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I need ideas for mechanics to add

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Xane
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Joined: 03/04/2009
Crappy draft of the map to help get ideas

Hey, I'm new here, I'm a casual boardgame designer, meaning I make games for friends and myself, I don't plan on ever publishing my games.

I'm creating a pure co-op game, the theme/story, is that you're on a space station guarding a planet that's believed to be cursed, while its being scouted for valuables to mine. It turns out the planet is a gold mine, and the mining crew will arrive on the planet in 10 turns/hours/days. Then, it all goes wrong, all sorts of things start hitting the space station, Aliens, Asteroids, Power failures, and more aliens.

The problem is, I planned to have about 20 events that would hit the ship every round, so 10 events each game, and I can't think of more than 6! And it's not that I just can't think of things that could happen to a space station, it's that there's only so much I can do with my current gameplay system before all the events feel the same.

Here's how the game works: Every round each player gets three turns, every turn they can move 4 or 5 hexs, then do an action. If the players don't stop the event (Alien attack, Power loss, Asteroid) then it does major damage to the station. Each event can be stopped in about 2 ways, and each will randomly do one of three things to the ship if not stopped.

Let's say there's a power loss, players need to get to the storagebay, and grab a power cell. Then they need to take that to engineering and use an action to plug it into the powercore. Or, they could use emergancy power and give themselves a bit more time. But, if they don't stop it, it'll lockdown half the station, then a player has to use an action in the hub/bridge to unlock each section of the station.

I think i've just been rambling this whole time, so let me try to keep this part short.
Things the player can do as their action: Pick up an item,(They can carry one at a time) Fire their weapon at an alien, or use a control panel in a section of the station.

Things that can happen to the station: A section can be destroyed, A section can lose it's air by way of a hull breach, a section can be locked down.

I just can't think of anything to add, even if I say there's a fire, and the player had to put it out, it'll be the same as shooting an alien, they just have to grab an item, and fire it at a target. Or if a space worm attacks the station, it'll be the same as if an asteroid hit the station.

Anyway, I'd be really grateful to any advice you could give me, thanks.

simons
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Joined: 12/28/2008
Hey Xane, welcome. This might

Hey Xane, welcome.

This might be a stupid question, but if the scope of your board game is so limited that it only allows for 6 combinations of actions, why not expand the scope of your game? And, I mean, a little repetition is okay, right? Also, couldn’t you expand things like an alien attack, so that they’d be different than just a fire? And couldn’t the consequences be different enough that it affects it differently?

That said, here are a few ideas: First, maybe make events that aren’t as catastrophic, but are less avoidable (basically, something that might give a penalty to the next roll, move something to a less convenient place, etc). Or, maybe make it that certain benefits cease to be available (such as there is something in the medical bay that shuts down, so unless you already picked up the first aid kit, it’s lost). Last, could an event ever be helpful (such as, aha, you discover an android helper in the closet, or even just get one turn of reprieve)?

More concrete ideas: Maybe the part of the computer that controls the doors glitches, so until you can fix it, it is harder to move from one area to another? If fighting one alien too simple, why not make 3 small ones? Poisonous gas leak (I mean, they’ll need that to extract minerals, right)? Space leach attaches to the side of the ship, requiring someone to need to space-walk to get to it? Depressurize the certain sectors (possibly killing all those who are there), and they are locked down? Solar flare causes glitches throughout the ship for X turns? Maybe the android robot you have goes bad (or you lose some other helper)? Horrible virus gets out somehow (thus crippling a crew member, and anyone who comes too close, until you bring something from sick bay)? Force field glitches create certain temporary walls, until they are switched off? Computer virus makes the panels less responsive until it is dealt with and fixed (thus, you could spend time fixing it, or ignore it until you have time, suffering penalties all the while).

Last thought, if you want to take it out of the realm of PURE cooperative, one character at random is taken over by the body snatchers, and must try to sabotage the ship (though maybe can be helped), though maybe you don’t know who it is.

