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Single Card Event Outcome?

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BHFuturist
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What if we abstract out all the event conflict down to just what would be "spent" for success by the player for each choice path. This would leave only deterministic player choices. The player would choose what managed resource they could most afford to lose at that time, like hit points, stamina, time, or money. Then we could also add a press your luck choice back in for fun.

Here is a graphic to help explain the idea. For now, it is based on a solo adventure game "Crash Landing" with random draw events for the player to resolve.

Event Card Graphic

What are your thoughts on the mechanism idea from a design perspective?

Thanks in advance for replies!

@BHFuturist

Rick L
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On the fight/run/hide

On the fight/run/hide options, are there any beneficial results, or only negative? For example, if you fight, do you win or lose, and if you win, what do you get?

Gabe
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I really like this idea for

I really like this idea for an open world adventure game.

Main story elements could be more determined while side quest options and outcomes could be more chaotic.

This is definitely an idea worth exploring.

let-off studios
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Barbarian Prince

Reminds me a lot of Barbarian Prince, which was a massive solo-player game created in the 80's that has always been at the back of my mind ever since I'd heard about it. Same with Chainsaw Warrior, and infamous solo game-on-rails that featured a pair of card decks with events the player would need to endure in order to face off with the big baddie at the end.

Generally speaking, I'm fascinated with these types of games and would go out of my way to find and play them. It is an antiquated style of game, I reckon, but with the explosion of different game types now available in the hobby market (even choose-your-own-adventure and the concept of a "game book" is making a resurgence), I'm sure you would find a niche to support you.

There are also computer games that have gone this route, and Reign comes to mind. It was well done, and has been received very well by its core audience.

Keep massaging your ideas, develop the deck of events, and see where it takes you. Experiment with the levels of complexity required and the weight of the deterministic choices to see how captivating the game becomes.

Good luck! :)

BHFuturist
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That is the thing...

Mokheshur wrote:
On the fight/run/hide options, are there any beneficial results, or only negative? For example, if you fight, do you win or lose, and if you win, what do you get?

So you bring up the KEY makes this work for what I am using it for. Rather than give any deterministic "good" choices, the player must choose the lesser of all the evils.

If you have 3 "bad" and 1 "good". Players will always choose the good. Even 2 "bad" and 2 "good" cuts off the 2 "bad" in the mind of the player.

Other types of events might give three good options but you only get one of them. This choosing can only be a true/false boolean or a clear option is always automatic in the mind of the player. A card might give heath or stamina and the player would need to pick the best for the current game state.

This gives two decks that players can draw from based on what other things are going on with the game state at the time the "event" needs to be resolved.

This is just one part in an evolving larger system of mechanics that will drive the game engine. the main goal is to let player choices drive the engine rather than the dice.

Too many "solo-games" are just engines that run based on the RNG and player choice takes a back seat. This creates "fun-once" games.

The "bonus" press-your-luck RNG based option on each event provides a risk based element to the otherwise more clear cut choices.

let-off studios wrote:
Reminds me a lot of Barbarian Prince, which was a massive solo-player game created in the 80's that has always been at the back of my mind ever since I'd heard about it. Same with Chainsaw Warrior, and infamous solo game-on-rails that featured a pair of card decks with events the player would need to endure in order to face off with the big baddie at the end.

Interesting I have not come across either of those yet in my searches for this type of game. I will check them out!


Thanks everyone, for the feedback so far! I would also love to hear how you might use this in other games.

@BHFuturist

questccg
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Player makes a choice

BHFuturist wrote:
So you bring up the KEY makes this work for what I am using it for. Rather than give any deterministic "good" choices, the player must choose the lesser of all the evils.

If you have 3 "bad" and 1 "good". Players will always choose the good. Even 2 "bad" and 2 "good" cuts off the 2 "bad" in the mind of the player.

What this seems to me is the "outcome" of the battle (fight): you were victorious but it cost you 3 Health Points. Or if you tried to run, you do so successfully but lost 2 Stamina Points. And lastly if you hide, you manage to evade the opponent but lose 1 Action Point (AP) doing so.

So this means that you are always successful in what you try to accomplish but everything comes at a cost. It's the player's DETERMINISTIC choice that decides what is sacrificed in order to move forwards.

At least that's how I see it.


Update: The only downside is if you have lost a significant amount of Health Points, you are going to use the other options as much as possible to DELAY your death. I suppose this is realistic, like if you are hurt and you cannot fight, you might hide or run (if possible).

But ultimately the outcome is being "captured" or "death" both being a loss for the player. Both can be "final" endings too. If you are captured, the game ends and you lose.


Update #2: I would use "barter" instead of trade. Meaning that when you encounter the opposing unit, you MUST GIVE it the item it wants. If it's a friendly unit, you could "trade" one thing for another or use in-game currency to pay for an additional item.

And this opens us the opportunity for an "inventory".

I must admit this is kinda cool. Would not work for any of my existing designs - but it does give you something to think about.

I don't know what kind of "game" would fit this style/system. Maybe a "Super Street Brawler" (a play on "Bad Street Brawler")... Maybe you could use amazing "Deck Construction" that you do ON-THE-FLY. IDK...

BHFuturist
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questccg

questccg wrote:
...you are always successful in what you try to accomplish but everything comes at a cost. It's the player's DETERMINISTIC choice that decides what is sacrificed in order to move forwards.

Yes! you see it just as I see it. I like the way you said it, that is a better way to put it. I don't see the player reacting in line with the character's needs as a downside... I see it as immersion :)

You are right about barter vs. trade as one of the "end game" conditions is the overall anger level of the native alien race. Once you "piss" them off enough they come wreck you for a "game over".

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questccg
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Better RNG

BHFuturist wrote:
...Yes! you see it just as I see it. I like the way you said it, that is a better way to put it. I don't see the player reacting in line with the character's needs as a downside... I see it as immersion :)

The only thing is that for it to be "deterministic", there cannot be any form of dice rolling (RNG). Because then that would introduce "luck" of the dice roll.

But perhaps what you could do, which is a bit "random", is have an "Encounter" card. This card "modifies" the base cost of the actions. This card is kept SECRET until the player makes his choice... Then the card is revealed. And the results are "modified" accordingly.

This is a "form" of luck (drawing a card) - and since it is secret is is less "deterministic". But the overall EFFECT is an interesting one:

Say you decide to FIGHT and it cost -3 HP. Your ENCOUNTER card could be a "flask of vigor", +2 HP.

Therefore you decision to FIGHT would only cost you -1 HP (because it was modified by the "random" card). This is more deterministic than a dice roll. And does induce a certain amount of variance.

Say you decide to RUN and it cost -2 SP. Your ENCOUNTER card could be a "spiked pit", -2 HP.

In this scenario, your cost to RUN results in -2 HP + -2 SP! A very bad choice indeed... Made worst with the "encounter" card. But it's much more deterministic than having to roll a dice. The consequences of "running" cost you extra loss of health because of the negative circumstances.

Man I can really picture this working for a GLADIATORS game. And it could be a miniatures game too... So rather pricey with awesome models too! LOL

Just something to think about...


Note: I just wanted to point out, that in the second scenario (the one with the spiked pit), the Health penalty (-2 HP) is categorize under the RUN category. So it's because you ran, that you fall into the pit...

questccg
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Arena Rex v2 (lol)

I just wanted to point out - assuming this is a Gladiators game (just for the purpose of illustration)... FIGHT could earn you more "Favor" from the crowd so +2 Victory Points (VPs) in addition to costing -3 HP.

Here's where I would introduce DICE: the amount of HP damage you cause your opponent. See damage is non-deterministic. Because it is affected by all kinds of variables: armor, timing, target location, etc.

Where RUN could be disfavorable and you lose -1 VP and -2 SP. Lastly hidding could be neutral in terms of VPs but cost 2 APs (Action Points).

And if you have 3 APs per turn, to try an defeat your opponent ... losing 2 APs could be rather serious. It's ALMOST like losing your turn!

It's just too bad there are so many Gladiator games out there ... Can anyone think of theme that might work with this system???

