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Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

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Hedge-o-Matic
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This is a followup to my "Games that Haunt Us" thread. As mentioned there, this thread is a place where game designers can swap "undead" games with other designers, who can then perform the radical surgery needed to make them viable. As this is a process that will create a hybrid effort, some ground rules are needed so everyone knows what they're getting into:

-The final product will list both designers as being equal designers in whatever "credits" area is used.

-The second designer can make whatever changes they feel are needed, up to and including a new name and theme, in order to make the original game work.

-Designers must submit an undead game to the pool in order to operate on someone else's game. Designer's need not trade games, and work on a game from the person who is working on theirs. Trades can be as desired.

-Everyone agrees to the principle that the other designers aren't just fishing for ideas to steal. If you see a fragment of your game in a future game by the other designer, you agree now to not complain or sue at that time.

-Any marketing or selling of the hybrid game must be done with the consent of both designers. The details of the financial arrangements are beyond the scope of this thread, and must be worked out between the two.

-Designers working on a hybrid should keep a journal of their efforts in the journal section, so that everyone can track the hideous alterations needed to get the lifeless game onto its feet.

-To submit a game to the pool, respond to this thread with a brief synopsis of the game, nto the full rules. The synopsis should include the "vision"of the game, as well as a bit about the mechanics and the problem, in very general terms.

-More than one person can work on an undead game, so a single game can give rise to more than one hybrid. Chosen undead games stay in the pool unless the original designer wishes to remove them, either becasue they like the new direction the hybrid is taking, or for other reasons (such as having a breakthrough themselves).

-Multiple entries into the pool require multiple posts in this thread, one post per entry.

-The rules of the undead game should be sent by e-mail, or other format, not posted in the thread.

-Desingers should PM each other about taking up projects, not communicate in this thread. This will keep the thread "clean". Think of this thread like a triage.

Good luck all! And remember your oath: "First, do no harm..." Okay, forget the oath! Let's get hacking!

Hamumu
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

I have a game I would be glad to foist off on the unwary, and in fact someone here thought it sounded really cool when I was making it. Too bad it turned out to SUCK.

Title: Parallel

Overview: it's a card game for 3-6 players, themed with the idea that each player is one processor of an AI supercomputer that's gone insane and is duking it out with itself. Players select which Command to execute each turn in secret from a deck of Command cards. The Commands are revealed and executed in order (reverse order of choosing, which was one of the confusing bits). You want to avoid overheating (each Command adds a different amount of heat, or can bleed heat off to other players), and avoid overflowing your memory (you collect Data cards, but can cash in sets of them, and want to avoid having 8 in hand). It is an elimination game, another problem.

Problem: It was not fun. I had a lot of fun inventing the cards and giving them theme and all, but actually playing was totally dry and rarely did it seem like you had much power to help your situation, aside from choosing HOW you would die (anything that takes away a lot of cards will gain a lot of heat, and vice versa). Rather than a race to victory, it was more like "who can die slowest", which is not uplifting and cheery. I feel like it's pretty lost, and I'm not really interested in pursuing it, because even if it were done well, it would be a very thinky abstract sort of game, which isn't my thing. I do have two very different card sets for it from different iterations. Sadly, both are bad.

Hedge-o-Matic
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Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

The game that inspired my original thread is "Xeno". Basically an Aliens game, it pits the players versus anutomated alien invaders on a derelict spaceship or colony.

This game has undergone numerous mechanical changes, and continues to do so. But it never really gelled into a game that played the way I'd imagined it. sure, some of the versions worked. And sure, they were fun. But they weren't fun enough, and didn't work well enough.

The basic premise, present in all of the interations, is that each player controls a squad of marines. The game is meant to play well even solo. These marines explore a tile-based ship, with a mission to save X number of crew, which may or may not be host for emergent aliens. In addition, there is somewhere in play a single alien that grows in strength the longer it goes undisturbed. This adds to the urgency not only to find the crew, but to kill the alien while you still can. As the game continues, th psychological state of the marines deteriorates, the hosts start to hatch, and the aliens continue to grow and develop. This is countered by the marines finding better equipment, and learning the weaknesses of the alien.

Things I think are good include a random-alien system, a marine psychology system, and an off-board "blip" system.

The current rules set is very different in mechanics to the others, but the "good" concepts have always made new appearances in new forms each time.

