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Does a parody theme implies a fluffy game?

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

In a nutshell, I wanted to make a game very similar to Starcraft the Baord game(SC) and Forbidden Star(FS) and make a parody of it called Ratscraft. It features various faction of sci-fi rats fighting each other. The most important part of this design are the mechanics which has a lot of similarities with SC and FS.

When my friend heard of Ratscraft, he was expecting something fluffy and funny à la Munchkin. But in my case, the game I am trying to make is completely the opposite, it a complex and deep game. So my friend confronted me by saying that I should re-theme to something else if the mechanics was the foundation of the game because people would expect something more fluffy.

By thinking about it, it is true that the theme might not be that important, and thought I could be retheming to a cyberworld like Tron where programs fight each other over different servers.

Lately, I had some problems designing units thematically since it's an illogical theme. I also had problem figuring what would a map space represent thematically. So retheming could be solution I did not consider.

What are your thought?

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Here's what I think!

larienna wrote:
In a nutshell, I wanted to make a game very similar to Starcraft the Baord game(SC) and Forbidden Star(FS) and make a parody of it called Ratscraft... What are your thought?

Personally the theme does suggest a "FUNNIER" tone than a very serious RTS (or other) Board Game. As such when I first heard of "Ratscraft" like five (5) years ago... And it was a board game featuring "rats" it immediately got me thinking about "Lemmings" (Video Game). Something "Cute" with Rats (like Lemmings)!

But then I checked out your Board Game Page for the game and the "Rats" were LARGE (almost life sized) and then I felt like the game was LESS "Cute"... But I wasn't sure what your direction was on this prototype.

Here's my opinion:

questccg wrote:
Go the way of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lemmings!

Make the game "somewhat realistic" but using Rats for the different roles or units. Don't use life size models instead I would focus on "Cute" Rats with all sorts of costumes fitting the various roles the Rats can have.

I don't think any PARODY of the "Starcraft" (Board Game) should be any less FUN but maybe a bit more child-friendly and allow for role and character development.

Cheers @larienna and best with this design.

P.S.: I design games for kids... So nothing too serious, even TradeWorlds (TW) can be played by 9 year-olds and they usually have fun beating their parents (mom or dad) or siblings (brothers and sisters).

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Well since for that game

Well since for that game idea, the mechanics are what needs to be kept, maybe I could drop the theme. Most people would associate the title with the video game instead of the board game, so I might not lose an important connection with the original.

So far, the cyberspace game theme seems a plausible replacement where planets are actually servers, and units are computer programs. The artwork of the game could be pretty much abstract symbols. (see shadowrun video game RPG cyberspace program icons)

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Parody & Satire

larienna wrote:
In a nutshell, I wanted to make [...] a parody of it called Ratscraft.

Personally, I do think it's a stretch to expect people who see cartoon-y rodents in any setting to be more than a fluffy parody. Also, it's my opinion that the days of well-regarded satire and parody are over (most audiences won't "get it," is my suspicion).

There are plenty of ways to shift those same mechanics to a different setting, and you may have more success with creating an original experience with those time-tested mechanics. Your servers/programs idea seems worth investigating.

The good news? Well hey, the "Steamboat Willie" version of Mickey Mouse will be out of copyright in a couple years. :)

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