Skip to Content

GDS July 2010 Challenge: "My Summer Vacation"

5 replies [Last post]
sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

July 2010 Game Design Showdown - "My Summer Vacation"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Votes are in, and the winner is...

Sand Castles by dobnarr with 9 votes!

Congratulations! Runners up were:
Yard Sale by drunknmunky with 6 votes, and Family that Tans Together by magic_user and Day at the Fair by JustPlainChips with 5 votes each.

Main Design Requirements:

  • Theme Restriction: As the title implies, the theme of this month's challenge is Summertime - Kids off school, vacations, BBQs, swimming, sun, beach... anything to do with summer.

  • Mechanics Restriction: Time as a resource.

  • Bonus Restrictions: Each player in the game is a member of the same family, and will share control of some significant component (or components) of the game. If you choose to incorporate the bonus restrictions in your entry you will receive 2 additional votes.

  • Submissions: Thursday, 22-July-2010 through Thursday, 29-July-2010.
  • Voting: Through Friday, 6-August-2010. I will be out of town 7/29-8/1 so please bear with the wonky deadlines and give me a day or two to post entries/results - thanks!
  • Voting Format: Each person has 6 votes to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:
    • You may not assign any votes to your own entry!
    • You may not assign more than 3 votes to any single entry.
    • You need not assign all 6 votes.
  • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.

  • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread
  • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, especially the details around the word count and graphics limits, visit the GDS Wiki Page. Enjoy!
Relexx's picture
Joined: 05/31/2010
Entry #1 - Are We There Yet? by Relaxx

Are We There Yet?

You are a traveling on you holiday with your parents, who will get bored first? You are competing with your siblings not to get bored, and make time, and the trip move faster
Inspiration: I think this speaks for itself. Traveling on holidays, what makes time appear slower, comments from kids like "Are we there yet?"

2-6 players


  • 1 Board
  • 20 Bored Tokens
  • 6 Player Markers
  • 1 Six sided Dice
  • Deck of Activity Cards
  • 1 Car


Each player takes a character token and places their marker on the "Start" square of the board. Place the car on the start circle of the inner map. Shuffle the deck of Activity Cards.


The youngest player goes first. First move the car forward one dot. Roll the dice (d6) and move your character forward the number of squared (clockwise) on the board.

alt Gameboard

  • Player landing on a **Bored Square** the player must pick up a Bored Token. When a player has three Bored Tokens they must yell out "Are we there yet?", and returns their Bored Tokens, everybody else must let out a groan. The car moves back 2 dots.
  • A Player Landing on a **Town Square** removes one of their Bored Tokens
  • Landing on an *Activity Square* a player draws one card from the Activity Card Pile. They may play the card immediately or on anybody else's turn, once a card has been played place it on the discard pile. A player may only play one Activity Card during any per players turn. Example cards
    • "Fall asleep": Miss a turn
    • "Watch a DVD": Move Car forward 2 dots or remove 2 Bored Tokens
    • "I'm Hungary": Give a player a Bored token
    • "Play Eye-spy": Move Car forwad 1 dot
    • "Stop in Town": Remove Bored Token
    • "Entusiasm": Draw Two more Activity Cards
  • If the car lands on a Blue dot all players lose one Bored Token


The player who moves the car to the final destination wins the game.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - The Family That Tans Together... by magic_user

The Family That Tans Together...

  • It's a beautiful Summer day. A perfect day for a family trip to the beach. Sun ... sand ... waves ... What could go wrong?


Be the last family member to get burned.


  • 1 deck of cards with the all the face cards removed.
  • 1 marker to represent the sunblock.
  • 20 double-sided counters to represent protection from the sun (we'll call it health). Counters that are beige on one side and red on the other are the most fitting. You can substitute ordinary coins or any counter with two distinct sides.
  • 4 players with time on their hands.
  • Optional - a sandy beach in Summer.


  • Each player gets ten cards (the Ace through 10) of a single suit.
  • Each player gets 5 health counters. This is their initial maximum health. All counters begin the game beige (heads) side up.
  • The oldest player gets the sunblock token.


  • Each player shuffles their own cards and places their deck face down in front of them. They draw 4 of their own cards into their hand. They then proceed to play 4 tricks. For each trick:

    • Each player simultaneously selects one card from their hand to play and places it on the table face down in front of them.
    • After all players have selected a card, all cards are revealed.
    • Determine the winner for the trick: First, all ties are eliminated (i.e. not eligible to win). Second, the highest remaining card wins. Lastly, if all players were eliminated due to a four-way tie or two two-way ties, the player with the sunblock is declared the winner of the trick.
    • All non-winning players must flip 1 counter from beige (heads) to red (tails). If a player's entire collection of counters are all red (tails), they get burned and are out of the game.
    • The winner of the trick gets the sunblock token and restores up to 2 counters to the beige (heads) side. If all the counters were already on their beige sides, there is no effect.
    • When a player gets burned (by having all of their counters turned to the red (tails) side, knocking them out of the game), the remaining players each discard one counter from their collection of counters. These discarded counters are removed from the game. (i.e. if they have 5 counters when the first player gets burned, they must discard 1 to get to the new maximum of 4 counters. It is OK to discard a red counter).
    • After the trick is over, all players place their played card face down on their unused deck.
  • Play repeats (shuffle all ten of your cards, draw four new cards, and play 4 tricks) until only one player remains. That player wins the game!

