Skip to Content

[GDS] SEPTEMBER 2014 "Stand Up Game" - Critiques

28 replies [Last post]
mindspike
mindspike's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2011

We have a winner!

Digger, Trader, Conqueror

by Richdurham

Thanks to all the designers for submitting to an extra-difficult challenge this month.

Game Score Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals
Digger, Trader, Conqueror 17 5 1
I'm Waiting 12 2 3
TAGGED 10 2 2
Damn You, Robots! 5 1 3
Heir Saboteur 5 5
Infrastructure 4 2
Horsepower: Sinkin' It With Style! 1 1
richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Awkward win....

Hi everyone. This was a really tough challenge. And I'm glad to have seen the unique entries that were sent in. I'm especially glad that even a couple people that didn't submit an entry still posted their thoughts in the comments thread!

Thanks to all who voted (and also those who voted for Digger Trader Conqueror).

Since this month we only have seven entries, I'm making the critique schedule for one entry a day.

TitleDesignerPointsCritique Date
Digger, Trader, ConquerorRichdurham17Wed. 17 Sept
I'm Waiting!kevnburg12Thur. 18 Sept.
TAGGEDanonymousmagic10Fri. 19 Sept
Damn You, Robots!MalthusX5Sat. 20 Sept
Heir Saboteurmulletsquirrel5Sun. 21 Sept
Infrastructureandymorris4Mon. 22nd Sept
Horsepower: Sinkin' it with Style!Sarge-Pepper1Tues. 23rd Sept
andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Congratulations

Great job on the win Rich. Thanks for putting an entry in, it's nice to have you in on the fun. Thanks for a great challenge. I think this was my favourite one yet.

I voted DTC for gold. Great job combining elements and forcing the player movement. The idea of attaching pieces to a D6 with magnets was very creative. I like the negotiation component and the chance to vary things at each planet. My only concern is with the logistics of rolling the dice. Firstly, there could be issues with the equipment pieces coming off when you roll. Secondly, it may not work well rolling when you don't have something on each face, as it would not have balanced weight. Maybe you'd have to be forced to lose any equipment pieces that fall off. You could count the side that lands down rather than the side that lands up, since the added weight would make the sides with equipment more likely to land down. I think that would add some interesting things to consider before attacking.

kevnburg
kevnburg's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/02/2014
Digger, Trader, Conqueror

Digger, Trader, Conqueror was my gold. I really liked the use of separate tables as areas of hidden information to travel to and to discuss with other players, and the dynamic variety of each individual planet creates interesting decisions of "what should I do at this planet" and "where should I go next?"

Suggestion: The way in which a player signifies that he has conquered a planet wasn't made clear in the rules, and the game might benefit from a way to easily discern this from a distance; I'm thinking that each player could be assigned a color at the start of the game and place colored flags on the tables of planets they conquer. Home planets would start with these flags, and unconquered planets would start as flag-less.

BubbleChucks
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2012
The criteria I followed for

The criteria I followed for awarding medals in my vote was the prominence and necessity of the “stand up” element in the game design. Is the “stand up” element essential or could the game function without it. Using something like placements on a board or marker cards/tokens scattered around a table.

I liked a lot of the ideas in this entry, but the “stand up” element wasn’t pronounced enough for my liking and it didn’t receive a medal purely because of that.

The movement around the room, and the available choices/information being limited according to where you are, would work very well. And it would certainly lead to a number of interesting choices and information bartering.

That being said, I felt it could be represented just as easily with circular cards for each planet and facedown resource cards running around their perimeter in a circular configuration for the line auction. A circular layout of resource cards (tokens), around a central planet card, could also throw up some other possibilities.

The inner planet is a circle on 2mm card and the facedown tokens are held in spaces on an outer ring. This outer ring is also 2mm, but it has 1mm indents to hold the tokens. The outer ring also revolves around the inner ring, using hi-tech finger push power.

When a player lands at a planet they take a position next to one of the resource points. This resource point can’t be occupied by another player. The player can then buy resources via a revolving line auction mechanic. They can buy the resource in their position for 1 credit or they can rotate the ring and buy the resource in the next slot for 2 credits and so on.

If a player simply wants to view some or all of the resources they can rotate the ring without buying anything. Obviously, when a player rotates the ring they also affect the line auction prices for the other players at the planet, whether they buy anything or not.

