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Making a new game idea more interactive

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Joined: 08/20/2020

Hi guys,
I'm relatively new to any kind of game development. I have however a head full of ideas, that I want to create games with. One of which is the following:
The basic idea is a game based on fast yet meaningful actions. In normal turn order the players try to fulfill tasks but are penalised for taking more time.
The story behind it is a "steampunk"-y world where everything depends on water, yet it is very rare. This makes it the main currency of this land. You and your friends stumble upon a natural water spring and try to buy the rights to that land, to claim it for yourself. All you have at the beginning is a bucket to collect the water up to a certain point. You can go tot the nearest city to spend that water for upgrades, either to your bucket, to possible pumping methods or many more options. The goal here is to fulfill tasks to rise in the society up to a point where you can buy the land deed and therefore win the game.
The important part however is, that you have to hurry whilst making your shopping tours and speak to the different NPCs since your opponents get precious water over time.
I still have a lot to plan for that idea, especially because i have a lot of plans for all of the NPCs, with a lot of routes you can go to rise to the top in the society, e.g. making deals with the local thief and manipulate the big water storage (where players can bank their access water) to get rich fast and risky, or bribe the guard or seduce the kings daughter and so on.
The thing that worries me, however, is that the game might be very interaction-lacking. Since everyone does his city-visiting on his own and is not very likely to tell anyone his plans, since they might be reported to the local police beforehand, I fear that everyone will take their turns and it is no real together-experience but rather a singleplayer board game for multiple players.
I was thinking for a main activity for the ones waiting at the water spring while other players are off to the city, but I cant figure out a good thing to do.
Maybe you have a idea, how to make it more interactive and therefore more fun for everyone to play
Thanks a lot! :D

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Somethings to consider

Maybe you can have a Prospecting Phase followed by a Extraction Phase and finally a Trade Phase.

While Prospecting Phase and Extraction Phase are done individually (but not secretly), the Trade Phase is done the same for all players. Kind of either like an Auction or Draft. This could be done with all players vying for the same "components" (be it tiles or cards, etc.) and you need to compete against the other players in this Phase.

The Prospecting Phase could be about "setting your claims". This could be like "marking territory" on the map (or board or Hex tokens, etc.) But basically the idea is Players say: "I am going to these 'X' locations in the next round." This can be done in three (3) rounds.

The Extraction Phase would be like Production. Again you place Workers in certain areas that you are Prospecting for Water and you use various tools, techniques, inventions (if this is Steampunk-y), etc. And at the end of this simultaneous phase, Players COLLECT "Water" based on their Workers and their Prospects.

There could be an option for "intimidation" like Gangs or Mobs that rise against a Player in a certain Claim. So there could be a MILD combat option which would NOT be the essence of the game, only some form of combat-resolution for battling it out for the Next Prospecting Phase, etc. Or to slow an opponent and prevent them from extracting their maximum of Water this turn, etc.

Just some ideas off the top of my head! Cheers.

Joined: 02/11/2015
Do you have human/kangaroo hybrids?

If you've never seen the old B movie Tank Girl, then that question will sound really dumb. But it has a similar premise of a steampunk-ish world where clean water is a scarcity.

As to your player interaction problem, maybe you could treat your "societal favor" with each NPC as another type of currency. In essence then you could trade NPC favor for water or other NPC favor. It's like in Catan, you have essentially five resources (or currencies).

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