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Family (Tree) game?

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nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008

I'm currently trying to design a game for my father-in-law's hobby (genealogy). Anyone else here ever try to build a game around a family tree theme? Or do you know of a game that does this? Good and bad examples would be great!

There are several directions one could take this, from family members competing for an inheritance to some notion of nepotism. The trick here is representing the family tree somehow on the table. Anyone spent any time thinking about this?

I've currently got a mechanism that works pretty well but it still needs the usual tweaks. The tweaks actually aren't neccesary for 2 players, but there are some glaring problems when you get to 4 players. I'll post some very rough rules soon and when they get a little more refined I'll see if our benevolent leaders will grant me a gdw slot.

peace,
Tom

Scurra
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Family (Tree) game?

My friend Dave (DavemanUK) has an excellent little card game, called "Six Degrees [of Separation]" which deliberately doesn't model a "family tree" but instead plays with wider connections between people.
The result is a supremely simple mechanic with some quite neat tactical play. It's probably unworkable if constrained within a single family but I'll point him this way in case he wants to talk about it.

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Family (Tree) game?

As long as my server stays up, find pretty rough rules/notes for "The Shrubs" at ...

http://www.superpowernosissies.com/shrubs.pdf

for some reason the pdf doesn't have any color in it, so you'll have to pretend you're red-black color blind when looking at the card images.

enjoy,
Tom

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Family (Tree) game?

Scurra wrote:
My friend Dave (DavemanUK) has an excellent little card game, called "Six Degrees [of Separation]"

I had seen "Six Degrees" alluded to on bgdf before, but hadn't looked it up... until now, thanks for the tip.

Scurra also wrote:
The result is a supremely simple mechanic with some quite neat tactical play.

It looks like he was wrestling with the same issues and came up with a very elegant and simple solution. I had initially planned on using relationship cards, but ended up not going that way because I was too fixated on the explicit concept/picture of a tree which is hard to maintain with relationship cards in play. Kudos to him for getting beyond that. I look forward to his(and everyone else's) comments.

peace,
Tom

DavemanUK
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Joined: 12/31/1969
6-Degrees (of separation)

Hi Tom,

Thankyou for the comments you are most kind (and thanks to Scurra to for the introduction).

I've put the ruleset for 6-Degrees on my homepage at http://www.geocities.com/daveman_uk/board_games.html

[Backstory] One of Scurra's playtesters and good friend of ours, Paul, told me a few months ago about his very wide family tree in terms of multiple uncles, aunts, and cousins. I quipped that it would make an interesting game to 'chart' such a tree indefinately given that, eventually, everyone should be at most 6 degrees of separation from each other (i.e. any one person knows everyone else in the world through 6 steps of relationships, e.g. friend, father, boss, hairdresser, internet chat buddy, etc. :) Within a week I had brought to the playtest group a deck of cards, half of which were characters and the other half were relationships. A simple set of rules governed how each player could place cards from their hand onto the table thus forming relationships between existing and newly placed characters. The end result was something you'd find on the Jerry Springer Show with bizarre family groups, unlikely marriages, and implied characters to fill in the 'missing person' gaps. Based on the high humour factor, with strategy hiding around the corner if you wanted to use it, we concluded that it fit the bill of a cheapass Xmas party game :)

The changes from v.1 to v.2 are concerned with the scoring system as it was apparent that the wildcard relationships of '..are friends..' were too easy to place for the same points as a more specific '..is the grand-father of..'.

Best wishes,
Dave W.

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Family (Tree) game?

An old game from Games Workshop (if I remember correctly) called Blood Royale.

You start with a King and a Queen and she give birth to many child. You then marry the Prince and Princess to other players Prince and Princess in exchange for goods, non agressivity treaty and such.

Long game. Not that much fun but out of production. You need a lot of space to play.

Scurra
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Family (Tree) game?

Oh, I don't know. Blood Royale could be a lot of fun with the right group of players, a spare weekend and (as you say) a lot of space. (Not as much fun as its predecessor, Warrior Knights though.)

There's a game with a French aristocracy theme (name completely escapes me!) which has marriages in it, and uses the similar trick of following a family, so that if your current character dies, you take over as their child (but, of course, no longer married to the person you were married to etc.)

That mechanic clearly still has potential.

nosissies
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Family (Tree) game?

RookieDesign & Scurra essentially wrote:
check out Blood Royale.

Thanks for the tip, though I must admit the 23 pages of instructions available on BGG are a little intimidating. Guess I'll have to give that a look when I get home from work.

Scurra wrote:
That mechanic clearly still has potential.

I agree, and I'll take that as license to keep exploring.

thanks again for your suggestions.

peace,
Tom

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Family (Tree) game?

Scurra wrote:
There's a game with a French aristocracy theme (name completely escapes me!) which has marriages in it, and uses the similar trick of following a family, so that if your current character dies, you take over as their child (but, of course, no longer married to the person you were married to etc.)

The game is called Courtisans from Tilsit. The rules should be available to the public. (Maybe in French only).

It was also called Aristotle in the far past about 10 years ago. Not a family tree game per say, but very long when playing 6 players.

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Family (Tree) game?

BoardGameGeek entry: Courtisans of Versailles

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