If they rotate it all the way around and then buy something it will cost them the total credits for all the turn notches made. So if the planet has 6 spaces they can buy the resource in the first slot for 1 credit. If they look through all 6 resources and then buy the one in the first slot (when it returns to them) it will cost 6 credits.

The mechanic might also open up an avenue for boosting the theme. Perhaps the turn rate/cost differs for the different planets to represent an orbit or it revolves on its own at the end of the round – so players can wait for a different line layout instead of actively turning the resource wheel.

An advance on this idea would be to give the players fuel points. The ship of a player is assumed to land at x position in orbit around the planet. Breaking through the atmosphere and landing on the immediate spot costs 1 fuel. If the player wants to land at another spot on the wheel they have to fire their boosters using up more fuel. So rotating their position 2 spaces would cost 2 fuel points.

The whole thing could be simplified further by having the players’ land where they want on the ring and then moving their ships around the ring instead of moving the ring. This would allow them to land where they wanted in the line auction and their movement wouldn’t affect the line auction for the other players.

What struck me as another drawback was the conversational aspect. For conversations to be private the planets would have to be quite a distance apart, even with whispering. The need to communicate with players at the other planets would then require a degree of volume in the form of raised voices. For me, shouting across the room would serve to eject me from the theme a little. Why am I sitting in my super hi-tech spaceship and shouting to communicate?

One idea that occurred to me was to use information drop pods, which might work better and be more in theme than shouting information across a room.

The players would leave beacons at the planets in the form of information that they know or want to know. This could be represented by leaving a card behind (iron here) or a card asking (is iron here). Another player could then pay to look at the card when they arrive or put down an answer that the questioner would have to pay to see when they return to the planet.

Alternatively, multiple answers questions could be handled with a game piece like the movement wheels in star wars miniatures.

The best solution might be to have two part plastic spheres or tubular containers (like old film canisters) and the players write their information or question on a piece of paper and pop it in. Alternatively, spheres could be used as information pods and the tubular containers could hold equipment/resource tokens or requests for the same.

This would allow the players to trade at a distance and pick up their information or items when they visit the planet at a future time, without the need to shout across the room.

I really, really liked the magnetic dice idea where the players add dice faces via magnetic attraction. Allowing the players to change their options in respect to the equipment attached to their ship (dice) is a great idea. I could see this being used in a lot of games.

The easiest way I can see to do it would be to have a two piece dice mold with a central space for a sphere magnet. This could be two halves or a dice with a plug space which would look a lot neater. The ball would be dropped in and then the plug would be glued in. Each face on the dice would feature an indent and round tokens backed with magnetic paper would be popped in and popped out.

http://www.supermagnetman.net/index.php?cPath=43

And that’s about it. I liked the theme and a lot of the ideas in the design. I just didn’t feel that the “stand up” element was as strong as some of the other designs and it could be replicated quite easily on a table setting.

Having said all that I think its great the Rich won this months contest and I hope it marks the start of more entries from him in the future.

Sarge-Pepper
Sarge-Pepper's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/28/2014
Thank you guys, for the

Thank you guys, for the opportunity to participate. I know it wasn't deep or involved, but i appreciate the upcoming critique on it. For my first design challenge, it was rough to come into such an out there concept, but i was really impressed with creativity that went into the games.

My votes went to games that I would honestly play that sounded intriguing and fun, something that, negating mechanics or cleverness, sounded like i could put in on my table and people would sound intrigued.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thoughts on I'm Waiting

I really liked the title and the introduction, but I have to say you lost me from there. I may be be missing something in my understanding, but it doesn't feel like enough. I don't see what is encouraging a lot of trading. Let me see if I've got it straight. You start the first round with one cube in your colour, so you would make one trade to get a different colour and you're done. You then get a new cube in your colour and trade with a different player the next round. You just need enough rounds to trade with each other player and then everyone ties. Please set me straight, if I've got it wrong. I think there need to be some more variables. If the idea is to try and serve the VIP guest first, there should be other people you are trying to serve that keep interfering. I see something along the lines of three guests each including the preferred. First, you have to collect order cards of differing colour combos for drinks and apps and once those are delivered you collect the main dish orders. You'd have to go to different stations to get different parts of the orders. Each chef station could generate different colour combos each round based on when the order cards are received. There would need to be some sort of penalty if you take to too long to serve the non VIP guests. I hope that makes some sense and is helpful. Like I said I like the concept I just didn't see enough going on to force the action.

mulletsquirrel
mulletsquirrel's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/14/2014
I agree with Andy, I never

I agree with Andy, I never caught onto the factor that incentivized trading with people. Maybe each guest had different required colors?

anonymousmagic
Offline
Joined: 11/06/2013
I'm sorry for not posting

I'm sorry for not posting sooner, I'll catch up tomorrow.

