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Is a 1 vs all game, where the "all" is not co-op, a thing?

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mongoosedog
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I was shooting around some ideas for a game and was wondering if there is any good reference for a game that has a 1 player that is against all the others, but the others are not co-op.

The idea is, one person plays the prohibition police and the rest of the players are competing for the moonshine market. The game would require economics, area control, hidden movement, and resource management.

The police player would be doing the same turn structure, but working to upgrade his force, gather intel, etc. While the moonshiners are trying to get sales, manufacture, improve stills, etc.

let-off studios
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Asymmetrical Competition

I think it would be more useful to think of your game - at least on the big-picture level - as an asymmetrical competition between players. Mechanically speaking, the cops are just one more faction competing for area control and resources. Each faction may or may not have unique features to set them apart (or beyond) the others, and there may be multiple routes to victory, and/or certain routes to victory available only to certain players/factions.

Generally I see no problem with this working, though it may take some more effort in terms of game balance.

mongoosedog
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let-off studios wrote:I think

let-off studios wrote:
I think it would be more useful to think of your game - at least on the big-picture level - as an asymmetrical competition between players. Mechanically speaking, the cops are just one more faction competing for area control and resources. Each faction may or may not have unique features to set them apart (or beyond) the others, and there may be multiple routes to victory, and/or certain routes to victory available only to certain players/factions.

Generally I see no problem with this working, though it may take some more effort in terms of game balance.

I agree. The main issue is to keep the police from picking on one player.

questccg
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Kind of simple to balance

mongoosedog wrote:
...I agree. The main issue is to keep the police from picking on one player.

There are simple ways to avoid this:

  • A "Most Wanted" list - hunt down the mobster with the biggest rackets.

  • A "keep-in-balance" mechanic (Public Enemy #1) - which means the police want to ensure that no mobster get's too far AHEAD of his opposing mobsters. Otherwise the police lose and that mobster wins the game.

That should allow you to balance the game and make sure the police player focuses on all players, especially the one further in the lead.

Cheers.

CanucKnight
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I actually really like this

I actually really like this idea. I think the short list of design objectives are:

-Roughly equal win conditions
the cops and each individual criminal faction has a ROUGHLY equal chance of winning... it is ok if one role is harder but none should feel unwinnable

-Roughly equal turn times
Your cops are playing against everyone so there's definitely a danger for the robbers to end up as spectators for stupidly long turns unless the cop mechanics include interactions or the cops have simple mechanics to make up for multitude of units

-Incentive for the Cops to attack all other players
Set collection would work great. Say each gang produces beer or whisky or vodka; a set of all 3 is required to score a victory points. This self balances too: the winning gang (most successful booze deliveries) is also the gang the cops need to catch in order to complete their sets.

Also I would highly recommend that you give each player a finite stash of bottles to deliver over the course of the game. A secret bidding mechanic would also really fit the game theme. For example: all gangs have 30 bottles to deliver over the whole game. Players may bid 1-5 bottles whenever they send their runners out. This number would be hidden until they either deliver the booze or get caught. This gives interesting decisions about small decoy shipments and high risk comebacks. This will increase tension and limit the scope of the game (you dont need waste time figuring how many booze you get to deliver).

Just some thoughts
Best of luck

joebergmann
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I like this idea too

I think this is a cool idea as well. Looking forward to where it leads!

It's totally a thing!

Joe

X3M
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Interesting idea

I really like this idea that you have.

You could "balance" this more by having the police get leads.
And the more powerful the mafia player is. The more leads are connected to that player.

So, every thing that a mafia player has. Could be put in a deck. And the police can start picking random cards from that deck and choose to deal with it. Let me repeat: CHOOSE to deal with it, or not.

A lead could be, a location or a card that another player owns.

When the police force is big or strong enough. More cards can be picked. Eventually, the whole gang of a player can be wiped out. Which might let the police win.

On a side note. Other mafia might give extra leads to a certain player. And if that player is defeated by the police. The lead giving mafia will get VP for every given lead. Which might set this mafia higher then the police. "mafia that controls the police".

I think that picking on one player will be reduced this way. Or the police player is very corrupt. :)

Corsaire
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Cry Havoc

Check out Cry Havoc, three invaders vs a native race. The native can be player controlled or operate as an NPC force.

If you haven't tried The Godfather, you might want to as it fresh on the market. In that the families bid to control the police and mayor.

mongoosedog
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Valid points on the game.

Valid points on the game. Thanks for all the suggestions. Time to really start messing with it.

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