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"Stop Light" Mechanic

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Tbone
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On the way to work, there are a few stop lights I travel through regularly. Some I almost always pass through green, and some are a bit of a gamble. Coming closer and closer to the green light you say to yourself "will I make it.... will I make it?". The feeling you get from hitting a green light at JUST the right time is nice, but finding yourself passing under a red light also gives you a unique rush. I wanted to simulate this somehow.

Stop Light Mechanic

(this mechanic is not theme sensitive, I am using the "stop light" analogy to make sense of it).

Essentially it is a push your luck mechanic. On your turn you will roll a die, execute any actions on your existing cards, and then draw a card. You may do this any number of times until something stops you. When you roll the die, you will see if you've passed through a "green light", "yellow light", or "red light". At anytime (or when you roll a one) you can choose to (if you roll a one you HAVE to) "stop at the light" and the turn goes to the next player. Also, after when you roll the die, you will gain a token of the color you rolled.

The different colors you will see on the cards you draw. Each card will have three different actions on them: a good action (green), an okay action (yellow), and a bad action (red). Each of these actions will have a value next to them. When you draw a card, you will place it in front of you. When you check to see if any actions execute you will start with your oldest card draw in front of you, checking first the red value, the yellow, and then the green. If none of them execute (you don't have enough tokens of the corresponding colors) you move to the next oldest card. If one of them executes, the card is discarded and the action is performed.

I think this could be a great driving force to a game. I plan to implement this into my next design. The actions would have to be simple and maybe even shown by a symbol. Other, more advanced cards could be acquired (a long with other dice with more colors :O). Could be very cool. And the thing is, the game doesn't even have to be a "movement" game. I can essentially pick whatever I want!

What do you guys think? Has this been seen before? Do you have ideas for a theme? Any additional mechanics that could improve this? Give me your thoughts.

Stormyknight1976
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1000 Miles

Or its normally called Miles from Milton Bradley.

Its a movement driving family card game. Players are given 7 cards.
The game starts to the left of the dealer. The player must lay down a green go card before putting any mile card down. The next player can drop a card from their hand if they have no go card into the discard pile and on the next turn pick up the remaing cards upto 7. Players can stop other players with several options.

Stop Card Mechanics:

A red stop light
A flat Tire
Out of gas card
A broke down card

To recover from the stop light mechanic :

A green light card
Repair flat card
Fuel card
Repair truck

To by pass these stop mechanic cards:

Fire Truck: Player can not be stopped at any time during game play.
Gas Truck: Player cannot run out of gas at any time during game play.
And two other cards I cannot remember since its 5:28 a.m. and I just woke up but the last two cards prohibit the other players from stopping the one player if that player has all coup deville cards : all four saving grace cards.

Players lay down mile cards to get to 1000 miles during their turns.

Mile cards:
5
10
20
50
75
100

1000 Miles card game can be played from 2 to 6 players.

For shorter games, 500 miles.
For medium games or standard gameplay, 1000 miles.
For longer games, 10,000 miles.

For your stop light mechanic system Tbone:

How about using the die to see how many cards the player picks up or the opponent picks up. This could slow down the players from advancing their drive points?

For example :
Like if a four was rolled, you can drop that many cards from your draw hand and pick up four new ones or call out another player to do the same thing by changing that players strategy. This can also be a," Take That, Stop Light Mechanic".

let-off studios
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Mille Bornes, etc.

Stormyknight1976 wrote:
Or its normally called Miles from Milton Bradley.
I know the game you describe as Mille Bornes, but what I think Tbone is describing here is something different from what's in that game.

Regarding Tbone's original comment, I think I've seen something similar in connection with the dice, but not with the cards. There's a small dice game called Toss Up that has 10 dice, each with green, yellow, or red sides.

The goal in Toss Up is to roll dice and earn points for every green side up. If all faces The player can choose to continue to roll as much as they like, but if ever the red dice outnumber the green, they lose any points they've collected that round. It's a casual game suitable for ice-breakers/fillers for game nights.

I like how you describe collecting the tokens when choosing to stop at certain results. The spectrum doesn't necessarily need to be just "good, neutral, and bad" like a typical expression of green, yellow, red would indicate. The different cards could indicate different aspects of the game world, and the player may be attempting to collect more tokens of a specific type to activate those different aspects.

