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Game Machanics For a Football Game

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Joined: 12/31/1969

I'm designing a Football Game for Industrial Design Final. I'm sculpting 25mm figures. What I'm needing help is with the over all flow of game play. i.e. how are blocks worked out. sequence of play...ect,ect. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Joined: 11/09/2008
Game Machanics For a Football Game

I have not played the game but have you looked at PIzza Box football - It seems to have good reviews and might give you ideas.

I assume you are talking about what us Brits would term "American Football" as opposed to Soccer - what we call Football. Thus you are looking at mechanisms for resolving the plays etc?

Have you looked at Blood bowl . That is based on American football and uses figures .

One idea might be to use a kind of Paper/ Rock/ Scissors grid with offensive and defensive moves cross referenced to give modifers that the offensive player applies to a skill test. Maybe a 6+ on a d10 would suceeed but that can be ade harder or easier with that table. Both players choose a tactic/ play/ move secretly maybe from a stack of cards.

The RPG game Spycraft and Spycraft 2 uses deck of cards that players choose actions from- eg in a car chase. The chasing car has a list of possible moves as does the prey and they choose secretly and them you cross reference the moves on a grid.

Dont know if any of that helps or hinders.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Game Machanics For a Football Game

The problem with blood bowl is that there is too much dice roll and a game can take from 1 to 2 hours. For example, you must make a dice roll to throw the ball, catch the ball, if any of these are failed, roll to see where the ball scather, etc.

In blood bowl, you only have touchdown, and when the ball fall on the ground, the game continue. You can also only start at the middle of the field. So it does not follow exactly the football rules.

What makes blood ball great is the team development. Each player has a team with it's player stats which can improve with time. You gain money according to the number of fans that watch the game. You can use this money to buy new players and other stuff.

I have looked at a football game today in my game club and they did not even have players on the board. You had a small field where you place a token to indicate the start line and the position of the ball. The offensive position are set on a chart and the defensive position are place on cards.

I don't know how it plays, I think the attacker select an offense, and the defender select a defense. The choices determine what happens. Not sure if there are dices in this game. The rules seem simple so I might try to read them next time.

Joined: 12/31/1969
American Football

Pizza Box Football is fun - but does not involve actual mini's. It simplifies the game by only allowing 3 offensive plays and 3 defensive sets (in the basic game). The selected plays are cross-referenced on a chart, and a die roll will indicate whether the defensive set hinders or helps the offensive play's success. Another roll gives you the play's result.

Blood Bowl is fun - but I'd have to say gameplay resembles rugby more than football. The action is continuous until the ball crosses a goal line - there are no 'plays' as such. Or you could look at it as a fantasy miniature version of 'kill the man with the ball'. I agree that the best thing about that was the team building idea.

An actual Am. football game with mini's would be cool - and being able to have control of team selection (drafts!) and development (hey, the quarterback finally knows the offense without looking at the plays on his wristband!) would be fun. You could even have some of the players basic stats on their base - like the clix games out there. Position information could be static (written on the base), and the individual players could be made unique by using the number painted on their back - the 'coach' could have a roster showing any bonuses the players have based on experience, or extra money you paid for him...etc. That way your opponent would not necessarily know who your stars were, just by looking at the mini's.

As for the gameplay, that will be tougher. You could simplfy things a bit by limiting the number of players on the field - much like flag-football (8 per side around these parts). You could also limit the types of positions to just a few - generic labels like 'receiver' - instead of all the "slot" "h-back" etc. It might help avoid any direct complaints from the actual football league too, unless maybe you already have a licensing thing going on...

Having a grid format somehow on the field might aid you too - if you can find a way to have it blend into the background. A playbook might have a play showing how many squares away the receiver will end up before the ball is thrown - if the defender's playbook has a linebacker stop his movement in the path of the pass...maybe he has a chance to knock it down, intercept, etc.

Anyway - keep us posted on how things are going - sounds interesting!

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
Game Machanics For a Football Game

For the map, I also tought one of using an hex map for playing blood ball. It could be interesting because it could also allow you to keep track the facing of your player more easily. Which will force player to spend movement to turn around ( which is not the case in blood ball).