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #3 - Sandcastles by dobnarr


2-6 players



  • 100 cards
  • One 5-minute timer


In Sandcastles, you play a family at the beach, each rushing to build your castle before the tide comes in.

The Cards

The cards contain different pieces of sandcastles. They may contain walls, parts of towers, or other components to the sandcastle. The walls enter and leave the card through the card edges. The tower sections are one quarter of a round tower located at the corner of the cards (except for the bridge cards, which have a half-tower at either end). There are three special cards (Feather, Shell, Bridge) which are worth bonus points if their conditions are met.



Deal five cards to every player. Divide the rest of the cards into five piles and place them face down in the center of the table.

Game Play

A round of play consists of five parts.

Initial Construction Phase

Every player takes her five cards and starts work on her sandcastle. Cards may be played in any orientation subject to the following rules:

  • Any card played must have at least part of one edge touching part of the edge of another card.
  • Any castle parts (towers or walls) must connect properly across wall edges. You cannot play a card in a way that makes a wall or tower truncate against another card edge. Blank edges may touch other blank edges.
  • You may not play a card in a position where it rests on top of part of another card (except Feather and Shell).
  • You may have separate parts of your castle unconnected by towers or walls as long as your cards are all touching each other in one set.


Once everyone is ready, proceed to the next phase.

Rising Tide Phase

Now the tide is starting to come in, so you have to finish your castle quickly. Activate the timer, then flip the five piles of cards over – the whole pile, not just the top card. During this phase, it’s a free-for-all – everybody plays at the same time. The way it works is like this:

  • You may take a card from the top of one of the five piles at any time.
  • You must add this card to your castle in a legal play.
  • If you can’t add the card or choose not to, you may discard it face down in front of you.
  • Once you discard a card, it can never be used.
  • You may not take more than one card from the central piles at a time. If you take one of these cards, you must play it or discard it before taking another one.
  • You may rearrange your sandcastle’s cards as long as they all end up played legally or discarded. You cannot take any new cards until your whole castle is connected legally.

When the timer runs out, high tide has arrived, and it’s time to score the castles.

First Scoring Phase

Castles score as follows:

Towers: Every completed tower is worth two points.

Courtyards: Any enclosed area (completely surrounded by walls and towers) is worth five points.

Special Cards: The Bridge, Feather, and Shell cards have bonuses that are scored if their conditions are met.

Penalties are assessed as follows:

Illegal Play Penalty: If your castle contains illegally placed cards, you lose three points for every card that is illegal. Illegal cards must be removed from the castle before the rest of the castle is scored.

Discard Penalty: Every card a player discards costs one point. If your castle is split into multiple parts (from rearranging, or after an illegal card is removed), you must chose one part of the castle to score, and the rest of the cards count as discards.

Bonus points are awarded for these specific goals:

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: The castle that includes the most cards is awarded three points.

Get Off My Lawn: The biggest enclosed area in a castle (the area whose boundary is composed of the most cards) is worth an additional three points.

Chinese Emperor: The longest unbroken wall (consisting of the most cards connected by the same wall without being interrupted by a space or tower) is worth three points.

Bullying Phase

If your opponents have built a better castle than you did, now’s your chance to get even. For every player who scored more points than you, you may smash one piece (i.e. remove one card) from their castle.

Second Scoring Phase

After the smashing, everyone gets to score what’s left of their castles again as in the First Scoring Phase, except that the Discard and Illegal Play penalties are not applied a second time. The Bonuses are scored again.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #4 - Day at the Fair by JustPlainChips

Day at the Fair


It is your favorite time of the year…State Fair time! The food, the rides, the souvenirs…the food!

The object of the game is to have the best time you can at the Fair. This means eating your favorite foods without getting sick, riding your favorite rides, and getting your favorite souvenirs. But you don’t want to spend all day there…the crowds are pressing, the heat is stifling, and you only have so much money to go around. So try and fit everything you can into as short a time as possible.


Game board

  • Depicts Fairgrounds split into various areas
  • Each area has 2 or 3 stands: food stand, ride, souvenir
  • Each stand has 3 spaces for a line of customers labeled 10, 20, and 40
  • Travel time listed between adjacent areas
  • Time track from 8am to midnight in 10 minute increments

Card Decks

  • Item decks: Deck of foods, rides, and souvenirs - each card shows a main item and a secondary item of a different type
  • Player Event decks – Cards either help player or hinder opponents
  • Game Event deck – Cards that affect all players

3 chits for each food, ride, souvenir 1 pawn and 1 disc in each player color Grey crowd cubes 6 sided die


  • Deal 3 Food, 2 Ride, and 2 Souvenir cards to each player.
  • Set each player pawn outside the Entry Gate and disc at 8am stacked in random order
  • Roll the die once for each area and fill up the lines of the stands with crowd cubes equal to the die roll putting the first cube in the first space at stand 1, then 2, then 3, then the second space at stand 1, etc.