Does this help, and if not, then am I missing something fundamental here?

Simon

Xane
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Joined: 03/04/2009
Thank you

Quote:
Also, couldn’t you expand things like an alien attack, so that they’d be different than just a fire? And couldn’t the consequences be different enough that it affects it differently?

Maybe I'm just lacking in creativity, but the main reason I find it hard to make them different, is because there's only a few ways to damage the station,(Hull breach, section loss, player damage), it's sort of one of the things I needed help with. I honestly can't think of any more ways to damage the ship.

Quote:
"First, maybe make events that aren’t as catastrophic, but are less avoidable"

Great idea, thank you.

Quote:
"More concrete ideas:"

Thank you for these as well.

Quote:
"Last thought, if you want to take it out of the realm of PURE cooperative, one character at random is taken over by the body snatchers, and must try to sabotage the ship (though maybe can be helped), though maybe you don’t know who it is."

I thought about it, but I wanted the game to work with 2 players. An event wouldn't work, because then if one player didn't get traitor in a two player game, it's obvious the other player has it. Same thing for one player starting as it as well.

Quote:
"Does this help, and if not, then am I missing something fundamental here?"

It helped me quite a bit. I just had been completely stumped on what to do next, Thank you.

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
Quote:"Last thought, if you

Quote:
"Last thought, if you want to take it out of the realm of PURE cooperative, one character at random is taken over by the body snatchers, and must try to sabotage the ship (though maybe can be helped), though maybe you don’t know who it is."

I thought about it, but I wanted the game to work with 2 players. An event wouldn't work, because then if one player didn't get traitor in a two player game, it's obvious the other player has it. Same thing for one player starting as it as well.[/quote]

Not necessarily. You could have one more card than there are players, raising the possibility that no one is the traitor.

You could also have different kinds of traitor, with different objectives. For example a criminal might want to steal something, but not to let the aliens destroy the base.

Xane
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Joined: 03/04/2009
Thank you.

Quote:
Not necessarily. You could have one more card than there are players, raising the possibility that no one is the traitor.

You could also have different kinds of traitor, with different objectives. For example a criminal might want to steal something, but not to let the aliens destroy the base.

I like it. Having different kinds of traitors is something I didn't think about. Thank you.

derekjinx
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Joined: 08/10/2008
space station problems

Just some thoughts to add:

Why not have the stations orbit deteriorate? Or possibly have a wormhole move the station back in time? This might get fiddly but it adds tension. The other thing I thought of was loss of gravity, items float from section to section and movement slows down.

Could this add some weirdness inherent in space adventures.

I thought of different roles to include secondary objectives. This gives the game the element of push/pull between the mutual conflict happening station wide, and the player's secondary goal (like Mutant Chronicles Boardgame):

SCIENTIST - goal is to keep science bay intact all other concerns are secondary (ignore crew, keep equipment powered/intact)
SECURITY SPECIALIST - kill all alien threats and recover the corpses for biological study (goes all attack)
CREW CHIEF - maintain order and don't lose any other crew (sacrifice to save others)
SPY- eliminate the enemy agent (select a token from a group that bear the portraits of all the other roles playing this game, this randomly selected role is an enemy agent and you must ensure that this agent meets with an unfortunate accident, not directly attacked)

And so on.

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
different kinds of traitors.

Xane wrote:
I like it. Having different kinds of traitors is something I didn't think about. Thank you.

No worries!

JB
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Joined: 02/06/2009
Well let's see damage

Well let's see damage types.

You could have the lights go out- this would slow movement.
You could have particular problems that need you have a particular object just to move through it. A gas mask for poisin, rubber boot for electricity.
You could have a section be weakend with a random shot of developing a hull breach on future turns.
You could definately use some sort of malicious space goo, that corrodes all these nessisary objects (power cells ect.)
Finally you could have some sort of goofy gas that makes movement erratic and unpredictable somehow. I've heard oxygen rich enviroments can do this.

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