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Designung from theme

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markgrafn
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Typically something I don't do. I like learning new and exciting game mechanics, it's only natural to like creating them as well - even if some of my games don't really have anything mechanically interesting to them.... However I do have two themes I really like and am having trouble matching mechanics with.

Theme 1.... raising and battling dragons, from egg to grave. I'm absolutely lost with this game at the moment. Maybe someone will have an idea or two that will spark something.

Theme 2..... decaying earth. Many science groups are building exploration ships to navigate distant space to inhabit foreign worlds.

I have a basic skeleton of an idea for this game, I'll try to break it down.

All players are given a "sponsor" which will dictate how much money they have to fund the exploration mission as well as a unique ability useable in the game and finally a unique score condition.

During the game portion of the game, players will be building 5 specific parts of the mission. Ship, propulsion, navigation something else and finally crew. Each piece contributes ultimately in the scoring phase.

During scoring. Players Roll Dice provided By The Mission Pieces with modifiers to determine probability of mission success. Highest wins.

Needs some work but the skeleton is there. How do players build the mission peices? No idea as of right now. Suggestions?

Thanks for reading and the help

gilamonster
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Joined: 08/21/2015
For the dragon game, I think

For the dragon game, I think you could go for a sort of financial/resource management game with an added combat microgame. Players could each have a pool of some resource (gold/mystical energy/maidens to devour/whatever) that the player has to decide whether to use to buy new dragon eggs, train, mutate or otherwise or upgrade existing dragons, or heal their damage from previous battles, or whatever other options you can think of. Perhaps you can also chose to sacrifice one of your dragons to add a big amount of resource to your pool. Winning a dragon combat mini-game would probably give you a reward of either resources or something else (maybe the losing opponent's damaged dragon, like the loser's armour being forfeit after a knightly joust). And maybe you could simulate "breeding dragons": each dragon has traits, and to aquire a new one, you must already have two dragons with some minimum number of the traits of the old one.
This could work as a board game with individual player boards or cards for the player's collection of dragons and associated stuff, and maybe a central "arena" board for the combat minigame, or you could go for a deck-building game (or a game with strong deck-building elements, maybe still with an arena board for a minigame.

For the spaceship game, I can't add much yet, except to say that your missing component could be the life-support system.

ElKobold
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Sometimes it helps to

Sometimes it helps to determine the complexity and the length of the game, before you get to choosing mechanics.

For example that theme with going to space can be both simple draft game like 7-wonders, or a complicated resource management, like through the ages.

Both can work, but require a very different approach to game mechanics.

markgrafn
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Joined: 03/01/2015
Short and simple

Those are a kind of my guiding principle in all me designs. I like to play those short and simple games because who wants to spend 2 hours building and positioning troops in Egypt only to have your best friend clear out most of your hard work in a single turn because he doesn't ever roll less than 5! I don't play a Risk anymore but the principle is the same, long games can create sore losers much easier than short games in my experience.

Ideal target time is 20 - 40 minutes. And depth is always good.

ElKobold
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markgrafn wrote:Ideal target

markgrafn wrote:
Ideal target time is 20 - 40 minutes.

Then I would probably go for the good old drafting.

Or you can have a Teris-like mini-game, where you would place the oddly-shaped spaceship parts into your spaceship hull and then see if the result can fly.

Or combine the two.

markgrafn
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How doesn't like tetris!? I

How doesn't like tetris!?

I got to thinking of a sort of "after market" mechanic. What I'm thinking is a player drawing a card or two on their turn and having priority for purchase. If the player doesn't want to purchase the cards, he places them into a five Card "after market." Cards slide in and out of this market somehow and players will have the option to buy these cards during their turns as well as buying the cards they draw.

Doesn't seem very great.

Thoughts?

Soulfinger
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markgrafn wrote:Theme 1....

markgrafn wrote:
Theme 1.... raising and battling dragons, from egg to grave. I'm absolutely lost with this game at the moment. Maybe someone will have an idea or two that will spark something.

Theme 2..... decaying earth. Many science groups are building exploration ships to navigate distant space to inhabit foreign worlds.

Theme 1 comes with plastic eggs. You randomly place counters into them ahead of time. Then, during the course of the game, you hatch the egg, take out the counters and see what sort of dragon you get. You can then do selective breeding, taking two sets of counters, placing them in a single egg and then drawing half of them to determine the offspring's nature. This could be a strategy to eliminate negative characteristics, for example, as you go through several rounds of breeding in preparation for the end gladiatorial match.

Theme 2 has players competing to load the last of the world's precious resources onto their vessels, kind of a Noah's ark scenario. Wealthy collectors and corrupt governments hold item cards, like 'The Last Great Redwood,' 'Untainted Ovum,' and a 'Mated Pair of Hamsters' -- truly unique specimens in this modern day and ages. Space exploration yields competitive edges in the bidding war for bringing these specimens to new, unspoiled worlds where mankind can hope to thrive, perhaps even . . . love again.

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