Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
I have tallied the votes, and here are the results:
1st place with 9 votes: The Hunt, by ravenlockk
2nd place with 8 votes: Pros and Cons, by Starflier
Tied for 3rd place with 7 votes: Paperthin trust, by federicolatini
Tied for 3rd place with 7 votes: The Game, by Orangebeard
Tied for 3rd place with 7 votes: "Con-Quest"-Codebreakers, by Infunite Games
Beggers, by regzr: 6 votes
Conventional Mage, by Matthew Rodgers: 6 votes
Board Games - the Game, by asakurasol: 6 votes
Pros and Cons, by kbp: 5 votes
Con Ahoy! by ReluctantPirateGames: 3 votes
Primal ConQuest! by rvkrause: 2 votes
The Critiques thread is now open for business. Thanks to everyone who participated this month. All entrants did vote, so no Pyrite medals were awarded. It may be interesting to note that this month, the ONLY votes came from entrants!
I'll be looking closely at these for use at RinCon, so you may be receiving a message in your inbox about that!
This month's GDS will be a little different than most. Read carefully!
Many gamers attended a convention this or last weekend KublaCon, Gamex, Phoenix ComiCon on the west coast for example, and of course Origins. As these conventions are all about gaming, it stands to reason that some of them have a sort of meta-game... a con-wide game that attendees can play while they're at the con playing other games.
Epic player count: Conventions have a lot of attendees, but they don't all participate in a meta-game. This month's showdown challenges you to create a con-game that will support up to 500 players. Therefore entries must accommodate up to 500 players, but must account for the fact that they may not all be playing. The game must still work with any sub-set of the total number of players.
3 Sources of Interaction: Sometimes this type of meta-game can be used to encourage con attendees to interact with each other, and with various parts of the convention: as an icebreaker to get attendees to meet each other, a way to guide attendees to different con spaces, a way to drive traffic to vendor tables, etc. This month's entries must include 3 sources of interaction:
1. Other attendees
2. Rooms or areas of the convention
Expanded Word Limit: Because it might take more than 400 words to describe such an ambitious game, the word limit this month is extended to 600 words.
Ulterior Motive: I think this months challenge is interesting and different, but I have an ulterior motive as well. I'm heading up a group that is putting on a convention later this year called RinCon, and lately I've had some ideas for a con game myself. In addition to the fun of the contest, if any of the entries seem like they'd work for RinCon, I may invite that entrant to write (or help me write) a game for that!
Slight change to voting: My new method of bookkeeping has made it easy enough to track who has voted and for whom, so there will be a change to the voting system. Rather than dividing 6 votes any way you like, you must award Gold (3 votes), Silver (2 votes), and Bronze (1 vote) Medals. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Meal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!
When submitting your entry: Please PM submissions to sedjtroll with the following subject line. PLEASE use the correct subject - it makes my job much easier!
Subject: GDS - June - [your username]
Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge were handled on the Comments Thread.
Enjoy, and good luck!
Massive Multiplayer Real-Time Trading Game (MM-RT-TG) Name of Game: "Pros in Cons" :D
1) Almost all entrants are game enthusiasts, so a solution which calls them for a “game” would be a better way to go!
2) The solution should not push the con-participant to play the game. It should be more of a choice from participant.
3) Should satisfy the ulterior motive of encouraging participation in events and amongst participants
4) The game should have a quantifiable unambiguous outcome.
Essentially, each attendee will be given a master quest card on entrance (Example: Card saying he is a human farmer with 100 wheat and he quest is to collect 3000 gold, 6000 wood and 50 soldiers by end of con).
Since different people do not have similar interest in games of particular-genre, each person can be given 3 cards corresponding to different type of game-play (example, farmer; or abstract cards where one need to create patterns – as in the game Qwirkle; or card with 4 alphabets – with which a player can form words – as in the game bananagrams). But in end only one game-play matters (which may be different for different people).
Interaction between people and promoted by fact that attendees may trade cards. So a person interested in alphabet-game-play will trade his role-playing card to another for their alphabet-game-play card. Or probably, he’ll fake that he needs role-playing card from another as he is trying to get rid of his alphabet cards with which he cannot form words! And, of course, trade back the role-playing card to someone else later. When trading in original card, it will be read out as resource card.
Involvement in various rooms/areas of convention may be promoted as the stalls may give “resource-cards” for attending a session / winning games / asking questions! The resource cards would be such that it helps a person in quest (Example: 100-wheat (which a person playing role-playing would need), or some alphabets, or cards with patterns (in different color)).
