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climb tree to collect something mechanic

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NewbieDesigner
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Players climb a tree to pick apples (or some fruit) and then convert and sell products such as apple juice, apple pie, etc. Any thoughts on an interesting movement mechanic to climb branches and collect items on a tree? Any games do something like this? Thanks in advance.

czarcastic
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The risk in climbing trees is

The risk in climbing trees is in the chance a branch breaks... though sometimes you can find another way.

Perhaps a board with several different routes to the resources, but certain routes have a random chance of breaking when used. Natural end condition if all routes to resources break.

Mechanic could also apply to bridges or cave exploring.

NewbieDesigner
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I like the idea of

I like the idea of interesting routes including shortcuts but branches breaking doesn't work well with other things I have in mind.

Baarune
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It seems to me the climbing

It seems to me the climbing is a differant game to making selling things.
Movement mechanics makes it sound like it should be a racing game. Who can get the most fruit fastest.

Movement mechanics makes it sound like it should be a racing game. Who can get the most fruit fastest.

I would go with something along the lines of on each branch/section you travel. You have a 1 in six chance of dropping all your apples. But you could periodically go down to the base of the tree to put them in storage. This creates a push your luck situation which i feel applies well to a trading game.

You could play as 2 "children" where one is climbing the tree and the other is running an apple juice stand at the bottom of the tree. So you get one action with both on your turn. Staying in the tree not providing your freind with fruit therefore wouldnt be benificial.

radioactivemouse
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Keep it simple.

If climbing the tree is the main mechanic, then maybe do something with cards facedown a la 7 Wonders: Duel where some are face up so you can strategize how you climb the tree. You can even set the cards up to look like a tree

However, it seems like you're doing something on top of that (making pies/juices/etc), so I would keep the game focus on what's more important, the climbing of the tree or the making of the goods. Seems like a bit too much having to climb the tree, get the fruit, then convert it to something else.

But that's just my first impression of the game by reading the post. If you have to climb one tree, I can see it, but if you're in an orchard and you have to climb every tree, it may be a bit too much for the game.

NewbieDesigner
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I tried a yahtzee mechanic

I tried a yahtzee mechanic (roll 5 dice three times) initially with move, eat, and sell on the die faces. Players would move up the tree using move symbols, consume the fruit with eat, move off the tree with move and then finally sell. It ended up being repetitive and without tension. Thanks for suggestions so far.

gilamonster
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Joined: 08/21/2015
branch angles

Something that might build well on czarcastic's earlier suggestion regarding branches breaking:
in general in real life, a more vertical branch is more difficult to climb, but is also less likely to break than a horisontal one of equal thickness. Building somethign like this into the game could mean that players could choose between the quicker but riskier, more horisontal branches or the less risky but slower horisontal ones. The angle of the branch could be abstractly represented by numbers on certain dice (or visually on a board of course)

NewbieDesigner
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Some good ideas that got me

Some good ideas that got me thinking some more.

Branches breaking and players falling doesn't work for what I have in mind but what if players had some attributes like 1)movement speed 2) consumption of fruit rate 3)agility moving up and down branches. Monkeys might be a better fit than people.

The challenging part is coming up with a functional board and what the goals should be rather than aimless wandering around and collecting stuff more efficiently than others. Any ideas on this aspect?

let-off studios
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Fodder for Variety

NewbieDesigner wrote:
The challenging part is coming up with a functional board and what the goals should be rather than aimless wandering around and collecting stuff more efficiently than others. Any ideas on this aspect?
Here are some ideas, but not necessarily mechanics on how to implement them.

NEW FRUITS
Does all the fruit have to be present at the beginning of the game? Can fruit show up at different places in the tree throughout the game, even sometimes in a place where fruit was picked off earlier? Can multiple pieces of fruit show up in a location, allowing for a more efficient pick-up? Can some areas create more fruit than others, even at different phases of the game?

TOO MUCH FRUIT
What happens if a player is carrying too much fruit? Does this slow them down? Does this increase their chances of dropping/losing fruits? If fruit is dropped, can another player catch it or climb down and grab it all?

RIVALS & PREDATORS
Is there something else in the tree trying to grab fruits, where no player can collect them? Are there malignant predators slinking around in the tree ready to grab the players instead of fruit? Are there regions of the tree that are considered dangerous...but the rewards greater for those who risk it?

SPECIAL FRUIT
Can special "golden fruits" or whatever appear or be placed/appear in the tree, being worth more than a typical fruit? What might happen if a player collects one, or several? Might a player need to collect particular fruits in a certain order? Are the players trying to complete recipes for goods to sell before other players, or before the fruits spoil? Are certain types of fruit less common than others?

...Again, this is just a bunch of ideas. Developing mechanics is up to you? See if anything fits well with your other ideas. Good luck. :)

czarcastic
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Whether a suggestion is used

Whether a suggestion is used or not, it's all about keeping the juices flowing...

That said, this could pan out to a set-collection game. A race around the tree to collect fruit ingredients to complete various recipes. Fruit could spawn around the tree similar to Catan's resource generation, except it waits to be harvested rather than immediately going to an owner.

gilamonster
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Falling out of the tree need

Falling out of the tree need not eliminate a player - it could just drop them to a lower branch (or to the trunk via the ground if they're on a bottom branch already). This could possibly even be deliberately caused for tactical reasons (particularly if the number of players on a given branch increases the chance of it breaking, or if there is something useful on a branch directly below you).

Of course, it might still not work with your game.

NewbieDesigner
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let-off studios

let-off studios wrote:
NewbieDesigner wrote:
The challenging part is coming up with a functional board and what the goals should be rather than aimless wandering around and collecting stuff more efficiently than others. Any ideas on this aspect?
Here are some ideas, but not necessarily mechanics on how to implement them.

NEW FRUITS
Does all the fruit have to be present at the beginning of the game? Can fruit show up at different places in the tree throughout the game, even sometimes in a place where fruit was picked off earlier? Can multiple pieces of fruit show up in a location, allowing for a more efficient pick-up? Can some areas create more fruit than others, even at different phases of the game?

TOO MUCH FRUIT
What happens if a player is carrying too much fruit? Does this slow them down? Does this increase their chances of dropping/losing fruits? If fruit is dropped, can another player catch it or climb down and grab it all?

RIVALS & PREDATORS
Is there something else in the tree trying to grab fruits, where no player can collect them? Are there malignant predators slinking around in the tree ready to grab the players instead of fruit? Are there regions of the tree that are considered dangerous...but the rewards greater for those who risk it?

SPECIAL FRUIT
Can special "golden fruits" or whatever appear or be placed/appear in the tree, being worth more than a typical fruit? What might happen if a player collects one, or several? Might a player need to collect particular fruits in a certain order? Are the players trying to complete recipes for goods to sell before other players, or before the fruits spoil? Are certain types of fruit less common than others?

...Again, this is just a bunch of ideas. Developing mechanics is up to you? See if anything fits well with your other ideas. Good luck. :)

Thanks for your thoughts and questions.

It's mostly the mechanic that I am stuck on at the moment. I want players to be able to climb and move around trees, eat, move off the tree, and sell what they have collected. Thematically, only one resource will exist and no stealing or falling so it's more of a race is that aspect although there could be some path blocking.

I'm wondering if a drafting mechanic similar to 7 Wonders/Sushi Go is the way to go?

Cards that have a mix of 1) movement along branches, 2) jumping from branch to branch, 3) eating, and 4) selling. And perhaps a way to boost these abilities by discarding unwanted cards (sort of like tucking a card under your Wonder for +1 movement, eating, etc.).

I could place more fruit higher and more outward on the tree perhaps creating a push your luck to get back in time and maybe the selling earlier is better than later but you will collect less fruit selling earlier?

NewbieDesigner
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…revisiting this thread and

…revisiting this thread and looking for some scoring suggestions after settling on a movement mechanic.

To recap, players will move 3 pieces/pawns along tree branches to collect apples (only resource in the game) and converted into points. The game will likely end around when all of the resources have been collected.

Ideas on scoring:

1. Knizia’s highest lowest scoring see in Ingenious. A player’s score will be the piece/pawn that collected the fewest resources.

2. Each player has three pieces/pawns (A, B, C). Players can compete to change the value of apples collected by A, B, and C (there will be three tracks, A, B, and C, and players can move the pieces up the tracks). So player one A’s apples at the end of the game will be worth 4 points, B’s 3 points and C’s 2 points each.

3. A race to victory points. The game ends when each piece has collected a certain amount of apples.

General thoughts or suggestions?

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
If the idea is to spread out the harvesting

If the idea is to harvest as evenly as possible across one's pawns, then the scoring can be something like 5 points per apple gathered by the least-performing pawn plus 1 point per excess apple gathered by the other two pawns. This effectively gives the player +2 points for completing a "set" across all three pawns.

If there is going to be jumping from branch to branch, it really does sound more like monkeys than people. People tend to use ladders for this sort of thing anyway, unless the pawns are kids trespassing in the orchard.

It's not clear to me how the tree is constructed. You could make a nice bushy top-down view (start with a central trunk with four connection points, and build outward) but then it's difficult to have any real height. You could also build the tree in profile, but then the horizontal movement boils down to left and right.

Or you can go overboard and include plastic bits to do the bushy connection network on a per-level basis. Sounds really, really expensive to produce, however.

NewbieDesigner
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Thanks Frank. I tinkered

Thanks Frank. I tinkered with top down versus side view and ended up going with the side view for aesthetics primarily but also the ability to jump as you pointed out. I should have a prototype ready in the next few weeks and may post further questions if I run into any roadblocks.

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Additional scoring mechanism

Here are some things that you could add to your game as additional ways to score victory points:

You could reward /penalize monkeys for being in certain positions when the game ends. Ideally this would give players a decision between going for these spots or continuing to collect fruit. For example you could reward the topmost left most and right most monkeys and penalize the bottom most monkeys.

You could reward the first player to have their monkey's have certain numbers of apples. For example if a player has a monkey with 1 apple a monkey with 2 apples and a monkey with 3 apples they would get 3 extra points. This would be similar to the nobles in splendor.

You could have a set of bonus point cards. Each card has a number of apples and bonus victory points associated with it. The number of apples and victory points increase on each card. Players can take exactly one of these cards during the game. They are can choose to take the card on the turn when the reach a certian number of apples. Each card in the set has an increasing threshold for number of apples needed but also an increased amount of victory points. The game Rise of Agustus has this scoring mechanism.

You can reward the the player with the monkey that collected the most apples and penalize the one that collected the fewest. This would be similar to the scoring of pudding in sushi go.

Maybe you can get a copy of barrel of monkeys for some fun pieces for play testing.

NewbieDesigner
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Thanks Fri. The bonus card

Thanks Fri. The bonus card suggestions sounds like something I will definitely try to incorporate and you have given me some other ideas to consider.

Kohlstech
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Movement Mechanic

Have you considered a Tile based Movement system,

Like Hex based system where the tiles make up the tree branches
Forming different paths.

This way the tree is not always the same board every time.

Different tiles could have fruit on them,some just branches.

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
I also thought that something

I also thought that something like the movement in tsuro, but with the ability to jump to different paths may could work in this game, but forgot was just recommending scoring mechanisms.

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