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Game Design Showdown Nov 2008 Challenge: "Peeps and Turf"

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Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

(This Challenge is has been completed.)

Game Design Showdown

November 2008 Challenge - "Peeps and Turf"

Theme: Social Networks (connections between people/beings/entities)

Genre: Territory Control

Additional Design Requirement:

  • "Little Wooden People" - The game should include pieces that represent people, animals, beings, entities, etc.

  • Start Date: Thursday, 6-November-2008
  • End Date: Thursday, 13-November-2008, Noon US Eastern time (approximately) ... please note that we're back to the traditional 1-week timeframe this month
  • Voting: 13-November-2008 through Thursday, 20-November-2008

This Challenge has been completed.

Constructive Critiques: Post constuctive critiques of the entries submitted to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread.

Comments or Questions on this Challenge: Comments, questions and requests for clarification were handled in the Comments Thread.

For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work -- including the word count and graphic image rules -- visit the GDS Content Page.

Enjoy! -Bryk

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #1 - Hoppit

Entry #1 - Hoppit

by B31 Pete

On a pond, there are a some numbered lily pads. Players have frogs that sit on the pads, but they would like to move around.

Roll a die, and use the score to decide if you can move - and where you can move to. (A frog van only leap to an adjacent pad.)

The number scored must relate to the number on the lily pad in some way, in order for the player to move to that pad. For example if the score is a six, the frog can move to a pad numbered six, or a pad with a number that is a multiple or a division of six, or six higher or lower than the number on the currently occupied pad. If it is not mathematically possible to move to another pad, the frog must remain where it is.

If a frog lands on a pad that is occupied by a frog from another team, that player will take possession of that frog and it will become a part of that players team.

The winner being the player to possess all of the frogs.

Now hop along and start playing.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #2 - Message in a Bottle

Entry #2 - Message in a Bottle

by Meldrum

So many people to meet, so little time…….


You begin the game with only two friends in the whole world. Your goal is to compete with the other players to see who can gain the most friends and influence as you move from ancient times, where letters were delivered by foot, to the modern day when a letter can be sent by email in a second.

Components: 1 RISK game board with pieces and cards

Number of players: 3-6


  1. Each player chooses a colour of game pieces to represent their friends during the game.
  2. Deal out 2 cards to each player.
  3. Players place a playing piece (a friend) on each place that they have a matching card for.
  4. The cards are then collected and reshuffled for later use.
  5. Each player takes 10 friends out of their container to begin the game and keeps them in a pile off of the board. This pile is called their “Potential Friend Pool”
  6. Choose a player to go first.


The game is divided into 4 time periods (Eras), which each last 3 rounds. The time periods are as follows: Mailman Era, Boat Era, Airplane Era and Internet Era. The results of actions you take in the game change depending on the Era you are in.

  • Mailman Era – letters must be delivered by foot so players can only make friends on lands that are adjacent to where they already have a friend and they cannot cross water.
  • Boat Era – letters can be delivered by foot or by boat so now friends can be made across oceans but only using the dashed lines on the RISK board.
  • Airplane Era – letters can be delivered by foot, boat or by air (air travel only allows you to travel within 3 regions freely: (1) North and South America, (2) Europe and Africa together and (3) Asia and Australia together. Ex. in the Airplane era you cannot travel from Alberta to South Africa).
  • Internet Era – letters can be sent via the Internet, so you can make friends anywhere on the board!

On your turn you must first do 2 mandatory actions:

  1. Write a letter – this adds friends to your Potential Friend Pool. In the Mailman Era add 2, Boat Era = 4, Airplane Era = 6, Internet Era = 8
  2. Make friends – place friends on any one land that you are able to reach (depends on the era). You can only place 1 friend in the Mailman Era, Boat Era = 2, Airplane Era = 3, Internet Era = 4. When you make friends any other players on the board can also make friends (using friends from their Potential Friend Pool) at the same land so long as that player is legally able to reach that place.

After your mandatory actions then take 2 additional actions from the following list:

  • Write a letter – same as above
  • Make friends – same as above
  • Put a message in a bottle – the player draws a card from the pile of location cards.
  • Have someone find your message in a bottle – the player reveals their card and then can place as many friends from their Potential Friend Pool as they want in that land. No other players may respond to this action by adding friends. The card is then discarded until the beginning of the next Era, when it will be reshuffled into the deck.

