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looking for a theme to match mechanic (4x4 tile grid)

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NewbieDesigner
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Each player will have their own set of 16 tiles and a turn will consist of rotating a tile to activate (when symbols on the two tiles match up, e.g. when symbol A meets symbol A between two tiles) an ability such as producing a resource or drawing a card. The resources collected will be worth points at the end.

Can you think of anything sort of theme match for this? The tiles could be circles instead of squares (four sides is the only requirement).

I can't think if anything in real life that involves rotating (or turning) something to match up with something else resulting in a production of something. Thanks in advance.

TowerWizard
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Suggestion

How about a factory setting? Some of the cards are machines, some are power supplies, some are storerooms, some are offices, and so on...

NewbieDesigner
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I thought about that (and

I thought about that (and farming of course) but was trying to come up with something else a little more unique.

chris_mancini
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It could be rooms of as

It could be rooms of as house...perhaps a haunted house with rooms that shift and affect a player's path across the tiles? Rooms in temple belonging to a lost civilization? Tiles can line up to reveal treasures, traps, hidden information, etc...but only for the moments when they line up correctly!

Check out "Escape: The Curse of the Temple" by Queen Games.

Soulfinger
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-- Clocks -- Escaping a maze,

-- Clocks
-- Escaping a maze, like the movie, "Cube," or the story, "The Library of Babel."
-- Teen slasher theme
-- Alembic
-- Planetary alignments and astrological nonsense
-- Ant colony
-- Safe cracking

TowerWizard
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NewbieDesigner wrote: I can't

NewbieDesigner wrote:
I can't think if anything

NewbieDesigner wrote:
I thought about that

Hope you find that unique setting.

NewbieDesigner
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Thanks for some suggestions.

Thanks for some suggestions. The planetary one is interesting but I'm not sure what the result of two meeting together would be. Four different symbols exist on the tiles so I'm struggling to come up with something that results in the production of something new when two of the same meet; the act of rotating a tile is the theme integration snag.

let-off studios
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Atoms and molecules. New

Atoms and molecules.
New compounds are created when the active tile combines with its neighbouring tile(s). Players try to create specific compounds and fashion complex compounds as secret or public objectives.

tuscansun
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I'd love to second

I'd love to second Soulfinger's idea of safe cracking. I'd LOVE to be able to turn tiles and feel like I'm twisting knobs trying to crack a safe.

Plenty of ideas for it too: certain symbol matches buy you more time, others make it easier to find the combination, cards that call in fake police calls to distract from your heist, cards that lower your opponents' available time, cards that let you drill the safe instead of cracking it (at a higher risk of failure), etc. etc.

And if you don't make this game, I would love to, because now all I want to do is play it!

NewbieDesigner
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Some cool ideas but still a

Some cool ideas but still struggling to find a way to implement.

So additionally, the four resources collected (based on matching up symbols together) will be worth points at the end of the game based on end-game market value. So it could be that red resources collected are worth 5 points/dollars at the end of the game and green worth 2 points/dollars. Some of the symbol matching during the game will allow you to adjust the end game values. The trade-off for the players will choosing between collecting resources, adjusting market values for these resources, and collecting bonus/power cards.

Evil ColSanders
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That's the go ahead,

That's the go ahead, Tusansun! Make that safe cracking game! I'm down to play it! Reminds me of the mini games in Mansion of Madness.

Soulfinger
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Evil ColSanders wrote:That's

Evil ColSanders wrote:
That's the go ahead, Tusansun! Make that safe cracking game! I'm down to play it! Reminds me of the mini games in Mansion of Madness.

Exactly! The wiring puzzle was a board game version of the Bioshock hacking minigame.

The scope of the safe cracking game could be expanded to make it a player versus player game with one person being the criminal and the other a security specialist. The criminal is trying to break through all of the security barriers to score valuables, while the specialist tweaks defenses and generates additional risks. Alternately, a single player game along the lines of Chainsaw Warrior could work really well.

tuscansun
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Soulfinger wrote:Evil

Soulfinger wrote:
Evil ColSanders wrote:
That's the go ahead, Tusansun! Make that safe cracking game! I'm down to play it! Reminds me of the mini games in Mansion of Madness.

Exactly! The wiring puzzle was a board game version of the Bioshock hacking minigame.