I just want to say thanks to everyone who voted for my entry.
Personally, I would have disqualified myself, because I completely forgot to include TWO of the listed mechanics (at least I forgot to intentionally include them.)

That said, I'd love to take this game further, so any criticism is still much appreciated. :)

kevnburg
kevnburg's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/02/2014
I'm Waiting Explained

Thank you for the feedback so far, and thanks to everyone that voted for I'm Waiting. My rules explanation was not as clear as it could have been. I will try to explain; these are the decision factors in the game:

Standing in the Right Place to Get The Resource You Need: During the 2 minute round, players can freely move around. Lets say you're the Red player. You start off with a red cube and you start off standing on the red mat. Staying on the red mat isn't good, because then you'll get a red cube that you don't need. You want to, at the end of the 2 minutes, be standing on a different mat so that you get a different resource. As the game progresses, you want to try to make sure you're always standing on a mat that gets you a resource you don't yet have, and you want to block other players by standing on mats that they need to get to. If necessary, you may wish to trade a resource with a player to convince them to leave the mat they're standing on so you can stand on it, or you may wait patiently for a player to leave their mat for a second (e.g. to exchange cards with another player) and then dash over to their mat.

Trading Cards with Other Players: If you swap your card with another player, you will get the resource they produce IN ADDITION to the resource of the mat you're standing on. Swapping cards with another player means you get 2 resources (the one of the mat you're standing on and the one of the mat the other player is standing on) instead of just 1 resource (the one of the mat you're standing on). +2 is better than +1, so this is something that I foresee players always wanting to do. At the beginning of each round, I foresee players leaving their mats to go and trade cards with other players. This abandoning of mats creates opportunities for other players to move to the mats.

Sabotaging Other Players by Giving them What They Don't Need: Now, once you're holding the card of another player, where you stand dictates what extra resource that player gets. Therefore, optimal strategy is to stand on a mat that gives you a resource you need and them a resource that they already have, and you want to try to make sure that the person holding your card will end up on a mat that gets you a resource that you need. To further manipulate things, players can freely exchange cards more than once (I am holding Player X's card but exchange it with Player Y because Y's standing on a mat that doesn't help X).

Balancing Cubes on Your Tray: If any cubes fall off your tray, they are up for grabs. Therefore: If you dash over to an unoccupied mat to ensure that you get it, going too fast may cause a mess of fallen cubes, and another player dashing to grab these fallen cubes may lead to a bigger mess from them accidentally losing cubes off their own tray in the frantic process.

Sabotaging Other Players by Making Their Cubes Fall: I regret not finding a way to explicitly state this in the rules. The rules state that a player can throw one of their cubes at any time, and this implies that you can throw cubes at other peoples' trays to cause a mess of fallen cubes up for grabs. The way the mats work, players are bound to end up in scenarios where they get extra cubes of the same color, cubes that they don't need, cubes that are perfect ammunition. Within the mess of negotiating card exchanges and trading places on mats, one has to worry about other players throwing a surprise cube that brings everything on their tray toppling down.

Essentially, this is a game about 1) Blocking other players from getting what they want 2) Throwing cubes at other peoples' trays and frantically grabbing what you need from the fallen mess.

Does this make everything more clear?


Regarding the idea of having different set collection win objectives for each player: While I appreciate the thematic idea of favored guests having different appetites, Im concerned that this would add unnecessary complexity. Rounds have a 2 minute time limit; knowing that every player is going for one of each color makes judgments about how to block players (through card exchange and choice of mat to stand on) simpler and faster to make.

DifferentName
DifferentName's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/08/2013
Digger, Trader, Conqueror, Waiter

Digger, Trader, Conqueror

Congrats on #1. I voted Silver on this one. This game hit all the requirements of the contest in a way that works well. The movement would affect the gameplay a lot by limiting your information about what's going on at other planets (as opposed to sitting at a table moving a ship around a board, and having all information available to you). I really liked the idea of using bargaining and threats to get that information from other people.