BHFuturist
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Humm...

questccg wrote:
In this scenario, your cost to RUN results in -2 HP + -2 SP! A very bad choice indeed... Made worst with the "encounter" card. But it's much more deterministic than having to roll a dice. The consequences of "running" cost you extra loss of health because of the negative circumstances.

I am not sure we mean the same thing when we say deterministic.

What I mean by deterministic is that the player is the one who makes the choice knowing the outcome rather than the game determining the outcome.

If the player draws an event that is a "fight card", the choice to have the encounter be a fight with an enemy was made by the game. Having the game "react" to a players choice while still deterministic is the sort of random element this mechanic is meant to avoid.

Many games have mechanics that cause random things happen to the players as a result of the player's actions.

However, this mechanic aims to give the player truly deterministic choices. Even the "random" option to roll dice is a deterministic choice that the player can see the outcomes that might happen and they can choose not to take that option if the risk to reward is just not to their liking.

Most of the methods you suggested return the mechanic back to a state of player uncertainty and hide information that could help inform the player's meaningful choice. And while there is nothing wrong with mechanics that do this, I was trying to avoid having this mechanic be like "normal" adventure games where the random outcome just happens to the player. Also, I don't know of an elegant way to make sure that the second "hidden" event card will match the situation the player is in.

This is an issue that I have with many solitaire adventure board games. Many of them can be played without making any real meaningful choices. They are just RNG engines that you operate more than play.

This is similar to the main issue I have with the game of "War" (card game with standard deck). There are no player choices and the random deck order determines the end from the beginning.

I don't want a toy I can play with, I want a game I can play.

I hope that makes sense?

@BHFuturist

questccg
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Fate cards

BHFuturist wrote:
...I am not sure we mean the same thing when we say deterministic.

What I mean by deterministic is that the player is the one who makes the choice knowing the outcome rather than the game determining the outcome.

Actually my "Gladiator" game idea is that you use "Deck Construction" to build you deck "off-line". The goal is to have a Deck with a Balanced score = 0. Each card has a cost of -5 to +5. Your deck must have a minimum 60 "Fate" cards... And since the "Fate" cards are balanced (because the score = 0) there is card randomness which applies to ALL situations in REALITY.

I was thinking about Gladiators because when you RUN, a trap can spring up OR you could RUN into a lion in the arena and he mauls you... Things like that: "Fate" cards.

BHFuturist wrote:
If the player draws an event that is a "fight card", the choice to have the encounter be a fight with an enemy was made by the game. Having the game "react" to a players choice while still deterministic is the sort of random element this mechanic is meant to avoid.

I understand. But the question is: "Do you mind me exploring this system?" One with "Fate" cards.

"Fate" cards can be NEGATIVE or POSITIVE, like finding a "Long Sword" which you can equip as your primary weapon (again back to the inventory). A you could have a "Favor" system too - which allows you to use cards when you have accumulated enough of the crowd's praise...

There are a LOT of games out these. But perhaps a ONE (1) Player game might be cool to explore... Not 2, 4, 5... Solo play with some amazing AI play. IDK just thinking now.

I REALLY like the "determinism" + "Fate" cards.


To be honest, I need a break from "Quest AC2" - that design has to go back on the "backburner".


I think of it as a ONE (1) Player SOLO RPG-type "arena" combat game! LOL And if I can devise a "system" for building the opponent's deck (AI) that could be real interesting too...

Worthwhile thinking, no?

BHFuturist
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BY ALL MEANS!!!

questccg wrote:
I understand. But the question is: "Do you mind me exploring this system?" One with "Fate" cards.

Explore! I am not saying that your idea is a "bad" idea, just that it is not what I was going for in the game I am making.

The whole reason for posting the mechanic idea here is to inspire others to use this type of mechanic if they think they can. How you end up using a mechanic is up to you!

I was just pointing out that the main focus of the original mechanic was to move all randomness under the control of the player... but you can take the "abstracting choice costs" part of the mechanic and that could be use in many other ways!

