Skip to Content

Time Travel game

1 reply [Last post]
Some Random Dude
Joined: 01/30/2014

Hey folks,

I've been trying to wrap my head around how to make a game that has a time travel theme, but also some element of time travel mechanisms. I've got some ideas that I'd like some feedback on; what works, what doesn't, and what's missing?

Each player has a player board with actions that have blank, die-sized squares next to them. These indicate the available actions each player can take each turn. There is a center board that is a face of a clock, and there is a "hand" of the clock (or maybe just a token) that you move each turn to indicate the current turn. This means a game can go through 12 rounds and be over, but there are ways to manipulate the hand of the clock (this IS a time travel game, after all).

The idea so far is that gameplay is driven through simultaneous dice-rolling. Each player has a handful (maybe 4?) of dice that they roll each turn. They are allowed to reroll an unlimited number of times (except the last player to stop rerolling). As they are rolling, they can place their dice on any of the squares on the player board. When a player is content with what they have rolled and placed, they take a player token from the center of the board - there's a "1" for the first player, "2" for the second player, and so on. So, the incentive to stop rolling is that you'll be the first player that round, and there may be other benefits (or the latter players may have disadvantages).

Then, starting with the first player, they go through the actions on their player card that they have a die on. I haven't decided what all of the actions are yet, but basically, if you had a "5" on the "Income" action, you'd get $5.

Each board also has (at least) two spots for time travel. Travelling to the past lets you pick an action that you are doing and do it twice. Travelling to the future lets you use an extra die on your next turn. However, each time a player uses a time travel action, the clock moves.

So, it's a speed game, with dice rolling, variable game length, resource management, and worker placement (the dice are workers) about time travel. Each "round" would be no more than 2 or 3 minutes per player, with die-rolling being less than 30 seconds probably, and the rest of the time spent on performing actions (most of the decision making is done during the rolling too, which speeds things up). So, if the game plays straight through with minimal time shifts, it'd be about 30 minutes per player, which is manageable.

If you've played Steam Park and think this sounds a lot like it, that was an accident. I watched a review of Steam Park over a month ago, and after I typed all of this I realized it sounded familiar.

Now, I just need to figure out how to turn these mechanisms into a game! What are you playing for? What are the possible actions? Are there technologies to learn, or events to deal with? So many questions!

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I have been pondering about

I have been pondering about this some weeks ago as well.

The basis:
Events should be tracked in an easy way. And players should be able to travel back some turns and adjust what they need. While other players have to do the exact same thing. A simple recalculate of events if you will.

It doesn't matter what kind of game it is. As long as it is easy to keep track of the turns that have been played.


Ow, and re rolling until players have what they want doesn't work. Let them simply choose.

Syndicate content

forum | by Dr. Radut