# Game Idea: "Useful Machineries"

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paolo
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Joined: 08/01/2008

Wondered what you think about this game idea. There isn't a real theme (maybe it will end up as a game about world trade in 16th century..), it's the first time the idea came out from the mechanics.

The players represent some kind of 'inventors', trying to develop and build some industrial machineries used by all the players to get some kind of 'materials' in some other. The core idea is that you score points if other players find what you're building useful for their scopes. A bit vague, don't you think ;-)?

Try to follow me... The course of play is divided in "ages". Each age is made up of 5 rounds. At the start of each age a "Demand" card is drawn, that shows the kind of Materials that players will have to produce in that age in order to score points. There are four kinds of Materials: for simplicity Reds, Yellows, Blues, Greens.

Then the game starts. In each of the five rounds a player can choose one of the following actions:
- Draw some Material chits from a bag, where chits of every kind are mixed. In each turn the player can draw one chit more than the chits drawn in the round before. That is, if a player draws material in the first three rounds, he'll end up with 1+2+3=6 Materials.
- Draw a Machinery card. A Machinery card allows, when put in play, one kind of transformation from a kind or a number of Material to another one, with an input and an output. For example: "Input: Red / Output: Blue"; "Input: 2 Red / Output: 1 Yellow + 1 Green", "Input: 1 Yellow / Output: 2 Yellows"; and so on...
- Put a Machinery in play, made up of one or more Machinery cards. For example, if I've got the right cards in my hand, I can build a Machinery that with an Input of 1 Red, gives an output of 2 Blues and 2 Yellows. Not bad. The player that builds a Machinery is considered his "Inventor".
- Add a Machinery card at the end of an existing Machinery, not becoming inventor of anything.
- Use an existing Machinery, putting in it one ore more of the required Materials, and getting the resulting output.

At the end of each age, each player scores as many points as the Materials created of the kind required by the Demand card (that Materials are discarded), AND the points scored by the Materials introduced by other players into the Machineries invented by the player (1 Material = 1 point).

A rule could be added, so that the players have to produce a certain number of Materials in each age (increasing?), in order to score any points: if all players put their Materials in my Machinery, but i'm not able to produce 5 Reds in this age, I won't score any points at all. That's the risk to spend every effort in research and development ;-).

Well, i've been a bit long and my english, as you've probably noticed, is not that of a mothertongue... So let's stop, and please tell me what you think!

Paolo[/list]

RookieDesign
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Game Idea: "Useful Machineries"

I'll jump first.

This game remind me of Bazaar. http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/287

What I'm worried about is two things. Having 5 rounds will prevent you from building a decent machine. You have 5 actions proposed. That mean that you'll Draw a card twice. Play the Machine. Draw Stones. Transform.

Little variation of the play will arise. Maybe you can have two actions per round. That would give you a bit more play.

You gain gain point only by luck if you draw the correct stones from the bag. I'm not sure if this is fun.

I don't quite grasp the inventor purpose.

Overall, I think you have a good basis for you game.

Good luck.

Anonymous
Game Idea: "Useful Machineries"

I like the idea. It's kind of like alchemy. 'Lead to gold!' strikes me as a possible name (no I didn't look it up for conflicts there).

It seems like the game will garner more and more points as the ages progress. That to me is a great mechanic. Any whoo...

RookieDesign wrote:
I don't quite grasp the inventor purpose.

I assume that you want to award points to a player for this.... ?

Questions:

• If player 1 invents mechine a, can player 2 use it? Is there a cost to using someone elses machine?
• You mentioned being able to chain mechine cards together. Can any player play a mechince card on someone else mechine? Is there a cost to that? If not I could see some players behaving pourly, or playing 'king maker' in later ages.
• have you thought about making some resources more common than others? Maybe use a precious metal list for rarities (platinum, gold, silver, copper, iron). That way your mechine cards could gear up for some metals.
• Okay, all your resource chits are in a bag. I understand this is needed for your "draw step" but I think it will slow the game down when players convert to other types of chits using there machine. How about you use a die to see which resource(s) a player gets, and they just draw it from a bank? If the resource is gone, they just re-roll. I think that would help speed up the game whena player is looking for the only red chit left in the bag.

I like the idea. I would say write up your rules, required parts, and submit it to the Game Design Workshop. What do you have to loose?

[/]
Anonymous
The Big Idea

Cheapass games had a little game (now out of print) called The Big Idea, that is similar in theme to what you present here.[/url]

paolo
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Joined: 08/01/2008
Game Idea: "Useful Machineries"

RookieDesign wrote:

This game remind me of Bazaar.

Wow. That's by Sackson ;-).

Quote:
What I'm worried about is two things. Having 5 rounds will prevent you from building a decent machine. You have 5 actions proposed. That mean that you'll Draw a card twice. Play the Machine. Draw Stones. Transform.

But it can be also: Draw Stones, and again, and again, and again. Look if you can put your stone into an existing Machine, and take the output. That is: players can play differently, and develop different strategies... Someone can try to build machine, while some others rely only on luck, drawing stones from the bag.

Having two actions for turn maybe an idea. I didn't play the game yet, neither in my head, so I've still no idea of what will be the "rythm" of game. Maybe you're absolutely right. :-)

Quote:
You gain gain point only by luck if you draw the correct stones from the bag. I'm not sure if this is fun.

It is possible, but you'll learn a lot more points if you use machine, or to build machine other players can use.

Quote:
Overall, I think you have a good basis for you game.

Good luck.

Thanks!

paolo
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Joined: 08/01/2008
Game Idea: "Useful Machineries"

SimonWaltr wrote:
I like the idea. It's kind of like alchemy. 'Lead to gold!' strikes me as a possible name (no I didn't look it up for conflicts there).

Fun. I was thinking of a game about alchemy ("Opus Magnus", maybe you'll hear about that: i'm quit prolific in these days...), but with a quite different mechanic of play (a sort of "multiplayer mastermind").

Quote:
RookieDesign wrote:
I don't quite grasp the inventor purpose.

I assume that you want to award points to a player for this.... ?

Yes. Players score points if other players use the machine they invented.

Quote:
[*] If player 1 invents mechine a, can player 2 use it? Is there a cost to using someone elses machine?

Yes. Everybody can use an existing machine, at the cost of an action

Quote:
[*] You mentioned being able to chain mechine cards together. Can any player play a mechince card on someone else mechine? Is there a cost to that? If not I could see some players behaving pourly, or playing 'king maker' in later ages.

Yes. Players can add machine cards at the end of existing machine (and maybe even discard a card from it...), but not thus becoming its inventor in anyway.

Quote:
[*]have you thought about making some resources more common than others? Maybe use a precious metal list for rarities (platinum, gold, silver, copper, iron). That way your mechine cards could gear up for some metals.

This maybe an idea. Interesting.

Quote:
[*]Okay, all your resource chits are in a bag. I understand this is needed for your "draw step" but I think it will slow the game down when players convert to other types of chits using there machine.

Maybe there are some chits in a bag and someothers in a bag. I also thought a similar game could be done with dice, rolling them to get materials (6 kinds: 1s, 2s, 3s, ... 6s) to note on a piece of paper, and using domino tiles as machine cards, representing transformations (from 1 to 3, etcetera).

Quote:
I like the idea. I would say write up your rules, required parts, and submit it to the Game Design Workshop. What do you have to loose?

You're wise ;-). If some of you good fellows want to correct my bastard english, i'll give it a chance!

Anonymous
Game Idea: "Useful Machineries"

paolo wrote:
You're wise ;-). If some of you good fellows want to correct my bastard english, i'll give it a chance!

You flatter. I can not say I am wise, but hey. I'd be happy to read through your rules for errors, and possible things that could be described better. I also have a friend who is into games (and on this board) who is an editor.

Let me know what you come up with.