The problem with hex map is the hex alignment. If aligned on the field length, the player will run straigth but the starting and touchdown line will not be straight. If alligned are the other side, the lines will be straight but the players will run in zig-zag toward the goal.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Game Machanics For a Football Game

I'm starting to be a huge fan of abstract games. An abstract football game? Preposterous you say? Here's my take:

Offensive Units:
Offensive Line (1) x5
Running Back (2) x2
Wide Reciever (3) x3
Quarterback (4) x1

Defensive Units:
Defensive Line (1) x4
Linebacker (2) x3
End (3) x2
Safety (4) x2

The number after each position represents strength and speed.
Strength: Lower numbers tackle better.
Speed: On the field, this unit moves this number of spaces. A lineman moves 1 space. A wide reciever moves 4.

The x2, x3, etc. number represents how many of each piece a player gets. This is not set in stone... this is just a guideline. See play, below.

Gameboard: The gameboard is a hex grid. Rows are parallel to the endzone. Each hex represents 2.5 yards. There are 40 rows total.

I've got a ton of rules to make up for kick offs, punting, field goals, extra points, etc... you won't find those here (yet). These rules are for general play.

Line up your linemen on the line of scrimmage. Then, place your quarterback and wide recievers in the next row. Your running backs go in the row behind. Defense should set up similarly (yes, I know this diagram ignores the hex-grid aspect - bear with me).

Linemen must be placed on the line of scrimmage. The offensive player may only have 1 quarterback. There are probably more rules that will go here governing setup.

Sample Setup:<br />
<p>  4      2   2     4<br />
      3 1 1 1 1 3       Defense<br />
         11111          Offense<br />
3   3      4       3<br />
           2<br />

The defensive player decides if they are going to try and blitz. Doing so lets them go first, but puts them at risk of getting an offsides. If they make this decision, flip a coin, and call it. Heads, the defensive player goes first. Tails, an offsides is called: 5 yard penalty and repeat the down.

Otherwise, the offensvie player goes first. The quarterback simply starts with the ball.

On your turn, you move your pieces, pass the ball, and try to make it down the field and into the endzone. Standard football rules apply (that means, more rules go here).

Movement: Pieces move a number of spaces equal to their speed. You may push an enemy piece out of the way if your strength is equal to or greater than that piece's. You may not move a piece if another piece blocks the movement. To do this, you simply move your piece into that piece's hex, and move that piece in the opposite direction. Multiple pieces cannot occupy the same hex.

Hand-offs: You may hand the ball to another player on your team without penalty at any time the two pieces (the player with the ball and the player who is recieving it) are in adjacent squares. You cannot hand-off to a lineman.

Passes: Only the QB may pass. To pass, choose a recipient and flip a coin. Heads - the pass is successful, and the ball is moved to that reciever. Tails - pass incomplete. You may not pass to a lineman.

Interceptions: If the opposing player has a piece in contact with the recipient of a pass, and that pass fails, the pass is intercepted. Give the ball to that player. If there are more than one possible opposing pieces, the opposing player chooses which one. Interceptions are the only way a lineman can end up with the ball.

Note: I know interceptions shouldn't happen very often (based on the speed of a wide reciever, but I like that they are in the game.

Tackles: To tackle the ball carrier, you must move your piece into it's square. If the piece tackling yours has less strength than the ball carrier, there is a possibility of breaking the tackle. Flip a coin - heads, the tackle is broken and the tackling player cannot move into your space. Tails, the ball carrier is tackled.

What else? Not sure. More to come.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Game Machanics For a Football Game

Sorry its taken me so long to post again doing school and full time job kinda sucks as most of you know. I was more thinking to have the flow of the game be less one team move then another. So my intial idea was units offense and defense move together. Like the O line and D line. QBs and Running Backs with the line backers,,,ect ect. And to make it more like football have a "playbook". where the blocking path of the O line and D line are pre determined. And the other players are moved freely this is to allow things like run fakes.

Now skills will be a percentile number and you must roll under that number to succed.

blocking will be a strength vs strength roll

Tackling will also be a skill vs skill roll

these are my initial ideas more to come

Joined: 12/31/1969
Game Machanics For a Football Game

I think having the lines act as a unit is a good idea - but how will you decide which line succeeds? Will the line have an overall strength or skill value?

When it gets down to the more specific roles, such as QB or linebacker - how will you decide which move takes precedence, or for that matter, which player (the actual game players) goes first, offense or defense?

If you have to roll for everything (every time 2 opposing players come into contact) - I'm wondering if a single play will take too long to be fun...maybe you could describe how you envision a single play being resolved.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Game Machanics For a Football Game

You may want to check out "Battle Ball" can get it for 10 or 20 bucks at Toys R Us. It's exceedingly simple, maybe too simple for what you want. But if the main purpose of this is to show off the components, that might be just what the doctor ordered.

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