Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.
Can you redesign a classic?
After re-opening voting, the new votes were not much more decisive! We had a 4-way tie after Wednesday, and sadly I forgot to bring my tabulation of votes with me to Colorado (where I am now) - so I don't actually know which 2, 3, or 4 are still tied!
Sorry about the inconvenience, I'll open the critique thread so we can talk about the games anyway. For now you can assume you're all winners :)
Theme Restriction: Eurogame version of Monopoly
Monopoly is not very well respected nowadays among the 'elite' gamers. But without it, many gamers wouldn't be playing games today! A lot of advances have been made in board game technology since 1924, so maybe we can update this perennial "favorite" and make a proper euro-style version of the classic game Monopoly. Well, that's the challenge anyway: design a euro-style game that resembles Monopoly.
Mechanics Restriction: Euro-style mechanics
Monopoly employs 4 major mechanisms: Roll & Move, Set Collection, Auctions, and Trading. In an effort to breath life into this old classic, this month's challenge requires you to replace 1 or more of these mechanisms with common/popular Eurogame mechanisms from this list, while maintaining the theme and feel of Monopoly:
Component Restriction: Monopoly bits
Monopoly has a board, dice, property cards/tiles, Chance and Community Chest cards, player pawns, and paper money. you may use the same components, but you can change up the sizes, shapes, number, and purpose of each.
Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.
Enjoy, and good luck!
Each player receives
50 properties tiles ( houses, malls, hotels and office buildings) showing:
Each player takes a bag with 50 property tiles, one resource board with 5 markers, 1 pawn, 6 neighborhood tiles and 10 street tiles
Players create the map by linking the 6 neighborhood tiles via streets.
There are limitations:
Place the pawn in a neighborhood
Place markers on the resource board (at 0)
Every turn has three rounds
Roll dice and move along the traffic arrows. Every time players land in a neighborhood they receive:
Following a dice roll, all players move and collect resources.
Players take turns to take one property from the bag. If they have the resources required (see Placing properties) they have two options
If and only if a property drawn cannot be placed on the board due to lack of resources there are two options
Players that have properties in the Pipeline, count them, return them to the bag and draw am equal number of tiles. Players can (but don’t have to) place all properties they have resources for on the board. Properties not placed on the board stay in the Pipeline face down and will be use in the following turns.
Following resources are required to place properties on the board:
When player lands next to a street he is forced to move from that neighborhood to the adjacent one in the next turn. A player can also move to a different neighborhood at any time via a street.
Gaining/using recognition points
Every time a player lands on a square with a property he receives 3 recognition points. 3 recognition points can be exchanged at any time for any other resource.
End of game
Game ends when one player finishes all tiles from the bag (they are all on the board or on the market). Players must finish that round.
Sum up the points of properties on the board. Add 1 point for any property on the market. For each neighborhood fully occupied one extra point per property is awarded (e.g. Suburbia can score 12 extra points). Player with most points wins
Use 6 dice (1 D4 - white, 1D6 - orange, 1D8 -, 2D10, 1D12) with color and number of faces matching each neighborhood. Roll all dices. Players look at the dice representing the neighborhood they are in and move to the square with the number shown by dice. Changing neighborhoods happens in two ways:
Majority will have 30 houses and 15 hotels of each color (a different color for every player). There will be no property cards. All other components will stay the same.
Each player chooses a token, takes their set of colored houses, and their initial allotment of money. Randomly decide who goes first.
Have the highest total worth.
Each turn, a player rolls two dice, and moves their piece that many spaces. The general rules of Monopoly apply (rolling double, free parking, chance, etc), unless you land on a property.
Properties in Majority are considered to be plots of land waiting to be developed, rather than single buildings waiting to be bought. Each property has a rent value, and a cost of building a house. If you land on that property, and have more buildings (houses and hotels) on that property than any other player, nothing happens. If another player has the highest number of buildings, you must pay them the rent value. If that player also has the most buildings on one or two other properties of that color, you must pay x2 or x3 rent. If there is a tie, then you pay the rent value to the middle of the board (where it can be picked up by free parking).
