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GDS Hiatus? OR community participation... Turn the Tide!

Hey all,

It looked like my last idea for the Game Design Showdown wasn't too well received. Sorry about that.

The last week has been pretty hectic, with a death in the family, other family in town, hell breaking loose at work, and the Dungeon Roll kickstarter blowing up. I have not had a minute to put together a challenge for this month, and from the looks of things, I'm not going to be able to.

SO... I was about to say that the GDS would go on hiatus this month, but I JUST had an idea that might be more fun for those of you who enjoy the monthly design exercise...

This month's GDS meta-challenge is to work out as a community a really awesome Showdown challenge. You can use this thread to discuss it. Come to a consensus, then spend a week coming up with a game that meets the criteria that you've selected as a community :)

I hope that proves entertaining, and I'm sorry I didn't get something posted this month.



let's pick a chump, er, coordinator

Just to recap:
Mechanic: zero-sum
Theme: Turn the Tide

I say we pick a coordinator and launch development week for March 10 - 16.
Use the standard GDS rules on word count and voting.
I'll volunteer to coordinate. Anyone willing to share the hat?

I know there was a suggestion to make it a bigger project, but that's a much bigger job than I can possibly take on right now.
What say?


Any more rules regarding the theme? Can I simply use the word :"tide" and create a game based on that word? (My theme being the tide of the ocean.)

I love the "sea"-saw mechanic

The seesaw mechanic sounds great and really fits the theme, although understanding it makes my head hurt. Any examples of zero-sum mechanic in other games?

So the rules so far are:

Theme: Turn the Tide (I'm assuming this is open to interpretation: water theme, battle theme, turning theme etc)
Players: 2
Mechanic: Zero-Sum (seesaw)

Looks like it's working!

Awesome to see you guys going someplace with this!

I like the sound of everything I'm hearing, in the moment or two I get to skim through it.

Keep it up!

I like Turn The Tide

Title sounds good to me. So is it a board game or card game or both? Single, multiplayer, team 2 on 2 game? Is the game a period piece? Historical fantasy, medieval, sci-fi warfare, puzzle game, rts, strategy tactical? Dice involvment?


I'm new to this but how strict or liberal do the rules need to be? Do we have to have a specific mechanic we all work with?

Thats a great idea

I agree, the theme should be "Turn the Tide".

thematic gaming appeals to me

I think a theme would be the easiest to work with.
How about skimming it from Seth's subject line: "Turn the Tide".
I can think of some great stuff to do with that theme. Anyone else?

Mechanic or Theme

Should we begin with a mechanic or a them?

Sounds like a great idea.

Sounds like a great idea.

Turn the Tide

I "vote" for "Turn the Tide" as the theme.

If we must choose card game/board game, then I go card game.

For simplicity's sake, why not just make it a 2 player card game?

Turn the Tide is a great idea

Turn the Tide is a great idea and so is a 2 player version.

What about suing a 'Tug of War' or 'See Saw' mechanic. The mechanic doesnt exist in game design lore, or maybe it does, I dont really know since I just made it up.

The idea behind the mechanic is to have a value or state that is affected by the actions of two or more players. In the case of a 'see saw' if one player lowers the common value as it relates to them then the same value will rise in relation to the other player.

So a tidal variation example would be where one player commands the sea to retreat from their shore, forcing it to recede and rise a corresponding degree on their opponents shore. This could allow them access to different areas or permit them a wider search area for collecting sea shells.


Well, usually you would call that a "Zero-Sum" do see that in quite a few 2-player games.

Zero-Sum 2 player makes sense as the mechanical restriction: it definitely leans towards a certain type of game, but leaves some room for interpretation.

Hmm, what about this for a

Hmm, what about this for a different idea, we change the rules of the competition for this contest. It could be that Seth will be busy for awhile so we could extend the competition longer than the normal time frame.

Instead of everyone engaging in friendly competition we extend the ethos of working together on a game. We establish the starting conditions as normal, name and mechanic.

Those that want to participate then have a set time frame in which to submit their proposals, 2 weeks after the starting gun has sounded.

Everyone then votes on which idea they like the look of.

The process then moves forwards to the next stage, where the idea is developed – once again within a set time frame limit. This could be four weeks.

Upon completion the game is then made available in some form of electronic media so that the participants can download the contents and create prototypes for play testing. A fixed period of play testing then ensues, possibly another 4 weeks, and any revisions or improvements are made.

The participants then vote on whether they want to take the game forward to the next stage, which would be publication. In this stage the participants pool their skills and knowledge towards the aim of a successful Kickstarter project. The game is then offered as a funding project on Kickstarter and if it receives funding it gets published.

Everyone that participated gets a designer credit in the game and it could, with Seths approval, be grouped under the overall designer title of the BGDF. Any profits made by the game would go to a well deserving charity chosen by the participants.

Considering the potential outcome, I think it would be best if the designs where limited to simple card games with minor additional elements. So cards with a small player mat and some tokens for example.

Producing a big extravaganza of a game would be a nightmare and very unrealistic. A small box would also make things more manageable.

Alternatively, the game could be published via the game crafter. Which would probably make things simpler in terms of not having to set up a kickstarter account and a company.

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story | by Dr. Radut