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Bonus Points Mechanic

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 08/20/2012

I'm working on a game where the majority of points are earned during normal gameplay but each round a player might receive a bonus. In its minimal implementation, this could basically be an area of the board players can move a token to indicate how many times they have received this bonus with how many points they have earned in doing so.

But I'd like to do a few things:

* Use this as an opportunity to add theme
* Allow for this bonus to introduce hidden bonus points because the points scored during normal gameplay are public
* Introduce another area to make a decision
* Make it so that there can be potential snowballing scoring when players get this bonus several times

What I'm looking for is ideas or examples of other games that contain this type of mechanic.

For example, in Loch Ness, there is a deck of cards that has head/body/tail sets of cards and you can draw 1 of 3 revealed cards or a random card from the face-down draw pile. A full set of all 3 cards is worth 10 points, 2 is worth 5, and 1 is worth 1. This ties the theme into the bonus, makes the extra points somewhat hidden, especially since it's done through set collection, has a minor decision to make when taking the first 2 cards in a set, and can possibly add a large number of points which is more likely the more you get this bonus.

Joined: 01/27/2017
Hard to make it thematic without knowing the theme

It's hard to suggest anything thematic without knowing the theme, but cards definitely work better as a hidden point mechanic than say a hidden track (open to cheating) or collecting dice to be rolled at the end (too much randomness).

One way to tie the theme to the mechanic is to have distinct decks of hidden-point cards for each reason one might get a bonus. There could even be some public points for getting certain combinations of hidden cards. For example, a certain warlike faction might get one public point every time he or she collects three different combat-related cards while a more cosmopolitan faction gets one public point every time he or she collects one of each of the three card types.

The hidden face of the card could give a certain number of points, or some variable (but unambiguous) number of points based on the board state at the time cards are revealed. For example, "3 points if this player controls the SWAMP OF SORROWS region, otherwise 1 point".

One option is to force players to reveal all cards at the end, or allow them to reveal at most one card per turn if they think the conditions are likely to get worse. The revealed card would move the public score and have no further power to chance anything. Whether such a revealed card still counts toward collecting sets is a separate decision.

Hope that made sense :-)

Joined: 08/20/2012
Thanks, having the distinct

Thanks, having the distinct decks of cards is the direction I've been leaning. I like the thought of the first card drawn from the first deck to be almost totally at random but reveal two or more paths to snowballing that card into more points. Other decks might be split into different types of cards, each of which might contain the next card that player is looking for.

Another thought I had was that there could be a single deck and each time you got the bonus you get to take a card, but each time you get a bonus, you get to draw an additional card before picking one, placing the unpicked cards on the bottom of the deck. You'd still be doing something like looking for sets/combos but you'd know some of what you didn't pick and your odds of getting what you want goes up each time you get the bonus.

Joined: 09/06/2017
Some games you may look at

Five tribes - has the market in which players collect up to nine different commodities with an increasing value for each one. (Well I guess this is technically public info if you have an amazing memory.)

Jamaica has an interesting cards and an card circulation mechanic.

T'zolkien has worship tracks and depending where you are on these you get rewarded or punished at certain points during the game.

Kohlstech's picture
Joined: 11/03/2017
player might receive a bonus

Maybe similar to the way the cards work in RISK
you could use colors to tie into your theme
either via location or faction etc..

3 bonus cards piles each containing a certain part
Collect 3, 1 of each card (part-1),(part-2),(part-3) all same color

Once you have as set you can play them for a bonus.
Extra bonus if you control the location or are of that faction.

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