  • Player on top of the pile at 8am starts the game


  • Draw to hand of 3 Player Event cards – one may be played per turn
  • Move pawn from current location an open space in line at a stand you wish to patronize. Take a chit from that stand.
  • If there were any cubes or pawns behind the current player at the original location, move those pieces ahead in line by one space.
  • Add up travel times between the area you moved from and the area you moved to taking into account any Events in play. Add this time to the number next to the space in line that you landed on. Move your disc on the time track ahead this many minutes. If the space on the time track is occupied, place your disc on the bottom.
  • Play moves to the player closest to 8am on the time track and on top of any stack.

  • Play continues until the last player moves outside the Entrance Gate or reaches midnight.

Hourly Events

When the last player passes or lands on an Hour space on the time track two things occur

  • All cubes and pawns in line move forward one space. Crowd cubes taken from the front of a line are returned to the supply, player pawns at the front are left next to the stand but out of line.
  • A Game Event card is drawn and carried out—it is in effect until the next Game Event card is drawn

Listed at the bottom of each Game Event card are 3 or 4 areas. For each of these areas roll the die and add crowd cubes to the empty line spaces the same way as was done in setup. Examples:

  • Parade: all travel into region X is blocked
  • Crowd Rush: travel into or out of region Y takes 30 extra minutes
  • Strong smell: all the lines in region Z are emptied out



  • Each chit has a number on it. This is the number of points it is worth at the end of the game.
  • 2 bonus points are given for every chit matching the main item on the player’s Item cards
  • 1 bonus point is given for matching the secondary item on each Item card
  • 5 bonus points for matching all 7 main items


A point value is printed next to each time on the time track increasing as you move away from midnight.

Food Bonus

  • Add up the point values of all of the food chits you collected. This is the total amount of food you ate.
  • For each ride you went on, roll the die once. Subtract the largest number rolled from 20, this is the size of your appetite.
  • The person whose total amount of food eaten is closest to their appetite gets 5 bonus points.
  • If a player’s total food is larger than their appetite, they gain 3 negative points for getting sick.


The player with the most total points wins the game. The tie breaker is the player furthest away from midnight.

sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #5 - Yard Sale by drunknmunky

Yard Sale

Game object:

  • Each member of your family is trying to raise the most money from their yard sale.

Types of cards:

  • Items
  • Every good yard sale has to have good items. Each item has a price tag, a subject, and a unique rule. (figure 1 card A-C)
  • Shoppers
  • Can’t sell items without customers! Each shopper has a cash on hand total, a favorite/dislike subject, maximum purchases, and a shopping time (1 shaded section = 1 round). (figure 1, card D-F)
  • Sales Pitches
  • Sales pitches change the opinion of the shoppers. It can add positive opinions to your own items, or you can even sabotage the opinion of other player’s items, but be careful as often times cards do this through changing prices! (figure 1, card G-H)
  • Cash
  • This is the cash paid for items by shoppers. They are broken down into 1, 5, 10, and 20s. (figure 1, card I)

Game Setup:

  • Each player is dealt 5 sales pitches face down and put into their hand, 5 items face up in front of them, and then 5 shoppers face up to the center of the table. (figure 2)


  1. There are 4 hours for the game. Since each turn is a 15-minute increment, there are 16 turns to the game. Keep this in mind.
  2. Starting with the player who gained the most money the previous round (or who has the most real money on them if this is the first round) starts.
  3. The active player my play one pitch and assign one item to a shopper then passes the turn.
  4. Play continues in this fashion until all players have passed or 15 minutes has passed in real time. At this time each shopper will purchase the item with the highest positive opinion rating and the next highest positive opinion rating that fits into the shopper’s budget. Each player collects money based off any altering of the price of any item they sold. (figure 2)
  5. After this, remove any shopper whose shopping time is up and then deal out new shoppers up to 5 active shoppers.
  6. Deal out 5 sales pitches to each player. They can keep pitches not used in the previous rounds.
  7. Deal items to each player so they have 5 items again. If a player successfully sold all 5 items in the previous round that player receives 2 extra items this round.
  8. After 16 rounds, the yard sale is over and the winner is determined based on how much cash they raised.


  1. Opinions are calculated in positives and negatives and are affected by preference (favorite/dislikes) and by sales pitches.
  2. A shopper will choose items that are in the subject they favor above subjects they dislike if no sales pitch is used to alter their opinion. Favorites give +1 and dislikes give –1 to opinion.
  3. Sales pitches can affect the opinion of any item/shopper. The targets of any given sales pitch is defined on the card.

Multiple items to one shopper:

  1. If multiple items are trying to be sold to one shopper at the end of a round opinion is key. Every shopper will buy a certain number of items up to a maximum cash limit. The highest rated opinion item is sold then the next highest opinion that fits the maximum price will be sold and it will trickle down until the maximum sales is met or no other positive opinion items can fit under the maximum cash.
  2. Cases of ties in opinion are given to the item that is favored by the shopper. If both items are of the favored subject or both are not then the cheaper item is sold. If both can be sold, then both will be sold.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut