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Snow and Sleet

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comfect's picture
Joined: 11/13/2008

I'm looking tomorrow at an attempt to get home through the snow and sleet that will be coming down as my local transit authority collapses around me. So of course my first thought was to try to make this a game! Here are my initial ideas - tell me if you think it makes even a reasonable amount of sense.

Goal: to get from work to home as the snow gradually shuts down the city
Board: A space marked "home" and a space marked "work." Maybe 1 per player, maybe all players live in the same apartment building and work in the same office. There are bus lines, express bus lines, and subways overlaid on a block by block picture of a city. Each bus/express/subway has one bus/train running on it at a time.

Every turn, all players choose how they want to move. They have "10 minutes" of game time to use. Walking a block takes 5 minutes, or they can go to a bus stop/subway station and wait for the bus/train (or stay on/get off a bus or train they were on). After all players have moved, the buses and trains move (buses move slowest, express buses next fastest, and subways move 1 stop per turn, regardless of the distance involved). Players may only exit buses or trains at a stop (although trains are never caught between stops). If a bus passes a stop with a player at it, that player may get on the bus; or if a bus passes a stop with a player on board, that player may get off.

After all movement, a card is turned over from the event deck. It reports either a system failure (bus broken down or subway electric grid down), a system restored, or congestion. Most of the deck is congestion. Congestion specifies a major intersection; any bus reaching that intersection is stalled until the congestion is removed (by drawing the duplicate congestion card).

The winner is the player who arrives home first.

Zzzzz's picture
Joined: 06/20/2008
Sounds interesting, for some

Sounds interesting, for some reason my first thought was

"Downfall of Pompeii, The"

BUT your game would be weather conditions and not lava! And obviously how you are moving ppl would be different if you are involving actual vehicles

Joined: 12/18/2008
Novel themes are great. I'd

Novel themes are great. I'd be interested to see where you go with this.

Some concerns about gameplay: Let's say for a moment there were no event cards and this is a solvable perfect information game. What will you do to make optimal play difficult or impossible to visualize at the outset? From the description, it sounds like I can just count the number of steps for each mode of transportation and simply choose the fastest. Now, add the cards and things don't get much better, as all they are doing are adding random factors. Perhaps the original optimal choice (not knowing the hidden information ahead of time) is no longer the optimal choice. Perhaps I need to make another choice, but it is just as obvious as the first time. Now when I've won (or lost) it happens even though I made the optimal choices and is only a result of the random events.

These are things that your design must overcome as you develop the game.

Grudunza's picture
Joined: 07/27/2008
It's a good idea. Something

It's a good idea. Something similar has already been done, thematically, at least, with the kids coop game Snowstorm: But of course, yours would be a little more involved and "adult" in nature and it seems to be more about the transit specifics... I also pictured Downfall of Pompeii.

I just picked up Snowstorm, actually, and it does a pretty good job of depicting its situation... Each of four players starts at their home and has to go out and accomplish three tasks during a snowstorm. There are numbered roads and you draw a "weather report" card each turn (or 2 each turn for the harder version) and place a snow or ice tile on one section of the road, depending on what number road was drawn. You have to maneuver around to get where you need to go, and you have five snowplows and five sanders that you can use throughout the game to clear off one road of either snow or ice. Anyway, it might be worth taking a look at that for a reference point, even though it's only peripherally in the nature of what you're talking about.

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