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Game Design Showdown 2 Results!

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Joined: 12/31/1969

On Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004, we held our second BGDF Game Design Showdown. Played as part of a live chat, and it was a great success.

The Game Design Showdown is a competitive version of Rick Heli’s Spotlight On Games Game Design Challenge. The showdown consists of four to six rounds of design challenges. During each round the players are challenged to design a game based on a theme and one-to-three mechanisms. To make it even more fun a tight time limit is imposed. Designs are submitted to the moderator and are then anonymously displayed for voting.

Both the participants and the other chat attendees are invited to vote for their favorite design. Players receive one point for each vote they receive, and may not vote for themselves.

An amazing amount of creativity is displayed, both in rapidly producing a variety of fun design concepts and in finding entertaining ways to describe them. Round 4 was particularly amazing, with a very difficult challenge that inspired six completely different and incredibly inventive games. The second Showdown went so well that this will surely continue as an at-least-monthly event.

Here are the challenges and the entries:

Round: 1
Time Available: 5 minutes
Challenge Theme: Medicine
Challenge Mechanisms: Variable Player Powers

Entry 1: Players control characters that work as healers- be they Veterinarians, Surgeons, Triage Nurses... "People In Need" cards are drawn at random and players compete to provide medical help. Aide that is needed comes in different types, and some characters are better suited than others for a particular kind of aide. For example, a gangster with a gunshot wound would be helped more by a surgeon, or even a Vet than by a tribal Medicine Man. -- sedjtroll

Entry 2: Space Doc: Players are doctors on a space ship. The captain has just contracted a rare disese on an away mission and players must find the cure. Each turn, with a rotating start player, players choose between "to take a sample, produce an antigen, incubate the sample with the antigen or try to implement the cure. When they implement the cure, they either cure the captain and win or kill him and lose. -- Oracle

Entry 3: Prescription Writing: Each player is a certain type of doctor who has to write prescriptions to different patients. Players are dealt out cards that tell them what kind of doctor they are. Then they use the skills they have to solve the patient’s troubles listed on patient cards that are put into play. -- SVan

Entry 4: Battleground: Deck of power cards and number/suit cards. Drafting mechanism for selecting your power (receive one, draw one, pick one of those two, pass the other on, continue until each player has two.) Each power affects an area of the body. Players choose an area of the body in turn. Players with powers that can affect that area can play in the round. They use number cards to win tricks. But their power also affects the cards they play (e.g. suit matches previous suit etc.) Win most tricks to win the game. -- Scurra

Entry 5: Object of the game is to save the most injured patients by concocting various medicines. VP are awarded for saving patients; more victory points for greater illnesses, less for less severe. Each player has certain strengths and weaknesses in making medicines. Each player creates medicine tokens which can be traded among players that need to combine them in order to heal various patients. Sick people randomly line up, and players get turns in healing patients or spending action points creating various medicines in order to do so. Players must also not allow patients to die, moved towards a dead square. -- DarkDream

Entry 6: Each player begins at the Medical Academy all wanting to become either a Doctor or a Nurse. The objective of the game is become a Dr. or Nurse of as many different fields within the medical profession. Each player starts as a trainee. They may study in the following medical professions Dermatology, Gynecology, Psychiatry, Neurology, amongst many others. A roll of 1d6 determines whether you become proficient in that field of expertise. 6 wins, 1-5 doesn't. -- PMan

Votes: DarkDream received 3 points, Scurra received 2 points, and SVan received 1 point.

Round: 2
Time Available: 5 minutes
Challenge Theme: Religion
Challenge Mechanisms: Auction/Bidding

Entry 1: The idea of the game is to outbid you opponent for the best preacher, best temple, church, cathedral, etc. You start off as a missionary and the game is to outbid or bribe your opponents to gain the services/structures that are available. Each auctioned item carry a victory point total. The player with the most victory points once all the auctions have taken place is declared the winner. -- PMan