I'm Waiting

I voted Gold on this one. I loved the use of movement in this game, imagining how you might try to get to the mat you need as soon as possible in a round, then just stay there. But you still need to trade, trying to get people to come to you, or throwing a cube to someone else to do a trade because they're not close enough to you. But cards wouldn't throw very well, so you would be limited to trading with the people next to you unless you leave that mat and hope no one else takes it before you get back. I can also imagine someone inching off their mat to reach for a trade, ready to jump back at any moment like a baseball player getting ready to steal a base.

I think a deeper set collection mechanic would really help to make the trading more interesting. It could be as simple as needing more than 1 of each color, so it's not over in so few rounds, or getting multiple sets over a number of rounds. There's a lot of interesting stuff that could happen with the trading, but keeping the victory condition too simple might prevent the trading stuff from working as well as it could.

anonymousmagic
Offline
Joined: 11/06/2013
Feedback for entry #3 Digger, Trader, Conqueror

I gave this game my gold medal because it ticked all the boxes. It forces players to move around the room and it includes two of the required mechanics.

What I really liked was how the distance between the different planets was used to create hidden information. (That probably also the reason why I tried something similar in my own entry)

I didn't like the use of magnets. With the electronics around my house, I prefer to have as little strong magnets around as possible. Also, this entry lost a couple of points on simplicity because there were a bit too many mechanics at work for my taste.

Still a well-deserved win. :)

anonymousmagic
Offline
Joined: 11/06/2013
Feedback for entry #4 I'm Waiting

This entry received my silver medal for a combination of factors. I only saw the movement requirement and set collection at work, so I docked some points for that, but the rest of the game scored so well, that it just had to end in my top 3.

First of all, I like the theme of food/restaurant related games, so that's a big plus. I also liked how the game was set up and how there wasn't really a table variant to compare it too. It really embraced the requirement to move around the room.

The entry could've been a little more clear on the details of the rules, but then again, that is not usually required for this challenge.

I would add that if this ever goes into production, I'd try for food-shaped foam, much like the food-shaped game pieces/meeples that are available, just to add to them that little bit more.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thoughts on Tagged

I think this is a solid concept for a group game. I could see it working well with a youth group. It would be good to have a large space and you could spread a bunch of stuff around throughout the space. I think I'd rather have two giant steps than three heal to toe steps. I did not vote for this game, because I felt the spirit of the challenge was to make a strategic game rather than a social game.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thanks for clarifying I'm Waiting

I missed that you get the colour you end up in rather than your colour. That makes a big difference. Throwing pieces at each other also adds a big dynamic to the game I didn't see. I'm not sure picking food up off the floor and then wait staff throwing it at each fits the fine dining theme, but that's probably okay.

BubbleChucks
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2012
I’m Waiting – Silver I liked

I’m Waiting – Silver

I liked the theme of this game and I think the moving around complimented the “stand up” requirement quite well. The throwing of cubes at each other couldn’t be replicated through another medium so it scored highly for that.

I wasn’t entirely sure how the game worked from the initial outline, but it gave me enough to get a feel for the game. The subsequent details made it a lot clearer. Overall I found it to be an interesting cooking pot of ideas and I think the waiter theme would come through strongly. However, I’m a little worried that the throwing and dropping of cubes would make everything a little bit too chaotic.

A simpler take on the theme/idea occurred to me and it might spark some ideas.

The game features 6 colored discs, 2 red, 2 green and 2 blue. These discs are arranged in a circle configuration that flows around the room. Next to each disc is a stack of 2 cubes that match the color of the disc, so each red disc has a stack of 4 red cubes next to it at the start of the game. This will result in a total of 24 cubes, 8 of each color. In the centre of the room is a white disc.

The players receive one recipe card each. Each recipe card features a different 3 cube combination.

Red Red Blue
Red Red Green
Blue Blue Red
Blue Blue Green
Green Green Red
Green Green Blue
Red Green Blue

To start the game the players stand on the central white disc holding empty trays. The trays can hold a maximum of 4 cubes. So in a 6 player game 24 cubes would be required to fill all the trays to their maximum capacity.

Beginning with the start player, each person MUST move to a new disc. When a player lands on a disc they have to take a cube if they have one or more free spaces on their tray. If a player has a full tray when they land on a disc they can drop a cube matching the color of the disc, providing that the disc has less than four cubes next to it.

