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A game about Housewives?

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Trickydicky
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Among the games I am currently working on (I can't stay focused on just one for more than a week or two) is a game about housewives (before anyone gets upset I am a stay at home dad, so I know a little about the subject). This is my newest idea and it is still in the brainstorming stage.

It is going to be a card game where each player is trying to score a certain number of points by accomplishing tasks on their "to do list". I think i will split the game into 3 stages.

Stage 1 is where the "to do list" is created. There will be task cards. Each task takes a certain amount of time depending on different variables, and is worth a certain number of points. The to do list could be made randomly by passing out the cards or by having all the cards given to the first player, who chooses one and passes it to the left, each player takes one until the last player takes two and passes it to the right and so on.
Brainstorming: To do list ideas.

Stage 2 is an auction of appliances/vehicles. All players have a certain amount of money to spend (or not spend) during the auction. Appliances/ vehicles help players perform their tasks on the to do list more quickly.
Brainstorming: Appliances/Vehicles lists, prices and advantages.

Stage 3 is the actually playing of the game. There will be a deck of cards that players draw from on their turn. These could range anywhere from "honey do this" cards, babysitter cards or cards that cause other player's appliances/vehicles to break down (and the cards to fix them).
Brainstorming: Card ideas, anything and everything possible.

Oh, I almost forgot, every player has two kids at home who must be entertained during the amount of time it takes to get the task done. This can be done with babysitters, tvs, or having the kids help perform the task (though this slows down the task). This is why it might be good to hold onto some cash to pay for babysitters and such.

I would appreciate any ideas that any of you have. And if you aren't the partner who takes care of most of the above mentioned issues feel free to discuss it with your spouse. Hopefully, they will get a kick out of the idea at least.

Thanks

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

Almost sounds a bit like Chez Geek (sp?) card game. I'm sure that this idea could really go somewhere.

Scurra
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A game about Housewives?

I think I'd call it something like "The To-Do List", thus avoiding any gender-issues at all. (Plus the format could extend to an office work game too!)
It'd be really cool to figure out a way to make it work as a solitaire game as well.
But yeah, it's a neat idea and you seem to have defined the major stages cleanly, although it seems more evident to me that your "auction" stage belongs as part of the main game, not a precursor section; although it breaks the "simulation" aspect, it would probably help the "game" aspect. But that's just my instant reaction.

One comment I will add is that you could drive the game nicely with a time component (so each turn would fit into a period of the day), which would give the players something else they would need to factor in to their tasks (some may not be done in the morning, for instance), and it would give a good "finishing line" to the game as well. I mention this because I was doodling some ideas for a card-game based on the TV show "24" and realised that restricting some actions to certain parts of the day made for a much more interesting decision tree.

Trickydicky
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A game about Housewives?

Scurra I think calling it "The To Do List" is a good idea. I thought of "Housewives" because there are so many things that a "housewife/husband" has to get done during a day. I also thought it was an interesting title, that would automatically at least get people to examine the game. If anything it should be the men who would get upset. The "Honey do this" card allows the "Husband" to perform one of the tasks for the "housewife", but it takes "him" twice as many turns to perform it as if the "housewife" did it "herself".
Please describe more by what you see between the auction stage and the game play stage.
I do really like the idea of a time element. The only problem I see is I was planning on having each task take a number of turns to finish. Players would keep track of how long they have been doing a task with a d6 that counts down. I suppose the time element could break into a couple of sections that each have 6 turns in which players could accomplish time specific tasks.

Scurra
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A game about Housewives?

I'm glad someone else is using the d6 countdown mechanic. I used it in a recent design and it works like a dream. I can see why it would interfere with an external timetracking system though.

As for gameplay issues: my feeling is that "purchasing goods" needs to be an available part of the game all the time, rather than a separate one. That forces players to have to choose whn to use up their precious "actions" on buying stuff they need to complete their tasks.

Idea: if you had the price of things steadily diminishing over time, then you'd have to choose whether to go early and buy something before anyone else gets it, or leave it until later when it's cheaper (but it might have been sold.) This seems (slightly!) more plausible than an auction device too.

OldScratch
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A game about Housewives?

Sounds like a fun idea. I'm a stay at home dad, too. I like the name Housewives better, though.

I think that splittling the day into different times would be good. You could make a weekend version (Where dad is home and the kids are home too) and you can make a weekday version where in the morning, mom is home by herself (Kids are at school and dad is at work). Then mid-day, the kids come home. Then in the evening, dad comes home. So first part of the game would be the easier part cause you don't have to worry about kids and stuff. Second part of the game you have to worry about the kids, what to make them do, etc, and then the third part would be the hardest cause you have your lazy husband that just wants to drink beer and watch TV and the kids who are also pretty unruly.

As for the visual aspects of this game, I think it would be cool to have a 50s theme to it:

Anyways really cool idea. It sounds like it would be pretty fun, especially with such a different theme.

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

Calling it housewives might have a target audience in and of itself. Think about the little toys that are made just for girls. Like Lego making clikits (I think that's what the product is called).

But I would agree, a less gender specific name would probably get more of an audience.

Trickydicky
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A game about Housewives?

Thanks for all the brainstorming. Keep it coming.

First I was thinking that the name HouseSpouse might be interesting. I like the way it sounds with the quick rhyme.

Secondly, I really like the idea of a fifties theme (Oldscratch). I think that better fits the name Housewives though, since in the fifties almost all housespouses were housewives. (June Cleaver)

I also liked the idea of having the ability to buy appliances during the game (Scurra). I don't know that it makes it more plausible since buying most of those items could be a task in and of itself. I was kind of thinking of the entire game being one day in the life of a housespouse. Therefore I don't know how plausible it would be to have "laundry" on your to do list for the day, but be planning on accomplishing it by buying a washer and dryer during game play. I think it would be worth losing plausibility to have the game mechanic Scurra described.

Thanks for all the posts, I am also looking for specific cards ideas. I've found that having many heads thinking of the different kinds of cards can give me ideas that I would have never thought of. For example, the "honey do this" card was someone elses idea, but I love it.

Thanks

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

You could make appliance yeild more points when accomplishing a todo, or perhaps the speed could be enhanced.

Also as an applience side note, you could make optional todos on the cards that involve the appliances. Eg: if you have the washer and dryer, you can also do this, or that....

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

I'd steer away from the title it could get in to controversy. If the question mark even goes off in their heads their likely to avoid it. I like the title the to do list, its very catchy.

Another aspect which could get you into trouble is the time it takes to play the game, you cant exactly stop a board game clean it up and go back to it when u have time later. The idea is great, although it may have to be shortened, to fit the time frame.

Just my opinion though.
Hope I could help,

Aaron l

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

How about:

Mind the House

Trickydicky
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A game about Housewives?

I understand the concern about it taking to long. When I first thought of the idea I didn't think it was going to belonger than an hour, but I can see how it has evolved through the design process. One possible cure for this is to have the players determine the number of points/or tasks that need to be done by one player to become the winner. I like this aspect of some other game designs because it doesn't change any of the rules or mechanics but it is adjustable to the time frame the players have. Changing the timeframe of the game does change the strategy player's should use to win. That could be a good thing though.

Thanks

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A game about Housewives?

Fishfuzz, I think I was posting when you sent yours in. I kind of like the title. I would like it to stay a chores around the house game.

aaron 1 said

Quote:
you cant exactly stop a board game clean it up and go back to it when u have time later

Just a side note, I intend on this being strictly a card game (no board involved). Rather unimportant because the time constraints are the same. I just wanted to clarify so people could try an imagine where I want to go with the game.

Thanks

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

How about:

Housekeeping!

(it's really more funny if you use a stereotypical voice when saying it)

Or,

Honey Do

(as in Honey Do this, Honey Do that)

Interesting that it's tough to come up with a gender neutral name...but something that would be important to maximize the playability.

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A game about Housewives?

Thanks for all the insights.

I was discussing the idea with someone else and we thought that adding stress points to the tasks might be interesting. You are only allowed to let your stress level get so high. There are tasks you can do that take SP down but don't give you VP.

After this thought I began thinking that my simple game was becoming way more complex than anticipated. I don't know that that is bad/good.

I think I'm going to try a simple version. If that doesn't work we can add rules to spice it up. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

The stress factor is a great idea as one could play stress-inducing cards on other players (thus limiting what they could do).

ie: Boss coming over for dinner (4 pts), Jonny breaks his leg (5 pts), Lipstick on the collar (10 pts).

Trickydicky
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Joined: 12/31/1969
A game about Housewives?

That is what I was thinking. Plus it allows for really simple tasks like giving the kids baths, which is worth points but takes very littel turn, no money and no appliances to have draw back. High stress level.

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

How about the name "Domestic Engineers". The game is a really interesting idea. Instead of your game being a day in the life of a housewife/husband, why not a week in the life of a housewife. I know my wife's chores are spread out through a week's time and then begin again the following week. You could create the to-do list at the beginning of the week. By making it a week long instead of only a day, the appliance and vehicle purchases also become more feasible.

Also, does everyone have the same family configuration? Are you always a house wife with a husband and two kids? It might make it interesting if there was a family building stage where you either chose your family or it was somehow randomly selected. The larger the family, the slower the tasks, but the more points you get for completing the tasks. Also, each family card could have different stats. Is your husband helpful, lazy? Is your child hyperactive, quiet? Are your kids old enough to help with a task or too young? Does your mother-in-law live with you? It could almost be turned into a CCG.

Trickydicky
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A game about Housewives?

I think adding the family design stage would make the game a lot of fun. Especially for roleplayers. But, I think it would also make an excellent expansion for the original much quicker paced game. In fact if this ever gets off the ground that would probably be the first expansion.

Having it take a week is something I would have to think about. The only problem is the number of tasks that realistically need to be done in a week is immense. (cooking 3 meals 7 times, cleaning kitchen 7 times, etc.) I like the conciseness of 1 day because it allows the players during their "to do list" creation the option of saying what task do I need to do TODAY. Most of the tasks on the list have to be done every week, but not every day, except cooking. Keeping it one day allows for variation in the "to do lists".

I have thought about an elevated title like "Domestic Engineers". As a stay at home dad that title is more offensive than "housewife". It seems to have a mocking quality to it. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know.

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

If your initial reaction to the name Domestic Engineer left you with an unsettling feeling, then you don't want to use it. You wouldn't be the only one to feel that way. HouseSpouce has a nice ring to it.

The reason that I thought that a week might work better is because of your buying stage. In real life, that could take an entire day. Just an idea.

Your expansion idea is probably a good one. It would definitely drive sales if the initial game turned out to be fun and popular. Let us know how it going.

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

Or Maybe for the expansion you it could be a once a week task, like making lunches and freezing them. This would let you focus more on larger tasks (taking kids to soccer, cleaning van.) But something like this takes to focus away for the smaller tasks and makes it more of a game where all you do is deal with problems (frig dieing).

Anonymous
A game about Housewives?

Stay-at-Home-Dad here, too.

I like the Domestic Engineers title.

Personally, I'd call it what it is: "The Slow Spiral Into Madness"

That, or something like, "Harried Homemaking 101."

Trickydicky
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A game about Housewives?

Quote:
Personally, I'd call it what it is: "The Slow Spiral Into Madness"

I got a good kick out of that one. Thanks, I needed it today (2 sick kids).

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