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Designing around an action selection mechanic

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Squinshee's picture
Joined: 10/17/2012

Usually when I design games I start grand, and with each iteration the chip away mechanics to find the core of my design. I'm trying to do the reverse, and I'm hitting roadblocks.

My main mechanic is an action selection via dice. Players roll a few d6 with sides [1,1,2,2,3,3] and choose which ones to use for the turn. Players can only select up to a total number from the dice sides per turn. For example, you roll 5d6 and get [1,1,2,2,3] and your threshold for the turn is 4. You can then select: two 1's and one 2; two 2's, or one 3 and one 1. Actions you can use on your turn require a 1,2, or 3 die-face to activate. Generally speaking, the higher the die-face, the stronger the action (because it uses up more of your turn's threshold).

And that's all I have! Part of me is interested in having turns semi-simultaneous, where both players roll the dice and take turns selecting one from their pool to use for actions; the other part of me is interested in players having turns and figuring out what they want to do with their actions. I like the former because it forces players to adapt to their opponent's strategy and makes turns more engaging.

However...that's all I have! I want it to be interactive, with many opportunities for player disruption (I don't want to make a solitaire game) but I really have no idea what kind of game this mechanic would work with.

Does this sound like a fun mechanic in the first place? Any themes/ideas? Anything is appreciated :)

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
I think I understand

What's interesting is your "Threshold" concept. Rolling 5d6s is NOT new. Many games have dice rolling as a mechanic. However having dice rolling in combination with a "restriction" mechanic - I think is cool.

And having actions that are 1, 2 and 3 in cost also makes perfect sense.

I can't just "paste" a theme. And many themes are overly used...

I did have the "concept" of a Girls Gymnastic game which several designers thought the theme was cool. Plus it being a "girls" game could be FUN to design.

In that design, I was using dice to accomplish routines on various apparatus. It used a 2 minute sand timer and players would roll Yahtzee style. That's why I bring it up. I'm no pro at gymnastics - but your actions could be a series of "steps" as part of a "routine". Scoring would be how well you accomplish a routine - based on the steps.

It's just an idea. I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable in Gymnastics to be able to setup "routines" and "steps" on various apparatus.

But it would be a LESS used "theme"... and maybe could have some solid gameplay.

Again just sharing my thoughts with you.

As always, cheers Calvin.

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011

Another idea that came to mind is "Professional Weight Building". IDK like Bench Press 100 lbs = 1, 150 lbs = 2 and 200 lbs = 3. And this could be part of a routine.

IDK just thinking of a "guys" version of the Gymnastic's Theme.

"A game for the rest of us that don't like going to the gym!" :P

Once you choose your next step in the routine, like 150 lbs Bench Press (2), you then roll a series of dice to see how well you PERFORM the routine...

Again a different take on themes.

Update: You could have a card drafting mechanic based on your dice rolls. Say you choose a 1 and 3, because your threshold was 4. You get to do Bench Presses (3) and Fly Machine (1).

IDK just some examples of hold to evolve the theme...

Update #2: Consulting with a Personal Trainer might be cheaper than trying to do a Girls Gymnastics routine. Trainers are usually available for hire a local gyms - you could get pretty explicit training routine(s) for your game... Just another thought!

And relatively "inexpensive". If you have a YMCA, they usually have trainers that can help you in making custom routines. Of course you could do it for your game, and not your personal "physique"! ;)

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