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Scoring/winning

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hugo
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Heihei,

Have been lurking for a while here and trying to read as much as i can, trying to figure out what to do with my game. : )

I hope this sub is alright for this kind of question.

Also sorry if my English can be a little bit off and explaining hectic, not my mother tongue.

To the problem:

I'm trying to create a game of "hunt", where you play against the deck being one of the hunted. 2-4 players.

You choose a character (no special attributes) at the beginning of the game and then start drawing cards from the deck. These cards can be advancing cards (to the exit), to food (healing), bonus cards (to avoid/help something), hunters/traps (lose health), etc.

Your character has 6 hitpoints (why i chose 6hp was because a dice has 6 sides and it is easy to keep track of your HP with it - not crucial in anyway).

The point of the game is to get to the exit, winning a round. Now here come's the scoring/winning problem.

Let's say that player A died, but player B was two rooms away from winning - should he win the round or continue to play until he can exit? And only if you exit - you win a round point (to win the game you need X amount of round points). Should the round then restart? Otherwise game is over and nothing happens. But i dislike this idea since the game is fast and it can be not so fun to a more casual player to die all the time.

Lose the round system and try to focus on one gameplay?

I have thought that maybe 1HP can present that you are knocked out and the game still goes on towards to the goal? But at the same time, then the hitpoints lose their point? : D

I have also thought of having a "hunting lodge" for a way to end the game, if i would go with the knockout route. In the "lodge" there would be stationary "hunters" and if they fill some kind of goal, the game is lost. Should maybe there be no round points, but also a winning "lodge"
for example; the party has gained X items to advance?

There also comes this problem that the game can be quite fast and end really quickly combined with randomness.

This game i would like to think has some roguelike elements (death rate is high, randomness).

So question maybe is this, how to eliminate (not all of it, but a little bit of)randomness in such game?

What mechanics should i add in this situation to make the game longer, maybe even add a hint of strategy inside?

In the end i would like to implement also a hint of "dnd" dice success rolling also into it.

Wall of text : )

I hope i could explain it, if you have any more concrete questions i would like to know!

Cheers,
hugo

BHFuturist
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Follow the white rabbit!

Welcome, Hugo!

For anyone who might not know, in the story of Alice in wonderland the young female heroine encounters a random white rabbit and that is what starts her out on the adventure! What I mean by it is that you should follow the way your idea has taken you this far and grab onto the "roguelike nature" of the game.

You ask several types of very complicated questions, so I will try to address some of them the best I can in this format:

Scoring vs. Winning?

In game design, we need to define for the player what the "victory conditions" will be once a player has reached the end of the game. But first, we need to build the "game ended conditions" that tell the player when they have reached the end of the game. The final part is how to know if they have been victorious at the end of the game.

Scoring is not always "winning", the player with the most points in your game might die before escaping! (each round). Having the points from the each round carry over into the next round will encourage players to take more risks, but you need to reward the players who actually "won" the round as well. This could be "points" or "powers" or "Items"...

When you said:

hugo wrote:
I would like to think it has some roguelike elements (death rate is high, randomness).

Follow that rabbit trail! if the game feels Rougelike... add some of the Rougelike elements that bring players back for more!

In many roguelike games, players can start new rounds (after death), stronger than the last "life" if they did well or got some "item". You might add power levels to the "character cards" that correspond to points earned and times died.

Variable player powers can cause issues in game balance, so you might start with just one list for all players. Here are two examples:

  • 2 points and 1 death = Can draw two cards at the start of the next round (play one and give the other to "any other" player who can't draw this turn).
  • 4 points and 3 deaths = The first time you take damage this round, ignore the damage (as a dodge skill).

Keep the list short so it will fit on the player cards for quick reference during the game. The list could also "cost" points to activate abilities. Also, make sure to add a way for a "first player" maker to be changed from player to player each round.

On removing or managing randomness:

Read this article I wrote when you have time on "The Role of Randomness":
http://www.bgdf.com/node/18935

With a deck of cards, the order of the cards is the random part, so to remove randomness from that system you need a way for the players to bring some order to the deck.

Card Drafting

Deal out a number of the cards from the deck at the start of the round (say 6 cards) and have players take turns buying the cards with points. If the card is "good" that player can keep it to use during the round and if it is "bad" the card is not shuffled back into the deck and can't hurt the players this round.

The game is too fast?

Add cards to the deck (bigger deck) or make the number of "points to win" higher or don't give out as many points (so it takes longer to get to the end). But if you do some of the things suggested above, players might "choose" to spend points (that could help them to get to the end goal) just so they can try to "live" through this round's "Hunt".