That's the exact kinda thing I was thinking about! I don't wanna step on NewbieDesigner's mechanic though, your game after all :)

Could you be Greek Gods moving the earth to produce ethereal goods? Changing shipping routes on the sea? Music producers shuffling around record contracts and musical tastes? I'm sure anything you could apply a market to would work from what your mechanics are saying. My suggestion would be to pick your favorite thing that has a "market", whether it be a real market or a fantastically implemented one, and make that your theme.

And if you don't want to do the safe cracking thing, I'd very much love your blessing to use this mechanic as a jumping off point!

Evil ColSanders
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Well, there isn't enough

Well, there isn't enough knowledge about it to just take the reins from him. Could be a different game scoring wise, objective wise, and component wise.

If not. Make it a co-op game like Wok Star. Everyone doing different things in real time. A look out, a safe cracker, driver, looter, mastermind, tech specialist...

tuscansun
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Evil ColSanders wrote:Well,

Evil ColSanders wrote:
Well, there isn't enough knowledge about it to just take the reins from him. Could be a different game scoring wise, objective wise, and component wise.

If not. Make it a co-op game like Wok Star. Everyone doing different things in real time. A look out, a safe cracker, driver, looter, mastermind, tech specialist...


I wouldn't want to take over their game at all, I'm just fond of the 4x4 spinning grid mechanic. And maybe a bit overly fond of the theme :)

I was thinking co-op the whole way, possibly a traitor element. Instead of a board each, the main board would be the 4x4 in my mind. So in essence it's a totally different game than NewbieDesigner's, just with the same spiritual start.

Also I wouldn't want it to be real-time anxiety, I like the slow burn of constant threat. There's also a lot of puzzle element to cracking a safe, so I think real time would take away from it. Plus I hate real-time games with a passion. So there's that.

But MAN does it sound like a game I'd buy if it was out there somewhere.

NewbieDesigner
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Feel free to move forward

Feel free to move forward with any ideas mentioned here.

Ok, so let me explain a little more detail how the grid works in hopes of more thematic suggestions (always feel hesitant since I feel protective of what I perceive as a novel idea).

1. Think shape/color matching from Qwirkle.

2. Each player has their own player board with a 4x4 grid.

3. Each tile has an assortment of shapes on it made up of four colors (red, green, yellow, blue; circle, square, hex, diamond). Each player has the same set of 16 starting tiles.

4. Shuffle the 16 tiles and put them on your grid. Each tile also has starting position indicated by an arrow on it. Tiles are placed initially so the arrow is pointing up.

5. There will be 16 rounds/turns in the game. On each turn a player will get to rotate 1 tile from it's starting position (15, 30, or 90 degrees).

6. After the tile is rotated, check to see what is activated on that tile. Multiple activations can occur. It activates when color meets color, shape meets shape, and/or color & shape meets color and shape. The color match gets a resource, the shape match adjusts the market for the resources, the color and shape match gets a bonus/power card.

7. After game end, evaluate how much your resources are worth based on the final state of the market.

8. As far as the market, I have something in mind like Arkadia where you can flip over double sided tiles from another grid (how many on this grid will be based on player count so lets' say 4x4 in a four player game). So for instance, if there are 5 face up red tiles at the end of the game and 2 greens, your five red resources will get you 25 points (green 10 points). The market will provide the player interaction since everyone will have a different goal card at the beginning of the game, i.e., player A's red resources are worth 4 at the end but player B's reds will be worth 1). Finally, you have to pay increasing amounts to flip the market tiles. For this, you will want to pay with your resources that are worth less at the end of the game giving players incentives to collect weaker valued resources to pay for market adjustments.

9. The goal cards will enhance abilities (provide a wild resource, etc.)

Any further thoughts? Sound totally awesome or disappointed? lol No worries about critical feedback.

P.S This is the 3rd version of the game and I will be playtesting this weekend.

Evil ColSanders
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Takat

If you have you own grid and no one can effect it, and even distribution of tile shapes and colors, does there really need to be a state of the market? I'd just go for the biggest point color and then biggest shape.

The game also sounds like the game Takat, Only reverse scoring. 4 colors, 4 shapes. Place tiles side to side, corners, or overlap, in an attempt to give points to those colors. Everyone starts with a secret color. You are trying to get the fewest points to win.

There are no original ideas. 3 out of 3 threads I've responded to, I've drawn similarities to other games.

NewbieDesigner
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There is no “biggest shape”

There is no “biggest shape” and everyone has a different “point color” goal.

Player A’s goal card may be Red resource= 3 points, Blue=2 points, Green=1 point, yellow=0 points. Player B’s goal card is different (Yellow= 3 points, etc).

