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Supervillain game in the style of Yedo.

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Dstoll's picture
Joined: 05/19/2014

I've been brewing on an idea for a game for quite some time, but somehow I've never been able to get the concept past a 'rough idea' stage until now.

The basic premise is that each player plays a unique villain (minor variable player powers)competing for several rounds to become the worst of the worst. Like mentioned in the title I'm incorporating the mission decks Yedo has with several layers in difficulty. Both requirements and rewards will increase significantly in each 'deck'. Starting with things like petty theft, going all the way up to blowing up the moon or what have you. Again, heavily borrowed from Yedo will be the requirements you'll need to have to complete your schemes. You will need things like certain tech or other items, specific types of mooks in the right places on the board and possibly other things as well. The rewards will be points, upgrades, money access to new schemes...

The board will have several, themed locations that will have specific spots to put your mooks. Currently I'm thinking of using some sort of simultaneous mook allocation mechanic where you specify where you want your mooks to go by using location cards, and then one by one revealing them in turn order and actually placing your 'mooks'.
(I'm really not sure about this yet and am actually looking for something more thematic to make the placement of workers more interesting.

Apart from the locations to get things like upgrades (for either your villain, mooks, lair or tech) there will be a common goal area where players can temporarily team up by placing their mooks. These will work similarly to the missions, only that multiple people can work together to achieve them. Only if all spots are filled will players be able to reap the rewards of these. In the resolution phase, whoever contributed the most to this goal will get the ability to split the loot (introducing an I divide, you decide mechanic) and offering these choices to the other players who've contributed.

One thing that I want to do in this game is allow for both positive and negative player interaction. I want to do this by adding an event deck which will have negative effects people can throw at each other. I'm thinking about things like nosy superheroes causing trouble for the villains or simple things like theft from eachother.

I've talked about mooks quite a lot already, but they'll have quite a pivotal role in the game actually. Every worker a player has, starts as a standard mook, but through locations and completing missions it will be possible to hire more mooks, or upgrade them. I currently don't know yet how I'll limit this, but I'm feeling three different possible upgrades would be a good number. This will give workers an additional power which can be used upon placement. Maybe ninja types are able to bypass other people blocking certain spots, Bruiser types which give the worker additional strength or magic/tech specialist that could use certain devices/spells. (kind of on the fence about this one, so open to any and all suggestions)

Each player will have a player board with a lair printed to store things like tech but will also have a starting special ability (themed around the character) with 3 or 4 upgrades that can be unlocked.

As I'm already borrowing heavily from games like yedo and lords of waterdeep, I'm looking for something to replace an auction phase. Maybe it would be an idea to have set times (at the end of some of the rounds) to hold some sort of villain convention where several bonuses can be achieved for scoring well in certain areas. (what do you guys think about this idea?)

The game can end in several ways. There will be a set number of rounds, so points will be scored at the end if we reach this far.
Alternatively, all players will have a grand scheme they're working on and they'll win immediately if they complete this scheme.

Well, that's what I've got so far. Currently I'm working on the locations and the obtainable objects. After that is finished I'll start working on the different player charactersheets.

What do you guys think so far? Am I borrowing to heavily from some other games? Is it an interesting enough them to pursue? Am I trying to do too much? Am I not doing enough to make the game stand out? What are you guys thoughts on things like player combat? Am I on the right track?
What do you guys think basically.

Kind regards,


Joined: 06/07/2016
I have had all of those

I have had all of those questions myself as I have been designing my assorted ideas into games. Best advice I ever got came from this forum, where I was told multiple times-

Go for it. Just make your idea, play test it, and see where the flaws are. Peel back the parts that don't work. Because really, borrowing from other games is normal; if it is interesting to you, it is interesting enough; if you're trying to do too much you will find that out when you prototype and play test; making the game stand out will come as you push toward publication; all the mechanics will probably change at least once while you're building and play testing, so start ith your combat as is and make changes as you go.

Dstoll's picture
Joined: 05/19/2014
Thanks for your reply

Thanks for your reply Mcobb83.

I see in advance that this will be a monster of a project and will eat up a lot of my free time. My conviction that this could turn into a great game keeps me moving forward. I'll start a designer diary series somewhere this week when I've written some first groundworks.

Kind regards,


Midnight_Carnival's picture
Joined: 06/17/2015
Are you planning to sell this or making it for yourself?

Basic and simple question but an important one when it comes to design.
You see, the objective of creating a game you want to make for yourself is to make it fun and enjoyable first, the objective of creating a game to sell is to make money first (things like how much fun it is to play and how original it is matter only because they contribute to the primary objective).

My recommendation: Make your game for fun, make a game that you are going to enjoy playing with friends or family, if you don't have any of those then take it to old age homes and play it with someone's neglected grandma.
As you play it, a number of issues will arise and also no matter how well you explain the rules, someone will always come up with different understandings of your rules which they will insist to your face are 'correct' and that you are the one who doesn't understand the rules you have created - yeah, I am talking from experience here - you will need to refine how the game works and you might find that some of the people's ideas of how your game really works are actually quite useful. You can move towards making it more original and more independent from other games as you refine and develop it.


are you borrowing too heavily from other games?

I'm unfamiliar with the games you mentioned, but it is worth pointing out that there are many commercially successful games out which borrow VERY heavily from others. They just change the names and make a few cosmetic changes to get round the copyright laws. It's not unheard of.
Perhaps worry about this when it gets to the stage of you wanting to make money off the project(?)

second question:... same answer

Player combat?:...

I have literally thousands of ideas on this although mine tend to lean towards the extravagant and involved, I am also criticised for leaning too heavily on luck and randomness. Tell me more about what you had in mind and I'll share.

Are you on the right track:...

To making money? God knows (If I knew how to make money I'd be doing it, not advising others on how to do it)
To making a fun and interesting game? Sometimes
To making a truly inspired and original work which is unparalleled and quite unlike anything which has come before it?
well, you seem to think not :$

What do I think?:...
A dangerous question to ask, sometimes the answer to that is "blue", but regarding your game. I think that it is worth taking further. I think that a game like this, one based around the creepy joy you get from being evil, is going to draw people or chase them off based entirely on how much fun it is to play, hence you should work on the mechanics and make it fun to actually play, rather than thinking about how original it is at this stage.
just my opinion.

Joined: 01/27/2017
I love the idea for your game

Hi Dstoll,

I love the idea for your game. And since no one can copyright a game mechanic, borrow as much or as little as you need to realize your vision.

My suggestion would be to vary the villains' goals in addition to or even instead of their abilities. Sure, every supervillain wants to be recognized as a premier bad guy, but that reputation must be acquired Properly.

Inspired very loosely by the old board game Careers, each villain has a primary and a secondary Style (Nihilism, Tyranny, Hidden Control, etc.) with capers in the primary Style being worth 2 or 3 times the victory points, and capers that meet neither Style earning the resources on the card but no victory points.

Blowing up the moon would be a very Nihilism thing to do.

(Edit: you can't copyright a game mechanic, but I originally said trademark. You might not be able to trademark it either, but I'm certain you can't copyright it.)

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