As to "how" to end each round?

Based "escaping" or "player death". What is "hunting" the players?

If "something" is hunting the 4 people and "that thing" kills 1 of them... then 3 of them get away right (because it stops to eat the one)? and also if three escape... then the last 1 gets eaten right (for being the slowest)?

Be careful as you try to add Dungeons and Dragons (dnd) style gameplay, that adds many complicated things that can drastically change the way games flow and how "approachable" they are to new players. In most card games that are faster and more exciting, dnd mechanics don't always add more "fun"...

It is hard to offer more "targeted" suggestions without knowing more about the cards and gameplay. So take all this as just a brainstorm based on how I read what you wrote, I hope that something in this helps.

"Always remember to think outside the box so your games will fit inside!"

-Eamon

let-off studios
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Some Responses and Example

hugo wrote:
Lose the round system and try to focus on one gameplay?

[...]

There also comes this problem that the game can be quite fast and end really quickly combined with randomness.

This game i would like to think has some roguelike elements (death rate is high, randomness).

So question maybe is this, how to eliminate (not all of it, but a little bit of)randomness in such game?

What mechanics should i add in this situation to make the game longer, maybe even add a hint of strategy inside?

In the end i would like to implement also a hint of "dnd" dice success rolling also into it.

This is exciting. :) Card games are fun to play around with.

I can imagine a game like this can be played with a standard deck of playing cards. Perhaps this is where you should start before trying to throw everything into it all at once.

For example:

  • Shuffle the deck, and each player is dealt two cards face-down. To start their turn, a player draws and reveals a card from the deck, and they can choose to keep it face-up, or face-down. If face-up, the number value is theirs to keep and add to a certain value - maybe based on suit - while a face-down card is a hit point/chance to escape death.
  • If a face-up card is revealed on a player's turn, they may choose to use it to attack their opponent(s) or add it to the end-of-round timer. If played against an opponent, that opponent must give up one face-down card or the attacker takes a face-up card of their choice from the target.
  • The round ends when one player is out of chances (in which case they automatically lose the round), the draw deck is exhausted, or the sixth (or whatever, based on game length) face card is added to the timer. The player with the highest number value of cards in their lowest-number-valued suit is the winner (for example, if a player has 13H, 7S, 11C, 18D their score for the round is 7). If there's a tie, the player with the most face-down cards is the winner.

This is simply one possibility of many different ways you can go about it, and it's nearly void of theme, but it seems a bit more together than what you've presented above. I think that the reason you have so many questions is because you haven't done some hard thinking about the core engagement of the game.

What do you want players to do in the game? How do you want them to go about it? Why will they want to choose one option over another? What advantage will they try to maximize that will edge them out over the other players? What will give players the idea they'll still have a chance to win up until the very end of the game?

Come up with some basic answers to these questions, and I think you'll be much farther ahead than you are now. Good luck. :)

Gabe
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Welcome to the BGDF. I'm glad

Welcome to the BGDF. I'm glad you've decided to start posting.

hugo wrote:

This game i would like to think has some roguelike elements (death rate is high, randomness).

So question maybe is this, how to eliminate (not all of it, but a little bit of)randomness in such game?

Rougelike is a niche category in video games, but it does extremely well. I say pull every element from those games you can to make your game a roguelike board game. There are few if any of those, and your game will stand out. It could even get crossover players from the video game community.

As far as randomness, I've compiled a list of the best blogs I could find on the subject. See that list here:

http://www.boardgamedesignlab.com/design-theory/#randomness

hugo
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Eamon, big thanks for this

Eamon, big thanks for this insightful answer. : ) Greatly appreciated!

I read your randomness article also, good stuff!

With the DND i actually just meant the dice rolling success? mechanic.

But a lot more simplified for example: Camp card comes from the deck it says "Roll 1-3, you find so many items/food from the camp, 4-5 you get nothing, 6 you sneak around the camp - draw next card."

I will try to explain my games theme a little bit more (this is one of my first serious attempts to design something playable - so keep in mind this is very work in progress : D). I recently got myself Tabletop Simulator and that just gave me the kick to pursue the dream of creating a cardgame (i am an avid gamer overall both pc/board). Since it is quite good to playtest your ideas fast and easy (and the amazing feeling when you play out your ideas, a m a z i n g.)

You play as an animal (rabbit, boar, deer, fox, etc.) Game starts: everyone selects an animal he/she wants to portray. Every animal has 6 hitpoints. You have been spotted by hunters (classical englishman currently) and you start to escape.