Mixing, matching and changing aspects or parts of mechanics to fit new game ideas is the playground of the designer! So, go play in that playground all you want!

It is my goal to help others embrace the bright hope for their future!

@BHFuturist

questccg
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Thanks!

I really like the "Deck construction" concept of Magic: the Gathering (Magic) but I don't really like the game (Magic).

I want to design something that allows for "Deck construction" off-line, on your own time... But if I could add an RPG Flavor to the game for a single player game... That might be FUN too!

Just to let you know, it's more of an "Arena" game than it is about "Gladiators". I've had this concept for a while (it's called "Of Legends and Lore").

It's just a concept for now...

Daggaz
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Ever play mageknight?

Ever play mageknight? Deckbuilding explore and conquer game, the cards have options and you choose to play them as you need.

If you engage an enemy with 4 defense, for example, you need to field cards worth 4 attack points and you will kill that enemy. You will also need to field some defense points yourself to block its attack or you take "damage" (a wound card).

The problem with purely deterministic mechanics is they are immediately predictable. That same straightforward motion leads to a lack of variation on the long scale as well, so replayability can take a big hit. You mention a "press your luck" option, but most of the time a player is going to avoid rolling those dice if they dont need to, and a good strategist is going to avoid that entire situation as much as possible.

In mageknight, they re-introduce variability in a number of ways:
a) monster draws are somewhat randomized within their pools, even if the monsters are static (its a start), and land tiles are drawn somewhat randomly during exploration as well.
b) cards can be powered by mana, which are chosen by rolling colored dice every turn (now it picks up)
c) every round, you shuffle your deck (aha! this is crucial) and you can only draw X amount of cards, replacing cards as you spend them with each of your turns.

Mageknight isnt my cup of tea, but its definitely a solid game. So deconstructing event conflict as you suggest is definitely a workable idea, you just have to ensure the rest of the game picks up the slack and generates the variability you need to have fun.

BHFuturist
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Humm

Daggaz wrote:
Ever play mageknight? Deckbuilding explore and conquer game, the cards have options and you choose to play them as you need.

...The problem with purely deterministic mechanics is they are immediately predictable...

...you just have to ensure the rest of the game picks up the slack and generates the variability you need to have fun.

I have not played Mageknight yet but have been hearing a lot of good things about it by watching videos about it.

You are right about The rest of the game needing to add variability to this mechanic, but I am not sure I agree that a purely deterministic mechanic is immediately predictable.

This issue is that a board game AI runs without human based determinism and is, therefore, more predictable. Chess has purely deterministic mechanics and is not at all predictable because of the human element.

This event card mechanic is part of a larger game design intended to make you as the player run the board game AI without realizing that that is what you are doing based on your meaningful choices. By providing several overlapping "choice gate" systems, I seek to gain variability and replayability.

Starting with a "random" procedurally generated game state. Each game a player will need to make new choices to overcome the starting conditions and form a plan/strategy for how to win based on the evolving game state. Then because each action choice "takes time" not all actions can be done each turn. Some choices will close off others using "choice gates"

I am not saying I have this 100% worked out but the design goals are now quite clear to me and this deterministic event has a role to play in how the system should work.

Daggaz wrote:
but most of the time a player is going to avoid rolling those dice if they dont need to, and a good strategist is going to avoid that entire situation as much as possible.

This is a common designer fallacy. You lump both "players" and "good strategists" into a single group. You will find through playtesting with larger player samples that this is just not the case.

As to the "press your luck" option. You and I may think it would not be the best choice, because of how we see things. But many players don't have the mind of a designer and are more instinct strategists. They do seek out the risk-to-reward options more than you might think. And the truth is many times they have a natural instinct for that type of risk choice that can make them beat a good strategist when those types of choices are mixed in.

You see part of this interesting dynamic in the tactics and play styles that change wildly when you add a 1 min clock to a game of chess. The good strategist finds it much harder to balance the choices when emotions run high and less optimal moves are used based on a chance that the other player might do something "normal" to counter that error.

A bigger topic for another time maybe...

Scenario: You have only 5HP left and 0GP... if you can just make it back to the crash site next turn you can finish the repairs to the drive core and escape the planet... You are bleeding and have no Meds... if tonight as you sleep you take more damage from bleeding you will not have the stamina next turn to make it all the way to the ship... now you draw the event card above... desperate times call for desperate measures? Even I might try to cheat the alien for the free Meds!

You are right, more things need to be going on in the "game state" to make the event cards have meaningful choices that apply to each game state in many ways. If you have more health or enough gold to buy the Meds players might just do those options. An ever evolving game state based on player choice is needed to make this more interesting for the players.

The hardest part is to keep things simple and elegant without sacrificing replayability or the strategic and tactical elements.

Thanks for the insights, already I feel it in my mind helping to develop better ways to make this work!

@BHFuturist

Daggaz
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BHFuturist wrote:You are

BHFuturist wrote:
You are right about The rest of the game needing to add variability to this mechanic, but I am not sure I agree that a purely deterministic mechanic is immediately predictable.

This issue is that a board game AI runs without human based determinism and is, therefore, more predictable. Chess has purely deterministic mechanics and is not at all predictable because of the human element.

Chess is "immediately" predictable. ;) State information is naked and all 1-turn value changes are easily calculated by the purely deterministic rules. A program (or player) that uses perfect 1-turn depth optimisation searches does very well against unskilled players, in fact. But there are more turns, arent there, and that is the problem. Thing is, there are so many possibilities that trying to predict just three turns in advance taxes the average human mind beyond its capabilities to store and recall information. So chess solved the problem of predictability by introducing massive variation through choice. You have 16 pieces per team with 64 squares of varying accessibility: the graph of interactions is absurd. Advanced programs can match and beat human masters through shear force of calculation. The human element you speak of doesnt even come into play at this point, we have to get into the grand-master level before algorithms needed to be more complex than simply calculating deterministic odds connected to the placement values.

Now here is the problem for the board game designer who wants to put this concept into play using cards with options: in chess, most of the time each piece can be played in at least one direction, and each choice is highly divergent and connects to other parts of the graph. If you can bring that level of interactivity into your card game, in a subtle way like chess that doesn't make the player feel as if they are drowning in information, and you can do this without sacrificing the theme and flow of your game, then you may very well be sitting on the next big thing. MtG is basically this kind of concept, though frankly they went for "drowning tide of choices" rather than "emergent variance through subtle interaction of a limited number of very clever mechanics choices", so there is big room for improvement there.

To be entirely fair, even chess didn't quite make it this far. Many, many people are immediately overwhelmed by what they see as too many options presented at once. But I was speaking of slightly more advanced players, who are tricked by chess. "Oh, this game isn't that har......shit." That's a beautiful trick to play, and the secret to the game's endearment over centuries.

BHFuturist wrote:
This issue is that a board game AI runs without human based determinism and is, therefore, more predictable. Chess has purely deterministic mechanics and is not at all predictable because of the human element.

This event card mechanic is part of a larger game design intended to make you as the player run the board game AI without realizing that that is what you are doing based on your meaningful choices. By providing several overlapping "choice gate" systems, I seek to gain variability and replayability.

Starting with a "random" procedurally generated game state. Each game a player will need to make new choices to overcome the starting conditions and form a plan/strategy for how to win based on the evolving game state. Then because each action choice "takes time" not all actions can be done each turn. Some choices will close off others using "choice gates"

This is very intriguing. Feel free to PM me if you want to bounce some ideas around.

BHFuturist wrote:
This is a common designer fallacy. You lump both "players" and "good strategists" into a single group. You will find through playtesting with larger player samples that this is just not the case.

Good point. I tend to play with power-gamers and focus on how games can be broken by people who will exploit clearly optimal mechanics, but you are absolutely right. Still, I think it is a strong design objective to balance a game such that choices are never no-brainers, so I look for areas where I think strong players will think "X is obviously optimal" and try to remedy the situation by either returning choice or removing the option all together. You make good points about the gambling/risk aspect though. I'll have to think about that some more for my own game..

BHFuturist
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Daggaz wrote:Now here is the

Daggaz wrote:
Now here is the problem for the board game designer who wants to put this concept into play using cards with options: in chess, most of the time each piece can be played in at least one direction, and each choice is highly divergent and connects to other parts of the graph. If you can bring that level of interactivity into your card game, in a subtle way like chess that doesn't make the player feel as if they are drowning in information, and you can do this without sacrificing the theme and flow of your game, then you may very well be sitting on the next big thing.

I hope so... but I am not sure I have met all of that criteria at this point. The design idea is still only days old, but it is quickly forming into a multi part action/event/reaction system.


  1. Player "chooses" and action and spends a resource (time/stamina/other) to perform that action such as "explore".

  2. An event card gives both deterministic and/or random (but known outcome) choices. Event cards might have symbols that "unlock" some choices. These symbols would correspond to action/reaction cards the player can use to deal with some parts of the event.

Note: this would mean the player might need to use a card in order to unlock the theft option from the example card.

  1. A player can then use action cards to counter part or all of the event outcome for another twofold cost (a/b).

A. Fist is a normal "cost" on the action just to use it.

(two actions per card, top and bottom)

B. Second cost is the other action that can't be used this turn.

Each action/reaction card would have two abilities, only one can be use each turn and the other is "lost" as part of the cost.

The actions and reaction cards would be very few in number say 4 cards (8 total abilities) the player can keep using them over and over throughout the game each turn. The abilities might also have varying cool-down times per action...

Actions pairs would be dissimilar abilities like "First Aid / Sneak". If you used sneak this turn you could no longer do the First Aid action until after your character rested for the night. Or the First Aid action might have a high negative cost for early use. For instance drinking a water might refresh the First Aid ability for use this turn but the "water break" might cost time as well. (so many aspects to balance, I might need to simplify)

As long as all of the rules for the abilities is clear on the cards, so players don't have to go back to the rule book for how they are used and refreshed, it should work.

At this point I am not sure whether this will frustrate the player? Not being able to use all the actions cards each turn... the action pair balance will be critical...

The main thing is I want the player's choices to drive the game and limit their potions as they do things. Each action they take serves as a "choice gate" closing off other options. As long as that is known going into the choices I think players will understand... as long as I have a thematic reason for each gate.

A better action pair might be "Charge / Sneak" to make them mutually exclusive...

Keep in mind this is a solo survival/adventure game where the player is crashed on an alien planet...

I want the player to balance the resources of time, stamina and heath and maybe some other things like food and water, not sure yet. I don't want it to be a "bean counter" game...

I might turn another direction tomorrow. Like I said this is all just early brainstorming. More thought and work is needed to flesh this out. I may hit you up in the next few days by PM to get your take on things as this develops.

Thanks!

@BHFuturist

Daggaz
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You really ought to pick up

You really ought to pick up MageKnight and have a few playthroughs (it can be played solo as well). There are a lot of parallel mechanics in that game that could be inspiring for your concept.

It isnt my favorite game because I feel the movement is too restricted, but thats a personal taste, really its a good game and I always say yes if my friends want to run a session.

BHFuturist
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Neat Game

I have been looking into Mage Knight and wow, it does have a lot of neat mechanisms that might be useful in what I am doing. Not sure I am going to drop the cash for a copy right now... I have backing Kickstarters heavily this year so the board game budget is lower than normal ;)

I did find another game called Posthuman that has elements I like, that are in line with what I might do. I would still change many things (Theme for sure) but was supersized how cool the game looked.

Posthuman


As things stand now I want the players to roll a set of dice at the start of their turn to set a pool of resources that can be used when dealing with events. They would pick what actions they wanted to do each turn and only some of the time need to draw from several event decks and resolve them before moving on. This dice pool would be similar to the way Tiny Epic Galaxies does things but they would not be "actions" you take but resources you could use during your actions.

Tiny Epic Galaxies

I am still debating about the use of randomness trying to make sure I keep the random elements on the correct side of player choice.