After you have performed your 2 mandatory actions and your 2 additional actions the next player in a clockwise direction begins their turn.

After each round of play the player that goes first in the next round is rotated one player to the left.

After each Era return used cards to the deck and reshuffle.


Scoring is done at the end of each Era (4 times). The scoring is as follows:

  • Score 1 point for each land that you have more friends on than any other individual player. It is said that you “control this land”
  • Score 1 additional point for each friend of another players that is in a land you control.
  • If there is a tie between two or more players in the number of friends on a land, no points are scored.

Ex. Joe has 4 friends in Ukraine, Sam has 3 friends in Ukraine, and Emily has 1 friend in Ukraine. Joe scores 1 point for controlling the land and 4 points for the 3 friends of Joe and the 1 friend of Emily.


The player with the most points after the scoring of the Internet Era is the winner.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #3 - Highschool Cafeteria

Entry #3 - Highschool Cafeteria

by Torrent


As we all kow the most important thing in High School is popularity. Attempt to influence the school to become the most popular.


The board is made up of Table Tiles, each has a different number of seats and different requirements, a clique they belong to and a resource that the table can provide.

4 Main Cliques. Athletics, Sciences, Fashion, Extracuricculars. The 'lunch line' is a group of cards to choose from.

Influence Cards have an action, and a resource.
EX.ACTIONS:(Opposites attract, add seat marker to a neighbouring table of a different clique) (Changing tastes, switch two seat markers)

Since some tables will have very high requirements, it may be in you interest to take over the fringe tables first.


Layout Tables in square, turn over 3 cards + (#players) into the lunch line. Each player gets 2 cards and a Start

Personality, which provides a few static resources to start.


Each Turn.

  1. Flip over the top influence card and add to the 'lunch line'. 2. A. Draw Resource cards. You may draw two cards, either from the face up lunchline or from the facedown crowd. No refilling of Lunchline except at top of each player's turn. OR B. Place seat marker based on below rules. OR C. Play card for its action.


To place a marker on a seat, you need to meet the table's requirements, either through majorities on other tables, or by playing cards. Cannot use a table-resource to place to the its own table.

By having(or sharing) majority of a table's seats you can use the resource of that table when placing new seats elsewhere on the board. If you do not have(or share) the majority, you can discard one of you markers or two cards there to use that tables resource.


When X many tables are filled. Count the unfilled seats. These become LONERS.


System seems to encourage specializing, so want scoring to reward diversification. Each table has a clique, you can only count points for one table in each clique. Mixed tables can count in one or both cliques.

Each Table gives a certain number of points per seat, higher requirement tables will give more points. So your single Promqueen Table influence may be worth more than an entire table of 'Heathers'

LONERS count 1 point each to the person with the lowest score after totalling all the other tables.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #4 - Career

Entry #4 - Career

by RobertC


Number of players: 3-5

The players try to lead the most company departments by making good social connections (ordering rounds in pub), good boss relation (parking near his car) and good job (preparing the best reports).


  • boards - the pub, the parking lot with a gate, the company with department areas,
  • wooden people - meeples in player colors,
  • wooden cars - one per player in his color,
  • cards - Report Request cards (depicting the icon of business activity in one of several department colors),
  • markers - Business Markers (each marker depicts one icon of some business activity in one department color), Approach Marker (depicting the boss' car),
  • money notes - notes of $100,


The three boards (the pub, the parking lot and the company) are put in the center. All the Business Markers are sorted and put next to the boards. Each player receives markers (meeples) in his color, his car and 10 notes of $100.

The queue of players' cars is randomly created at the parking lot. Anyone can change the order of the cars in queue by paying $100 per one position switch. After the order is finally decided the players select and take any five Business Markers.


Following the inverse cars order (the last car owner plays first) the player decide to go to the pub for an evening or to the parking gate for being first the next day. Cars are put one after another at the appropriate places.

The Pub - Players at the pub bid simultaneously (using the $100 notes) to order a round. If all players bid the same amount the cash is lost. Otherwise the highest bids can buy drinks and in return that players can select one of available Business Markers (in order of cars queue at the pub).

At the moment of bidding anyone can decide to call it a day and to move his car to the parking gate.