Therefore, Player A will want to manipulate the market so most red side of tiles are face up at the end of the game. Other players will want to do the same to increase color multipliers while decreasing others.

I looked at Takat and the similarities are remote. I attributed Qwirkle so the point isn't completely new game ideas but how mechanics blend together in a unique way.

NewbieDesigner
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Hmmm, just thought of

Hmmm, just thought of something. What about if players were mad scientists and the 4x4 grid represented their mad scientist machine with each tile being a knob/dial that is twisted to create something? The newly created "something" is in demand by the public that scientists sell at the end of the game. Any ideas on what the scientists create?

TowerWizard
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Why would you need resources?

Why would you need resources? The market can just reflect the supply/demands of the player boards.

Let's say the state of your board is scored at the end of the game by checking every connection between tiles for color matches (not shapes matches). Every time you turn a tile and connect two tiles for "red", the worth of the red color goes down (to reflect increased supply). Every time you connect two of the same shapes, a certain predetermined color's worth goes up (because your connection "eats" a certain color). So, you want many red connections, but in order for it to work you have to also increase its worth by connecting the correct shapes. And all players use the same market...

This way, it is less obvious which colors you want to be worth a lot. In your proposal, you pay resources to directly flip up a red tile, thereby revealing that you want to score red. In my proposal, the market is just an automatic process, and turning your tiles correctly gets much more critical.

Oh, and color AND (correct) shape matching would need to be something special. The market is unaffected (in my proposal it would both go up and down), so that special card idea could be used here.

Evil ColSanders
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I like that idea. I was

I like that idea. I was thinking along the lines of scientists as well.

It's the arkham wire game, sort of. The colors are now color wires. Some tiles have power sources in the center of the tile and others have connectors in the center which allow different colored wires to continue the chain. The last set of tiles have the output. 1-4 on a tile. You get resource of that color. On the table are a 3 cards with order request.

Eh.

NewbieDesigner
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TowerWizard wrote:Why would

TowerWizard wrote:
Why would you need resources? The market can just reflect the supply/demands of the player boards.

Let's say the state of your board is scored at the end of the game by checking every connection between tiles for color matches (not shapes matches). Every time you turn a tile and connect two tiles for "red", the worth of the red color goes down (to reflect increased supply). Every time you connect two of the same shapes, a certain predetermined color's worth goes up (because your connection "eats" a certain color). So, you want many red connections, but in order for it to work you have to also increase its worth by connecting the correct shapes. And all players use the same market...

Interesting idea. What value does the worth of items start at and can it go below 0? If the values are managed openly on tracks, my immediate concern is that it will be too trackable and scores will be very close every time (Perhaps bonus cards could mitigate).

I know what you mean about the tile flipping idea revealing preferences but I was hoping it would be more about clever bidding. So if I pay 2 resources to flip a tile, the next person has to pay 3 (or maybe some tiles require certain resources to flip). I was even thinking that if a person pays to flip a tile, they get to get ½ cubes on the tile (rounded down) back. Or instead of special cards, each time a card is flipped, someone gets an ability unique to that tile. Too many ideas floating in my head but I do like the core mechanic or rotating and activating.

NewbieDesigner
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Evil ColSanders wrote:I like

Evil ColSanders wrote:
I like that idea. I was thinking along the lines of scientists as well.

It's the arkham wire game, sort of. The colors are now color wires. Some tiles have power sources in the center of the tile and others have connectors in the center which allow different colored wires to continue the chain. The last set of tiles have the output. 1-4 on a tile. You get resource of that color. On the table are a 3 cards with order request.

Eh.

Thanks for the info. I haven't played that game but it does sound like it has some resemblance.

NewbieDesigner
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TowerWizard wrote:Why would

TowerWizard wrote:
Why would you need resources? The market can just reflect the supply/demands of the player boards.

Let's say the state of your board is scored at the end of the game by checking every connection between tiles for color matches (not shapes matches). Every time you turn a tile and connect two tiles for "red", the worth of the red color goes down (to reflect increased supply). Every time you connect two of the same shapes, a certain predetermined color's worth goes up (because your connection "eats" a certain color). So, you want many red connections, but in order for it to work you have to also increase its worth by connecting the correct shapes. And all players use the same market...

This way, it is less obvious which colors you want to be worth a lot. In your proposal, you pay resources to directly flip up a red tile, thereby revealing that you want to score red. In my proposal, the market is just an automatic process, and turning your tiles correctly gets much more critical.