After you have paid any rent, you may choose to build as many buildings as you want on that property. Place those buildings on the board. The cost of each house is indicated on the property. Building a hotel costs double that amount (hotels do not do anything special, they act as a negative-feedback for players with lots of property). You may only build on the space that you landed on.
A player cannot own more than 30 houses, or 15 hotels (a limit set by anti-trust laws). If a player wishes to build or acquire a new house/hotel, she must sell one of her buildings (this acts as another negative-feedback).
At (almost) any time, a player may choose to sell their property to the bank. They receive half of what it cost to build, takes their piece off of the board.
A player may sell or trade a building to another player. There is no set price for a trade, and it is whatever player can negotiate. The selling player removes their building from the board, and the buying player places an identical building on the board (i.e. if player 1 removes a house, player 2 cannot put a hotel there).
If, as the result of a purchase/trade, a player owns more than 30 houses or 15 hotels, she must immediately sell enough buildings to come within the legal limit.
A player may sell or trade buildings to raise money, either on their turn, or during other players’ turns. However, once a player has rolled their movement dice for the turn, they cannot trade houses until they have moved (i.e. you cannot say, “Shoot! I rolled a 7. That will put me on Park Place, and Top Hat has 3 houses there. Hey Howitzer, could I buy your 2 houses on Park Place, so that I have 4?”).
Railroad and utilities work similarly, except that there may only be 1 building there (once they own it, they cannot lose it without trading/selling it). The rent value will scale with the number of other utilities that you own.
Chance and Community Chest cards will work essentially the same way as they do in Monopoly. Some will be changed in a way to either boost players who own few properties, hurt players who own many, or cause players to lose control of utilities. Any changes will try to keep in the spirit of the original Chance cards.
Majority has two game types, which determine the end-game conditions: the classic version, and the new and improved version.
There are two end-game conditions. First, if any player goes bankrupt (i.e. owes more money in rent than they can pay), then the game ends. Alternatively, the game ends once each player has taken 87 turns (to celebrate the first commercial printing of Monopoly 87 years ago).
Each player calculates the total value of their property. Each house or hotel is worth its building cost. This number is doubled if they have the most buildings on that property, and tripled if they have the most on every property of that color. Each player adds this to the money that they have, and whomever has highest total worth wins.
The game lasts forever, or until your little brother gets so upset that he throws the board across the room.
Score points by amassing matching properties, hoarding cash, and driving your opponents broke.
Each player chooses a color and takes his or her ownership markers, turn choice token, and starting cash of $10. Lay out the action and game boards. Place the Move Marker on the Go space in the middle track. Players roll to see who starts the first Choice Phase. Shuffle the Chance cards, give one to each player, and place the rest in a pile. Turn one face up.
A round of play consists of three phases.
Starting with the player with First Pick and proceeding clockwise, all players place their choice tokens on an action or choose no action. Actions are as follows:
During this phase, each player takes a turn as the active player. The player who has selected “Control Moves” (the controlling player) takes the first turn as the active player, and the role of active player proceeds clockwise. A turn is as follows:
Results: If the player lands on an unowned property, that property is put up for auction. The active player (not the controlling player) gets the first bid. Bids must be in multiples of the property’s value. E.g., if the property value is 3, then legal bids are 3, 6, 9, etc. Bidding goes around the table clockwise until complete; at that point, the high bidder places an ownership marker on the property space. Railroad bids are in increments of 4. If the player lands on an owned property, the active player must pay rent to the owner as shown in the diagram. Railroad rents go 2-4-8-16 depending on the number owned. If a player cannot pay the rent, the property owner gets a debt token instead of payment.
On Chance spaces, everybody draws a chance card. If sent to Jail, everybody must reduce their cash to $5 or less before leaving on the next move. When passing or landing on Go, all players collect $10.
Build/Trade: After moving, the player may build one building or acquire one property from another player. The player must offer either properties with a total value of two more than the desired property or a property of equal value plus $20. Railroads are considered to have value 4 for trades.
If a player chose Extra Auction, after all moves, she rolls and chooses any unowned property whose value matches the die roll. If none match, she may choose any unowned property. She may make the first bid in an auction which proceeds as described above.
