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Neighborhood Rules Draft

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AlexanderXy
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Hey you Guys!

In the Welcome thread I've introduced myself and talked a little about a game I'm developing for a class at my university.

Some asked for a version of the rules (thanks Joe and David), so I worked on them and was able to finish a little draft. I humbly come here to ask for your opinions.

If you want to know what it is about before opening the link:

Quote:

Elevator Pitch:
Neighborhood is a light (to medium, I guess) cooperative building and resource management game for up to 5 players.

The first thing I would like to know is if the rules explanation make sense and the game concept behind is understandable. Is anything missing? Is it too complicated for a light-to-medium game? What do you think of the concept?

This is the link. It's only 4 pages (with images!). I must say that this is not the final rulebook, just rules made from a designer to designers understand. (hopefully)
Neighborhood Rules Draft

The commenting is allowed on the docs. You can tell me what you think either here or there.

Well, that's it. Thanks you all! :)

let-off studios
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Initial Feedback

As I understand it from skimming the rules: it's a pattern-making game, where players must have certain types of resources before adding certain pieces. The arrangement of the pieces can increase the resources you collect throughout the game. That all seems to make sense to me.

The things that unfortunately don't add up for me are:
- the time limit. What's the justification for it? Why not skip the tracker and just end the game as soon as the grid is completely full of buildings, and/or a certain resource - like cash - is completely depleted?
- the theme. I don't see a clear connection between the name "Neighborhood" and what the player is doing, and how the game is "won." At its closest, it's more like "City Planning," because when I think of the word neighborhood I think of residents cooperating to solve problems. But this doesn't seem like a neighborhood to me. It's more like City Hall or an urban planning consultation firm.

WOOD BLOCK POTENTIAL
Did you use a wood-burning kit or something to build and decorate your city grid? I ask this because I think the game would be more interesting if you were able to use the surfaces of the blocks themselves to communicate information. It's a shame to have such cool pieces that aren't used for much else in the game other than cosmetic differences.

For example, cost to construct a building could be listed on the bottom side of a block, instead of using cards. Players could have blocks in front of them, and on their turn they could construct only those buildings (like the building cards in the player's hand as explained in your rules). You could have players specialize in certain types of buildings - residential, commercial, government, etc. - so adjacency benefits are realized only on their turn. You could have upscale/advanced buildings available only after basic-level buildings are constructed, and advanced-level buildings have to be swapped-out in the locations their basic-level counterparts were initially placed.

STARTING PROBLEMS
It may be more exciting and urgent for players to cooperate if you had problems arise at the beginning of the game, as opposed to cropping up only later. It may also be a way to guide players in the beginning of the game, instead of them just blindly or randomly placing buildings they can afford somewhere in the grid.

TO SUM UP
If you have the blocks, then use them more. That's my suggestion. They look really fun! :)

Best of success to you on this project.

AlexanderXy
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let-off studios thank you so

let-off studios thank you so much for your interest! I'll try to answer some aspects

Quote:
As I understand it from skimming the rules: it's a pattern-making game, where players must have certain types of resources before adding certain pieces. The arrangement of the pieces can increase the resources you collect throughout the game. That all seems to make sense to me.

I'm happy that you figured it out! I was worried these version of the rules couldnt communicate the concept, so im a little relieved.

Quote:
- the time limit. What's the justification for it? Why not skip the tracker and just end the game as soon as the grid is completely full of buildings, and/or a certain resource - like cash - is completely depleted?

I wouldnt want the players to complete the grid with buildings because I was trying to create a feeling of "optimize, not maximize". The time limit is the way I had to create urgency. All that said, I'm still thinking about other ways to finish the game.

Quote:
the theme. I don't see a clear connection between the name "Neighborhood" and what the player is doing

Well... Yes. The theme is something I'm kind of struggling to communicate. The scale of the game is one aspect (little board, little box, little cute wood cubes). The Quality cards, though, are the main way to say "this is a neighborhood, not a whole city" because there are gonna be cards like "Voluntary Fence Painting", "Open Community Movie Exhibition" or "Neighborhood Crime Watch".

Quote:
WOOD BLOCK POTENTIAL
I think the game would be more interesting if you were able to use the surfaces of the blocks themselves to communicate information.

Amazing idea! I went a little that way, but soon gave up because it would be hard for me to craft. The wood board was laser-cut, that can't be done to the other pieces. The blocks are really being under-used, I feel that, but can't think of ideas that would be easy to craft.

Quote:
You could have players specialize in certain types of buildings - residential, commercial, government, etc. - so adjacency benefits are realized only on their turn.

Player roles is something people really want. I don't know how to create different functions without limiting the number of players. Adjacency benefits may be a good way to start.

Quote:
STARTING PROBLEMS
It may be more exciting and urgent for players to cooperate if you had problems arise at the beginning of the game,

Good point. I'll push them to the beggining, I fear that these problems may be too difficult to solve at the beggining, but that only requires some balancing.

This was VERY good! I'm so happy for your time. All these considerations will be very kept in mind. :)

Fri
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Questions and ponderings

I read through your rules and I was left with a few questions. You don't even have to reply to them just give them some thought.  Does each player have a neighborhood or is there only one for the game? If each player has a neighborhood is it a private tableau or is it adjacent to other neighborhoods and have interactions with them? Can the game be played as a single player? How is the game set up and played for a different numbers of players. What is the definition of a round in your game? Will that your definition of a round work well for all player counts?

I agree that power may not be the best word/building for the game.  Here are some possible alternatives: City hall; depart of zoning; legislature; building permits. Also the game Elasund has a similar concept to this maybe you can use borrow some vocabulary from it.

The wood pieces do look nice. Remember there are other shapes that can fit tightly into a square well. Circle, triangle, hexagon and octogons and plus sign immediately come to mind. The wood working on these shapes is more difficult. Also if your going to do wood burning some 1/16 inch bass wood boards may be your help you. I don't know if they are thick enough to wood burn but I do know that they are thin enough to cut against the grain on a paper guillotine and it will provide a flat surface for the wood burning. You can cut them burn them and then glue them on top.

Other random thoughts. You could possibly wood burn some info on the neighborhood board. (Some what like suburbia). Maybe you could specialize your buildings by putting different roofs on top of  them.

AlexanderXy
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Fri, thank you for your

Fri, thank you for your thoughts!

I took so long to reply because I was massively testing and changing the rules. Yesterday I finally came to a rather stable version that makes me happy and that I feel is playable and enjoyable.

Specializations are gone. I felt they dragged the game down. The populations resource is replaced by Citizens, which then work to produce the 3 left resources: Money (income), Happiness and Power. There are different kind of citizens.

I didn't realize you gave this idea, but there are icons on the board, yes!

You now win the game through pattern creations with the buildings.

As soon as I can, I'll update the rules and kindly ask you all to take a look again, perhaps even play the game. :)

As for now, I have more or less than a month to finish this project, so I gotta keep working!

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