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A Racing Adventure Game

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ash4640
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Hi all,
This is my New game Idea, Even though the game is not completely done; the core game mechanic is done. Please give in your comments and feedback.

Game Overview:
It is racing adventure game where in the player has to help his character reach the destination first. Your character has lost his way and is stuck in a Jungle, help your character exit the Jungle.
2-5 Players
6+
45-60min

Game Goal: Help your Creature cross the Jungle and reach the other side first.

Game Mechanics
- There are 100 tiles on the Board with 1st Tile being the start of the Jungle and 100th Tile being exit of the Jungle.
- The first Creature to reach the 100th Tile and exit the Jungle is the winner.

Dice is used for movement.
There will be animals tiles when a player lands on a Animal tile then he has to pick the animal card.
Some Animals are friendly while others are not.
Each Player can place a slow tile / fodder on a place to slow down other players.

Thanks
Ash.

hulken
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What is your target consumer

What is your target consumer with the game?

What do the animals do?

ash4640
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Target consumer are kids

Target consumer are kids above 8 years.

Your Creature / Animal requires food to move across the tiles in the Jungle.
There are special abilities that your Creature earns while playing the game, these can be used to fight / defeat the bad animals
or escape other Dangers of the jungle.

Animals are of 2 types
- Good Animals: They give you food(resources) or they give you Special abilities
- Bad Animals: They can decrease your resource, stunt your movement for a turn or two or steal your abilities.

I have still not decided on the movement of the character; like should it be using Dice and random. or should be in an ascending order progressing through each tile but give the required food (resources) to go the next tile.

hulken
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It sounds to me like what you

It sounds to me like what you have designed is a kids game. I have (and played) a simular game when I was a kid. You build your own eacetrack with puzzelpices. And it was a simple roll and move. The difrent tiles had difrent abilys on them, 5 difrent I think. The am was first to finnish with the mosh honney jars. I atleast think you collect honney jars.

I think you should skipp the whole "your animal have to eat" part. Just make the animals collect somthing or make it a simple race. That way you can get the agegroupe down. Maby 5-6 years old. Pluss every one loves to collect things.

Maby have difrent animals collect difrent things?

Pastor_Mora
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First Impressions

Not so much expert advice as first impressions. Roll-and-move games have to be very cleaver not to be dumb. Since you say you have a track of 100 spaces, I take you don't detour much or there are not many alternate routes. Not having seen your game yet, I say it looks like the recipe for dumb (I'm not trying to be an ass here, just bear with me).

I played "Life" when I was young and you rolled again and again and apply the effect the game gave you. There was hardly any decision to make. Effectively, the game played me. I don't see this as a good thing, not even for kids. "Life" had an elaborate storytelling element to support this mechanic, but as you started with the mechanics, it doesn't look like you have much theme pasted on to compensate (like a book/movie license). Again, I haven't seen the game, maybe you do.

As for dice rolling, with a regular d6 dice you get an average movement of 3.5 (4 if you like). That will take a player 25 rolls to reach the 100th tile. If the player turn lasts 30 seconds (quite fast actually), those 25 rolls add to 12:30 minutes per player or a game of 25-60 minutes for a 2-5 players setup. Do you add something that makes the game longer for less players? or are you adding the setup time?

If you use larger dices (d8, d10, 2d6) the value of "slow tiles" decreases, as a player has increased chances to jump the space. On the contrary, if you do not allow players to jump "slow tiles" or if slow tiles remain in effect for the whole game, you are introducing a major dynamic of possitive feedback (I don't think it's possitive at all, it is just named like that). The leader of the race has more effective "slow tiles" because his slow tiles could/will affect all other players, while the last player slow tiles are useless. This could mean a runaway leader issue.

Last, but not least. Why are you trying to cross the jungle? I know you are all lost, but you are all together! So, why would you try to outrun the others? I'll give you a plot twist as an example that can spawn many mechanics. Say there is a big fire in the woods and all players are rangers (fantastic creatures if you will). Then you are running across the jungle to save the creatures you encounter. You can add a set collection scoring mechanic. Some players may even run back if a creature they are missing from their sets is encountered in a tile they already passed by. The thing is, that from the 3rd turn on (or at some point) FIRE will start advancing from the first tile on at a speed of 3 (maybe split the track in 10-tiles parts and have them engulfed by fire in a determined amount of turns, you figure).

