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Overlay mechanic (belts and ropes) for a tile-based Rube-Goldberg game (The Incredible Machine)

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ben.friedberg
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Joined: 11/30/2009

I am working on an unofficial (but allowed by the copyright holders) boardgame version of the 'The Incredible Machine', a Rube-Goldberg computer puzzle game created by Sierra Dynamix in the early 90's.

My idea is to have a series of tiles (representing the different machine components) laid out on a player board (sort of like Galaxy Trucker).

The biggest mechanic problem that I have is how to represent the belts and ropes that sometimes connect some of the components. Belts connect stationary components but ropes sometimes connect components that are mobile and will be slid around the board when the players 'run' their machines. Additionally, some of the ropes will need to have multiple segments because they will be routed through pulleys to change direction.

Ideas I have so far are:

1. clear plastic overlays of varying length that are assembled on top of (or under) the tiles.
2. Markers with common symbols (or letters) that denote connected devices.
3. A large clear plastic overlay that players will draw on with dry erase markers
4. playing on a dry-erase capable player board so that players mark up the board with their ropes and belts before laying down tiles.
5. little pieces of string. :-/

Has anyone run into this sort of mechanic before? And brilliant ideas of how this might be handled?

Nix_
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Joined: 09/23/2009
Connecting Tiles

My first thought was that you could use wooden road pieces, but that isn't much different than the ideas you arleady have. My second ideas doesn't involve connecting the pieces physically at all, so you don't have to worry about lengths of componets or board jumble.

Use belt and rope tokens. Each token is numbered, and multiple tokens have the same number. Players would place a same numbered token on all tiles that were connected by the same rope or belt. It might not have the same visual effect, but it would solve your problem.

ben.friedberg
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Joined: 11/30/2009
Thanks for the input! Your

Thanks for the input!

Your second suggestion is an elaboration on my idea for (#2). It's probably the front-runner in terms of ease of production but I think that it really leaves something to be desired visually.

I cross-posted this thread on BGG here:
http://boardgamegeek.com/article/4269517#4269517

NateStraight had a wonderful suggestion which was to drill holes in the player boards so that a peg could be inserted and be able to withstand some tension from a rubber band. I really like this idea and think that I'll probably be running with it since it contributes so strongly to the visuals in the game...

scifiantihero
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Joined: 07/08/2009
I'm not sure . . .

how tiles would stay set up with rubber bands connecting them.

schtoom
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Joined: 08/31/2009
Tiles with pegs might do the

Tiles with pegs might do the trick, as long as you don't put a super tight rubber band on them.

ben.friedberg
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Joined: 11/30/2009
Yes, that was my initial

Yes, that was my initial concern which was why I was looking for a better alternative (like the token suggestion). The alteration that was suggested on the other thread, however, was that the tiles AND the player board themselves have holes so that the peg would stick through the tile and into the player board. Since it is a thicker chipboard, the peg would be held upright by the deeper hole.

Nix_
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Joined: 09/23/2009
Another idea

Maybe velcro connected to string would work; with each tile having a place to attach the velcro

annie (not verified)
Will there be any change if

Will there be any change if we attach tile for velcro.

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