Each colored disc can only support 1 player at any one time. The central white disc can accommodate 2 people. If a player moves to the white disc and another player also moves to the white disc the two players can exchange one cube between them. The white disc can accommodate a maximum of 2 players.

In order to win a player must have 3 cubes on their tray matching the combination on their recipe card and only 3 cubes. If a player has 4 cubes and 3 of those cubes match their card they can’t win unless they drop 1 of the cubes.

More than 3 colors could be used for the discs, but limiting it to 3 narrows down the recipe cards making deduction a lot easier.

BubbleChucks
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2012
Tagged – Gold MedalI really

Tagged – Gold Medal

I really liked this game because I felt it encapsulated the moving around a room or rooms the best. One aspect that I found very interesting was the novel deck building aspect. When I looked at the game I identified the mechanics as set collection and deck building.

It appears that the deck building aspect wasn’t included as a conscious mechanic to satisfy the requirements of the challenge. Never the less, for me it’s in there. You tag physical objects to add them to your deck and prevent others from adding them to their decks.

Kind of strange, since it wasn’t wholly intentional, but this deck building aspect using the freeform tagging of real world objects really grabbed me. Allowing the players’ free reign to choose their game pieces and build a deck from them has a lot of possibilities.

It reminded me of an art installation that was run in London a few years back, The Locked Room Scenario by Ryan Gander. The participants entered a closed environment featuring objects in the form of staged room sets, some of which they could interact with and some they could only see.

With only the barest narrative to explain things every object, irrespective of whether it had anything to do with the narrative, became an item of interest and potential. The experience affected the way the participants viewed the objects to the extent that it influenced the degree of attention they devoted to objects after leaving the installation.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/aug/28/artangel-locked-room...

http://www.artangel.org.uk//projects/2011/locked_room_scenario/about_the...

I can’t help but wonder if something similar could be done with the Tagged design. Perhaps the players tag objects that are combined in an explanation/story that they write down.

These stories are then judged by a single adjudicator or by a consensus vote to determine which is the most applicable to a given plot line. The players then receive points for each item that they tagged and included in their story that was present in the chosen story.

I like the idea of everyone moving around, bringing everyday objects into play as game objects through tagging. It might be an idea to consider using different rooms instead of steps. One room is included in the game for each player. These rooms could be general rooms or they could feature some staged objects to tie in with the plot line.

6 tokens are placed in a pile for each room. These tokens identify a room along with a visitation value. So it could be visit room one first, room 3 second and so on. The players then choose 6 tokens each, taking it in turn to do so. Their choices have to represent different rooms so they can’t choose 2 or 3 tokens for the same room.

When everyone has chosen off they trundle to the first of their rooms, where they tag an item(s) or do nothing.

The adjudicator visits one room after a period of time and upon their arrival the player in that room must leave. When this player enters another room (in line with one of their tokens) the player in that room has to leave and go to the room of the next token. This continues until all the players have used their tokens.

The players then return to the start point for the scoring phase. This is repeated 3 times with the adjudicator developing the plotline after each scoring phase.

A simplified outline would have the moderator tell part of a plotline/story. When the players returned they would have to submit one of their tagged objects for the vote. The vote would then reward the item(s) and accompanying explanations that best fit the plotline - sort of like Dixit rewards cards that best represent the given clue.

The score awards would need some thought along with how to deal with/reward players that pick the same item (maybe players can pick the same item to cancel it out).

anonymousmagic
Offline
Joined: 11/06/2013
I considered using different

I considered using different rooms after submitting the game, but decided not to do it because I wanted to keep it accessible to people with small homes.

If you want to play with, say, twenty people, a regular house is usually too small to accommodate each player in a different room.

It might be a good idea to offer this as a variation, though.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thoughts on Robots

I voted silver for this game. I like the elements involved. I would have liked some specific examples of the cards to have clearer picture, but I'm sure the word limit was a problem. I think the timed track is interesting and would create a different feel for the gameplay. I think this could probably be done without people moving around, but moving fits well with the timed dynamic. It might be worth trying the game moving around to the timer as well as just moving player pieces around a single board in a more traditional everybody takes one turn per round manner and see which you end up like better.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thoughts on Heirs

I voted bronze for this game. I like the feel of this game. I like the play one card face up and one card face down system. This game does not actually require you to move around as using role cards to show who's who would work perfectly well. I felt the goal of the challenge was to make a strategy based game rather than social, so that's why it got a vote over other entries that did a better job of making people move.

mulletsquirrel
mulletsquirrel's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/14/2014
Heir Saboteur

I think I was going to have the players stationed about the room for the game, but became distracted with the different special roles of the players and ran out of time. Having it spread out would have been more secretive and could open up different opportunities for secret sabotage.

Thanks for the votes!

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Catching up reviews! (I'm Waiting - Heir Saboteur)

Hi everyone; sorry I've not been posting reviews. I've been away from the internet since Thursday. Appropriately, I was spending that time up at Martin Wallace's playing prototypes. Here are my catch-up critiques:

4 - I'M WAITING! (gold medal)

The set collection element was clear as the win condition, and so drove the entire game. The worker-placement mechanic is used with the player themselves as the workers, blocking access by standing on the mats. The primary "moving" aspect of this game involves the dexterity required to not drop pieces, which is something that'll almost assuredly happen at least once during a game.

That part couldn't happen if this were a sit-down game, so it certainly fit the bill. But I agree with the other commenters that the trading - which is a major component of the decision making - isn't incentivised enough in this version. Players trading to get a colour will need to feel they're getting the better part of the deal.

Say there are 5 players, and so 5 colours. If victory is considered "5 points" then each cube of a unique colour has a value of 1. If you stand on a mat of a new colour (which does get harder as the game goes on), this new cube is worth 1. If you trade a cube 1-for-1 where neither of you have the colour yet, you're actually getting a value of 0.8 (since the other player is now 1/5 closer to victory themselves). This drops incentive for trading except towards the end of the game when the likelihood of getting your colour drops below roughly half of the trading value (because you're getting a cube you already have. probably in exchange for a cube someone else didn't have).

TL;DR, I think this game works best with about 4 people, where it feels already close to end-game. And drop the trading time to less than a minute to limit the players from always making optimal choices. That'll show 'em for trying to make good trades!

7 - TAGGED (silver medal) I actually quite like TAGGED as a party game. The set collection is simple, as it was in I'm Waiting, and leads directly to a victory condition. That said, this didn't have any other of the required mechanics. But I liked it so much it still got a medal. This game could not be played without moving around the room. Of course, a tabletop version of the game could be designed where players are still using inductive logic to figure out what each others' goals are. But THIS game couldn't be played without moving. Primarily because it uses the room itself as the source of goals, and the physical size of players becomes a big factor in how effective they can be at the game. Some would say that's a detriment, and I say those people have never played sports. It's an advantage. Deal with it. That's why I liked it as a party game; it's hard to take it seriously and have a good time.

Some suggestions for the rules: - Give players more goal cards and let them choose 3. Since each room the game is played in will be different, some rooms will not allow some of the goals. Let players eliminate those impossible wins. - Give players a limited number of post-it notes and allow "majority" to claim an item. This is all to make rooms with limited objects more usable, and will provide - maybe - an interesting tension point.

2 - Damn You Robots! (bronze medal) Okay, so this game doesn't need to be around a room. And I'm not sure how placing the workers at a location relates to the resources earned, when passing the challenges seems to be what gives you the goods. And I'm not sure how the salvage cards relate to the challenges (although i assume they're used to win the challenges?) And in the end it seems to come down to you randomly having the right salvage to deal with a random encounter to get chosen resources (from your workers?).

So why with all this confusion did I give it a bronze? Because the game concept has a lot of interesting possibilities, even if they weren't expressed clearly. A cooperative game at a distance might help isolate the one-brain potential, for instance.

Still, this title needs a fuller explanation.

6 - Heir Saboteur

This game didn't get my vote because it didn't need to have a seating arrangement at all (could simply have used numbered role cards as in Citadels). It didn't use the space in the room, either. And simply drawing two cards is not the same as deck-building.

That said, there is a game here. It needs to be rethought outside of this contest, though, as that is actually hindering this game. And balancing. The "line-auction" for new roles should just go away. There are already reasons for players to choose different roles that may mesh with the cards in their hands. And paying to be King, when the King is beaten up by almost every card pretty well guarantees the king always dies - really doesn't make me want the job.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Infrastructure critique

I think this entry suffered from a description that was trying to describe everything all at once rather than in the usual structure.