What would those aspects be? I haven't the foggiest. But I do think it's an interesting mechanic. Combine this with things like hidden objectives and graduated point scales (some things are more valuable the fewer times they've been activated), and it sounds like some interesting decisions could be made here. Players may have one idea in mind, but due to the dice rolls they may end up having to make do with/adapt to/settle for the results handed to them.

FrankM
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Foggy notion

I like the mechanic!

The colors could relate to archetypical actions (Fight, Magic, Stealth) where each player declares a specialty (“green”), familiarity (“yellow”) and weakness (“red”). Now the different color actions aren’t in a strict order, though some cards have distinctly better outcomes for one color than others.

Rolling red indicates that the situation calls for your weakness, forcing you to slow down and think up an alternate solution... that is ending your turn.

The cards could be obstacles or encounters with differing outcomes depending on the action type used. “Hidden Door” might give a treasure if you use 3 Stealth or 4 Magic, but break your weapon if you use 1 Fight and still not give you the treasure. Your red then yellow then green order is a great idea, just here different players attach different actions to each color.

A deluxe version of the game can have distinct dice for each of the six possible orderings of actions/colors. That way the mage with green magic, yellow stealth and red fight would have green pentacle pips, yellow mask pips and a red sword pip.

Tbone
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let-off studios wrote:The

let-off studios wrote:
The spectrum doesn't necessarily need to be just "good, neutral, and bad" like a typical expression of green, yellow, red would indicate. The different cards could indicate different aspects of the game world, and the player may be attempting to collect more tokens of a specific type to activate those different aspects.

Very helpful. This expands the idea nicely. So you're saying it could be Build (green), Move (yellow), Attack (red) etc.? Or something like that. Very cool! I'm thinking though, this mechanic by itself cost a lot of brain power. You have to manage each option along with your tokens. Managing this and a whole other part of a game would be difficult. But I want flexibility like this to make some unique combinations!

FrankM
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Oh, one other thing

Most of us are used to easily distinguishing red and green, assigning "bad" and "good" to them respectively. Just remember that a non-trivial fraction of people have red-green colorblindness, and make the symbols different shapes in addition to the color cues (e.g., red octagon, yellow inverted triangle, green arrow). Then refer to them by both color and shape in the rules.

Tbone
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FrankM wrote:I like the

FrankM wrote:
I like the mechanic!

The colors could relate to archetypical actions (Fight, Magic, Stealth) where each player declares a specialty (“green”), familiarity (“yellow”) and weakness (“red”). Now the different color actions aren’t in a strict order, though some cards have distinctly better outcomes for one color than others.

Rolling red indicates that the situation calls for your weakness, forcing you to slow down and think up an alternate solution... that is ending your turn.

The cards could be obstacles or encounters with differing outcomes depending on the action type used. “Hidden Door” might give a treasure if you use 3 Stealth or 4 Magic, but break your weapon if you use 1 Fight and still not give you the treasure. Your red then yellow then green order is a great idea, just here different players attach different actions to each color.

A deluxe version of the game can have distinct dice for each of the six possible orderings of actions/colors. That way the mage with green magic, yellow stealth and red fight would have green pentacle pips, yellow mask pips and a red sword pip.

Love the additions you've come up with. So here is an example:

Card 1
3 Green
1Yellow
2 Red

Player One = Knight (Fight specialty, Magic familiarity, Stealth weakness)
Player Two = Assassin (Fight specialty, Stealth familiarity, Magic weakness)

If Player One gets card 1 Green=Fight, Yellow=Magic, Red=Stealth???

OR

Card 1
1st) 3 Fight
2nd) 1 Magic
3rd) 2 Stealth

If Player Two gets card 1 the first option is green, the second is red, the third is yellow???

---

I'm pretty sure it's the second one actually, because 2 Stealth will always be the "negative" because it is in the third spot, but will trigger differently depending on your class (Assassin would want this card rather than the Knight because the Knight would trigger 2 Stealth [the negative attribute] before it would for the Assassin)

So essentially what you're saying is that a class will have a specialty attribute which will always trigger third, a familiarity attribute which will always trigger second, and a weakness attribute that will always trigger first. Depending on where your attributes are on the card will determine if it is a good (top position), okay (middle position), or bad (bottom position) outcome.

Is this correct?

FrankM
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Color and actions

The way I was picturing it, the card would have three options on it. For example:

---
Hidden Door
You cornered the thief into this room, but somehow he managed to escape! Obviously there is a hidden door here somewhere.

[pentacle][pentacle][pentacle][pentacle] Divine the Hidden Door's location and gain 1 Treasure card
[mask][mask][mask] Find the mechanism that opens the Hidden Door and gain 1 Treasure card
[sword][sword] Find a seam, but break your weapon trying to pry it open.
---

The colors would affect how many action points you have of each type, with the red color forcing a stop to all action point gathering. Now that I think about it, players should probably have a choice of which solution to apply to a card... but they have to go thru cards in a certain order and MUST solve a card if possible.

Tbone
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FrankM wrote: The colors

FrankM wrote:

The colors would affect how many action points you have of each type, with the red color forcing a stop to all action point gathering. Now that I think about it, players should probably have a choice of which solution to apply to a card... but they have to go thru cards in a certain order and MUST solve a card if possible.

Very cool. Yes, I think by adding flexibility in a structured environment is good here.

What about THIS... I was thinking today some more on making the options on the cards neutral somehow (option in slot three does not always need to be negative, in fact no options are.)

What will happen is this. Instead of having each slot determine a level of "goodness" and a different ability, there will be three power values (with green, yellow, and red symbols) that determine what happens to one ability/card. (bear with me as this is deviating a bit from your idea FrankM).

Example:

Catapult
Destroy one enemy building
1 (green)
4 (yellow)
2 (red)

Slot 3 (bottom) is always "checked first" for execution (if you have the amount of that color token shown on the card). Like you said, if you execute a slot 3 power value, your turn is over. When slot 3 is executed, the person to your left gains the ability instead of you! When slot 2 is executed, the card is immediately discarded after you execute the ability. When slot 1 is executed, you place that card in your reserve and can place it anywhere in your queue during any of your following turns if you'd like.

I like this A LOT. It makes for some really interesting combinations and can possibly include another player in your turn (doesn't have to be the person to your left??). This will give players a cool feeling of benefitting from essentially doing nothing. Also, adding your other idea of having different "factions/classes" could also make for even more interesting combinations. It also streamlines the "options" to only one ability per card instead of three.

What do you think?

FrankM
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I like your direction here

Tbone wrote:
(bear with me as this is deviating a bit from your idea FrankM).

It's your design :-) I'm just offering free advice on what direction I might go with it.

Tbone wrote:
Example:

Catapult
Destroy one enemy building
1 (green)
4 (yellow)
2 (red)

Slot 3 (bottom) is always "checked first" for execution (if you have the amount of that color token shown on the card). Like you said, if you execute a slot 3 power value, your turn is over. When slot 3 is executed, the person to your left gains the ability instead of you! When slot 2 is executed, the card is immediately discarded after you execute the ability. When slot 1 is executed, you place that card in your reserve and can place it anywhere in your queue during any of your following turns if you'd like.

I like this A LOT. It makes for some really interesting combinations and can possibly include another player in your turn (doesn't have to be the person to your left??). This will give players a cool feeling of benefitting from essentially doing nothing. Also, adding your other idea of having different "factions/classes" could also make for even more interesting combinations. It also streamlines the "options" to only one ability per card instead of three.

What do you think?


This is a more abstract/elegant use of the mechanic. I prefer to have some kind of one's-trash-is-another's-treasure eceonomy going on... which leads to balance issues... which leads to a glacial pace of actually finishing any titles. So what you're describing has a lot of merit to it.

I was thinking that maybe the player can spend something (that wouldn't just evaporate at the end of the turn anyway) to aim the red benefit at a chosen player.

Tbone
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FrankM wrote: I was thinking

FrankM wrote:

I was thinking that maybe the player can spend something (that wouldn't just evaporate at the end of the turn anyway) to aim the red benefit at a chosen player.

Might even just make that default, where players can just choose instead of it always being to the left. This way it can sort of be a catch up mechanic for the little guy. I will most likely give the ability to someone who is in last place so that I remain somewhat in the lead.

Tbone
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Design Journal Up!!

I posted the game that displays this mechanic quite well! Check it out!!

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