Chance cards offer the player a chance to make strategic moves, such as changing the die roll, shifting the track of movement, or creating some other effect. Chance cards can be played at any time unless specified.
Scoring occurs as indicated in the diagram. The first player to reach the goal wins: For two players: 12 points; three players, 10; four players, 8.
Features: Stronger Area Majority mechanic. Removed Roll and Move mechanic to be replaced with a strategic move mechanic. Minor deck building mechanic. Ability to interfere with other player’s game. More Euro-friendly game end state.
Rather than roll dice, on each turn - a player chooses a card from his or her hand and places it in their discard pile. They move the number of spaces listed on the card, then resolve what space of the board they are on, and then do whatever it says on the card. If it was the last card in your hand, pick up your discard pile and put it in your hand.
If you own two properties in a color group, but not the third, on your turn you may attempt a takeover of the third property. To do so, you must acquire a 50% or greater vote of players to approve the transaction, then pay 3 times the cost of the property to the owner (or the bank, if none). If the property is improved, you must also pay the owner 50% of the cost of the houses (they stay).
The game ends as soon as one player goes bankrupt. The remaining players then liquidate all assets to determine who had the highest value. That player is the winner.
A strategic upgrade of Monopoly.
Influence cards, each card with 2 colours. Influence cards giving the players +1 die. 50 cards total.
The properties are found in 6 different colours. Each colour has 12 shares:
5x “number 1” shares: may be bought on two different fields on the board, base price is 10000.
4x “number2” shares: same as above, base price is 20000.
3x “number 3” shares: only available from one field on the board, base price is 30000.
Split 1 million cash amongst the players. Lay open a number of influence cards equal to the number of players. The players take turns clockwise around the table.
The starting player selects an action, and places one of his tokens there. When the action is fulfilled the next player selects an action (and places a token). Used actions (the ones with a token) cannot be chosen again before the action table is cleared. The action table is cleared after 7 actions have been selected and fulfilled. Now all actions are available again.
Before ending the turn a player may build a house on one of his properties (max one house per share). To do this he must discard 2 influence cards with the actual colour on them. The price to build a house is 10000.
Influence cards with +1 die are kept in front of you (not in hand) until discarded. You must roll all dice you have available, then choose 1 die or the total of 2 dice to be your move.
If no one owns any shares of that type of property (colour and number) you may buy one of the shares for the base price.
1: If at least one of the shares is owned by any other player you must pay the rent to the owner(s), but you pay no rent if you own at least one share of that property yourself. The rent is half the base price for each share. A house built on a property doubles the rent of one share (to equal the base price for the share).
Example: You stop on one of the two red “number 1” property fields. Player A owns 2 shares and has one house on the property, you must pay player A 5000 + 5000x2 = 15000. Player B owns 1 share and has no house there, you must pay player B 5000.
2: After paying the rent you may buy a share of that type of property (if available) for the current market price. To do this you must discard an influence card with the actual colour on it. Market price = base price + (2000 x number of shares already sold)
Example: Player A owned 2 shares (red “number 1”) and player B 1 share. You may buy one of the two remaining shares for the current market price: 10000 + (2000 x 3) = 16000.
If you already own at least one share of that type of property you may buy another one (if available) for the current market price, OR you may build a house on that property (without discarding influence cards).
Start field: Where the players start. Players go to jail if they stop here.
Income-field: Gain 5000 cash.
“?” field: Draw one card from the top of the influence-pile.
Train field: Pay 2000 and travel to the next station.
Airport field: If the airport is unclaimed, buy it for 10000. If the airport is claimed: pay the owner 5000. You may then move your token to any property field between this and the next airport.
Jail field: Move here when put in jail. Players also go to jail if they stop here.
Auction field: Take an unclaimed share (of any type) and put it up for auction amongst all players.
You gain 1 risk point each time:
When put in jail you must pay 10% of your current cash to the bank and you lose all extra dice. Risk points are reset. You must skip the next action in the game.
