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Need help to fill out epic idea

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Anonymous

Hey everyone,

I was looking for some help regarding a large epic game I am hoping to make. I'll give a brief explanation. I want to create an epic game, based on the years of 1700 to around the 1930's or perhaps even as far as up to World War II. This game would have a mixture of playable nations, where players directly control the governing, military etc... of that country as well as several non-playable countries that would need to be governed some how. The playable nations would include large and influential nations of the time period, notably: United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Germany/Prussia (simplified and unified), Italy (simplified and unified), Austria, Sweden, Ottoman Empire, China and Japan.

Non-player nations would be minor countries such as Greece and Egypt which would have no real impact on gameplay. The world would be divided into provinces, allowing large numbers to be occupied by no nation at all, allowing colonization. These provinces would each have a resource assigned to them, allowing them to be collected and used to produce further materials. Production would take place in a nation's factories, a unique one for each unique producable material.

Raw resources would include (please note, iron and steel will be regarded as the same item in this game):

Grain/fish (would be used as "food")
Iron
Coal
Wood
Oil (unavaliable until late 1800's)
Fibres (cotton, wool etc... combined into one)
Sulphur

These could then be manufactured into secondary usable materials in an appropriate factory:

Consumer Goods Factory: Fibres + Wood + Grain = Consumer goods
Sail Factory: Fibres = Sails
Sailship Shipyard: Wood = Ship Building Material
Ammunition/Combustibles Factory: Sulphur + Coal = Ammunition
Military Weapons Factory: Iron + Wood + Coal = Military Weapons
Naval Weapons Factory: Iron + Wood + Coal = Naval Weapons
Supplies factory: Grain + Coal + Fibres = Military Supplies
Construction Material Factory: Iron + Wood = Construction Materials

These are all I can think of right now... I need some more ideas.

Regarding the colonialism aspect, the world will be all be discovered to simplify gameplay. There will be a set construction material value to build a colonial port and then an inland colonial station to eventually colonial combined state. I am still working out the whole colonialism aspect.

Regarding military units, as well as each province having a set resource, each province will also have a set manpower number in which soldiers can be recruited from. Land forces will include:

Infantry
Cavalry
Dragoons
Artillery (not until 1830)
Tanks (not until 1905)

Naval forces will include:

Manowars
Frigates
Ironclads (not until 1850)
Monitors (not until 1850)
Sail Transports
Steamer Transports (not until 1850)
Cruisers (not until 1880)
Submarines (not until 1905)
Dreadnoughts (not until 1900)

Each military unit will have a set construction cost, build time, manpower cost etc...

Regarding technology, this factor is rather sketchy... I am planning to have some sort of major technology research aspect in the game but I need some help on this one.

Thats about all the ideas I have for this obvious epic and most probably unachievable game. I am looking for a few game mechanics as well, a list is below, if anyone could please provide me with any or somewhere to get some I would really appreciate it:

Diplomacy mechanic
Engagement mechanic
Trade/market mechanic
Colonial mechanic
Production mechanic

Cheers,

Tim

PS. Please email me if you want to help me construct this game :D

Anonymous
What type of help.

What type of help are you looking for?

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

I am after people with a good historical knowledge of the period but also people I can hopefully become friends with :D I am only 16 and in my school holidays, so this is sort of my holiday project so it would be good to get some people of around my age to help me.

Regarding the whole help thing, I would need people just the do various jobs, such as working out certain values for things, how to run the combat part of the game etc... etc... if you have any interest at all, please reply here or email :)

If this didnt answer your question, just post your interests and stuff to me and I'll be able to see what I can do 8)

Anonymous
Historical.

If you want I can lend you a hand with the historical part of the game, I'd be interested in researching Japan and China. Sorry, but I am a little older than 16, but if you want help I'll help you out.

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

Thanks Drimitz, it just happens that Chinese and Japanese history, before 1850 is what I seem to fail at, thanks for your offer.

I forgot to mention before, the playable nations the Netherlands and Denmark :P I wont bother with Belgium, or the German or Italian minors, I'll just combine them all into Germany and Italy, as well as any other small nations, especially British India, just to heavily simplify it all, but at the cost of loosing historical accuracy.

I am going to get a small website up and running on which I'll post all my ideas, the game rules in the works etc... I'll post the link here when its all done.

Cheers,

Tim

PS. No worries that your older than 16, it doesnt bother me at all

Anonymous
What type of information.

What type of information do you need for japan and china? I mean what do you need for the game?

Nazhuret
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Need help to fill out epic idea

why not make all countries on the map playable?

is it a "what if" game?

if so then "what if" these countries were to somehow come into more power through diplomatic decisions placing them into the world empirical economy of the times?

if you want a straight historical simulator then ignore that.

personally i would like a what if scenario....

in the what if you would definately skew the game in favor of countries that did come out on top but there would be the chance of other smaller powers to rise through bad decisions of the major players...

and how sweet would that victory be?

well... pretty sweet i'll tell you that for free...

and done right not unrealistic...

two cents...

Nazhuret
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Need help to fill out epic idea

or how about this....

an epic game of colonization that assumes the actions of the major powers as set in history and NOT played by the players...?

the players would assume the roles of the very small colonies / companies / countries set upon by these powers.... and it is there goal to thrive, sustain or overcome in this situation.

game goals could be : continue as a subject of higher power and thrive economically.... sustain the status quo with an occupying power ie: your economy and standard of living is neither better nor worse than it was or third, take the money and overthrow (through arms or money) the shackles of your oppressors and rise as a major player in world politics by the year 19XX...?

again... two cents on "epic games" set in the time period you described...

just thinking out loud here... :)

DavemanUK
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
top-down design (after the initial theme has been conceived)

It certainly sounds an epic theme but how heavy is the game to be (30mins, 60mins, 3 hours)? I'm assuming this will be a long one :)

I'd also recommend deciding at this point what the central mechanics are to be (auctions, action drafting, Budgeted-Action-Points, wargame)? as it sounds like you're designing the game from the bottom-up (which some people like, others don't).

Do examine the game 'Princes of the Renaissance' for its marvellous usage of various mechanics in a '30 year long' game :)

----------
Dave W.

jwarrend
Offline
Joined: 08/03/2008
Re: Need help to fill out epic idea

StormRaptor wrote:

Thats about all the ideas I have for this obvious epic and most probably unachievable game. I am looking for a few game mechanics as well, a list is below, if anyone could please provide me with any or somewhere to get some I would really appreciate it:

Diplomacy mechanic
Engagement mechanic
Trade/market mechanic
Colonial mechanic
Production mechanic

Tim, with all due respect, you're asking us to design the game for you. The mechanics aren't something you can add in to a game project -- they are the game project. I think you really need to narrow down your focus right now. Instead of collecting a gazillion pieces of data about the historical period you want to make a game about, and about all of these nations, just focus all of your efforts on designing a robust game engine for the game itself. What aspects of the world will your game simulate? What systems will you use to make this happen? How can you make them interrelate?

A game isn't just an essay in historical reality; it's an abstraction of reality that presents players with interesting decisions. If you don't think about how exactly you're going to present players with an interesting set of decisions, your game may be extremely detailed from a simulation standpoint, but no one will ever want to play it because it will be huge, long, and (the showstopper) bland. I am not a wargamer, but I have to think that for gamers of all stripes, what matters most is creative control. It's the designer's job to cook up mechanics that give challenging decisions.

So, the best advice I can give you is, forget almost everything you've done up to this point. Forget your lists of resources, lists of units, lists of nations. Or more accurately, set them aside. You aren't even close to needing them yet. You need to first design the game engine itself. As a simple example, you will need to design a combat mechanic. How will combat be resolved? Will it be like Axis and Allies where each unit has unique Attack and Defend attributes? Will it be like Throneworld where each unit permits you to roll a different number of dice? Or something totally different? Once you know this, you can think of all the different kinds of units you'd like to have (and, presumably some exceptions to your combat system for the "special" units).

Obviously, you're free to disregard this suggestion. I just feel that thinking about what you want to be in the game, rather than what you want the game to be, is almost certainly a path that will lead you to a six or ten hour monstrosity that will get playtested once (if that) and forgotten.

-Jeff

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

Thanks everyone for your input so far, especially Jeff, thanks for the excellent advice. I do agree I was a bit over the top asking for all those mechanisms, I think I am just trying to find a base I can work off regarding those mechanisms, so I dont get bogged down totally designing my own, I can just "renovate" an already existing one.

I have considered Nazhuret's idea regarding the non-playable nations being playable and the other idea of the super powers being idle behemoths while the smaller nations carve out their empires. These ideas are good but somehow I feel people may want to play say Great Britain or the simplified Germany rather than say Egypt or Persia, just for the feeling of being equal to divide up the world and such. Think of Axis and Allies, a game I have played many times. The non-playable countries would be like the neutral countries in Axis and Allies EXCEPT they would have random events (coming most probably from cards and/or some sort of "spinner") that would control their actions each turn. Also there are some 10+ "main" nations that would exist and say only 4 or 5 people are going to play, the other main nations would have to be governed by random factors too, which would just become to overwhelming.

Daveman asked how long the game would be... I would have to guess that it would be well over several hours...possibly even days to play. It is really designed to be a war/empire epic game designed to be played out by devoted fans of both those genres how enjoy long epic games (such as myself) And yes I am designing this game from the bottom up :P

The central mechanics would be:

*Combat
*Trade
*Neutral Diplomacy
*Building/Management/Economics (more or less "civil")
*Colonialism/Exploration

These would have referral sheets, cards and dice to operate.

For my combat mechanic, I would like it to be similar to Axis and Allies, regarding each military unit having a defence and attack value. However, I would change it slightly to involve military technology and terrain. I would allow the defence and attack number to be changed by the researching of new technology. For example, if basic infantry had a attack value of 1 when the game begins, and a player researches for example "Steel Breach Loaded Rifles" then the value would go up to 2. Also regarding defence, I will have an option to build land forts, trenches and coastal defence forts, and these would change the defence value.

Regarding trade, I have no idea at this value. I dont think I could manage to create a market mechanic where the prices constantly change due to supply and demand. However, I think I will have a set value for each item and players can add their surplus of that material (in the form of cards or such) to the "World Market Pile" where they can await a purchase from another nation. This would be the easiest way to run trade.

Diplomacy would involve a list of diplomatic actions that a player can take each turn. Each player will have 3 diplomatic actions they can take each turn, which cannot be used on the same country twice. Diplomacy would include: Declare war (becomes "sue for peace and set terms" when at war, set terms turns into negotiations for war indemnities), propose alliance, negotiate (trade territories etc...) ask for military access and send expeditionary force(s). Alliances and other diplomatic results will be recorded on paper.

Building/Management/Economics would involve the construction of new factories, taking out of loans, construction of new ships, training of new troops etc...

Colonialism/Exploration: Players may attempt to colonise as many neutral provinces as they wish each turn. Firstly they must have one of their warships outfitted with some sort of supplies or such (yet to be determined) for each pronvice they wish to colonise. They must then set their ships to sail (at their normal movement) to each colony. Once they reach there, they must roll a dice to determine a succesful colonization. If it is a coastal province, the colony becomes a coastal colony, with a small port. If inland, it becomes simple a colony. Exploration will not be included in this game as of yet.

Thats it so far. Please give input! :D

Regards,

Tim

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

I have left out a few mechanics, and I am developing the bases of these now, should be ready by tomorrow, will post then, as well as other things.

Regards,

Tim

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

Tim,

I also love epic, grand strategy, empire type games, and the one you are working on here looks like the mother of them all! :) I am very interested in the era you want to cover with this game, it sounds like it would be a great long-weekend game *grin* Sadly it seems i can never convince my friends to play all weekend... and my wife starts referring to herself as a "War Bride" so i have to keep those games to a minimum. It would be cool if you had a 'basic' version that could be played in an evening - you know to suck your friends into the concept of it, and then roll out the full blown one after that...

Anyway, good luck with this one!
If you want feedback or brainstorming on concepts for this game i'd be happy to participate.

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

GameMonkey wrote:
Tim,

I also love epic, grand strategy, empire type games, and the one you are working on here looks like the mother of them all! :) I am very interested in the era you want to cover with this game, it sounds like it would be a great long-weekend game *grin* Sadly it seems i can never convince my friends to play all weekend... and my wife starts referring to herself as a "War Bride" so i have to keep those games to a minimum. It would be cool if you had a 'basic' version that could be played in an evening - you know to suck your friends into the concept of it, and then roll out the full blown one after that...

Anyway, good luck with this one!
If you want feedback or brainstorming on concepts for this game i'd be happy to participate.

Thanks very much for your reply, its nice to know someone out there has faith in long, epic games, as well as Victorian/Colonial era history :D I agree, it would make the perfect long weekend game, and no game would be the same so interest would be maintained. Lol I like the "War Bride" attitude your wife as, thankfully, I am only 16/17 and not married :D

Regarding your "basic" version, that is a good idea but I am not sure I could cram 230 years (230 game turns) of history into a single evening game without cutting out the majority of what will make this game complex and enjoyable. However it is a good idea and I agree I would most probably get players to build up the stamina to play the full version :D

Cheers,

Tim

PS. Still working on those mechanics, almost done, will post soon. All feedback welcome!

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

Looking forward to seeing it! Maybe i could help out by slashing it down to a basic version for the masses?

Anonymous
Need help to fill out epic idea

Thanks Gamemonkey, I might take you up on that offer when the game is done :D The game mechanics are almost in their "basic developed" phase, just working on the the complex government/relgion one which is prolly the most complex mechanic of all. I will be designing cards to represent the stats of each of my military units and I am hoping to post them on a basic site I will develop for the game.

The game map is currently a few pieces of cardboard roughly taped together, covered in A4 paper...looks very basic and has several gaps and creases that need filling in. I am going to draw my prototype map on this, like I did in my WWII game, which involved the whole world, which I did complete but never bothered to do much else with. Hopefully, if this game gets to the proper prototype and possible pusblishing stage, I can get a professional illustrator to fill out and detail the map and then have the publishers put it on some nice, one piece shiny board :D

Anyway, I'll inform everyone of the games progress and the opening of the site and other details in this post so please keep checking it :)

Cheers,

Tim

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