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Simple game idea.

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Anonymous

Well the idea behind this game is rather simple. 4 players start from different corners of the game board. They attempt to move thier pieces through the maze to the goal at the end. The catch is that they can move walls to open a path to the goal, or use them to to block thier opponents along the way.

Pieces
4 pawns (1 each red, blue, yellow, green)
deck of 20 maze cards
100 maze wall pieces
---Each wall piece is 2 grid squares long.
1 game board
---The game board is set up in a 20x20 grid, with the middle 4x4 grid squares representing the goal. Along the grid lines are raised sections to place the walls into.
1 6-sided movement die
1 8-sided maze wall die (labeled 0,1,1,1,2,2,3,4)

Set Up
Draw a maze card from the deck and set the game board up according to the picture on the face. Each player places thier pawn on the colored space in the 4 corners.

Goal
Be the first person to reach the center of the maze and claim the treasure!

Gameplay
Players take turns rolling the movement and Wal dice, moving walls and their pawns.

A turn consists of 2 phases, the wall manipulation phase and the movement phase.

Wall Manipulation Phase

The player picks up and rolls the 8 sided wall die. The player may then move any piece on the board that was not moved in the previous round. (a round consists of one turn for each player) For each point on the die a player may move a wall either by sliding one space (1/2 wall length) or rotating it 90 degrees from one of the ends.

Any combination of pieces may be moved any number of spaces as long as the movement adds up to the number on the die or less.

Two walls may not occupy the same place. A wall may not "push" another wall.

Ex Player one gets a 4, he may move one piece 4 times, or 2 pieces Twice, or 4 pieces once.

Movement phase
After the wall phase a player enters the movement phase. The player rolls the movement die (regular six sided die) and moves the number of spaces on the die.

Two players may occupy the same space, and therefore do not "jump" spaces or players. This should not need to be said, but you cannot move through walls.

(edit)
Losing a turn

If a player is in a position where he is walled in on all 4 sides of one square, and is unable to move any of those 4 walls, duing his wall phase he will be unable to move during the movement phase and will thus skip his ENTIRE turn. This includes using that players wall phase to move other walls on the game board.
(end edit)

The first player to reach the center wins the game.

JPOG
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Simple game idea.

Interesting, and on the face of it, sounds fairly easily doable.

I'm curious as to the inspiration for the whole moving wall idea - does it at all simulate or represent anything in particular, or is it just a novel mechanic. maybe for the sake of having dynamic playing environment?

I am stumped on this:

Movement phase
After the wall phase a player enters the movement phase. The player rolls the movement die (regular six sided die) and moves the number of spaces on the die. If a player cannot move (he is enclosed on all 4 sides by pieces that were moved in the last round) he skips his ENTIRE turn, including the wall phase.

If the Movement Phase is AFTER the Wall Phase... this 'skips his ENTIRE turn, including the wall phase' is just misplaced, right?

Otherwise, sounds pretty neat, though I don't know if you really even need raised portions of the board - you could alternately have holes in the board and the walls could have pegs on the bottom, maybe even just cardboard, or you could even go freeform and just make sure the walls stand up by themselves and let the players place them as normal and everyone just has to be careful not to scatter the board - Heroquest uses doors like this and I've rarely had any particular trouble.

Lastly, why the D8 for the wall die? I see you're wanting 0-4 movement, with 1 being the most common result, but wouldn't it be easier to subtract 1 or 2 from the roll, or even just use a D6 like this:

1 = 0
2 = 1
3 = 1
4 = 2
5 = 3
6 = 4

While non-standard dice are neat and add some exoticm (?!) to a game, the reality is, if you lose it, you're screwed, unless you know people who play RPGs or have a good hobby store nearby - but thats my thinking.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Actually what your looking at is a rough draft, so I needed to clarify some points...

I've edited the original post. Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm not sure where the idea came from for this game...I remember driving to work and the idea hit me...Though what i was thinking at the time I don't remember. The idea was basically to have a race where you could interfere with your opponents.

As for the die, what I was looking for was a system where 4 would be the most walls you could get, and that it would be rare. I wanted 1 and 2 walls to be more common, and 3, 4, and 0 to be rarer. I toyed around with different ideas, and settled upon the 8 sider so as not to have 0,2,3, and 4 all have the same odds of showing up.

I like the holes idea, the only draw back I see is accidentally breaking a peg. I was thinking raised sections for the ease of sliding a cardboard "wall" into it. (similar to cardboard pawns in stands seen in other games)

One of my biggest fears of making this game is that the set up might be too much. Placing 100 pieces in a maze could take a while and turn players off. I think making the peices out of cardboard and having the supports in the game board might be cheaper than having holes in the board and plastic walls...but im not sure.

Other ideas I have for the game, that i would like input on...

Should some walls be immoveable completely?

Do you think adding "bonus" spaces would be a good thing? (+1 move, +1 wall, etc.)

Do you think that players would just cut a B-line through the maze, and ignore the other players?

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Hi Robert4818,

I like the concept and can perhaps add a few ideas and variations.

Game Board:
Perhaps make it out of wood and "saw" the thin grooves into it to slide wall pieces in and out.

Wall Pieces:
These would get very heavily used and so will most likely look pretty ratty fairly quickly. However, if the walls are simple, people can cut cardboard rectangles out for replacements.

Setup and the Maze:
A possible idea is to create the maze as you go. This would add a definite strategic and tactical element to the game. Perhaps you could have wall cards - with a picture of the pattern of walls you can lay on the board (T shapes, L shapes, I shapes etc.)

Cards:
Perhaps the thing to do is have a central deck of cards that has a certain percentage of "maze" cards as described above and a percentage of "movement" cards. Movement cards might offer a number or a roll - or if lucky a double roll. In addition, you might get other "special" cards that can put traps or obstructions on the board.

Key Issues:
The key to this approach however is to carefully define the placement of maze pieces onto the board as well as the starting positions.
Maze pieces may only be placed so that they do not block off a character from the "Goal" space.
What might be interesting is having the players start in a box in one corner with two or three "exits" and then have the goal in the opposing corner. The starting box, might extend in a 5 x 5 area so that the pieces won't overtake the development of the maze.

Hmmm...

Just some ideas. Post back if you wish to discuss further.

Best Regards
SAM

JPOG
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Simple game idea.

Good points about the board, and although it would be heavy and might make the cost and efficiency change, a wooden board with grooves cut into it would certainly be nice, especially if it was finished nicely - alternately I agree simple cardboard walls would tear up easy BUT would also be easily replaceable.

-Should some walls be immoveable completely?
This would be a matter of taste - I think you ought to include this as an optional feature for special games or people who like a little more complexity, but probably not for the 'basic' version.

Do you think adding "bonus" spaces would be a good thing? (+1 move, +1 wall, etc.)

Hmmm without playing the game I really couldn't say; I can see where it COULD be applicable and make for an interesting variable, I'd try to get the basic game mocked up a play it a few times first before I design the intricacies.

Do you think that players would just cut a B-line through the maze, and ignore the other players?

Well, that IS the point, so yes I would think thats a possibility. The only way I could see to avoid 'powergaming' or rushing for the early win would be to introduce additional conditions, such as ... I don't really know, maybe you have to ... hmm well its a pretty simple game, I'm not really sure what conditions you could have that would be quickly acertainable - I thought perhaps successfully blocking an opponent but that won't work because someone else may have moved the other walls, though I suppose if your LAST move blocked an opponent, you could take a card or keep a tally or something and being in the winner's circle won't matter til you have a score of 5 or something - but that seems fairly arbitrary so I'd probably think about that long and hard before I included anything like that to try to discourage players from, well, from achieving the object of the game.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Quote:

Setup and the Maze:
A possible idea is to create the maze as you go. This would add a definite strategic and tactical element to the game. Perhaps you could have wall cards - with a picture of the pattern of walls you can lay on the board (T shapes, L shapes, I shapes etc.)

Cards:
Perhaps the thing to do is have a central deck of cards that has a certain percentage of "maze" cards as described above and a percentage of "movement" cards. Movement cards might offer a number or a roll - or if lucky a double roll. In addition, you might get other "special" cards that can put traps or obstructions on the board.

Key Issues:
The key to this approach however is to carefully define the placement of maze pieces onto the board as well as the starting positions.
Maze pieces may only be placed so that they do not block off a character from the "Goal" space.
What might be interesting is having the players start in a box in one corner with two or three "exits" and then have the goal in the opposing corner. The starting box, might extend in a 5 x 5 area so that the pieces won't overtake the development of the maze.

Good Ideas, however the idea is for the maze to be there from the outset and the players to actually change the maze to make it easier for them to move, and at the same time to block thier opponents. Each maze IS going to have the goal blocked off so that players must move the wall to get to the treasure.

I have thought of an idea for the wall pieces I think should keep them cheap, and easy to pull off, (im not sure why i didn't think of this before. The wall pieces will be on a long plastic stand, (similar to cardboard pawn stands on other games) This lets the board stay inexpensive, and allows for lots of movement on the part of the walls without as much wear and tear on them. Keeping them cardboard makes them in easily replaceable.

I do like yor idea of traps and obstruction cards, I'll keep it in mind, what I'd like to do right now is keep it simple. For play testing purposes.

Thanks for the ideas, even though I didn't use many, they did get my creative juices flowing.

Robert.

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Re: Simple game idea.

Just wondering... do you feel like you need the die? If you drop the die, your game becomes more of a pure strategy game, for better or for worse. If a player has an available number of moves equal to, say, the total number of walls his pawns are next to, then you open up some strategy... should a player risk getting his pawn fenced in to get lots of moves, or should he play it safe and remain in the clear?

You may not want a pure thought game; in that case, the die is a good addition. But it's something to consider, I suppose...

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Well,
Actually its possible to do both. just add in a set of rules for the game type your want.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

I feel horrible posting this, but there are two games out there already that use a very similar mechanic already... you are reinventing a wheel here...

Here's one for sale at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/glance/-/kids/B0000...

I have played this game and really really like it.

The good news is, their game is different in many ways to yours: you move an unlimited amount every turn, and your goal is to collect things that are around the maze, drawing a new card every time you "cash in" the old one to let you know what you are hunting next.

And I think there is more potential in this idea than the existing game uses.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Its ok, the whole concept was an exercise in game design. Im pretty sure the concept of a moving maze has been done countless times.

The only thing I dont want to really design, is making 20 cards with the 100 piece puzzles in it. Just not my cup of tea.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Hello,

About the die. dice put luck into the game. if you take luck out of it it might be a stratigic game.
What i suggest to do is to bring luck in an unlikly way.
you wrote: " 1 8-sided maze wall die (labeled 0,1,1,1,2,2,3,4)"
Well...
Take 5 cubes ( it might cost more).
put them in a line
for each cube draw a line upword. actualy it will be small squares one tuching the other one.
so..

The 4 cube can go 4 movements at a time. and it might have only 8 squares so it is just 2 moves.
The 3 cube can go 3 movements at a time , and it might have only 9 squares so it can go 3 times.
The 2 cube can go 2 movements at a time. and it might have only 10 squares so it is just 5 moves.
The 1 cube can go 1 movements at a time , and it might have only 11 squares so it can go 11 times.
The 4 cube can go 4 movements at a time. and it might have only 8 squares so it is just 2 moves.
The 0 cube can go 0 movements at a time , and it doesnot have any squares to go. you can only take it out of the game once.

You can let them move and arrange them in any way you want in order to represent the exact % for each one to appear.

So if a player want to play a '4 move' then he knows he has only one '4 move' left . this way he will start using them more cerfully and stratigic would come to the game.

Thanks

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

First i'll respond to Mr_O's suggestion. I already have a basic idea for a strategic version of the game.

Play proceeds as normal. The difference is that each turn a player has 8 points to spend. Moving a wall costs 2 points, moving a space costs 1 point. So a player can either move 4 walls and not move, or move up to 8 spaces and not touch any walls. (however the order of wall movement/moving does not change)

Playtest results

I've done some play testing on the original design, and I have found that the original design does not work to my satisfaction (big surprise huh 8O )

The problems I've found are as follows.

The game moves TOO fast. (i forsaw this one...) Players tend to just ignore each other and run straight to the nearest goal wall, move it and win.

I was only able to test this with 2 players instead of 4, but i suspect the same will happen reguardless....

The other problem i've found is that keeping track of what walls have been moved, even in a 2 player game, can be difficult.

Solutions I have are as follows.

The goal (4x4 in middle) will be surrounded by nearly immoveable walls.
each person's goal will be to reach a square in the goal that is on the opposite corner as their start point. (only they can move the walls around that square) This will increase the time spent playing...and hopefully improve the interaction between players.

Also I've decided to add in some special spaces. There will be Teleporters (or secret passages if you will) placed at certain parts of the game board. Entrance into the portal will let you move to another one on the board. The other is a trap spot. Moving over a trap spot ends your current turn (no more moves) and rob's you of your next wall movement phase.

Portals will be surrounded on all 4 sides by a trap square, making using a portal a risky, yet possibly rewarding measure.

The other problem, tracking the walls, is a little more tricky.

The idea i have for fixing this now is this. The walls shaped like an enlongated pentagon (5 sided bar basically) with one nuetral color, and the color of the four players. When a player moves a wall, they turn it so that thier color faces up. However, doing this design, will require special wall pieces be made, and a special design be placed on the board to facilitate holding them on their point...

If you have any suggestions on this idea i would appreciate it.

I've also found that 100 walls will probably NOT be enough and that I should probably change that number to 150 or 200...

Any thoughts?

Deviant
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Simple game idea.

Quote:
I've also found that 100 walls will probably NOT be enough and that I should probably change that number to 150 or 200...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
150?! 200?! Maybe you should rethink some of the mechanics before adding more pieces. Even 100 walls on a 20x20 board sounds pretty big. How long does it take to set up the board? How long to play?

While the goal "reach the center" is simple and straightforward, there could be multiple goals or checkpoints. You might, for instance, need to pick up "keys" to open doors. This gives all the players a reason to explore more of the board... which requires more movement... which gives you an excuse to shrink the boards to something small, like 10x10. Which allows you to do more with less.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Quote:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
150?! 200?! Maybe you should rethink some of the mechanics before adding more pieces. Even 100 walls on a 20x20 board sounds pretty big. How long does it take to set up the board? How long to play?

Its one thing i've noticed...it doesn't actually take that long to set up. I've found that if you stick with simple designs (rings) instead of "maze-looking" designs that set up goes really quickly. After all it doesn't take long to lay one down and then another right behind it. It just sounds like alot of set up. # of needed peices is actually dependant on the game design. So 200 might leave you with many extra pieces. but I have found that they tend to disapear faster than you think.

(besides on a calculation the most pieces the game could actually hold would be 300, but anything with 200 pieces on the board you reach the point where you can't move any walls....)

Anonymous
Do you want a theme for this?

As fleshed out as this game might get, is it your objective to create an abstract game? You mention that you are creating a maze that you can work your way through, but what are you creating that would draw people to this game? I know this may sound like I'm being snobish (which I'm not) I'm just curious as to why people would want to buy this game to play it? If you don't consider that first, perhaps your efforts might be wasted. That said there are many successful abstract games and even those with pasted on themes (Torres), but you should still consider an audience.

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Well in all actuality, I haven't thought of a marketing ploy for it at all yet. But you could always call it "pharoh's maze" or something like that and give it an egyption theme...or maze of the minotaur with a roman theme... In my opinon right now the theme of the game is not all that important compared to getting the game fleshed out...

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

Add a Minotaur counter and allow the players to spend their actions to move the (deadly) minotaur as well. Of course, the minotaur has to respect the walls.

-Magnus

Anonymous
Simple game idea.

I like the ideas that have been floating around regarding your game. I like the minotaur theme idea and the possibility of a minotaur piece that wanders the board.

There has been some discussion regarding game length and player interaction. One way to make the game more strategic (remove or minimize depedance on a die) while still ensuring player interaction would be to change the goal of the game.

Instead of the goal being a physical space on a board, make the goal tied to colored spaces on the board that correspond to the players' playing pawns. Award VP to a player every time any player lands on or passes over a space in the maze of their color. For example, the red player finds it advantageous to flee from the miotaur. The blue player has closed off walls leaving only one passage, the one that goes past a blue space. Red runs and passes over the blue space, thus giving the blue player a VP.

Use the action point allowance mentioned earlier (8 pts per turn, costs more to move a wall than to move) and make it very advantageous to RUN whenever the minotaur is near. Maybe some rule that states that the minotaur will, at the end of every players' turn, move 5 or 6 spaces closer to that player (obeying walls).

You could also have rules for swapping colored spaces (like if a player hops over another player, they can swap any space of that player's color for a space of their color). Something like that.

I think there's an easier way to keeping track of who moved what and when. Try using colored paper clips, 4 clips in each of the player colors. When a player moves a wall, they clip it with their color paper clip. It cannot be moved in the next players turn (after which the clip is removed). Don't worry about it being "manufacturable" at thit point, just try it out to see if the mechanic is necessary or not.

Best of luck with your game!

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