the seasons. In the LotR example, the players would be travelling trough a board each month, and the artwork (and hopefully gameplay) would show that the Middle Earth season is chaning with the real season.

Bandecko wrote:
I'm interested to see where this goes.

So am I. This is an original idea with a lot of potential if it's done well.

Jason

Anonymous
Design a game calendar

I was mainly asking those questions as a means to illustrate what some of the logistical concerns might be.

They were open questions and not really directed to anyone specifically for any definitive answer.

Personally writting on it would be excessive to me. You'd either have to make the calendars really cheap and disposable, or you'd laminate it. Laminate and wipe off pen always seems so... inellegant to me. Those are just personal qualms of mine though, I'm sure other feel different.

tjgames
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Design a game calendar

OK. This sounds interesting. So we need some basic mechs. I assume the calendar will probably be hanging on a wall, so you will need cheap and creative ways to keep game pieces and/or scoring on the calendar. The cheapeast of course is marking it with pen or maybe even a magnetic back on the top half. Other thoughts are a calendar with a pocket on the bottom where you can store game pieces like dice, cards..etc. I agree a stock trade game would be kind of boring. A racing game does sound cool. 4 tracks one for each season or 12 one for each month. You can even have it so players score points after each race based on their finish postion at the end of that race and the one with the most points at the end of the year wins. Similair to NASCAR.

Ken
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Design a game calendar

Just to throw out a thought in a completely different direction ...
What is the ONE thing everyone complains they can't find enough of? TIME. What if the game were approached from an Aquisitions standpoint?

Figure out different ways in which competing players might "claim" a particular day and score accordingly. For example:

Standard week-days worth 1 point
Week-end days: 2
Holidays: ?

But now how to claim them? Perhaps that could be the ever-changing content (Rules) on the "Picture-half" of the Calendar.

doho123
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Design a game calendar

Wow. Actually, I'm kind of surpriseed by how literal some of the responses were in term of it being a calendar, but I guess that's why I posed this challenge as an interesting brain-storming session.

My initial concept was that the calendar would be more like your standard art-calendar; the top half would include include a very artsy-farty game board, while the bottom half would be your typical Sun-Sat date grid. The initial concept would be that you would take the calendar off the wall, and 'play the artwork' in whatever time frame it took to play that game (in other words, it was never menat to be played in 'real time' over a year). The idea stemmed from looking at all the art calendars that come out every year, and instead of just having a pretty wall-hanging, maybe having something a little more interactive involved.

There are obvious mechanical reason that I think you'd not want to design the game in such a way that the peices would stick to the wall in terms of keeping the pieces simple and accessable.

The NASCAR track thing is a perfect example. There surely is a market for an overhead 'photo collection' of NASCAR tracks. Now, turn these photos into tracks using any of the currently available racing systems, and you've got your calander game.

Using a fantasy setting, where each month represents the passing seasons (and certain things you might be able to based on the current seasonal weather) is also a good approach.

Oracle
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Joined: 06/22/2010
Design a game calendar

doho123 wrote:
Wow. Actually, I'm kind of surpriseed by how literal some of the responses were in term of it being a calendar, but I guess that's why I posed this challenge as an interesting brain-storming session.

My initial concept was that the calendar would be more like your standard art-calendar; the top half would include include a very artsy-farty game board, while the bottom half would be your typical Sun-Sat date grid.

It sounds like that would just be an assortment of separate simple board games (a checker board, etc) but maybe with newly designed simple boards. To me, the brilliance of your idea is to use the fact that it's a calendar.

doho123 wrote:
The initial concept would be that you would take the calendar off the wall, and 'play the artwork' in whatever time frame it took to play that game (in other words, it was never menat to be played in 'real time' over a year).

Then why print it in calendar format; that pretty much limits the useful life to 1 year. There's game sets for under $10 at toys r us that include several cardboard gameboards and the pieces to play them. Of course the artwork isn't as pretty as what you're envisioning, but isn't that a better way to publish a set of games?

doho123 wrote:
There are obvious mechanical reason that I think you'd not want to design the game in such a way that the peices would stick to the wall in terms of keeping the pieces simple and accessable.

The beauty of using a calendar is that people are used to writing appointments on them and they're considered disposable at the end of the year anyway. We'd concentrate on minimizing the piece count and writing on the calendar as "pieces". Of course we wouldn't want it to be a simple "activity calendar" like a puzzles magazine. It would have to be a real game.

doho123 wrote:
The NASCAR track thing is a perfect example. There surely is a market for an overhead 'photo collection' of NASCAR tracks. Now, turn these photos into tracks using any of the currently available racing systems, and you've got your calander game.

Exactly what I said when I came up with the racing idea. With Formula DE rules, it would be good to tie the weather conditions into the season. So far though we've been talking about taking existing multi-board games (racing games or LotR) and transposing them into a calendar.

Jason

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