Interaction with vendors can be increased by assigning them the role of local “go-to” guys for “special information” about con! Special information – like which area is more likely to give out alphabet cards; which convention-area will be doling out ONLY role-playing resource-cards at certain time of day; the time of day when attendees can win twice as many resource-cards for participation; or someone was 100th customer and wins a resource card!
People may trade resource cards with vendors, but then they will get less than what they would have got trading with other attendees – but it’s nice to have options. Also, when someone takes master quest card from someone else and wants to convert into resource card (as a person can have only one master quest card) – they’ll need to contact vendors.
Lastly, daily prizes for people completing quest before con is over; or those with maximum resources (or maximum words they can make); or maximum symbols they can match.
All Vendors have a huge sheet of paper in one unique color, every day the first player that reach one of their stands and ask to play recieve half of the sheet they have, than the Vendors are not allowed to share their paper anymore for the entire day.
The game is simple and involve trust and team play, if someone falls all fall, but if you trust few you'll end up loosing.
This is a variation of a treasure hunt that has players answering questions rather than collecting objects. I have adapted this from an event that used to run in my community years ago…
Each participant/group is given a large envelope that contains 10-20 smaller envelopes numbered sequentially. At a predetermined time, the first “riddle” is made public (this could be a general announcement, twitter feed, etc.) Players solve the riddle and the solution directs them to a location at the con. When the players go to the location, there is a simple question about the location that must be answered correctly. On the first envelope there will be 4 possible answers (one on each of the four sides); the players tear open the envelope on the side with the correct answer and, inside the envelope, they will find a new riddle (and hence a new question) that directs them to a new location. At the new location they must answer the question and tear open the second envelope on the correct answer. Play proceeds until the players have solved all of the riddles, answered all of the questions and have determined the location at which they turn in their results (usually in the last envelope). This is a timed race with penalties for opening the envelop on the wrong answer (so you could rip open the last envelope, figure out where you are going and turn it in, but the time penalties for skipping the previous questions would almost certainly knock you out of the running). The winner is the player that correctly solves all of the riddles and answers the questions correctly in the fastest time.
At high noon the first riddle is made public – “Settlers, Alchemists and Empire Builders may gather under banners fair” – Players quickly realize this is a reference to the Mayfair Games booth and take off at a run! When they arrive at the booth, they check the first envelope and find the following question written on the front “What color is the carpet at this location?”; The carpet is gray so the players tear open the envelope on the edge that has “gray” printed on it (leaving red, green and black untouched); inside they find a new riddle and a new question.
“Steamy Lens Trim Tags” – and printed underneath “How many dragons are on the banner? hmmmmm…riddles are getting tougher now, but we know it refers to something at the con; ah hah! This is an anagram for Tasty Minstrel Games ;) – The players go to the booth and find that there are 2 dragons on the banner. They tear open the next envelope on the side with the answer “2” and play continues…
It does not matter how many people are playing, but pre-registration would help. Even if you don’t finish or get a wrong answer, you are never prevented from turning in a solution. As the event is timed, you could tweak this to begin as soon as players obtain their envelope or request their first riddle. This would allow for staggered starts or late comers. It does not matter if players work individually, cooperatively or in groups (although more eyes and brains on the riddle may help).
This type of event does require knowledge of the location in advance so appropriate questions can be developed. As this event will potentially push players to specific vendor booths or attractions, there may be opportunity to have the vendors participate on a more active level or provide prize support.
Welcome to the convention! Your adventures start now and will take you farther than you ever imagined. Join the quest and strive to become one of the coveted Primal Convention Gods! Prepare for a grand adventure with fellow conventioneers by enrolling in the ranks of Questers!
This game is about exploration and socialization. Players meet with others to build up a support network. They travel to vendors, panels, and classes to acquire relics and renown. Players also visit various locations and challenge others to gain advantages and rise to Primal status.
Each player receives a "Quester" button to display their participation. Throughout the game players have opportunities to acquire higher status buttons.
This card keeps pertinent player data used in challenges such as field rank, protector, etc.
These cards allow players to challenge. Players start with five challenge cards and acquire more through various means. If a player runs out they are no longer able to participate in challenges.
These cards provide renown points and various special abilities during challenges.
This individual overseas the leaders board, ensures all data inside the game database is maintained, oversees players field ranks, and allowable Demi (10% of total players)/Primal (4% of total players) positions.
Various locations, vendors, panels, classes, etc will have signs stating that they are participating. The reverse side of each placard provides details on its purpose. They could be riddles for locating relics, challenge locations, etc.
