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Strategic/Psychologic game inspired by the movie "The Cube"

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heppu
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Joined: 02/07/2009

I had this idea probably a year ago and thought about it for a while but then I guess just forgot it or got too many other things to work on but recently I remembered it again and thought I could post it here to hear about your thoughts and ideas which could maybe inspire me to continue the project.

If you have seen the movie, skip this chapter (SPOILER ALERT!):
The basic idea of the movie is that a group of 5-ish people are trapped in huge cube consisting of smaller cubes (they dont know why or how they got there and we never find out). Some of the cubes contain traps that are mostly lethal, so they have to think their way out of the cube. They use certain gadgets and theories (there are clues hidden in each little cube) to get out but in the end only 1 survives.

So, I was thinking that the idea could be implemented into some other trapped-and-need-to-get-out situation such as a pyramid. The "Cube" in this case a pyramid would be represented by a (naturally) 2D board with moving small pieces. Players start with a certain number of survivors depending on the number of players (minimum of 2) and they all start in the middle of the pyramid. They all have to team up to find the exit and get out of the pyramid but also need to consider that they have to be the first to get out if they want to win the game. This brings an interesting teamwork versus betrayal concept to the game since you cannot work your way out alone but at some point need to be the only player alive (or just the fastest) . Naturally, players don't know which of the pieces contain traps (which instantly kills a survivor who enters it) and have to use some "powerups" represented by cards to find out a safe way, or just by trying their luck. A player who uses a card to see wether a piece contains a trap or not doesn't have to tell the truth to the other players... Pieces are however color coded and players know how many traps there are in a certain color of pieces. Red pieces have significantly higher percentage of traps than green pieces etc.

The players take turns changing the arrangement of the board by moving a single row of pieces. They can choose to move any number of pieces in that row as long as its just one row and you cant reverse the movement of the previous player. Its kinda like the puzzle game where you have to arrange the pieces in a certain way where there is one empty spot and you move the pieces by pushing them. After the players move the pieces they get to move their survivors. Cards can be played at any time, even out of your turn and they are aquired from pieces that do not contain traps.

Some card ideas:
Shoe - Can be used to test adjacent pieces for traps
Map - Can be used to watch under any piece
Hidden Trap - All survivors in a single square are caught in a trap
Dodge - Can be used to negate an effect of a trap
Immobilize - A survivor of your choice will be unable to move during his/her next turn
Haste - A survivor of you choice can move one extra square this turn
Disable Trap - If used before moving into a square, any traps in that square will not affect any survivors in that square as long as the survivor who moved into that square stays in it

Also some cards that affect the movement of the squares and how other players can enter or leave them.

Thats pretty much the mechanics and the rules. I think this concept would be really interesting to play since it is extremely affected by player influence. If you got any ideas or constructive criticism I'd be glad to hear it.

Arvin
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Joined: 05/29/2009
Nice...

I really liked that movie. It brought me to the edge of my seat, It made my heart pound. (Really)
I even had Nightmares with it.
I never thought that you will make it a game...
If you need anything just say so, maybe I can help.

larienna
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Check Dungeon quest, the

Check Dungeon quest, the tiles does not move, but you have the idea of getting traps and encounter in every room.

heppu
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Joined: 02/07/2009
Yeah I loved the movie too,

Yeah I loved the movie too, it was the first horror/thriller film I ever saw so it was an astounding experience.

Right now I just need some ideas. Im quite unsure wether I should put the "powerups" as a randomly aquired cards or should they be like items in the possession of the survivors in the beginning of the game? For example in a 4 player game each player would be dealt 3 items that they can use throghout the game or give to other players. I was also thinking that it could be neat to give each player a skill that enables him/her do something that others cannot. I already got a couple of ideas bout that:

Strenght - Player with this ability can move survivors of other players if they are in the same chamber with his/her survivor
Intelligence - Player with this ability can move 2 rows of chambers during his turn
Social - Player with this ability starts with an extra survivor
Deceptive - Player with this ability may steal an item card from a player in the same chamber with him/her
Speed - Player with this ability may move a survivor one extra time

Ill see if I have time to further enhance the project and see what its heading to...

bielie
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Joined: 11/05/2009
Brr

I get shivers just thinking of it. Good luck.

Have you played Portal?

Jackhalfaprayer
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Joined: 09/29/2008
Couple of

Couple of questions/thoughts:

I’ve worked on some co-op/competitive designs in the past. One of my big stumbling blocks is overcoming the whole “we’ll since I can’t win I’m just going to make us all lose” stance that the player in last place is likely to adopt. Have you considered any way to overcome this?

You mention a board, tiles that move around, and players moving a row of tiles, but I’m having trouble visualizing it all. Can you walk me through a turn or two? Maybe some diagram’s? How does a player move a row? Do they pick up all the tiles and then place them in a new order? Do they look at any of them? Is the whole row of tiles moved, without changing the relative position of any one tile, in to a new row?

I know that players have a hand of cards, but how do they get them? Do they draw from a deck on their turn? Do they have a number that are face up and they get to pick one (this would allow for more interesting information gathering. “I know Jimmy has a trap card, I need to be careful.”) Do they buy them at auction?

Have you considered the “Take-THAT” element that might develop if I move one of my pawns onto a square, you off him with some card from your hand (that I didn’t know about) and then I feel vindictive and my only way to retaliate is to kill your guys through equally arbitrary means. Some people like these kinds of games, some don’t. How about yourself, do you like these kinds of games?

Finally fun thoughts (Thematic ideas that sprang to mind). Pyramid. I’m picturing Victorian ADVENTUREERS (!!!) wandering around and looking for treasure. Maybe you win not by being the last alive but by escaping with the most artifacts. Also, mummies. There must be mummies.

rcjames14
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Joined: 09/17/2010
Similar Games

heppu wrote:
I think this concept would be really interesting to play since it is extremely affected by player influence. If you got any ideas or constructive criticism I'd be glad to hear it.

Have you seen the game by Twilight Creations called "The Haunting House"? It has many of the same goals, mechanics and dynamics that you have mentioned. The significant difference is that you don't die and you only control one character. It might be interesting to think about how adding in this multiple character element might make for a better game.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/8569/the-haunting-house

heppu
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Joined: 02/07/2009
Thanks for the feedback, Ive

Thanks for the feedback, Ive had a lot else to think about so the project is kind of frozen but still its a fun concept to think about and Ill answer some of the questions you asked:

Jackhalfaprayer wrote:

I’ve worked on some co-op/competitive designs in the past. One of my big stumbling blocks is overcoming the whole “we’ll since I can’t win I’m just going to make us all lose” stance that the player in last place is likely to adopt. Have you considered any way to overcome this?

Its an interesting dilemma, but I think in this kind of game there is no such situation where a single player cannot win. As long as he has a survivor left, he can still be the first one to finish the race out of the Pyramid or Cube. Players can together postpone the victory of the player whos about to win, but with clever positioning in the board and useage of powerup cards a good/lucky player can easily win even if the others team up against him. I dont think a single player can make all of the other players loose since the only things he can do is move the piece rows but cannot really kill enemy survivors (I think Im not gonna include any kinds of abilities that could move the pieces of other players). Its really a lot about psychology, bluff and strategy I think.

Jackhalfaprayer wrote:

You mention a board, tiles that move around, and players moving a row of tiles, but I’m having trouble visualizing it all. Can you walk me through a turn or two? Maybe some diagram’s? How does a player move a row? Do they pick up all the tiles and then place them in a new order? Do they look at any of them? Is the whole row of tiles moved, without changing the relative position of any one tile, in to a new row?

Have you ever played one of those puzzle games where a picture is split into small squares and one of the squares is empty. You can move the other pieces by pushing them into the empty position thus changing the alignment of the pieces. I pictured the game board to be similar to this: about 60 pieces and one of the possible places empty so players can push the pieces into it and moving full rows of pieces along with it.

Jackhalfaprayer wrote:

I know that players have a hand of cards, but how do they get them? Do they draw from a deck on their turn? Do they have a number that are face up and they get to pick one (this would allow for more interesting information gathering. “I know Jimmy has a trap card, I need to be careful.”) Do they buy them at auction?

This is one of the things I dont really have any idea of. One possibility would be that players only get a set of items in the start of the game and they are visible for all of the players (possibly some kind of stealing mechanic too). Or the cards could be aquired by some game board triggered event such as when a survivor dies everyone draws a card. Im really not sure about this one.

Jackhalfaprayer wrote:

Have you considered the “Take-THAT” element that might develop if I move one of my pawns onto a square, you off him with some card from your hand (that I didn’t know about) and then I feel vindictive and my only way to retaliate is to kill your guys through equally arbitrary means. Some people like these kinds of games, some don’t. How about yourself, do you like these kinds of games?

I really dont like the idea of having any kinds of cards that can kill the enemy survivors. Id rather make it so that players have to be cunning to get enemies to move into trapped squares (example: I use a card to see under a piece but Im out of action points and my turn ends, the next player asks me if the square was trapped and I either tell the truth or lie depending on wether I need that players trust to work my way out of the cube. It might be possible to convince him to move to a trapped square or convinve him not to move into a safe one, or even move that square to a position thats more suitable for me). This kind of mechanic should discourage the whole retaliation cycle.

Jackhalfaprayer wrote:

Finally fun thoughts (Thematic ideas that sprang to mind). Pyramid. I’m picturing Victorian ADVENTUREERS (!!!) wandering around and looking for treasure. Maybe you win not by being the last alive but by escaping with the most artifacts. Also, mummies. There must be mummies.

Somehow I just really loved picturing some mindless mummies wandering around the pyramid ;D sounds like a lot of fun. Also collecting treasure might be the solution to the problem of having multiple exits and having the players to fing out which one is the correct one. I mean, to replace it with the treasure hunt, also might make the game more suitable to minors.

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