See? you are not just adding EFFECTS, you are adding CHOICES.

So far, it does look like an ages 4-6 game. Maybe if you can find a unique twist to the game, you can make a gem out of it. Keep thinking!

PS No captchas! I'm back!

ash4640
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Hi Mora, Thanks buddy for ur

Hi Mora,
Thanks buddy for ur expert tips as usual. Pls chk ur Boardgamegeek mail.
In-fact I have a theme, but not fully refined, I will do one thing within a day or two I will post the board and the mechanics along with theme on a site and post its link here, so u will get a pic of what is in my head.
Hehe incidentally i had designed a computer game similar to the theme u mentioned here - the forest is in fire and you have to rescue all the animals.
What if the slower tiles had to used within a particular number on the board (eg: irrespective of who the leader is all have to use the slow tile before 40 on board). Each player will have 3 slow tiles.
I though of having a dice with the following six sides 1,2,1,2,3,4 so 4 would be max and the lower numbers 1 and 2 will have two possibilities.

Pastor_Mora
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250 turns in 60 minutes?

The dice you are thinking of will yield an average advance of 2 spaces per turn. To complete a 100 spaces track chances are you'll need to take your turn 50 times. In a 30 seconds turn, that is 25 minutes per player. In a 5 players setup, that is over 2 hours. But you state 45-60 minutes of playing time. Do you have 12-15 seconds turns? That IS a racing game!!

On the other side, a race game where you advance 1-2 spaces per turn 2/3rds of the time doesn't give me any idea of speed. Have you compare it to Formula D? I think in 6th gear you roll a d32 or something. That's speed!! (someone who actually played this game in the last decade can correct me).

Yep, the forest fire theme was not meant to be original, but to illustrate how you can add an element of excitement to the 2 hours of roll-and-move.

Regarding the tile effect space allowance idea, I think it would not change much. Since the leader player will be the first to bypass this area, it will be the first to be safe from it. So a tile drawn after that would not affect him, but would affect the last player nonetheless (or be completely useless).

You want my piece of advice: forget about dice. Have the players draw 4 tiles every turn from a bag. Have a blank square board (like 4x4 chess boards size) where each player starts with their pawn at an angle and has to reach the opposite side. Print the tiles on both sides for a movement (with straight paths or 90° turns) or special effects (random animals, bonuses to the player or dangers to opponents). Every player can use the tiles in their hand during their turn (discard any unused). Players move along the placed paths and can use paths from other players up to a movement of 4 spaces per turn. Now you have a limited set of options to keep it simple for kids, but a lot of CHOICES to make in every step. Tile-placement, simpler than Carcassonne. You can't miss that.

Keep thinking!

hulken
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If it is a kids game the he

If it is a kids game the he should keep the dice, that is my opinion. Easy and simple for the kids. Maby shorten the track instead, use onley 50 of the 100 tiles? That wau you increas the replayability aswell.

pelle
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off-topic

Pastor_Mora wrote:
Not so much expert advice as first impressions. Roll-and-move games have to be very cleaver not to be dumb.

Making a non-dumb roll-and-move game (for adults) sounds like an excellent GDS topic.

ash4640
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yeah somehow i liked the dice

yeah somehow i liked the dice mechanic, i dunno esp kids might like it. let me complete the base design and will put it up then maybe see if it all makes sense.

Yep pelle chk this after the design gets done and tell if this roll and move game is non-dumb one.
Thanks Mora, checked ur points and I'm ideating again will post once I'm done with it.

DogBoy
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off-topic

pelle wrote:
Pastor_Mora wrote:
Not so much expert advice as first impressions. Roll-and-move games have to be very cleaver not to be dumb.

Making a non-dumb roll-and-move game (for adults) sounds like an excellent GDS topic.

It's been done - and at least 4600 years ago!

The backgammon family of games gives meaningful gameplay to the roll-and-move mechanic by having multiple pieces, so that players can (usually) choose which piece to move each turn. The earliest known game of this type was played by the Mesopotamians: the "Royal Game of Ur" (also known as the "Game of Twenty Squares"). There is an ancient game board in the British Museum which even contains the original pieces and dice (well, knucklebones). Unfortunately, the rules booklet is missing ;-).

rcjames14
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On-Topic, Off-Topic

ash4640 wrote:
yeah somehow i liked the dice mechanic, i dunno esp kids might like it.