Can only follow one player at a time. Can not follow someone following them. Demi players can only follow Primal players. Primal players are never followers
All players must report changes in followers, relics, and challenges to the Chronicler.
Questers do not need to accept challenges, if they do then they must also have a challenge card.
The players start as beggars. They receive a begging mug, when they register for the game. The mug indicates they're in the game.
Card decks have been dealt to vendors. The cards are 8 different. Values 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 points.
Beggars circulate talking to vendors. They show their mugs and what they get is maybe a candy. If beggars are lucky, they are given a playing card.
Beggars form teams. A team must have cards in hand so that a sum of 16 points (exact) is introduced. A team is able to play a short match at Table #1. Winning team gets opponents all cards.
Assembly of any team is changeable. Losers (and winners) may beg for more cards.
A team having cards reaching sum of 32 points is allowed to play at Table #2. Winners acquire every card.
Admission requirement for Table #3 is 64 points.
Finally, teams owning 128 points play at Table #4. Places are scattered.
At the beginning both teams display their cards and eight extra cards are added, values 1 to 8. All cards are put together in a joined deck.
Shuffled deck is turned face down on the table. A meeple is set between teams. Starter draws one card, shows it to his teammates and puts card face down in front of the meeple. The opposite team acts similarly and place their card behind the meeple. After this, in turn drawn cards are placed both sides of first cards. Now, there should be against each other two rows of cards, both having three cards face down and one meeple between rows in the middle.
Victory will be solved by two opposing card piles. Piles having between them the meeple, when the deck runs out. Opposing card piles are compared. A pile is worth sum of card points plus number of cards in the pile. More valuable pile wins and the builder of that pile takes all the cards, except those extra cards that were added at the beginning.
The game continues, teams draw cards in turn, check them out and lay cards building three piles as they wish. Team may use their turn instead of drawing card, to move meeple one step right or one step left. One may not move meeple two times without drawing card between. When deck runs out, game is over.
Lightweight Collectable Card Game for 20-500 players
Attached to each con book is a sleeve with five cards, There are two kinds of cards, combat cards, which have a faction, element, and attack value, and quest cards, which have a vendor's name on them, and a list of 2-3 combat cards. The cards would be themed appropriately to the convention, factions represent different rooms in the venue, elements work like rock/paper/scissors. (Water beats Fire, Fire beats Earth, Earth beats Air Air beats Water)
After establishing that another attendee is playing the game, players can duel by selecting a combat card from their hand and revealing at the same time. If the duel is taking place in an area matching one card's faction, that player wins, otherwise, if one card's element beats the other then that player wins, otherwise the highest attack value card wins. The winning player must look through his opponent's hand, choose one card to take, and choose one card from his own hand to give. Players cannot duel the same opponent twice.
If a player has a quest card, and all the combat cards listed, he can go to the vendor specified, and trade these cards for a new pack of five. The packs of cards available at vendors have higher attack values than the base sets. (This could be nested a couple of times, where vendor cards have quests that lead to "second tier" vendors, who offer even better cards...)
One room of the venue is guarded by three sentries. In order to gain access, a player must defeat all three in card duels. Inside the room, cards can be traded for prizes, based on their attack values and factions.
Of course nothing stops players from pooling resources or trading cards freely. But a winning hand only allows one player entry to the prize room, so there's a reason for more competition the better your hand gets.
It may be a good idea to have several prize rooms, each allowing different levels of player in, with the better prizes available only in higher-level rooms.
More packs of cards could be sold at the Con Store.
Vendors could sign up to be quest locations as an advertizing option.
Decorations could work into the game. Crests for the different factions on the walls of corresponding rooms would be ideal, and of course the Sentries should be in costume.
Special cards could add more interactions to a game (example: the zombie card: as long as this card is in your hand, and the zombie vaccine card isn't, you must act like a zombie) (This concept could probably be expanded into a whole different game...)
I like this idea because it is entirely opt in, if you decide not to play it doesn't lessen your con experience. It also give attendees an incentive to interact with people they may not know. It also gives the space of the venue some importance, and drives people to vendor booths. Also, purely on a game level, I like that players can work either together or against each other.
It doesn't allow for cooperative play all the way to the endgame. More Vendor packs will need to be made than will ever get used, to make sure that individual vendors don't run out. Vendors may get annoyed with attendees crowding their booths with no intention of buying something. It may be an unhappy thing having to leave your friends at the door of the prize room.