The main (and currently the only) deck is the forest. You have to escape deeper into the forest, escaping the dangers what lurk there. Traps what hunters have left, starvation, hunters themselves etc.

Players start to take cards.
Rabbit takes a card, bam, it is a trap - he loses 1hp.
Boar takes a card, gets turtle shell bonus card, he can keep it. It acts as a extra hitpoint.
Rabbit takes a card, it is a forest card - this card counts as an "exit point?", for example if rabbit has drawn 10 of these cards he has reached into deeper into the woods (and gains somekind of winning point - this is the place where i hit the wall, because if one player gains this one point, should the other continue? but playing it alone to the end/until you die/reach out to the forest can be quite tedious.)
Boar takes a card, hunter card - he shoots you (roll the dice 1-4 for damage, 5-6 escape.)

Does this gameplay run-through maybe help to understand this thing a little bit more? : D Do you think it is plain? I mean, it is quite simple and robust. But i like these kind of games, where you just don't know what will happen next, it will give some sense of adventure. But still, i would like to have a possibility that the player can "nudge" hes or her fate? Currently you have minimal and straight forward decisions that may help you and you can't prepare/think what would happen next.

To clarify the deck keeps always going, if the main deck is out of cards the discarded pile is shuffled and the adventure continues.

My main problem is i think, that i don't know how to end the game then perhaps? I mean, i have it there - get out of the woods or die. But i don't know how to extend it.. ? Ugh, it is quite late my brain is already "jam". So this sentence maybe didn't make any sense at all. :d

The point gathering what you suggested is a good idea.. a la, upgrade it for your hp, to survive more?

And if i might say it didn't give like a sense of "endgame"?

If i think about it can be also quite good that it is fast, because you are running for your life to escape? And it has quite nice tension effect.

Anyway, Eamon, really big thanks for your answer! These thoughts go def, behind my ear. : )

edit // 06.01.17 //
I will compile the list of cards that i have currently.

Main/win cards
-----------------
10 Forest - advance/gain one point towards deeper into the woods / you need to have "visited" this kind of card at least 10 times.

Positive cards
-----------------
2 Camp - originally this was gain +2HP, then i re-designed it to work with dice. Roll 1-3 heals that many HP, 4-5 nothing, 6 sneak around the camp draw the next card.

4 Food - gain +1HP

2 "Cherrybush" - everybody +1HP

1 The river - everybody +2HP

Action/event cards
-------------------
2 Destiny - you get to choose who draws a card, yourself included

2 Sense of hearing - you hear a sound, you can look the top card of the deck and decide if you want to draw it or not

2 Sense of smell - you smell something, you can look three top cards of the deck and arrange them as you like

2 Speed - draw another card

3 Storm - player bonus cards get mixed/exchanged

Bonus cards
--------------------
1 High intelligence - you can use it if there comes a hunter or a trap, you can avoid them.

1 Bush - you can hide yourself inside the bush when a hunter comes, or group hunt card.

1 Kick - you can kick other player infront of a danger (trap, hunter)

1 Thick skin - this counts as an extra hitpoint

2 Water of life - you don't die, you come to life with 1HP
(this card i actually threw out, because it kind of lost the point when i thought of knockout)

Bad cards
------------------

5 Trap - You lose 1HP
4 Grouphunt - Everybody loses 1HP
2 Obstacle - you pass this turn.
1 Hunting tower - roll the dice 1-3 lose HP, 4-6 avoid.
4 Hunters - roll the dice 1-4 lose hp, 5-6 avoid.
2 Tracks - this is a new card what i havent quite tested yet, but it works as the same mechanic as the forest, if you have pulled the second tracks card the hunter finds you (because he picked up your tracks).

The amount of hunters/grouphunters depends how many players are in play.

You can only keep one bonus card, but for example if you draw another bonus card you have the option to replace it.

hugo
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Hei! Massive thanks for your

Hei! Massive thanks for your reply let-off.

Those are good questions, some of them i maybe responded above - describing the game? : )

Why will they want to choose one option over another?
-- This is a good question, i actually think they (players/animals) don't have so much options to survive.

What advantage will they try to maximize that will edge them out over the other players?
-- This is also good, because none of them have any advantage.. im thinking of adding some more, perhaps character based advantages.

What will give players the idea they'll still have a chance to win up until the very end of the game?
-- They are still alive! : D

hugo
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Hei Gabe! Yes, roguelike is

Hei Gabe!

Yes, roguelike is one of my favorites. Btw i today listened to your podcasts also. Keep going! Good stuff : )

And thank you so much for the link.

I actually didn't expect so much insightful response from all of you, thanks!

I'm glad that i made my way in here.

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