One problem is that often the game becomes a "flee with your life" affair, adn the marines battle just to reach their shuttle and escape. Balance is a big issue. Also, the automated alien systems require a lot of brain-work the players must provide, and this is a drag.

jwieringo
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

Quote:
Designers must submit an undead game to the pool in order to operate on someone else's game. Designer's need not trade games, and work on a game from the person who is working on theirs. Trades can be as desired.

So, I am allowed to pick any undead game from the pool and work on it as long as I submit a design? Or do I, for instance, ask Hedge-o-Matic for the Xeno document and I give him my Persis Imperium document?

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The idea for Persis Imperium came after a round of Citadels with some of my friends. Most of them, including me, dislike card games, but we'll give them a go every once and awhile. So each of us decided to create a city building game, close to, but different enough from Citadels to have some fun. My final game was named Persis Imperium.

The game worked well the few times we've played it but it was essentially a Citadels clone with some minor differences. The first difference was the theme. I decided to set in the Persian time period. It had a cooperative element in which players would split the costs of buildings because the costs were to high to build one by themselves. Each player would then own a part of the building leading them to their goal of having the most points. Players would also populate the city with people that would result in giving the owner of the building coins to spend.

So, in the end the game worked well enough but was too citadel like for my friends who actually created a better, and more enjoyable game than me (go figure!)

RAF
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Joined: 11/17/2008
Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

I think the idea of a "game (unfinished)" repository is a great idea - I actually think it requires its own site and/or forum.

I think the structure of the process needs to be thought through. Here are some initial ideas:

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1. Process - a process needs to be established to identify the stages from conception to completion. From here milestones should be fleshed out at least to a high level. The RUP model for software development uses the following terms: inception, elaboration, construction, transition.

2. Roles - the need for "project roles" would be helpful for the project. Here are at least three ideas for categories of "dead ideas":

A - No Role: basically for (A) ideas, you have no interest whatsoever in participating further on the project. So you maintain the recognition of "originator", but not "designer" or something. You have released all rights to the game.

B - Role =Project Lead: for (B) ideas, you want to continue leading the project but what others to participate in various degrees - i.e. 50/50, 40/60, etc. You co-own the rights with others, but are recognized as the "CEO" of the project so to speak.

C - Role= Partners: for (C) ideas, you want to participate on the project, but what someone else to take the lead. Perhaps, your role could be more of an "Advisory" one or maybe you want to handle a certain phase of the project.

3. Tools - it would be helpful to identify online collaboration tools that could assist in the process.

4. General Commons Licenses - I think this would be ideal for the varying degrees to which a project can share ideas and influences.

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Let me know what you think :)

peace,

RAF

Hedge-o-Matic
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Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

Let's keep it simple, if possible. I've already been sent my first set of rules, and have hooked it up to the electrodes. I just added appropriate changes to the credits before I began work with the hacksaws and scalpels, is all.

sedjtroll
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Great idea!

I love the idea of posting idle ideas for others to operate on. That's just how most of my games that are any good (or ever get finished) work: All For One (Scurra's original idea), 8/7 Central (Mojan's idea), and Terra Prime (mostly DrMayhem's idea originally). I think that's actually how I prefer to work.

I'll submit my attempt at an area control game, Lawless West. A handful of towns have sprung up near a newly discovered gold mine, and Players are outlaws with the mayors of these towns in their back pocket. There's also a Sheriff who wanders from town to town, and a stagecoach that transports people and money from town to town or from the gold mine to the bank in one of the towns. Players earn money by extorting the towns they control, and by ambushing the stage between towns.

- Seth

Stainer
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

This is a good idea.

When I've got more time, I'll post some dead ideas.

rd

p.s. yo momo stinks

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

Maybe, someday, we could make some sort of web site like "sourceforge.net" where many programmers can gather together around a CVS and develop a software together. The only difference is that now, there will only be game designers instead of programmers.

By the way, as asubmission criteria, it should be important to specify how does the original author plans to publish the game. Is it through submission to a company, self publishing, self making or PDF distribution. This is important if publishing the game requires a startup fee that some designer might not want to pay.

Hedge-o-Matic
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Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

My first "Reanimator" Journal entry is up!

jwieringo
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Reanimator: Dead Games Walking

Quote:
My first "Reanimator" Journal entry is up!

Reading it... lol!

By the way, did you get my message requesting for Xeno?

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