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Five Nights at Freddy's Board Game - Electricity

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bottercot
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Hello,
As a disclaimer, this is a hobby game with no intention to be published. I created this game for my own enjoyment, as well as with friends and family.

So I'm going to give a basic explanation of how the game works, then explain the current predicament I have.

The game is based on the (formerly) popular video game Five Nights at Freddy's. In the game, one player takes the role of Night Guard, with the goal of surviving until 6:00, when his shift ends and he can go home. The other player, the Animatronics, must kill the Night Guard before the end of the night. They do so by moving amimatronics across the pizzeria, toward the office where the night guard is positioned. All the while, however, the night guard is checking cameras, closing doors, and keeping track of power within his office.

The actual game is played much like Battleship, with two separate boards, each depicting the layout of the pizzeria. The pizzeria itself is a map split into spaces/rooms, with most spaces having their own name. i.e. supply closet, east hallway, west hallway corner, kitchen, dining area, etc. The only rooms with more than 1 space are the Dining Room, with a total of 9 spaces in a 3x3 grid, the Bathrooms with 2 spaces, the Stage with 3 spaces, and Pirate Cove with 3 spaces, although it is a special case, as no Animatronics can enter.

The Office sits at the end of 2 hallways, with a doorway connecting it to each.

During the Animatronic player's turn, he plays one card from his hand of 3 to move an Animatronic. The deck is composed of cards with arrows (up, down, left, right, up/down, left/right, and any direction). The arrows denote which direction the player may choose to move an Animatronic. Animatronics may move 1 space (except for Foxy, but he's a special case). Some cards have a sound icon on the top right. when they play this card, they must announce a noise in the room the Animatronic entered. i.e. "Sound in the Backstage", or "Sound in the West Doorway." This is just to give the Night Guard a better idea of where the Animatronics are, without having to use his cameras.

I have a difficulty system that allows me to swap out and change the deck to make it easier for the Animatronic player to navigate his Animatronics, but I won't go into it here, as it's not important for the context.

Anyway, there is also 1 Time card in the Animatronic player's deck. When he draws this, he announces, "Time!" and reshuffles his discard and the Time card into his draw pile. The Night Guard also moves the Time track down an hour.

On the Night Guard's turn, he has 2 options: Check 1-2 Cameras, or check his Office. When he checks his cameras, he announces a room, and the Animatronic player announces what Animatronics are in that room. When the Night Guard checks his Office, he announces so, and the Animatronic player announces whether there are any Animatronics in his doorways. The Doorways do not count as cameras, so they can only be checked through the Office.

Anyway the Night Guard then has the option to open or close either of his Doors. For every turn that the Doors are closed, it uses up 1 Electricity (I'll explain it later, it's part of my predicament). While a door is closed, no Animatronics can move into the Office from that direction.

As a side note, I also have a rule that an Animatronic may only stay in the doorway for 1 turn, if they don't move during their next turn they go back to their starting space (the Stage for Freddy, Bonnie and Chica, and Pirate Cove for Foxy). This prevents the Animatronic player from "camping" the doorways until the Night Guard runs out of power.

So the game consists of the Night Guard checking cameras, opening and closing doors, and otherwise trying not to die, while the Animatronic player juggles cards to move his Animatronics around and try to get into the office before the time reaches 6:00 (it starts at 12:00, by the way).

There is one more element, however. Pirate Cove is where Foxy is positioned. Essentially, Pirate Cove consists of 3 spaces stacked vertically. On their turn, the Animatronic player can move Foxy down one space (provided he has the right card). If Foxy reaches the last space, he enters the Dining Hall and has escaped. However, if, at any point, the Night Guard checks on Pirate Cove while Foxy is inside, he's forced to go back to the highest space.

What makes Foxy unique is that, once he escapes Pirate Cove, he may move 2 spaces in a straight line every time he moves. This allows him to escape, run down both spaces of the hallway, skip past the doorway (if the door is open), and enter the Office within the span of 3 turns. Thus, Foxy is often the way to go if the Animatronic player wants a swift victory.