Players would be able to use an action/resource "Rondel" to make sure they got at least one of the resource they wanted each turn. still not sure how I want that to work either. And they would be able to spend a resource like stamina to re-roll dice in that resource phase of each turn... before events are drawn.

Event cards with the deterministic choices might now have bonus sections that can only be accessed at the cost of the resources from the dice pool.

Player Resources for handling events:

  • Time
  • Stamina
  • Health
  • Energy (space suit battery)
  • Items/Equipment (might take energy to use)

Dice Pool Resources: (WIP list not sure what type of mental/physical resources to use yet and whether to add character stats into the mix)

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Endurance
  • Willpower
  • Instinct
  • Logic

I want the dice resources to be how the player activates abilities and how they unlock sections of the event cards... so the names of the resources might change as I work out the theme of the abilities and events.

Still a lot of things to work out... I am thinking this could be a multi-player game with a solo version not sure yet. I want to firm up the list of components needed for all the tracking so I can get into a prototype soon.

I would love to hear your thoughts... I might need to move this into a "Crash Landing" game journal at some point...

@BHFuturist

Edit:

I found another interesting game that has neat mechanics.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/53840/adventure-d

Daggaz
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Ive got to admit, I lost

Ive got to admit, I lost track when you switched from player-resources to dice-resources. I get that dice-resources are such because you are rolling the dice for them, but well... what is the connection to the player-resources? Of course I would look at those and say it is all "player" resources, not to nitpick the nomenclature but to point out the fundamental interactions.

So you have time, stamina and energy etc.. (the physicist in me wants to say, split time into groups like "oxygen" and "battery/energy" because as long as something else isn't running out, we have all the time in the world; conversely, absorb all such groups into "time" for simplification), and you have a bunch of DnD-esque physical attributes. Do you link those? Do you get stamina by looking at your endurance and strength? I hope not, for the player's sake I would just simplify that to "stamina". If you don't link those, then do you need 11 different resources?

Keep in mind that while old-school DnD was wildly successful, there were countless arguments against the system, many of them valid. The difficulty of balancing the six player stats while maintaining a useful and interesting delineation, and the constant stat modifier bean-counting, were key in the evolution of the game-mechanics (yes 5th edition sucks but that is another topic all together).

BHFuturist
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Take 2

Daggaz wrote:
Ive got to admit, I lost track when you switched from player-resources to dice-resources.

Sorry, I did not describe how any of that might work very well. Here is take two... I hope this makes more sense.

I do see a logical separation between three types of player resources, but only from a design mechanic sense as they are all just "player resources".

  • Player Resources (use and recharge with rest, sleep, first aid)
  • Dice Resources (one time use)
  • Player ability cards (limited use with a cool down)

Right now there are several mechanics that interact.

  • Deterministic action turn focus (Rondel here)
  • Random resource generation (Custom Dice)
  • Deterministic action selections (pay for each as you take them)
  • Leveled action cost/outcome based on player choices (Move X number of hexes | 1=X, 2=Y, 3=Z effects)
  • Random card draws with Deterministic resolutions (the card mechanic this started with)
  • Deterministic Card based "Actions/Ability pairs" (described in an earlier post in this thread)

Daggaz wrote:
...do you need 11 different resources?

No-ish... There is no "need" for that many. I might keep shorting the list and just have, more sides of the dice with the same icon to make that resource easier to roll. I just made up 6 new resources when adding dice to the idea... + six sides right? lol

In the end I might be simplifying it down to only 6-9 total

(food/water/energy are on the short list to be cut).

  • Time
  • Stamina
  • Water
  • Food
  • Health
  • Energy

On the dice:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Spirit

The Dice faces might be more like this:

  • 1 Body (works for Str, Dex, End)
  • 2 Body (copy)
  • 3 Mind (works for instinct, logic, tech)
  • 4 Spirit (willpower, focus, interaction with NPC sub-events)
  • 5 Blank (no re-roll or modification this turn)
  • 6 Wild (can re-roll for free or spend a stamina to set the face)

Even this is still up in the air. I want the dice resources to be something that fits the theme by giving the player some way of coping with challenges and paying for the card based abilities.


The part that is hard to explain is the relationship between each mechanic.

I see a turn playing like this:

  • Player selects one focus area for this “day” (game turn) on an action rondel
  • Player rolls 2-6 custom dice (amount based on other factors like stamina/wounds/status effects)
  • Player spends stamina and time to take as many actions as they can until stamina or time run out
  • Player Actions (Explore, Search, Use items, Repair ship systems, harvest/collect discovered resources, rest, activate ability cards, sleep)

The event cards would mostly be drawn during explore or search actions depending on the level of that action the player was choosing to compete.

  • Explore 1 - 1 stamina and 1 time to move one hex and draw/resolve one event card
  • Explore 2 – 3 stamina, 3 time, 1 water to move 2-4 hexes and draw/resolve two event cards

  • Explore 3,4,5... Search 1-5 (player picks what level of action to do based on if they have the resource cost)

During event resolution players pick the cost to complete the event, but can also activate abilities that might change the outcome or activate bonuses on the cards by using the dice resources.

It is all still just a work in progress and nothing is set in stone at this point. Might even work as a 2-6 player game with a traitor... if more than one crew member serviced the crash and one of the players made the ship crash to start with.......

The main "event card" mechanic needs more graphic design layout work to see how much I can really fit on one card and have it all still make sense to the players. (Icons / Text / Color Codes / Sub-Sections)

Thanks for taking an interest in the game mechanics and helping me to keep my brain moving in the right direction.

@BHFuturist

Adam Leamey
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Seems like you have some

Seems like you have some interesting concepts out of curiosity what demographic is the game aimed at. I always find an important factor to all games is how long it takes to teach I remember being taught a game at a convention and there was so many rules and options it felt very daunting and a bit boring considering the game took an hr to explain.

BHFuturist
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Great question!

Adam Leamey wrote:
Seems like you have some interesting concepts out of curiosity what demographic is the game aimed at. I always find an important factor to all games is how long it takes to teach I remember being taught a game at a convention and there was so many rules and options it felt very daunting and a bit boring considering the game took an hr to explain.

Great question! It pains me to say that normally I have a very clear target audience (as that is something I do think about a lot)... but until you asked I had not given that any thought for this game.

It may be a bad design habit but I tend to add a lot of things in the first few drafts of a game (overdesign), then take things that did not work well out and refine things that worked or were the most fun. So it may seem complicated now but I do keep things as simple as I can by the end.

Half of the trick of game design is to find ways of making complex things, intuitive and easy, for the players to understand. Keep in mind, much of this idea is literally 15 days old today... that is a very short time in hobbyist game design when working full time for the man ;)


I think you could say that I have been the target audience, in this case, until now... so maybe I would set it as:

"Gamers who choose to be that one member of their gaming group that reads game rules and then teach the rest how to play. Gamers that want to play games when it is not game night..."

This started as a solo adventure game that would only use one piece of paper, a pencil or pen, and some dice. But the idea is still evolving.

This is the game I played that set me down this path

I want to make a game engine that the player interacts with in a meaningful way and not just something where they operate the rules to see what happens... this means the game needs to take the place of a DM in the form of an abstracted AI based on player choices. sigh I have a long way to go, lol

I will need to give this more thought! Thanks for asking the question and setting my mind in motion.

@BHFuturist

Adam Leamey
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Joined: 02/23/2017
If you ever want to chat

If you ever want to chat about game ideas and stuff let me know i sometimes want people I can bounce ideaS of so if you need someone to bounce ideas of let me know.

BHFuturist
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Thanks

I will send you and Daggaz a PM later... I also like the idea of taking turns to talk about our game ideas. Maybe we can set up some type of round table in a voice chat room (like my discord)

@BHFuturist

Adam Leamey
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Sounds like a good idea

Sounds like a good idea though not to many people as the old saying goes to many chefs in the kitchen spoils the brought.

BHFuturist
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LOL, true... it is not likely

LOL, true... it is not likely we will all be on at the same time that much... but three is a good number for brainstorm and discussion.

These three seem to get along well...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x0Jz9YVoug

@BHFuturist

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