Entry 2: It's a miracle (if I get any points): Players are minor gods competing for worshippers on a small island. They perform miracles to convince the people to worship them. Miracles are can be good or bad (good miracles are things like providing food and make the people love you; bad miracles are things like floods which make the people fear you). You perform miracles by melding sets of cards from a deck. The same card can be a component of more than one miracle (both good and bad). You have to draw a card into your hand each turn and play on each turn. If you complete a miracle, even one you didn't want to, it is performed. If you are collecting worshippers by love, and perform an evil miracle, you lose worshippers, and same if you're collecting by fear and perform a good miracle. Whoever has the most worshippers at the end wins. Players get cards by bidding worshippers they already have. -- Oracle

Entry 3: Relics: The relics of saints are considered to be holy, but also prestigious. Collect the best set of relics and receive the most esteem. But your rivals will try to prove your relics to be fakes. Bid to hire experts to "endorse" them or to "expose" your rivals, or to buy the relics as they come on to the market. Bonuses for complete sets (all the fingers of St Joan, all the bits of the True Cross etc.), penalties for having relics exposed as fakes. -- Scurra

Entry 4: The object of the game is to sacrifice the best cows, pigs, and other animals to the great Sun god. Players get victory points on the type of animals sacrificed and the amount. The winner is with the most animals sacrificed with the greatest number of victory points. Priests (players) can bid against other players in auctions for animals. The animals carry different victory points, but also have a risk dying before being sacrificed. Purchasing an animal with a lot of victory points may die soon. Also some animals can not be bought together (try to eat each other). Sacrifices can only be made on certain turns depending on the weather. Some weather allows certain sacrifices and other doesn't. When making a sacrifice can get a card to influence weather. -- DarkDream

Entry 5: The Greek gods decide to have a popularity contest and see who is the greatest worshipped of them all. Players choose a god, and then they bid on the people tiles. The people tiles are worth different amounts, but you can for an amount. Each turn, the people are placed into an amount by the way the players bid. Then those players choose if they want to spend the gold for them. The player with the most people tile at end of game wins. -- SVan

Entry 6: Players are Clergy of different Religious sects, and they are bidding for control over various groups of people. Leaders of early civilizations auction the faith of their people to the highest bidder. Winning the bid means your Sect gets to build a temple in that town and the people will believe your dogma. These civilizations pay tithes and make sacrifices, which the players can use for bidding. The goal is to earn the most Victory Points, which are a measure of your people's faith. As time goes on, technology increases and people have the possibility of either disbelieving, becoming unreligious, or discovering other religions. -- sedjtroll

Entry 7: Players are martyrs trying to be as whiny and holier-than thou as possible so that other players will have no choice but to martyr them (and win the martyrs points!). Each round, players bid secretly on a platform of their choice (ie doomsaying). Bids are revealed simultaneously. —Deviant

Votes: DarkDream received 2 points, Oracle received 2 points, Seth received 2 points, Scurra received 1 point, and Deviant received 1 point.

Round: 3
Time Available: 7 minutes
Challenge Theme: Snakes
Challenge Mechanisms: Battle Card Driven, Logical Deduction

Entry 1: King Cobra Players compete to identify their rivals and remove them from the game. There are a number of cards depicting snakes with different combinations of patterns and colours. All the cards are dealt out and each player puts one face down in front of them. Each round consists of a player challenging the other players to a fight by declaring a colour or pattern on a card they have in their hand and put it face down in front of them. All the other players do the same - even if they don't have a match. Cards are revealed simultaneously. Cards that do not match the declared type are removed from the game. Valid cards are then matched using a Paper-Scissors-Rock mechanic. The winner gets to see another card from the losers' hands. (All valid cards are returned to the players' hands afterwards.) When you can identify a face-down snake, declare it to eliminate it. If you are wrong, reveal cards from your hand to the other players. If you're the last snake face-down, you are the King Cobra. -- Scurra

Entry 2: Players have different colonies of snakes. Each colony hides its babies in multiple places. In the other two places is nothing. Each player has only one guess to find where the babies are. There are clues scattered in each colonies territory of where the babies are. The clues are in snake holes. Each player can choose whether to guard his snale hole with snakes that may have a clue or not. Players move there snakes around and try to overcome other snakes guarding holes by a battle card mechanism. For each different colony of snakes there are different colors. Each player draws three cards for each snake of a color. The number of the card is the attack strength. Battles between snakes involve playing only those colored cards of the same snake color. With multiple attackers and defenders, the attack cards are combined. If a player has enough info in clues, that player can guess where one of the snake colonies babies is. The first player to guess correctly wins. -- DarkDream