When the stars are right and multiverses are in alignment, magic users of all types and creeds set aside their ancient enmities and gather together to talk shop and have fun. But under the cordial veneer, these people of power subtly challenge each other, trying to prove that they are the best…
Whenever people check into the con, they get a choice between four decks of cards to add to their goody bag:
Sorceress (evil female)
Good Witch (good female)
Wizard (good male)
Warlock (evil male)
* About eight cards in each deck are common between all four starter decks and there are two cards that every Good Witch has but none of the others have, etc.
Cards are either standard playing card size or business card size.
This is a deck refinement game… players begin with ten cards and will end with ten cards.
New cards will be introduced by vendor-supplied packs and by interaction with kiosks.
To play a hand, you’ll need to identify another player (maybe buttons with mage-type icons, active players can wear them). You’ll also need to identify what types of cards you can play… each room in the official convention space has magic-type icons incorporated into the signage, you can only play cards with those icons. You will select three cards from your hand and show them to the other player. You will then calculate your scores… cards often will build off other cards in your hand of three or your opponents (each room has three or more symbols, but players can have some double-think about which cards are likely to be played). The winner then gives the loser a card (Some cards can reverse this flow).
At some point, you’ll be down a few cards and want to refresh up to ten. Go to the vendor space, each vendor is given a few packs of cards in different amounts (e.g. one vendor might have packs of 1 card and packs of 5 cards). Tell the vendor how many cards you need to get back up to ten, and if he’s got a pack, he’ll give it to you. * Note: vendors are refreshed with card packs two-three times a day and numbers change, one vendor may have 1&5 card packs in the morning and then 3&8 card packs in the afternoon, encouraging circulation among vendors. Card packs range from 1-8, with the new cards being in the 3-6 range (Players getting small card packs are jumping the gun, players with only a couple cards left need a reset).
You might have over ten cards. If you do, visit one of the kiosks… it’s a box with a slot to drop un-needed cards in, and an acrylic holder hat has one card in it… you can trade out one of your cards for this card. * Convention organizers can put out unique cards using the kiosks… they approach as a normal trading player but put a card out that has not yet been in play.
The final day of the convention, there will be a reckoning… hopefully with prizes. Each card has a value on it, maybe prizes for single best card of each mage-type, magic-icon and then grand prizes/recognition for best hand of ten cards.
Compact, encourages interaction with vendors multiple times and visiting different spaces of convention.
Requires production 40-50 card types, dedicated staff member to keep vendors supplied and kiosks maintained.
When entering the convention, each attendant should be given a “goody bag” of some kind (every con I’ve been to has done this). Inside this sack would be a bag containing three or so different cards with different characters on them. Also in this bag would be a master list of cards and rules of the game.
The object is simple: Collect all targets (cards) in your hunt throughout the convention. Players are encouraged to trade with each other. Vendors will be given unique cards to hand out at their discretion (to each paying customer for example.) Event organizers should be given some as well to give out to participating attendees.
Attendees would most definitely be interacting with one another to trade cards or even information on where to obtain specific ones. This would draw players into other areas or venues they might not ordinarily visit. Attendees not participating would likely give theirs away to players which in turn give the players more cards to barter with.
Prizes can be given to players at a predetermined location (explained in rules) to whoever has all the cards. If the object is to make collecting them all quite difficult, then perhaps give prizes in thresholds. For example: if there are 50 different cards, prizes can be given for 50, 40, and 30 different cards.
Characters on cards should match whatever theme the convention is attempting to portray.
Con Ahoy! is a massively multiplier convention game. When checking into the convention, players may opt into the game, and will be given random “Allegiance” and Skill cards. Vendors who choose to participate will be given a set of colored flags, and will be expected to bring a standard deck and a selection of dice (d6 - d12).
Each area of the convention will have a name/symbol. The allegiance cards show each of these symbols, and the color of the symbol denotes that player’s allegiance in that area. Skill cards list three skills, ranging from level 1-4. These skills are Fighting, Navigating, and Drinking.
When out on the floor, anyone who is playing can turn to another player and challenge them to a duel. Both players check their allegiance to make sure that they are not allies in that area, and if they are not, they play a best-of-three game of Round-Pistol-Saber (Rock-Scissors-Paper). The winner of the duel can then look at the loser’s skill card and may choose to switch cards with them.
When players find others of their own allegiance, they can come together and form a crew. Crews can be up to four players. Players cannot duel as a crew, but if one member of a crew is defeated, their allies are allowed to immediately challenge the winner and win their skill cards back.
Vendors represent islands. Crews, or even individuals, can approach an island and attempt to claim it. To conquer an island, you must win at least two of the three challenges. Each challenge corresponds to a stat on the player’s skill card.