Since you plan to appeal to kids and since you want to make this a boardgame with physical components, you're dealing with an audience that is pretty young. By the time that kids reach the age of 8 or 10 they will likely be playing digital games on the DS, smartphone or console unless those media are not available.

Before the proliferation of mobile devices, you could count on boardgames for family get aways and vacations. But, now the kids will really need an intervening force to get them to try something that isn't digital. School is one of them. Parents are another. So... you will either want to target a younger age (between 5 and 8) or you will need to add choices which will at least interest adults so that your game can be played as a family game.

But, adding choices which scale well to the age of the player is always the hardest challenge about a family game. They need to be simple to understand but allow for a greater degree of complexity to emerge. If it is solely designed for a young child audience, you can rely pretty heavily on chance... but you'll also want them to be presented with a few choices they can understand. Like what direction (from multiple choices) to move in. What objects (from multiple choices) to collect. All which tie into the goal of the game in a very simple and straightforward way.

There may also be elements of 'sharing' that kids have to do in order to get what they want. Or, at the very far extreme of abstraction, needing to 'give back' objects so that they can get more later. Since kids games are really just lessons guised as games, things like delayed gratification, sharing and good sportsmanship are really the goals of young kids games and the set of choices that are presented to them have align with these goals/lessons.

DogBoy wrote:
There is an ancient game board in the British Museum which even contains the original pieces and dice (well, knucklebones). Unfortunately, the rules booklet is missing ;-).

This could itself be the topic of a GDS showdown: Write a set of rules for an ancient set of game objects for whom the rules have been lost.

ash4640
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Final Design and the Dummy Board

Updated Game Design with a Dummy Board here - http://ashwanthrt.blogspot.com/
Thanks Mora for the moving fire Idea, it inspired me to create the Lion character.
All your your suggestion feedback and comments are most welcome.
Also please comment on the optional items the Food, Slow Tile and Skip token and the Board and no of tiles.

Cheers
Ash.

ash4640
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Final Design updated

Hi rcjames14,
Thanks for your valuable suggestions. yeah as you mentioned they could start playing Digital Games.
The intervening forces like the parents or teachers could be an after product support for introducing the game or making the kids replay it. But for now my criteria is to design the game which is a bit fun to play with once the kid gets introduced to it. If the game is fun then that by itself will be the USP of the game.

Choices: choices and surprises are in the form of Animal Cards and Terrain Cards that the user picks. Also the game board could offer choice in terms of movement by adding terrain tiles - the player can skip a set of dangerous terrain tiles, but he might encounter lot of animals in that section.

rcjames14 wrote:
but you'll also want them to be presented with a few choices they can understand. Like what direction (from multiple choices) to move in. What objects (from multiple choices) to collect. All which tie into the goal of the game in a very simple and straightforward way."

This is what Im trying to do here after the initial Design stage, Im trying to balance the choices and chance in this final Design stage so that the final game is fun to play with.

I wanted to keep food for the reason that the kids should give something (food) for moving forward or faster in the Game.

@Mora - somehow I did not want to do the tile laying mechanic as i wanted to stick to the die rolling mechanic for this game. for tile laying i have a different design in my mind.
Please take a look and see how the whole thing has shaped up, hope you like the total gameplay now.

@hulken - Maybe as you say i also feel that 100 tiles ay be long, but i stuck to it to see atleast how it plays the first time. Maybe once i go about placing the Terrain tiles, then i will try to get the no of tiles down to say 80 or so and make it more interesting using the terrain tiles.
I wanted to have like a strip of Swamp tiles or lava tiles on which if the user goes the he will face more perils.

thanks all for your feedback.

http://ashwanthrt.blogspot.com/ - Please take look at the updated design and give your valuable comments, suggestions and feedback.

Cheers
Ash.

ash4640
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hmmmm no feedback - is that a good sign or not

I don't know if it is good or bad but i could see a bit of visits in my Blog but no feedback, so kind of eager for the experts to talk as you were the ppl who helped me refine my idea more.
One positive sign was somebody seeing the rules has shown interest in Producing / Publishing it once the Animal cards and Terrain cards are done and play-tested, and if turns out fun.
Ash.

rcjames14
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Pseudo-Anonymity

I was one of those visitors without comments. At the time, I did not have the time to leave a message... but I did want to commend you on the illustrations. They look really fun and align with the theme well.