Entry 3: Boa: Each player is a Boa snake. Each turn there are animal cards put into play. Each player has a number of strength cards in their hand, and they place them facedown near the animals that they want to attack. The person with the highest strength between the players and with a strength higher than the hidden strength of the animal puts that animal in his or her dead pile. Each animal in a player's dead pile add to that player's hunting score. The player with the highest hunting score wins. If a player plays a strength card lower than the animal's strength, that player loses that many points from his or her hunting score. -- SVan

Entry 4: Each player controls a snake trying to navigate a maze-like board. The board is a square grid and the snake is 6 grid spaces long, so ask the player moves around the board, they occupy their previous 5 squares as well as their current one. The players have a hand of battle cards which are used for combat. A player initiates combat by moving the head of their snake into any square occupied by an opponents snake. Each combat card applies to different parts of the snake; based on a player's combat cards, different portions of their snake are stronger or weaker than others. If the attacking player attacks a strong segment, they are more likely to lose the fight. Based on other battles they've seen, they have to judge where to attack their enemies. During combat, player's don't have to use their full arsenal, so they can make a segment look weaker than it is to bait their opponents. -- Oracle

Entry 5: Charming to the Last: Welcome to the world of competitive snake charming! The only thing standing between you and baskets of snakes is a turban and your trusty flute. Oh, and your opponents as well. Everyone knows that music soothes the savage beast, so play tunes on your woodwind to bring the snakes to life and have them do your bidding. The goal is to coax certain snakes into your basket, which you can do with various combinations of sounds and motions. The tunes you play and the actions they provoke are depicted on Battle Cards, and they range from advancing a snake toward your basket, to enticing one snake to attack another (and thus break it out of an opponent's captivating spell). In order to win you must be the first charmer to collect a certain combination of snakes into your basket, and this combination is not known to you at the beginning of the game. Through the coarse of the game and the actions of the snakes (and opponents) you must deduce what combination you need. -- sedjtroll

Entry 6: Players are snake hunters trying to collect wild and dangerous snakes with their bare hands and do daring, bone-headed, even life-threatening stunts with them to raise ratings for their Crocodile Hunter-killer-type show. Tiles on board are flipped to reveal portions of snakes in hiding. Try to reveal a chain of connected tiles to reveal whole snake, but don't flip the snake head until last or you will get bitten! Phase 2 involves playing cards in your hand to do dumb things with poisonous snakes in a vain attempt to bolster ratings. Provoke other snakes with battle cards, but remember to keep an antivenin handy always! -- Deviant

Votes: Sedjtroll received 3 points, Scurra received 3 points, DarkDream received 1 point, and Oracle received 1 point.

Round: 4
Time Available: 9 minutes
Challenge Theme: Ancient Near East (also allowed Middle East)
Challenge Mechanisms: Drawing, Singing, Modeling or Storytelling; Variable Player Powers; Pick-up and Deliver.

Entry 1: Egyptians Built Roads First! Using an hexagonal map with the corners of each hex marked as dots. Your goal is to create(draw) roads from one dot to the other and sending your camel along that route to pick up different items of trade. Each item of trade varies in value from the distance each camel takes to get from one destination to the other. Upon the setup of the map, there are power ups that each camel can pass by to gain extra movement, extra humps for commodities in which to trade with, water for increased stamina, etc. The game starts as you pick a camel to begin with. You may choose from Racing Camels(extra movement), Dromedary (Extra commodity space) and single humped camels which have more stamina and can travel further without needing water to refuel itself. The game ends when the first player manages to trade with all other players in the game. The winner is the player with the most cash in hand after all his trades have been made. -- PMan

Entry 2: Players each control a traveling artist in ancient Israel. The game is played on a board representing the middle east. Players go to Jerusalem to pick up contract cards which instruct them to move to a certain region and do a performance there. The performance can be singing for the local king, drawing a portrait commissioned by a vain merchant, etc. Each player can have a hand of at most 3 contracts which they replenish each time they return to Jerusalem. Player may trade cards between each other if they feel they lack the ability to do what a card requires and another player thinks they can do it. -- Oracle