The parking lot - When all players arrive at the parking gate they can make additional negotiation. Anyone can change the order of the cars in queue by paying $100 per one position switch.

After the order is finally decided the cars enter the parking lot. The owner of the car that is able to park nearest to the boss receives 2 Approach Markers, the second and the third receive one Approach Marker.

The company - The conference takes place and the boss needs reports. One Report Request card is displayed.

Any player can use his Approach Marker to change the displayed card.

After the Report Request card is finally displayed all players can bid for the best report.

At the Report Request card there is an icon of business activity in one of the department color depicted. Players can bid any number of Business Markers of the same department color or of the same business activity. Each matching color or icon counts as one Report Point. The players bidding the most Report Points are rewarded with making the big time. They can use as many of their meeples as is the difference between the highest bid and the second one. The meeples are placed around the company - players put them on the board in chosen company departments. There can be more than one players' meeple in any department.

The players who didn't make good enough report to the boss are motivated for the future. The worst report receives $300, then $200 and $100.

The workday comes to the end and the next round begins.

Game End

There are several company departments on the company board. The game ends when one of players leads in more than a half of departments. To lead a department the player's meeples need to outnumber others in the appropriate department on the board.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #5 - Garden invaders

Entry #5 - Garden invaders

by delme

Each player controls 3 types of animals (moles, ants and slugs) that are terrorizing a garden. This garden is divided into several areas. The animal type that is dominantly present in an area takes control of it and earns victory points. But beware of the gardener and the bird.


Game board: A modular game board that is set up at random every game. Each part of the gameboard consists of 3 area's separated by a thick balck line. Each area is divided into 9 squares. A square can have different colors. Light green represents grass, dark green represents a tree and blue represents a Mstrong>pool.

32 mole counters: 4 sets of 8 counters showing a mole (Each set has a different color).
32 slug counters: 4 sets of 8 counters showing a slug.
32 ant counters: 4 sets of 8 counters showing an ant.
1 wooden gardener
1 wooden bird

1 startingplayer marker


Create the game board depending on the number of players. For 2 players use 3 pieces, for 3 players use 4 pieces and for 4 players use 5 pieces. Put all the pieces under each other. Put the gardener and the bird on the area in the middle of the game board. When playing with 3 players there are 2 areas in the middle. Put the gardener on one of these areas and the bird on the other.

Example: game setup (3 players).

Every player receives 24 counters in his color. Each player has a total of 8 counters of every animal type (mole, slug, ant). All the counters are turned face down. From this stack of turned down counters every player draws 2 counters and puts them face up in front of him.

The players choose a starting player.

Game play

1) Players move

Every round starts with the starting player. When he placed his counters on the game board the player to his left is the new active player. The round continues until all players have placed their counters.

The active player draws 2 counters and turns them face up. He now has 4 counters to choose from. He must put 2 counters on the game board following the placing rules.

Placing rules:
You can only place a counter on grass
You can't put a counter in an area where the gardener is present.
You can't put a slug in an area where the bird is present.

You can only place a counter on an empty field. Exception: When you place a mole you can eat an ant. Remove the ant from the game (put it back in the box) and put the mole on the square where you removed the ant.

2) Gardener moves

When all players have placed their counters the gardener is activated. He looks to the adjacent areas (orthogonally, not diagonally) and moves to the area that has the least empty grass squares. When there are 2 or more adjacent areas that have the least empty grass squares the starting player chooses one of them. In the area that the gardener enters all the animals are counted. The animal type that is most dominant is eliminated. When there is a tie several animal types are eliminated. Remove the counters from the game.

3) Bird moves

The bird looks to the adjacent areas (orthogonally and diagonally!!!) and moves to the area that has the most slugs. When there are no slugs in adjacent areas or when there is a tie, the starting player makes the decision. In the area the bird enters all the slugs are removed. Remove the counters from the game.

4) New starting player

The starting player marker is passed to the left.

Game end

The round where the players turn over their last face down counters is the last round of the game. After this round the points are counted.

Every area on the game board has a point value. Every tree (dark green) in the area is worth 1 point and every pool (blue) is worth 2 point. All the animals in the area are counted. The animal type that is most dominant (most counters of this type) receives the points for this area. When there is a tie, the moles win from the slugs and ants, and the slugs win from the ants (moles > slugs > ants). The player who owns the most animals of the winning type in this area takes all the points. When there is a tie both players receive half the points (rounded down).