The goal of connecting tiles on each worksite would have been better stated upfront. Then readers could frame the turns and actions in terms of how it gets them to that goal.

On the actual game, i think this would play better just using pawns to place on the action-sites rather than moving around. And players are paying tiles to pick up more tiles? So really they're just exchanging tiles for more tiles? Without knowing how the tiles special actions affect gameplay you could probably do without this exchange and just pick up tiles.

If you get a chance, I'd suggest rewriting this entry and post it as a separate thread.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Horsepower

I actually liked this game as an excuse to play some basketball. But I think the other voters, like myself, didn't think it used the euro-mechanics as much as it should have. The set collection giving victory seems like it'd be a simple case of it coming up randomly + making the shot. It's not any harder to get one than the other, so why would a player choose a card they didn't need unless it just wasn't available?

This game would be a great addition for kids that like to play HORSE normally but need to challenge themselves with new trick shots.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thoughts on Horsepower

I agree with rich. This is a great variant on the game horse, but it would not be practical in most people's houses. I like the idea of overtime forcing someone to make multiple shots to claim a single card. I like having different categories for the shots, but three is likely enough. You could have a stack of cards per category. I think since you are collecting cards you could make it so that you are trying to spell horse as opposed to trying not to spell it. Each card could have 2-4 letters on it that can be used by the winner.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thanks for the feedback Rich

After seven entries in the GDS I still haven't mastered the art of explaining the essence of the game rather than rules. I was afraid the response would be it could just be a normal worker placement game. My thinking is that having three game boards spread apart adds a layer to the decision making. For example, when you are placing a tile at one board you can't see the other board to know if that tile would earn more points there. When you're picking new tiles you can't see where they're placed, so you have to remember which symbol you need. Especially since the final score is the lesser of the two sites it puts a lot of pressure on you to remember what you've got going on. Whereas traditionally you can always see everything about your position in a game when making decisions. I also wanted to add rules about things like what happens when you need the bag with the supply of tiles, but it is at a different station. Things that would use the separation and force people to move around more, but I couldn't get it in the word limit. The question is are those factor enough to make moving around interesting enough to include? If players aren't moving around is it interesting or different enough to justifying trying to add another worker placement game to the world?

mulletsquirrel
mulletsquirrel's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/14/2014
This was my first entry for a

This was my first entry for a game competition. I strayed from the rules after I got the idea in my head and ran with it. That most likely hurt my chances at victory. However, I do think I have an interesting game idea and will evolve it a little bit to see where it might lead.

Thanks for all the input, and I hope to see another game competition soon!

MalthusX
Offline
Joined: 04/29/2013
Thanks!

Thank you so much for the feed-back, andymorris and richdurham!

This was my first attempt at GDS, and I loved the unusual challenge. I agree with all the criticisms of 'Damn You, Robots', and onn a second read through, I did leave a lot of unanswered questions. Next month, I'll try to make things more clear.

And thanks for the positive comments as well :) You guys are terrific.

I liked 'I'm Waiting' and 'TAGGED'.TAGGED was my own number 1, as I love how it made use not only of the space people played it but of the objects in that space. It reminded me a little of how I played with things as a child. 'I'm Waiting' seemed like a fun time as well, but I had a hard time visualizing how it would play out.

I also think Horespower would great if played with a basketball net outside. It could be great supplement to driveway games!

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Thanks for the new participation

To new and old participants, I want to say thank you for entering this month. It proved to be a very difficult challenge, but led to some very creative ideas to develop! All of these merit such development, and if you as a designer eventually discard it, hopefully you can pull some future inspiration from it.

In regards to my entry DTC, thanks for the insights. There are considerable mechanical issues with the game - e.g. how the magnets will work (i picture a large cube with indented sides that a square refrigerator-magnet would fit in and lay flat). I see that a version of this could be made with hidden planets at the same table, but part of my reasons for making it stand-up the way it was had to do with the aesthetic while playing. The game is meant to be in "actor stance," so anytime I can get the players to actually do the action their avatar would instead, the better.

The comment about leaving "drops" at the planets is interesting, and I might explore that, as it would add a level of competition if two players announce they're going to the same planet in order to steal the drop from each other.

The comment about speaking your communication out-loud being outside the theme; I'm okay with that. It's enough in the theme to think that all these traders would be on a collective CB-radio-esque network.

Thanks again for the feedback! This is going in the development queue for sure.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut