Skip to Content

The players go on a journey

7 replies [Last post]
X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

The only other thing that I know besides of war games. Just to get my head something new for a change.


I play minecraft a lot. Here I often don't build. But go on a trip instead.
I walk in one direction only.

I walk and cross sea's.
I gather resources to make myself stronger.
I also gather resources to trade with villagers.
I gather XP for repairing or upgrading items.
I do some sight seeing in the game.
The only goal is to get as far as possible.

But how, how can something like this be turned into a board game. Or card game?
And what about players that die?


I think that the goal of the game has to be to get the most VP.

You get VP for travelling. 1 per round or completed event?
Events like meeting someone to trade with, resources to gather or not etc. Those could add VP. I think I have to combine certain events to make sure that there is some choice related stuff.
Resource gathering should cost time. Which should be a choice. What if a player doesn't take the resources but looks 1 card ahead? Maybe other resources or food or such that has much more use for the player.

A simple, take it, or take the next card mechanic would be best. How many cards could a player choose from? Picking 3 cards would be the max, I think.

Then, when you are dead. The only way to get more VP is to obstruct the still living players. But what can dead players do?

polyobsessive's picture
Joined: 12/11/2015
A few thoughts

If something costs time, how would that be handled. "I spend the next 3 turns gathering resources" can be a really dull passage of play if you don't handle it right.

Also, a sandbox-type game where you wander around doing what you want, doesn't to me seem to fit well with the idea of gathering victory points. It feels like there should be some sort of an objective that is a bit clearer that "get VPs".

For instance, do you know Tokaido? In that, players are going on a journey and the objective is to have the "best" journey. How do you do that? There are various ways, but they mostly amount to set collection of various types: get to inns first to get the best food; visit shops to get the best souvenirs, and so on. Each player has a special ability that makes certain collections easier, and you can decide whether to just focus on your own collections, or to compete with or impede other players.

Alternatively there could be some sort of "missions" to focus on. Maybe each player has a bucket list of places/things they would like to see or do?

More generally, how do you get the feeling of a journey? Moving along a board is certainly a good way -- in which case, should the players be on rails (like in Tokaido), or should they be able to choose their own path? Cards could work, if working through a deck provided a series of locations to visit in turn.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

Minecraft is a perennial favourite of mine. I come back to it every year or so, play it for a month straight, and then put it down again. Trying to develop a game around it is an interesting challenge.

I couldn't help but be reminded of the Rune combat RPG as I read your comment. In it, the participating players are in a round-robin style GM/referee role, where they have an opportunity to select the type and strength of challenge that all players will face. The players all do as best they can in the short scenario: combat, exploration, navigating obstacles, mystical/magical challenges, visiting Hell, etc. Players earn XP for their level of success during the challenge.

I think the same kind of system could be streamlined to develop a Minecraft game. There would be two phases of a turn: Challenge and Rest.

One player selects one or more Challenge Cards from their hand and reveals it to all players. This reveals nearby terrain as well as some sort of encounter. This could be anything from fighting a Skeleton, finding a Gold vein, sealing up a Lava Flow, and so on. The Challenge represents a concrete physical action where players interact with the world.

Challenge cards permit players to earn XP and maybe a few random drops (like skeletons drop a Bone and a Feather, for example). Depending on a player's equipment, they could collect resources featured in the terrain (like if you have a Pail, you could collect a Bucket of Lava from the Lava Flow).

After a Challenge is resolved, it's time to Rest. This is when players Craft something with the resources they've collected. They can also opt to harvest more resources from the nearby terrain instead. Depending on the equipment the player has, they could be more effective: a Wooden Pick allows players to collect less Stone than a Stone or Iron Pick, for example.

After the Rest phase is done, the next player chooses the next Challenge. The process repeats until one or more players earns X number of Victory Points or XP. You can sandbag leaders with this system too: develop tiers of accomplishment that award VP. If they've already created an Iron Tool, they won't receive VP for another one created. They need to create X# of Gold Blocks instead. Something like that.

The thing I like about the Rune RPG system is that even if a player is defeated in a Challenge, they can still participate as a Challenge-maker. This Journey game could also feature that, as well as allowing the Challenge-maker to earn VP by presenting a tough challenge that claims the life/resources of other players.

For the sake of streamlining the game, I'd likely ignore the notions of equipment deterioration, instead opting to amplify the effectiveness of certain actions during certain Challenge Cards or Rest actions. For example, maybe someone wants to focus on crafting Armour and a good Sword, meanwhile another player has agriculture Challenge cards in their hand, so they spend time harvesting plants. Still others could occupy their time with Magic research.

The variety of Challenge cards would allow for several different paths to victory, while the round-robin style of Challenge selection prevents the game from stalemating or dragging on forever.

This is just a start (and dashed off before I start my day job!), but it certainly is a direction to go for. It certainly isn't the ONLY direction, either.

Go for it. :)

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Liking the idea'd so far. In

Liking the idea'd so far.
In the past I already had a topic about this. But it was an unplayable game back then.

I think minecraft can be used as a basis. But it is better to build up from scratch to start with.

I like the phases. But i also have idea's for challenges.

After gathering resources. Equipment could be depleted. A yes/no for the lowest tier. Also, a tier is needed for certain materials.

Then a construction tool for one of the challenges. Build a house. Build a small castle. Build a watch tower. Build a farm. Etc.

With houses. You can get eg. villagers.
Then give them a job.

It would be partly a worker placement depending on how much you put into these villagers.

A deck of specialized villagers.
A cook gives 2 food for a farm.
A blacksmith makes tools cheaper.
A general villager could also gather resources. Simply provide it with a tool.

A new goal would be. The first one to comolete.... a kingdom?

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011

I'd be concerned about sprawl and micromanagement with some of the ideas you mention. Your description makes me think of Caverna for some reason (which I could only personally handle playing once). That seems to have a very different feel to me than Minecraft.

If you're looking for something just as in-depth, then keep on rolling. If you want something a little more manageable in an hour or so, then I recommend you rein in a few of those concepts.

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I was just throwing out

I was just throwing out idea's.
The goal is indeed within an hour.

Corsaire's picture
Joined: 06/27/2013
I'll mention that I've been

I'll mention that I've been baking a Minecraft- esque game for a few years. I enjoy Minecraft, but my son is nuts for it. My game is pretty lean and focuses on like the first hour or so in game which is the part I like a lot. It has gathering, crafting and a night phase when it gets dangerous and is a co-op.

For your experience, I think Tokaido has a good sense, but you need random encounters.

What if it is more of a rondel like Great Western Trail and you get more vp and opportunities by staying in the lead? And play cards onto the trail. Or completely deck driven and you spend time units to do things, but if you only move you can cash all your time to vp. And you expose new cards, maybe on a conveyor as you move. But the tortoise has ways to score by hitting the encounters. Less "take that" and more euro this way.

p.s. On play time, you can get a lot of game in in an hour if the decision set is tight. Just played two player Marco Polo in like 45 minutes, but feels very rich.

Joined: 09/06/2017

You could possible find some ideas from the board game Village. It also has travel as part of the game concept, but one as one of many ways to achieve VP. I have played it but unfortunately I am unable to recall and share the any details.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut