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Theme Park Game

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kyle
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Joined: 01/14/2009

I've designed some games in the past to play with my friends. I usually design a wargame, and some of them are good and some are bad, but my friends are prepared to give them a go.

My wife's family also like games, but much more casually. Wargames are not popular among them because they are a bit too confrontational. They also don't like anything that takes too long, or is too complicated.

My father-in-law was given Ticket to Ride for Christmas because he likes trains. This game went down very well with everyone, and we played it lots over Christmas. I think the reason they liked it was that it was easy to learn, each turn was very short meaning that no one had to wait very long and each player could work towards their goals without being hampered too much by the opposition (Games where you win by playing better are more popular that ones where you win by hampering your opponent).

I would like to design a game that appealed to them. I am considering a Theme Park game. Each player starts with small theme park, or maybe just a playground, and they have to build it up to attract more visitors.

Each turn players can draw a certain number of cards from either the resource deck, or the visitor deck or some combination of the two (maybe visitor cards cost twice as much to draw). The number of cards they get to draw is determined by the size of their theme park.

Resource cards are used to build more rides and visitor cards get you victory points if you meet certain conditions like "You get 1vp if your theme park has an ice-cream stand and the dodgems." Each visitor card would be worth 1vp and you need 10 to win (or less if this is too difficult). You can also only ever have 10 visitor cards in your hand, if you draw more than that, then you must discard down to 10.

I'm not sure whether all the rides should be freely available as long as you have the required resources, or if there should be a way to restrict them. Maybe certain rides are only purchasable at certain times in the game.

Also, my game does not currently involve a board. This is not necessary, but I'm trying to think of ways to include one.

Any suggestions about where I should go next with this game?

kodarr
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Joined: 08/04/2008
Vegas Showdown

Look at Vegas Showdown and maybe have rides show up like that and players can bid on them against one another. Just make sure to make the game different enough so that you don't end up with the same game.

kungfugeek
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Joined: 09/10/2008
Visitors

Do the visitors stay from turn to turn, or do you play them once and score them and they're gone?

If it's the latter, maybe the visitors could generate some revenue with which you buy the ride cards, as well as VP. That way, a user has to decide: Do I play this visitor now to get the money so I can upgrade, or do I hold on to it hoping that it will be more valuable to me on the next turn, assuming the game will last that long?

magic_user
magic_user's picture
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Joined: 07/28/2008
This sounds like fun!

I like what kungfugeek says - visitors can be used for income OR VPs. Start with a hand of X visitors, and you MUST turn some into income to buy rides.

How about using 1 deck of rides for the first part of the game (cheaper/low income) and a second deck for when the first deck runs out (more expensive/generates higher income - i.e. more visitors).

If you limit space (like Vegas Showdown), should you be able to tear down old rides to make room for new ones? Would you get some income back for that or none?

Do you want to design this yourself or just have a game like this? This sounds like a neat idea for a BGDF Game Challenge.

Thanks for posting!
Jim

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