After reading the introduction to the game, I understand a little more clearly how you plan to implement the race, and why the track is necessary. The story is clearly an important part of the design and probably will make the game compelling to the age group that you hope to attract.

However, the game is very long for that age group. I think that something that takes between 25 and 35mins would be much more appropriate. In addition, the game does not appear to me (based upon our discussion here and the description on your blog) to have any choice in it. It seems rather more like an adventure than a game. This may be fun despite the fact, but I would recommend if this is indeed the case that you make it a cooperative game about sharing.

So, as I see it, after getting lost in the jungle, a group of farm animals (a donkey, a pig, a sheep, a horse, a mouse, a dog, etc...) have to work together to escape. Along their way out of the jungle, each animal will pick up different goodies that are found in the jungle by performing silly tasks for 'good' animals they encounter. These items will then need to be shared with other parts of their group in order to defeat the 'bad' animals they encounter. The overall mechanic would involve a progression from place to place (perhaps through rolling two different dice and choosing one) along a number of different paths and side paths and make it very hard for any player to 'escape' without the others being able to do so as well. The kids need to learn to work together so that everyone can escape, otherwise no one will escape... at least, that's what I see the lesson being. But, the fun will come from performing lots of silly things to collect goodies. And, that will also be the real difficult part of the design process - coming up with the silly tasks that are required to earn the goodies.

In this view of the game, the board would be more multilinear than the one you have drawn... but it would contain bottlenecks where each player needs to 'bribe' the animal who guards the gate/bridge/path to get through. Players would be able to trade goods freely with each other. And, in fact, some elements may require one player to get to the other side of the gate and then give back stuff in order to help other players get through the same gate. Each animal might have a different thing that it is good at on the board, and of course, certain players might be better at certain silly tasks than others... so some degree of coordination may help the players succeed.

ash4640
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Hi rcjames14 thanks for the

Hi rcjames14 thanks for the feedback and the valuable suggestions.

There are couple of suggestions and requests from my possible publisher now.
A - Even though it is a 2-5 player game, I have to keep my design aimed mostly at a 2 player or 3 player scenario most of the times.
B - The age group has changed from 6+ to 8+ now.

thanks like you said keeping the board short is already my to do list.
Yeah the idea is to keep it more fun rather than giving more or little choices (if any).

It is a nice idea to include co-operative play into this mechanic and setting, it will also be fun for the kids; but now considering point A; I'm just contemplating would it be a good idea to have a co-op play if the game is played most of the times with just 2 or 3 players max.
Also another reason i don't want to keep different animals is it will include more possibilities in terms of skills (diff animals, diff skills) and keeping the same animals will also give the same abilities for all animals and a feel of racing towards the jungle exit.
Just a thought - How about a co-op only at certain parts of the board (when encountering dangerous tiles) and a race towards the finish line at all other times.

Basic Movement - The lion chases the players, each Donkey (player) uses the die roll to move forward after all players have completed a turn, somebody will roll the Lion die to make the Lion move.

Food - Initially I was planning to have food as a resource that you have to use up in order to move forward in the game.

Collectibles - Should i even have collectibles, what if collectibles were in the form of food which the Donkey(player) has to collect which are available on some tiles on the board. But the Donkey (player) can use the collected food during any fight / encounter with a bad animal or can exchange it for a skill with a Good animal. It need not be a collectible that has to be with a player till the end of the game.
Food can be in the form of Tokens.

Silly Things - The silly things as mentioned are planned to be added in the form of Animal Cards

Eg:
Bad Animal Cards
1. Wild Boar: Wants to ram your back and stunt your movement for 2 turns
Joker: You tell a Donkey joke so the other Animal will laugh continuously, before which you can escape.
Singer : You sing graciously, but the other Animal faints in shock.
No Skill: Wait for the boar to Sleep before proceeding - Skip 2 Turns.

2. Cheetah: Wants to make you his slave and use you to carry all his hunt's back home, though he is fragile you can never outrun him.
Politician: You bray continuously thinking you are reasoning with the other Animal, annoyed with your continuous Braying the Animal lets you go.
Fighter: Suddenly you stand up for yourself and deliver a generous Kick, the other Animal falls back startled and is in shock, before which you can escape.
No Skill: Since you can outrun him fro his territory, miss a turn and move back 2 paces; and hope you can bypass the second time.

Good Animal Cards
1. Baboon: The Happy Singer. Happy to have a friendly visitor, it treats you likes its best friend and offers you food and and teaches you its skill of Singing.
+ Take 2 Singer Tokens, + Take 2 Food Tokens

Skill / Ability - Their will be a total of 15 Skills / Abilities (15*5 tokens each = 75 ability tokens)

Re thinking on the multi-linear board will update once i have done the Design.

- This game is aimed at 8+ now, just wanted to know if this game can also excite the elders or the parents?
- FOR NOW / TILL NOW which part of the game sounds more fun ?

ash4640
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Hmmm not much feedback still,

Hmmm not much feedback still, so you guys you feel this is ok to go into playtesting.....
What do you think about the Animal Cards....

rcjames14
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Playtesting

If you have a chance to playtest the game, you should. It will provide you with a lot of feedback that we cannot, because it will show you how the game operates in motion. You will get a much better sense of the time, flow and fun factor than can be explained here.

And, as I have found to be the case for my own designs, the very act of creating a prototype for playtesting will force you to confront challenges and obstacles that you did not anticipate while it was still a set of rules. When I actually try to render something into a physical and presentable object, I often find that there are aspects of the design that I overlooked. From trivial issues like explaining what everything means to discovering that there are certain mechanics that are missing, prototyping is always an informative experience.

That being said, I try to put as much work as I can into clarifying a design before I go through the process of prototyping it. Prototyping almost always takes about 5 to 10 times more work than designing the rules. So... I usually want to be very happy with what it feels like in my mind before I go through the effort to make it.

When I saw "Minute to win it" on the tv a couple nights ago, I was reminded of the 'silly' type of tasks that you might be able to devise for kids to do with a couple dozen different objects included in the game box. Considering how popular that game show is and the popularity of Cranium, there is definitely traction for that style of game.

And, when replying to dktron's design Pond Farr, I was struck by an idea for how to make your game more suitable for adults and strategic than it current is, if that's the direction you wanted to go in. In this case, I'm thinking that it might be a deck building game where each animal gets a slightly different collection of cards to begin with and builds up their deck throughout the adventure by making choices. As opposed to the existing deck-building games which are very non-geographic and based upon the accumulation of VP, the board itself would present the players with their options and become the main goal (exiting). Sort of like Dominion meets Life.

I'm not sure that either one of these designs are the direction that you want to go in. But, I believe that the game needs something more than roll, move and collect. Unless you want to make it a game for really young kids (5 - 8) I think that the game needs a core dynamic that hasn't been done before to keep the players engaged.

ash4640
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Good Suggestion

Thnx rcjames14.
Thats a good suggestion to make it like a deck building / deck collection game, i don't mind thinking in that direction just to spur out few more thoughts and ideas; but im not very sure that i would implement it, because my (possible) publisher wants it to appeal to parents also, but he doesn't want too much complexity (in terms of mechanics) thats what he told me in our first meeting. He liked this game because of the jungle theme and the simple goto a tile and meet a good animal / bad animal and see the result; so i want to have these two but build upon it .

1. I could make the collectibles as a set of cards, there could be 5-6 diff types of collectibles, when a player has collected a particular type of cards then he would have finished the required collectibles.
2. What are the other famous games similar to life with the die rolling mechanic, are

For now I'm building the borad, once done i will update.

Thnx

ash4640
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Board Updated

The latest Rules with few changes and a New Board are updated at http://ashwanthrt.blogspot.com/

Thnx

rcjames14
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REvisions

In keeping with your existing mechanics. What if you introduce two dice into the game... color coated... and players choose which result they want? Rather than have numbers, the game path would have colors (which match the dice) and they would be laid out in different sequences at different points of the journey. The basic mechanic of the game would involve rolling two dice and advancing to the next space along the path that matches the color you choose to keep.

So... the swampish area might have an overabundance of black colors along the path, while the water area might have a lot of blue. You could introduce short cuts and side paths to the game by requiring players to land on the color at which point the path forks and you might also introduce wild colors for areas where you want players to stop. There may be some colors which don't appear on the dice (secret areas) which require you to either play a card to get there or roll a special die.

The object of the game could either be to get to the end (escape) or, as seems to me to be a more fun game, to have the most valuable treasures when the first person escapes. In the former case, items that you pick up along the way may allow you to redeem them to circumvent certain areas or use them in lieu of rolling. This version of the game would be very tight, and encourage players to 'invest' early and figure out exactly when they should 'divest' to make it to the end before anyone else.

In the latter case, the spaces that you land on could give you items of different value and the board would scale like life, so the most valuable stuff is towards the end. But, in general ending the game would not necessarily mean you win because if you don't collect enough stuff along the way that is valuable in favor of getting to the end, someone else who played smarter might beat you.

In both cases, you might be required to perform silly tasks to acquire these items. So, you're belief about how well you can do some of these things may influence your choice of die that you keep.

I am partial to the latter, life-esque, version, for small children because I feel like they will have more fun perpetually accumulating and that the idea of investment/divestment is perhaps a little bit beyond the idea age (6-10). It also wouldn't require them to understand the redemption process... so you could keep it really simple: roll two dice, choose one, advance, perform, collect. The game ends whenever a player reaches the end. At which point, you count up the value of all your objects and whoever has the most wins.

You could also include some items which increase in value when a part of a set. And/or... limit the 'payout' of each space so that there is also an issue of competition for certain items/colors between the players.

Notice: In this new version, there are no bad animals. Only animals at each stage of the game which each require you to perform a task to receive a gift from them. Each animal in this case could represent their 'ideal' allegorical persona and the task that you have to perform would relate to it. So, you need to amuse the monkey. Make the hyena laugh. Beat the owl in a game of math. Prove your courage to the Lion. Do something that requires patience for the elephant. Etc...

But, regardless of what you choose to do... get rid of the current lion mechanic. No one should be punished for being behind. Being in last place is usually it's own punishment. Especially, if you decide to include items on each space that disappear when collected, being in last place is punishment enough insofar as it limits your choices.

irdesigns510
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i'd stick with "race to the end" by itself.

rcjames14 wrote:
The game ends whenever a player reaches the end. At which point, you count up the value of all your objects and whoever has the most wins.

You might have to have bonus points for "first out" or clever kids might not see the value of exiting, if they can get treasures.

Although, this sort-of reminds me of the golden snitch in harry potter's quidditch. They might as well not had the snitch, and just have the quaffle alone, because i had never seen (in the movie) the score get up to 150 before it was caught, and even if you were down 160pts, why end the game by catching it?

rcjames14 wrote:

The object of the game could either be to get to the end (escape)...

...items that you pick up along the way may allow you to redeem them to circumvent certain areas or use them in lieu of rolling. This version of the game would be very tight, and encourage players to 'invest' early and figure out exactly when they should 'divest' to make it to the end before anyone else.

I like this one alot. the treasures (theme-wise) could be tools to help you skip ahead. Each area could have trials that slow you down, and if you don't have the tools (or don't want to waste them), you have to go slower.
Animal cards could have "what tool do i need?" symbols on them, as well as a dice roll handicap for your next turn, if you don't have the tool.

A mechanic for getting tools might have to be adapted to this (using exploring of the board - to keep the exploration in the game), if this was an option. i could see adults not being bored by this route, while still keeping it understandable for kids.

rcjames14 wrote:

But, regardless of what you choose to do... get rid of the current lion mechanic. No one should be punished for being behind. Being in last place is usually it's own punishment.

i agree very much, and if its for kids, i wouldnt have a "knock out" style either. hell hath no annoyance as a bored child!

rcjames14
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A Conclusion

irdesigns510 wrote:
A mechanic for getting tools might have to be adapted to this (using exploring of the board - to keep the exploration in the game), if this was an option. i could see adults not being bored by this route, while still keeping it understandable for kids.

I agree. The 'invest - divest' version of the game is very well suited for adults and could likely be adapted to be a true Euro-style game. Even adults would like this theme. So, I can envision a very robust game in this direction.

However, I recommended the accumulative version because it strikes me as much more accessible to the age group that he wants to target. Kids won't want to give up what they have gotten. Rather than teach the dynamics of investment (monopoly), I think that delayed gratification is a much easier concept for them to grasp. So, I love your idea about 'toolifying' everything.

Not only is it very iconographic, it also introduces the idea of getting one thing now so that you can get something better later. If the game is a set of doors, then each tool is a key. Perhaps certain keys work on multiple doors and multiple keys can be used to open the same door... but there could be a lot of doors that can be opened along the way for bonus items. You might have to weigh the keys you acquire against the risk that others might take the items that you want before you get a chance. But, as long as progression is one-way, you might not need such a form of strict competition to capture the essence of delayed gratification and risk investment.

Here's how I see the game unfolding:

Still the roll two dice, choose one and possibly the perform a silly task for an animal to receive a gift. But all gifts have both an intrinsic value and a use (tool) value. Inversely proportional of course. The use value of a tool is realized later in the game when it is used. As a Euro game, the gift might be redeemed for something else and disappear. But, sticking with an American style adventure game, let's just say that you always keep the tools in your toolbox.

As a result, there need to be far more tools than you can possibly acquire in one play of the game and the effect of each tool needs to be balanced well for the fact that some may be used over and over again. The gifts/tools that you can acquire are non-exclusive. So, everyone can pick the same tools without limit. But, since the game flows forward (except maybe a special tool that lets you go backward) you will not always be able to get exactly what you want.

Later in the game there may be a lot of gifts that have a lot of intrinsic value but little use value and require you to be able to use certain tools to get them. Some of the early tools thus unlock certain doors later on. Some allow you to by-pass certain areas. Some let you roll three dice. Some let you duplicate gifts. Some let you choose an easier task to perform. Perhaps you can think of some additional things that need tools.

In order to prevent players from going very slow through the board, the game is still determined by the intrinsic value of all the gifts you have acquired. As long as the intrinsic value of gifts is higher toward the end of the adventure, players will always have an incentive to move forward (provided that they can also unlock them) quicker than anyone else. Because, if the game ends whenever one player exits the jungle, then it is possible for that player to end the game before others get a chance to get the high value items.

On the other hand, if it turns out (like Quidditch) that you don't have the most, then the mechanic could allow you to try to slow down and grab as much as you can before you have to end the game. The 'optimal' strategy might thus be very tight, but Euro games don't seem to suffer from this (Race/Dominion) and most people haven't complained about the complete absurdity quidditch in Harry Potter. So, I think, given the theme and the audience, this 'losing by winning' condition might be excusable.

Ideally the optimal strategy would actually vary depending upon what each player decides to do. If everyone else is going slow and getting a lot of tools early on, perhaps it benefits you to race ahead and end it even if the overall point value is low. On the other hand, if everyone is racing ahead, then they may slow down at the end as they realize that they need to pick up points, and someone who went slowly initially has time to catch up.

The main question that needs to be answered by the designer is whether the game should be a race (as the title indicates) or whether it should be an adventure (also in the title). A race would require all the tools to focus on their benefit to get you past your obstacles as fast as you can. In this case, tools have no intrinsic value only a use value. An adventure might allow you to explore the long paths to acquire items that can be used for later or may just be good in and off themselves. A race has an obvious game clock. The clock for an adventure is less obvious.

Usually, adventures end with climatic battles. Races end at a finish line. Abstractly, a battle and a finish line may be the same thing. But the quintessential difference between the two is the inevitability of a conclusion in a race vs. the uncertainty of winning a battle. So, does the game progress inexorably forward or are their points where you have to 'go back to the save point' if you fail?

The alternative to a climatic battle is a modified race/adventure like Race for the Galaxy or Dominion where you can end the game but still lose. Both games are very unforgiving to novices and require careful attention to flow and value because you can still lose by winning. But, they usually end quickly with the pace accelerating over time as opposed to the near endlessness of American games like Talisman.

So, how should this game end? What is the goal? That will ultimately reveal the whole reason for gifts/tools/items.

irdesigns510
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what is the exploration method?

rcjames14 wrote:

Not only is it very iconographic, it also introduces the idea of getting one thing now so that you can get something better later. If the game is a set of doors, then each tool is a key. Perhaps certain keys work on multiple doors and multiple keys can be used to open the same door... but there could be a lot of doors that can be opened along the way for bonus items. You might have to weigh the keys you acquire against the risk that others might take the items that you want before you get a chance. But, as long as progression is one-way, you might not need such a form of strict competition to capture the essence of delayed gratification and risk investment.

1.)
what if it wasn't one-way? i know that "greed quest" was kinda crappy (ok, VERY) but there were some interesting individual mechanics. The main one was getting to the bottom of the dungeon, then having to pass all the other players to get back to the dungeon exit.
(in this case, you'd go 1-50, grab some item, then have to go all the way back 50-1.)

Maybe "1" is base camp, and "50" is some temple, and you have to find the "grand item" inside, and get back to camp with it first. This would be both explore AND race, as well as potentially allow player interaction, if desired, when players pass each other.

Maybe there are multiple temples inside the jungle (like south American pyramids), and the method of "exploring" had to do with collecting information as to which one the "grand item" was in. (this part might be upping the age limit though.) ...expansion???

2.)
Another thing to think about is whether or not the board is secret and modular. exploring the same "candyland" one-track style board IMO is not a great representation of this. i personally would like to be eager to know what lies beyond the next fallen tree. The desire to reveal this information could be a race in itself as well.
(bonus points for exploring the most areas??)

i agree with the needing a goal if you are exploring and racing at the same time.
exploring in itself is slow, as you are... well... exploring!

Just some thoughts.

ash4640
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Thanks again for the Great Inputs

Color coated Dice is a cool idea but the board needs to be done very smartly.

rcjames14 wrote:

I am partial to the latter, life-esque, version, for small children because I feel like they will have more fun perpetually accumulating and that the idea of investment/divestment is perhaps a little bit beyond the idea age (6-10). It also wouldn't require them to understand the redemption process... so you could keep it really simple: roll two dice, choose one, advance, perform, collect. The game ends whenever a player reaches the end. At which point, you count up the value of all your objects and whoever has the most wins.

This is better and as mentioned it is less complex than the invest mechanics for the kids.

The invest / divest mechanics by itself could be a diff game altogether (already getting few interesting ideas)

rcjames14 wrote:

Each animal in this case could represent their 'ideal' allegorical persona and the task that you have to perform would relate to it. So, you need to amuse the monkey. Make the hyena laugh. Beat the owl in a game of math. Prove your courage to the Lion. Do something that requires patience for the elephant. Etc...

I made the cards but it contains some kind of an award or points deduction for now.
How can you judge the result of a task that kids have performed for eg: needing to amuse a monkey can be done in 2 diff ways by 2 kids so how to judge a common result.

Not sure about the Lion removal, the publisher wants it very specifically unless it plays bad, maybe Im just planning to start the Lion once every player crosses 20 tiles.

irdesigns510 wrote:

I like this one alot. the treasures (theme-wise) could be tools to help you skip ahead. Each area could have trials that slow you down, and if you don't have the tools (or don't want to waste them), you have to go slower.
Animal cards could have "what tool do i need?" symbols on them, as well as a dice roll handicap for your next turn, if you don't have the tool.

I have something called as skills (somewhat similar to the tools u have mentioned) for now; it doesn't help you cross any trails as there are none in the board but they help in escaping the bad animals. After you cross a certain checkpoints (certain tiles eg:8,16,24,32) you are allowed to pick 3 skills. But at the checkpoints you are allowed to hold a max of only 3 skills (including your previously collected ones). You also earn skills from few good animals.Also collecting a certain no of skills before the next checkpoint could allow you to earn a treasure (Path token).

rcjames14 wrote:

The main question that needs to be answered by the designer is whether the game should be a race (as the title indicates) or whether it should be an adventure (also in the title). A race would require all the tools to focus on their benefit to get you past your obstacles as fast as you can.

When i planned it initially i wanted it as a racing game with an adventure setup or a adventure based theme with just few elements like collecting or finding shortcuts to reach the finish line. Later once the theme got stronger more adventure elements got added and it kind of became interesting but still finish line existed. But the publisher now wants the collectibles as the goal unless its plays very badly.
So for now it is a kind of a race (race against the lion) but with no finish line but to collect the maximum path tokens.

(bonus points for exploring the most areas??)
- well this sounds interesting....

Thanks for the all the great inputs rcjames and irdesign....
like mora says "still thinking" to make the game more tight....

I ve just started playtesting, my first impressions - it was too random to my liking, so i will just work a bit on the tiles and the skills and playtest it again tom. Will post the feedback once i playtest it a couple of times.

Ash.

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