Instead of building a third house on a property you may raise a hotel. The hotel doubles the value of 3 shares. If buying a share with a hostile takeover you also must pay the player 10000 for the house (if present). Replace his house with your own. Shares with hotels may not be bought through hostile takeover. To win the game you must build 3 hotels in one colour OR 6 hotels on any colours. The game also ends if a player is bankrupt (count cash and base price for each share to determine the winner).
This is just an overview. I don’t pretend to be able to come up, layout, proofread and playtest a design in just a week. The images below are meant to give you a feeling of how the game works. Feel free to fill the blanks in your mind as you see fit. I will point out nonetheless the mechanics / formats I tried to alter in order to give the game a (kind of) euro profile:
Modular Board: Building a variable scenario using tiles is a common feature in many eurogames, but I think the restriction was removed from the list for being too obvious. I added it nonetheless because I think it would be a must in any euro remake of the game.
Language Dependence: Another common feature of traditional eurogames are the language-independent components. So I replaced names with icons. Since this won’t franchise as well as Monopoly did, nobody will miss the names.
Area Majority: One of the mechanics required to be added was area majority, but it is really a “majority” criteria, and it is derived from the climbing/auction mechanic used in many card games and only circumscribed to an “area” definition when applied to game boards. Well, the mechanic added allows the player to charge larger landing fees the more Business of the same type he has (set collection) and even automatically eliminate the landing player if he controls all businesses of the same type (area control). Not quite the same, but hope it works for you. A rule where “the player owning most of tiles in a side of the board gets to buy the property of a bankrupt player there first” would have cover the requirement more clearly, but it wouldn’t be relevant in practice. So meeeh…
Roll and Move: This I like especially. During the first part of the game, Monopoly forces players to roll over unoccupied and unwanted spaces to finally reach the start and gain more money. I shorten and spiced up this dynamic with two variants. First, money is given at shorter intervals (8 times per leap) and; second, a push- your-luck mechanic by which the player can choose to make long leaps, thus gaining more money, but risking running out of movement points and crash landing in an opponent’s business. These variants yield more money to the players at the start of the game, thus speeding up the initial build-up part, and then as the board gets filled-up, movement slows down as players have to be more cautious.
Multiple Winning Conditions: Many people wrongly believe Monopoly is won by the player with the most money, but sometimes (if luck dictates) that’s not the case. So now I added the chance to make those rational people (eurogamers) happy. If a large portion of the board is in your hands, or you have two of the five global monopolies (approximately 40% of the board) you win. No need to keep rolling dice.
Trashy Components: This is a eurogame! We need no trashy components! (unless Days of Wonder picks this up) So, no little houses and hotels. The set collection effect covers the cost increase of penalties. As for silly random event cards, Diplomacy didn’t need them, Catan didn’t need them, neither we do. You fancy x-deck animeeple fans of eurotrash go play Agricola instead. ;)
Final Notes: The game as it is can reach a stalemate, so the corner spots (missing from this beta prototype) are meant to contain auctioning spaces to contest an opponent’s ownership of a certain type of business. Imagine titles as “Health Regulations” (Raw Materials), “Pollution Controls” (Industry), “Insurance Fraud” (logistics), and “Credibility Hit” (Media). But that requires more detail than this plain overview.
Hope you enjoyed the reading!
3-6 players 1-2 Hours
Players are land developers trying to build properties in the city of Monopolis. They compete to be the wealthiest developer by ordering workers from 2 different worker camps to buy, build, tax and rent properties as the Assessor makes his way around the territory.
A standard monopoly set (the following diagram is to be drawn or pasted on the board):
Each player selects one token to be their worker. One token is selected to represent the Assessor and is placed on the board on the Go space. Another is selected as the first player token. Select a first player at random and give that player the first player token. The dice represent the work camps that will be roaming around the boarf. One die is placed with 1 face up while the other is placed with the 2 face up. Camp 1 is placed on the Jail space and camp 2 is placed on the Go To Jail space. Shuffle and randomly deal a single property to each player. Each player is given an amount of money equal to $500 minus the purchase value of their property.