Each player receives also one point for every slug in his color that is present on the game board at game end and two points for every ant in his color that is present on the game board at game end.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Entry #6 - K Street

Entry #6 - K Street

by comfect

A game of lobbying in bureaucratic Washington DC.

Players: 2-4

Equipment: 2 decks of cards (A-K) and one joker, 3 lobbyist meeples/player

Goal: To have one of your lobbyists be the first to contact the President.


Players are dealt 5 cards - these represent people at different levels of the institutional hierarchy in federal offices, from the lowly administrative assistants (A) to the the cabinet-level officers (K). Each turn, a player plays a card, if possible (see legal plays), has one of their lobbyists call a new contact (see calling contacts), then draws a new card. If at the end of a turn, one of that player's lobbyists has called the president, that player wins.

Legal Plays

Each suit represents the hierarchy of a single government agency from Ace (administrative assistant) up the pay grades to King (cabinet-level). 4 Aces, one in each of the four suits, begin in play, in the order (from left to right) Hearts, Spades, Diamonds, Clubs. Each turn, a player may play any card, although some cards may not be accessible to lobbyists (ie, a player might play the Jack of Spades, even if neither the 10 of Spades nor another Jack was in play). A play may start a new hierarchy of any suit, either at the Ace level or by branching off of the Clubs or Hearts (or any new hierarchy already formed to the left or right of them) at a higher level. In this case, the new hierarchy must be contiguous to a card already played in another hierarchy (although a path need not be traced down to the Ace level). The hierarchies formed by these cards are the board on which the lobbyist pieces move.

Calling Contacts

Each player begins with 3 lobbyists off the board. On their turn, a player may move any one of their lobbyists to another card. However, because each lobbyist is dependent on their current contact for further references, a lobbyist can only call (and move onto the card of) a person with whom their current contact has a relationship. They can move upwards one space in the hierarchy (from 8 to 9, for example) or get referred horizontally to an equal contact in an adjoining hierarchy to the left or right (from the 8 of Diamonds to the 8 of Spades, for example). They may only move to a card that has already been played. Subsequent plays may open up a path to a previously played card, but until they do that card is inaccessible (because there is no one to refer your lobbyist to that person). Each contact is also exclusive - they are only willing to help one lobbying firm at a time. So if there is already a lobbyist on a card, your lobbyist may not move there, even it would be an otherwise legal play. Once the lobbyist in question has moved, however, that contact is willing to help another lobbyist and can be used.

The President

One joker is used to represent the President. He does not have to be played from a player's hand, and unlike all other cards, he connects to every King, not just those directly to his left or right. The first player to move a lobbyist onto the President's card has won the game!

Special abilities

Each color of suit has a special ability, regardless of whether it is the original hierarchy of that suit or a new hierarchy branched off to the left or right. When your lobbyist is referred from a red contact(Hearts or Diamonds) to another hierarchy that lobbyist can be fast tracked up the other hierarchy vertically (from the 8 of hearts to the 8 of spades and on to the 9 of spades, for example); when your lobbyist is referred from a black contact (Spades or Clubs) to another hierarchy, that lobbyist can be fast tracked across to another agency (from the 8 of clubs to the 8 of diamonds and on to the 8 of spades, for example). These abilities stack (a move from clubs to diamonds to spades would permit a further vertical move within spades, for example, because of the move from diamonds to spades). Note that these abilities do not trigger if simply moving up within a hierarchy .

Hierarchy Control

Only the player with the most lobbyists in contact with a specific hierarchy may move vertically within that hierarchy (moving from 0 to the Ace is not included in this category; however, contacting the President is included). However, other players may move horizontally into the hierarchy in order to break up the plurality control. If two players have an equal number of lobbyists in a hierarchy, neither may move vertically within that chain.

Brykovian's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
Voting Results

After a very close vote ... Congratulations to Torrent, as his entry "Highschool Cafeteria" was voted as the best response to this month's Challenge.

See the voting results in the Voting Poll.

Don't forget to post your critiques in the Critiques Thread.

The next Challenge will be posted the first week of December.



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