Entry 3: People bustle here and there, multiple stands lie the streets offering arts, goods and food. You are in an Arabian market place and you need to sell your arts to clients to get the most money to win the game. Each player comes from a certain faction of the arts drawing, singing, modeling & storytelling. Each player gets certian bonuses for what faction they are from. The game begins with an auction where players can purchase singers, models and so on. Players get discounts if the performers are from the same faction After that, players take turns placing there performers on the market map. Randomly clients with certain tastes or wants (represented by cards) move around the market in a set manner as shown on the card. If the client happens move by, a spot where a player's performer is and the client wants the performer. The player can then opt to entice the client with its artistic gift. A die is rolled to indicate the performance. If two or more players are in the same general area, then the highest roll (including modifiers) get the attention of the client that picks up the performer and leaves the market if all the needs are met. The performer are then placed on a turn square (moved down each turn) indicating how long they are taking to perform. Once they have gone for a certain time, the player can reclaim and place them again in the market. At that time the player receives money. -- DarkDream

Entry 4: Each player controls a caravan that travels from place to place in the eastern lands. At the beginning of the game, players bid on different bards that will be put into their caravan. Each bard gives players different subjects that they can use when telling stories. A caravan can only pick up items by telling a story, which each player votes on. After players move, all players tell stories and then the players vote for the best story. Players cannot vote for themselves. For each vote you receive you get one item. Different items can only be picked up and sold in different towns. You win by having the most amount of gold at the end. -- SVan

Entry 5: Sinbad the Sailor The legend of Sinbad is renowned across the lands. But little do people know that he was not one man, but many men. The players are contributing to the legend of Sinbad by performing mighty deeds - but the deeds are given them by their opponents (who are trying to fulfill hidden goals.) The board shows a number of islands. Each player has a ship, and when they visit an island they change the ability of their ship in different ways (it can fly, it can move further, it can turn invisible). But they have no choice in accepting the ability since their opponents will tell them which island they must go to pick up something, and then which island it must be delivered to. Thus the ocean is filled with criss-crossing boats all with different abilities at different times. En route, the players encounter entities that pose riddles or demands that the player performs for them. The other players will vote on whether the player passed or failed the task, which may affect which direction the boat is going in or some other effect. (But this may also affect hidden goals, which makes voting tactical.) Winner is player who completes their hidden goal first. -- Scurra

Entry 6: Gypsy Caravan: Players are gypsy troupes from Eastern Europe, 17th century, just trying to make a living with their art. Each player puts their caravan on the board and draws three gypsy entertainers. Each entertainer has a specialty (drawing, singing, modeling, or storytelling), and you can only use each so often. Pick up and deliver new entertainers at the towns you frequent. Move your caravan from town to town, stopping to draw a card. Whatever the card says, like "French toast", you must somehow express using a skill one of your available entertainers has (must be indirect). Other players must look or listen - if they can guess it from your clues, they get money and so do you! The money funds your operations, and at the end of the game the player who earns the most becomes the Gypsy King/Queen! -- Deviant

Entry 7: Players are Sultans whose land is rich with oil. Developing that land and selling the oil has made you all very rich Sultans indeed, but this just got complicated by divine intervention... Angry with the greed of the people, a panel of deities met and decided it was time for another Tower of Babel. No longer able to communicate, the Sultans' oil business has plummeted. Finally you have figured out a way to maintain the oil industry handed down to you by your fathers. Pickup and Deliver oil to various refineries, then from there to distributors. In order to transfer the oil barrels from one location to another, a communication must be made. Since the people of the world can no longer understand each other’s language, the communication must be through drawing/signing/modeling, depending on the action being taken. A card is drawn showing the communication to be made and the action determines what method should be used. -- sedjtroll

Votes: Deviant received 3 points, Scurra received 2 points, SVan received 2 points, and DarkDream received 1 point.

Final Scores: The final scores were Scurra 8, DarkDream 7, sedjtroll 5, Deviant 4, Oracle 3, and SVan 3, making Scurra the winner!

As a prize Scurra receives the BGDF title “Game Design Showdown Trophy Winner,” and the matching trophy graphic next to all of his forum posts:

Like the Stanley Cup, the coveted title and trophy will move to the winner of the next showdown.

I’ll try to announce the next Showdown in advance. Congratulations to all of the participants, you all came up with some truly amazing ideas!

-- Matthew

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