To complete the Fighting challenge, each player on a crew rolls one die, the type of which is determined by that player’s Fighting skill. Level 1 is a d6, level 2 is a d8, and so on. The rolls of the crew are summed and compared to the current challenge value. If it exceeds that value, the challenge is won.
The Navigating challenge is card-guessing. Players guess a standard suit, and a card is drawn from a standard deck. If the guessed suit matches the drawn suit, the player scores a point. Players get as many guesses as their Navigating skill level. The number of correct guesses must exceed the current challenge value.
Finally, the drinking challenge is a coin flipping game. A player flips coins, counting the number of heads flipped. If a tails is flipped, the player “stumbles.” A player can only stumble as many times as their level allows (1-4) before they pass out and are out of the challenge. The amount that the crew can drink before passing out is the challenge value.
The crew must attempt every challenge, but only has to win two of them. If the crew is successful, the vendor hoists their color’s flag, and records their challenge values as the new standards. After a crew raids an island, the “tides” come in and a new crew cannot challenge the island for a few minutes (the vendor can set a timer or just wait a small period of time).
In addition to the rooms deciding allegiance, at the end of the convention, or potentially at the end of each day, the vendors in each room will determine who the winner of that area is. Players can come forward and present their allegiance cards and claim either small prizes or points. The player who manages to have the greatest amount of winning allegiances will either have accrued the greatest amount of prizes, or will be recognized as the winner at the end of the convention.
Players receive with their Badge a 4 digit number, and a wristband. There are rules written for players with a clue sheet that get distributed either at random or at an opening event type thing.
Every Vendor has a few things:
a color (red, green, white, black, blue, yellow) (for colorblind there will be a texture pattern with the color)
A 4 digit code (different every day)
a number of “Keys” (cards with a picture of a key on it)
A player gets a key card from the vendor if their badge is the same number
Each panel will announce at the end if a certain color lied yesterday. On the last day they will announce which vendor was time, place, or passcode. (This can be adjusted to fit a conventions schedule).
It is not expected that each player go to every panel required to get the required info, they will need to talk to other players to gather everything.
The goal is to get players to get a code from each color booth each day. At the final time day place and time there is guard outside of the door (requiring your key to get past), and a desk where players take off their wristbands and write down on it identifying characteristics Name & phone number (maybe email).
Wil Wheaton then comes out and raffles off prizes by selecting wristbands at random (If Wil Wheaton is unavailable I could come to hand out prizes).
Players receive game pieces for various board games. Players will go to the corresponding board game stations and use their pieces to complete one move or one turn for that game. Player wins if the sides he represents are the winners for all the games.
Six Game Stations will be spread across the conference floor.
There will be one game station of each of the following games: Go (9x9), Connect 5, Connect 4, Chess, Ticket to Ride, Kingdom Builder (any short, simple game could work, Monopoly, Battleship, Tsuro, etc).
Each game station will have 1 attendant for record keeping and explaining the rules
A Packet will be given to each player containing:
Sample Packet – White Stone, Small Black Stone, Red chip, White token, an ID ticket showing White/Black/Red/White.
Two Player Games (Go, Connect 5, Connect 4, Chess)
A player will show attendant a game piece to play the game. The player will then observe the board and make a move. If the player has two game pieces (see “Trading” and “Refill”), he will make a move, wait for someone to move, and then make another move.
When a game is finished, the attendant will record the result and reset the board. Game scores are not shown in public. The side to win best 2 out of 3 games wins (this could change depending on the game and the number of participants).
Multi-Player Games (Kingdom Builder, Ticket to Ride)
A player will hand the attendant his ID ticket and take the next available turn. The attendant will stamp the ID ticket with the color for that player. For example, a player walk up to the Ticket to Ride station on the green team’s turn, the player play a turn for the green team and he will get a green stamp on his Ticket to Ride section. Players can only play each multi-player game once.
When the game is over, the attendant will record the score and reset the board. The final score for each team is the cumulative score for the entire day.
Participating vendors will serve as refill stations. Players could go to the vendor, give them a refill ticket, and get a Go, Connect 5, Connect 4, or Chess piece in return. The pieces they get must be the same color as their ID ticket.
Players are recommended to trade for strategic purposes. For example, a player might not be good at Chess but knows how to play Go, he would seek out a better Chess player with the same Chess and Go color as himself and exchange a Chess piece for a Go piece.
Assuming there are prizes to be won, the winners will be decided as follows:
Complementary Prizes Tier – Players with an ID ticket that matches the winners for all the 2 player games.
Grand Prize Winners Tier – Players with an ID ticket that matches the winners for all the 2 player games AND hold the highest combined score for the multiplayer games