Oh, and color AND (correct) shape matching would need to be something special. The market is unaffected (in my proposal it would both go up and down), so that special card idea could be used here.

Thinking about this some more and what if the four demand value tracks had different values/volatility? One track will start at a low value but will be more stable compared to another that starts high but drops at a faster rate as more players make connections. I'll test this weekend.

wombat929
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Alien Labyrinth

By coincidence, a game that uses a grid with rotating squares is on KS right now. I played this with the designer at SDCC last year (it was pretty fun), but this design is updated with cute art. Alien Labyrinth

TowerWizard
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NewbieDesigner wrote:I'll

NewbieDesigner wrote:
I'll test this weekend.

I am glad you liked this idea. You are right about adding some differences in the market between colors. If the colors represent different products, one may sell easily (get eaten) but but also be easy to produce (make a color connection), and one would be the opposite. The other two colors could work the same, but start off with a high value. If you want, you could include a way of earning points just by selling products (eat resources) from the market, but only if the product have a price above a certain value.

(Perhaps you don't need colors and shapes, but icons of products and icons of selling products. The "make a car" connection could show a full color car, while the "sell a car" could show a grayed out car. Just a thought.)

It all depends on the exact layout of the turning pieces. Maybe there are some connections that are easier to form. You need to decide on some mechanics and test them out to see what works and what doesn't.

Oh, and I definitely think that one special action (maybe a bonus card) should have the effect of switching two tiles, and another would be to turn one or two tiles to the original position. Also, if you can ordinarily only turn the tiles in one direction, cards could let you turn them in both directions (perhaps a limited amount of times). If you want to include sneaky things, some cards could let you affect other players' boards too...

NewbieDesigner
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TowerWizard

TowerWizard wrote:
NewbieDesigner wrote:
I'll test this weekend.

I am glad you liked this idea. You are right about adding some differences in the market between colors. If the colors represent different products, one may sell easily (get eaten) but but also be easy to produce (make a color connection), and one would be the opposite. The other two colors could work the same, but start off with a high value. If you want, you could include a way of earning points just by selling products (eat resources) from the market, but only if the product have a price above a certain value.

(Perhaps you don't need colors and shapes, but icons of products and icons of selling products. The "make a car" connection could show a full color car, while the "sell a car" could show a grayed out car. Just a thought.)

It all depends on the exact layout of the turning pieces. Maybe there are some connections that are easier to form. You need to decide on some mechanics and test them out to see what works and what doesn't.

Oh, and I definitely think that one special action (maybe a bonus card) should have the effect of switching two tiles, and another would be to turn one or two tiles to the original position. Also, if you can ordinarily only turn the tiles in one direction, cards could let you turn them in both directions (perhaps a limited amount of times). If you want to include sneaky things, some cards could let you affect other players' boards too...

Thanks TW for additional ideas to consider. Just to clarify:

"Every time you turn a tile and connect two tiles for "red", the worth of the red color goes down (to reflect increased supply). Every time you connect two of the same shapes, a certain predetermined color's worth goes up (because your connection "eats" a certain color). So, you want many red connections, but in order for it to work you have to also increase its worth by connecting the correct shapes."

Ok, so there are red/green/blue/yellow tracks that start at value, say 15, for all players. It goes down (possibly to 0) when any player matches 2 colors. The player receives one colored cube from the match. The red shape corresponds directly to "squares" so a player "consumes" the red resource once the square connection is made and receives points equal to the color track value (or would the resources be sold at the end instead of immediately?). Do I have that right?

NewbieDesigner
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Just thought of another

Just thought of another angle. What if the demand for each of the four resources goes up every round, each at a different rate?

Players have the opportunity to sell each resource once in the game and get points equal to the demand value (4 red cubes x 4 demand value= 16 pts).

There are 16 face down tiles at the beginning of the game, each one is flipped over the beginning of each round. The tiles will represent each good with and two blank tiles. So 2 red, 3 blue, 4 green, 5 yellow, 2 blank (sort of like the disaster tiles from Peloppones).

When the all of the colors of one resource are revealed from the tile flips, the market crashes for that resource and restarts at the bottom of its value track.

Red will normally crash faster since it only takes two tile slips to make crash. But you may press your luck.

Color matches will generate resources. Shape matches will advance a particular resource. Color & shape not sure. Maybe cards that get you more resources and/or faster track advancement.

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