During each turn players will perform the following steps:
Each player collects $40 from the bank plus:
After collecting income, players may pay off mortgages.
Starting with the first builder and moving clockwise each player will place their worker token on a worker space and perform the action described. These actions are as follows:
Move the Assessor one square and perform an action based on the square in question:
Auctions always start with the first player. Players have the option of bidding or passing. Any amount may be bid, but must exceed all previous bids. Once a player passes they are out of the auction. The last player with a bid on the table pays the amount of their bid to the bank and receives the property.
A player may, at any time, sell back hotels and houses and/or mortgage properties to gain money. Hotels and houses are sold at half of their purchased value and hotels are replaced by 4 houses when sold. Properties cannot be mortgaged with houses or hotels on them.
If a player can not or does not wish to pay a required amount of money, they may declare bankruptcy. All of their money and properties are returned to the bank and the player is eliminated from the game.
The game ends when either the Assessor reaches the Go space or only one player is left in the game. The person with the most money at the end of the game is declared the winner.
When contracting for the government, it is always the lowest bidder who gets the job regardless of whether he can actually finish it. In Public Works, you are all government contractors in a race to the bottom. Whoever bids the lowest amount gets the building contract, the money to build it upfront and a whole host of pressures to complete the project before all the profit is gone. Time the resource market right, and you may be able to finish your projects under budget and turn a profit. But, ultimately, it is the contractor who can develop the most remarkable collection of public works who will earn the people's esteem in the end.
Public Works is a simultaneous secret action selection and reverse auction game. Each round, during the government auction phase, you bid on the right to build public works projects. The player with the lowest bid gets the government contract along with the money from the government for the project. Then, during the market phase, you select in secret the resources you want to acquire for the round from the cards you have available in your hand. Once everyone has made their selection, you reveal the resources (or speculation) cards you selected and you can then pay the market to add those resources to any of the projects you have to help develop them. The market value of each resource each round depends upon the demand for resources of that type (and speculation cards that were played. Once a project is completed, you add it to your victory pile and it counts towards your public esteem. You also don't need to pay for the upkeep for completed projects. Otherwise, you have to pay the upkeep cost for each incomplete project you are working on and a new round begins by giving people a new set of resource cards and refreshing the government auction.
Have the most public esteem when the government projects dry up.
Starting with the project card with the highest Maximum Bid and the player with the highest current value worth of project cards in his portfolio, take turns in clockwise order bidding on the right to build each public works project. When it is your turn to bid, you may either pass (in which case you can no longer bid on that project), or you must beat the maximum bid with a lower bid (in increments of $1m). Once everyone has passed, the lowest bidder places the project card in his portfolio and collects an amount of money from the bank equal to his bid. Once each project card has been claimed (or everyone has passed on bidding on it), go to the resource market phase. You may not develop more than 10 projects at once.
Choose one card from your hand for each project you are currently developing and place it face-down in front of you. Once everyone has chosen, reveal all the cards and determine the market value of each resource type. The value of a resource is equal to $1m per matching resource or speculation card that has been played. So, if there are two permit resources and one permit speculation card, the value of permits for the round is $3m.
For each resource card you played this round, you may pay its value in cash to the bank and add a corresponding resource token to one of your projects. For each speculation card you played this round, you may collect an amount of money equal to the value of the corresponding resource. If you play enough resource tokens on top of one or more of projects to complete them, place each completed project in your victory pile. A project is complete if the number and type of resources on top of it match the resource requirements on the card. Once each player has developed his properties, go to the cost overruns phase.
For each uncompleted project in your portfolio, pay its overrun cost to the bank. Then replace each claimed public works project cards in the Government Auction with a new card. Then collect all the resource cards, shuffle them and deal another ten cards to each player and start a new round.
Keeping playing round until no one bids on a public works project or there are no public works project cards left to bid on. At the end of that round, the game is over. Count up the esteem value of all your completed projects and subtract from the total the esteem value of each of your incomplete projects. The player with the highest esteem wins.
If you run out of money to pay for overrun costs, you go bankrupt and are out of the game.
|Resource Requirements||2||6||5c2 resource types|