Skip to Content

Time Loop

9 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

Some of us have probably seen GroundHog's Day. More still have probably seen numerous episodes of Star Trek. You know, the ones were something catastrophic happens, but in that event time gets reset back a set increment in time. The people involved remember tiny tid bits of what happens, and have to prevent the disaster from happening all over again.

Well, I was thinking, how could you make a game out of a time looping situation?

The first theme that popped to my mind is a secret laboratory messing with time travel has an accident. The ensuing explosion destroys a town, then time goes back, and the players have to figure out how to stop the explosion.

Then I thought of a more interesting idea that I think I'm going with. There's no rhyme or reason to the time reversal. Who knows, maybe I'll figure out a fluff way of putting it in, but here's my idea.

The first turn of the game has players drawing event cards. Each player goes around drawing event cards until their demise card is drawn. Once all players have "died" then time is reset, and the players then have to save EACH OTHER. You get more points for saving the other players lives, but you dont' get any unless you survive yourself.

The player who is alive at the end of the game, who saved the lives of the most other players wins.

Obviously politics play a strong role in this game. However, I'm worried about the mechanics to this game.

Obviously this game can't have too many bits that get moved around. Resetting those bits to their original locations every round might become tedious and boring. So cards seem a good alternative. I thought perhaps this game could be strictly a card game.

I'm thinking of somehow combining a board and card game where there are a few movable elements on the board, locations are important, but most of the action happens through the cards.

Perhaps the events of the day are somehow scripted by drawing a line of cards at random. To kind of lay the seed for the game.

I've been giving it a lot of thought, and I plan to see how far I can take this, but I just thought I'd come here to see in what directions others would take it, and bounce some ideas around. Have there been any other games like this?

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Time Loop

No thoughts right now, but you might want to take a look at the game Time Control, a game about time travel. Your game sounds different (though I don't know Time Control very well), but whatever you do stay away from making it like Time Control because it's received pretty much unanimously negative reviews, due in large part to its complexity.

Member IngredientX reviewed it here on the site: you might want to check it out.

FastLearner
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Time Loop

Here's a very handy GeekList of time travel games: Games for Time Travelers.

sedjtroll
sedjtroll's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/21/2008
Re: Time Loop

Bandecko wrote:
Well, I was thinking, how could you make a game out of a time looping situation?

How about this:

Players' tokens start at their respective starting locations or whatever, and they go about doing [whatever], and at certain times (maybe once per round, after everyone has had a turn) an event card is drawn which has a specific set of conditions on it. This deck of event cards would be the same every game, just shuffled. Once revealed, the order of the cards is maintained- this will be important.

Ok, so if the conditions of the card are all met, the game goes on. If not, then the game resets to the beginning (or a certain point) and the event cards are replaced on top of the deck without disturbing their order.

In this way, the players need to work together to make sure they meet all the criteria of the event cards, but of course they're competing in some other way. To make the game terminable, maybe after a certain number of resets, the game is over and either everyone loses, or the player with the most points so far wins.

Thinking deeper: Maybe each player has 2 "reset buttons" which they can play at certain times (maybe on their turn, or maybe at the end or beginning of a round, or whatever). When all these are gone, then the game is over. In this case the reset buttons would cause the resets, not the event cards... this would free up the cards to do other things, like reward people who have accomplished certain things, or punish people who haven't.

So mid game, you don't like the way things are shaping up- say you are about to not score many points while others are about to score a lot (based on the card that just came up), so you use a reset button before the scoring and reset the game.

I don't know what the point would be, or how to accomplish it, except that the random draw would reveal what you need to do, then you go back in time and do it.

So the game could either end when everyone is out of reset buttons, or there could be a card that will end the game (or running out of cards could end the game). Presumably, if the reset run out, the end will eventually come.

I suppose there wouldn't even have to be that many cards- just assume that someone not in the lead would hit reset before the end. There would have to be ways to hider other people's scoring though, or whoever is ahead in the beginning would be able to stay ahead.

What do you think?

- Seth

Anonymous
Time Loop

I think I like that a lot. The conditions drawn is almost perfect, since the players will have to remember what those conditions were.

Perhaps instead though of one card being drawn, there are a series of cards drawn. Some being conditions, some being events.

As conditions cards have to be met before the cards further in the track can be executed, and as soon as a condition is not true, then time starts over. Event cards change things happening in the game, perhaps in certain areas, or perhaps in some other way. There would be 3 cards drawn at a time, and once all these cards have been "completed" then perhaps another 3 are drawn and so on and so forth until either a certain number of cards are dealth, or some other end game trigger happens.

The event cards could better be handled if the game was lowered in scale from a town, to say one neighborhood, or even one room.

Although I still like the idea behind the object of the game to be saving the other players. Players will be motivated to save the other players, but they also want to convince the other players to save them as well (otherwise they won't score). Although, that mechanic could break down unless there was some motivating factor. I mean, who would want to save the player who saved the most people? And by extension, who would want to save the most people?

IngredientX
IngredientX's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/26/2008
Time Loop

Looney Labs has a game called Chrononauts that has a fantastic time-travel mechanism. Each player is a time traveler trying to change specific events in the world's timeline (i.e. preventing/causing assassinations, starting/stopping war, etc). It's incredibly clever, and I enjoy playing it.

Cheapass just came out with a game called TimeLine, which seems to be an abstract game with a time-travel mechanism. It's about investors using their time machines to get filthy rich of the stock market. The theme, as James Ernest's themes always are, is very funny, but I have no idea how well it plays.

~Gil

Anonymous
Time Loop

I recall a game in Games magazine way back when which may or may not have been called Time Chess or something similar...

The basic concept was a chess/checkerboard, with pieces that moved around the board leaving trails of "history" behind them.

To kill a piece, you moved over it's "history", causing it to be removed from the game and any "history" it had left after the point you intersected it to be removed.

This could remove its own intersection with other pieces "history", which would then return them to the game...

The basic concept being that if you go back and kill an opposing agent in the game, any agents of yours that he killed will no longer be dead...

Tried to duplicate a game based on the above information, but it sucked.

Oracle
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2010
Time Loop

waywardclam wrote:
I recall a game in Games magazine way back when which may or may not have been called Time Chess or something similar...

It's called TimeLine. Here's the BGG link for the game. There's not really much info on it. It's a bit confusing because there's a recent cheapass game with the same name.

Jason

Pt314
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Time Loop

You have got to be careful with a game based on time-travel, what would you do if you create a paradox? I guess you could erase the cause of the paradox from the entire timeline.

Hmm, thats an idea for a game right there.

Torrent
Torrent's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
Time Loop

Pt314 wrote:
You have got to be careful with a game based on time-travel, what would you do if you create a paradox? I guess you could erase the cause of the paradox from the entire timeline.

Hmm, thats an idea for a game right there.
It already is. ]url http=http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/815]Chrononauts[/url], by Looney Labs.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut