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So many game ideas, so little time

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entwater
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Joined: 10/12/2013

Hi everyone. I'm back after 2 years doing an intense job that gave no time for game design. I don't suspect many of you would remember me. I was more into lurking than being very vocal. But now that job is over and I've rediscovered the folder on my computer with various game ideas. I'm mulling them over and would like the community's advice.

My process is to think of a theme/goal first, then build mechanics around that. After formlessly thinking about it I will first try to write the rulebook. I'm trying to decide whether to gradually work on all of them or to focus one in particular.

What I'm hoping for is your first thoughts about these concepts. Does hearing my simple description intrigue you, make you excited or sound boring? Should it be heavier/lighter? Does another game immediately spring to mind? What questions would you have about the game?

Onto the games! I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read through this and 'step into' the different concepts to offer your honest feedback. You don't have to comment on each game if you only really have opinions about some of them.

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MIGRATION

Goal/Theme: You are a flock of geese trying to reach your over-winter grounds before winter sets in.

Process: The flock progresses south by laying tiles and moving onto those tiles. Terrain can have resources (food, place to rest) or be inhospitable. The game ends when a "Mexico" tile is drawn. Players must manage energy by resting and foraging, but not get caught in the advancing winter. Players have "pattern cards" and if they fly over that sequence of tiles they get a boost, representing recognizing a migration route in the landscape.

Victory Conditions: VP total. VP for finishing order (who gets to Mexico 1st, 2nd,...), # of geese left, remaining energy, tiles laid per player. Want to keep scoring simple.

Mechanics: Tile-laying, push-your-luck, Auctioning new tiles, light resource management. Race element. Pattern recognition. No dice, no cards (only reference aids).

Number of players: easily scaleable from 1 to 4 or 5. Haven't really thought too much about this. Would imagine 3 or 4 would be sweet spot. Player interaction in Auction, resource gathering, and route selection.

Overall Complexity: 2/5. Mechanically simple & easy to learn, strategically deep. Playtime maybe 10-45 minutes depending on player #.

Similar in feeling/depth to: Carcassonne

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THE HOOP AND THE HARM

Goal/Theme: You are the Coach of a basketball team. You play a street basketball game against your opponent with 1, 2, or 3 basketball players (1v1, 2v2, 3v3)

Process: You create a deck of cards based on your team size – 5 base cards + 5 per player on your team. Cards have dual sides (offense/defense). Cards have Strength that modify the shot and Keywords that affect the possession. Card play continues, offense then defense, until the Offense attempts a shot or Defense steals the ball.

Players must manage their hands, balancing use for offense/defense, so not to run out of cards.

During Timeouts (which occur after certain number of total points have been scored) players can buy new cards for their deck.

Victory Conditions: Various. Players can play to 11 or 21. Or can use an event deck for a longer 4 quarter game – highest score wins.

Mechanics: Hand management, Deck building, variable player abilities

Number of players: 2. Could probably come up with a solo variant. 15-60 minutes depending on game mode.

Overall Complexity: 2/5. Mechanics are simple, but slight complexity comes from having to explain the game of basketball and make mechanics fit. No down-time – if you aren’t on offense, you’re on defense.

Similar in feeling/depth to: Bottom of the Ninth, Star Realms

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IT’S ALL POLITICS

Goal/Theme: You are a political Candidate attempting to be elected President of the United States. Thematic, somewhat historical, strategically deep, but significantly tongue-in-cheek and humorous. Satirical simulation of U.S. democratic process.

Process: Played over the course of 12 rounds (each 1 month), candidates earn income, build support, travel the country, debate, court Factions, respond to National/Regional Events, and change ideologies.

Victory conditions: Whoever has the most votes on Election Day.

Mechanics: Area Control, Resource Management, Event cards, variable candidate powers

Number of players: 2-4. Would imagine more than 4 and it would get way too bogged down. Probably 30-45 minutes per player.

Overall Complexity: 3.5-4/5.

Similar in feeling/depth to: Area Control/Events from Twilight Struggle. Haven’t played 1960: Making of a president, so don’t know how similar it would be to that.

A ‘sub-game’ in this is “Debate!”, where candidates try to win issues with ludicrous statements and farcical actions. It could be a stand-alone card game too.

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LONELY RIVER

Goal/Theme: One player is the Spirit of Water trying to create a river from a spring to the ocean. The other player is the Sprit of Earth trying to obstruct the river.

Process: In asymmetric play, water manages a deck of cards and water in the river to create riverbeds, open new tiles, and stabilize the landscape. Earth places workers, earns resources from the landscape, builds terrain, and plays Event and Obstruction cards.

The gameboard is created by laying large hexagonal tiles. The river winds around the source tile. Each ring of tiles around the source is a new Zone. There are 3 zones between the source and sea (sea is the 4th zone). The river can meander in any direction.

Victory Conditions: The river reaches the sea or 3 Tiles are Blocked.

Mechanics: Worker placement, hand management, deck building, tile-laying, variable player powers,

Number of players: 2. Play time probably 90-120 minutes.

Overall Complexity: 3-4/5. Almost 2 games in one because of vastly different mechanics whether you are Water or Earth, so steep initial learning curve to grasp each player mechanic and how they interact. Possible to get more or less simulation-y.

Similar in feeling/depth to: I don’t know.

questccg
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Just my opinion...

But I like MIGRATION. If it has cutesy art (comical) it could be real cool. And I love the idea that the winning tile is Mexico!!! LOL Just adds to the FUN.

Alternate name could be: "Birds of a Feather"

Which naturally ends with: "Flock together..." A pun on words. A famous saying too...

MIGRATION is a little DULL. LOL

Maybe you can have "Hero" Geese (as your leader - which can affect some of the tile choosing) Take a Fantasy Element and put it into your design...

Fun stuff like that to add to the charm of the game!

Best of luck(?!) with your games!

entwater
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Joined: 10/12/2013
Yea... Migration is a bit of

Yea... Migration is a bit of a working title. I do like Birds of a Feather. And you're visualizing the same kind of art I am.

Thanks for your thoughts on it!

entwater
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Joined: 10/12/2013
Birds of a Feather Rules

I went looking for the more detailed rules I wrote up... and I couldn't find them!! So I rewrote them, which probably isn't a bad thing since it gave me a fresh look at the idea.

These are the rules for Birds of a Feather, interested in any feedback on them. Particularly any points you feel are too complicated since I'm imagining this as a fairly accessible game.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4tst7IUzPk1c0VDdHpDSmZud2s/view?usp=sh...

Also interested in any thoughts on the other concepts from anybody.

cheers

FrankM
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Joined: 01/27/2017
I like Birds of a Feather, too

I like Birds of a Feather, too, but Lonely River also sounds interesting. I'm not sure how realistic you are trying to make that game, but it might also work in a more abstract/fantasy arrangement where there are four players each trying to reach the side opposite to them. Generally, which is to say without playing special effect cards, there is dominance so that Earth smothers Fire which consumes Air which evaporates Water which erodes Earth.

entwater
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Joined: 10/12/2013
Elements

At one point i was considering how maybe this could be expanded to more than 2, by introducing other elements. I always overdo the realism at first, then need to simplify it. Nobody would really want to play a watershed simulator...

trying to think of an abstract setting where 4 players could be asymmetrically duking it out with their respective elements... now that's a brain-burner!

Thanks!!

Midnight_Carnival
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lonely river

I really like this game. I liked the birds of a feather/migration game but this one really stood out.

I find your methodology interesting,
good luck

entwater
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Joined: 10/12/2013
Midnight_Carnival wrote:I

Midnight_Carnival wrote:
I really like this game. I liked the birds of a feather/migration game but this one really stood out.

I find your methodology interesting,
good luck

Thanks! What did you find intriguing about Lonely River? What stood out about it? Just so I know what design elements are grabbing people and worth keeping/emphasizing.

entwater
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Joined: 10/12/2013
I'm also curious why the

I'm also curious why the Basketball idea and political game aren't getting mentions. Not that I think they should (in fact I completely understand why a political game mind be a bit blasé at this point). Just curious what's holding them back.

There aren't many sports board games, and probably for good reason since it's hard to migrate the rules of a sport into a board game. Also, many board gamers may not be into sports. Also, you have to learn the rules of the sport AND the card/board game.

But despite those hurdles, I wonder if there's a good game lurking in there somewhere.

Midnight_Carnival
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Joined: 06/17/2015
what stood out on the Lonely River?

I liked the asymmetry of it, the idea of building two separate systems against each other, I imagined a parent and child playing this or a couple.

I liked how the game is different depending on who you play as, how there was a different dynamic for the two sides.

I liked the strange implied spiritualism

and of course I liked that I haven't heard of another similar game

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