Anyway, with the game fully explained, I now need to explain Electricity. Electricity is the thing that adds tension to the game and prevents the Night Guard from staying safe in his office for the whole game. I have an Electricity track and a method of counting, as well as costs for keeping doors closed and for checking cameras, but what I don't have is an easy way to remind the player that they have to pay. With the current pace of the game, it can be very difficult remembering to pay the electricity bill every turn. So the question that this entire thread has been leading up to is: How do I keep the player engaged in that side of the game? How do I remind them to pay for their electricity? Do I put a giant Voltage symbol on the board? Do I zap them every turn to remind them? Do I have the Animatronic player manage it instead? Surely there's a way to do this?

Thank you!

bottercot
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Completely forgot to

Completely forgot to mention!
When electricity runs out, the Night Guard can no longer check cameras or keep their doors closed. They just check their office every turn and hope that 6:00 comes before they die.
So yeah.

questccg
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Wow ... This all sounds pretty COOL!

But I'd prefer seen a layout of the game (photo or image, etc.) But all of this sounds pretty neat TBH.

Now I'll give you some honest feedback.

Let's say your Night Guard uses "Electricity" you could put this in a POOL of "Electricity" tokens (circular) and then the Animatronics can USE these tokens (to some benefit). I'm not sure HOW but I am sure WHY. Let me explain.

If you have a currency paid by one player and used by the other players. The Animatronics will ENSURE that the Night Guard pays into the pool. They do this because THEY have some kind of "special" interest in using the tokens from the pool itself.

So do you understand WHY, now? Everyone ELSE will keep the Night Guard honest and insure that he pays "Electricity" whenever he uses it...

Note: Now all you need to figure out is HOW they use the "Electricity" pool of tokens. Since the Animatronics are also controlled by some form of "Electricity", maybe move an additional space cost "3 Tokens", Short Circuit a door "5 Tokens", etc. I'll leave it to you to think up of things that work for your game since you are it's designer...

bottercot
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I know I have the files and

I know I have the files and maps saved somewhere, but not sure where. I've consistently used about 3 laptops over the last month, so I'll probably need to check each.
I would make the game available for print and play, it basically is, I just don't have a rulebook written.

let-off studios
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Special Animatronic Abilities

questccg wrote:
Note: Now all you need to figure out is HOW they use the "Electricity" pool of tokens. Since the Animatronics are also controlled by some form of "Electricity", maybe move an additional space cost "3 Tokens", Short Circuit a door "5 Tokens", etc. I'll leave it to you to think up of things that work for your game since you are it's designer...
Electricity could be a finite resource that bounces back and forth between the two factions. But yes, the idea that one faction makes it available to the other is an excellent way to keep everyone's eyes on it when it's time to "pay the piper."

I'd be concerned about what happens if the animatronic faction stockpiles their Electricity, but you could remedy that by limiting the amount of Electricity they could stockpile: perhaps three per creature? This doesn't allow for finite amounts of Electricity, but it does prevent overloading the security guard on a future turn.

questccg
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Balancing act

let-off studios wrote:
...I'd be concerned about what happens if the animatronic faction stockpiles their Electricity, but you could remedy that by limiting the amount of Electricity they could stockpile: perhaps three per creature? This doesn't allow for finite amounts of Electricity, but it does prevent overloading the security guard on a future turn.

Not sure I agree. And the reason why I disagree is because the pool forces the Night Guard to think when and IF he should use "electricity". Too much means giving too much power to the Animatronics. It may be a fine line to balance out the game given a pool and tokens...

bottercot
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It's an interesting mechanic

It's an interesting mechanic for sure.
Perhaps I could have special cards in the Animatronic deck that costs Electricity to lose? Maybe the player could pay Electricity to ignore a Sound symbol on a card, or things like that.
Now is probably a good time to explain the 2 cards from the deck that I actually didn't mention before: the Sound card, and the Golden Freddy card.
There are 2 Sound cards in the deck, and essentially the Animatronic player plays the card with another card to announce a sound in any space they desire. This gives them an opportunity to confuse the Night Guard and lead them to check cameras for no reason.
The other card, Golden Freddy, can be played silently. The Animatronic player plays the card and moves the Golden Freddy token to any space. The next time the Night Guard checks that space, they lose a turn. This gives the Animatronic player the chance to play twice in a row, which could give them the victory.
Perhaps there are other cards I could add. I'm starkly against the "move twice" mechanic, because it really goes against one of the key mechanics that I want to hold to. "Move 2 Animatronics at once," however, could be interesting.
I'm still a little uneasy about this mechanic in general, as it goes against the source material a lot more than any of my other mechanics, but I'll think about it.

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