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Transgaming [Blue Sky Thread]

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starflier
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I watched an episode of Extra Credits today that talked about a game called Dust 514, a squad FPS set in the EVE Online universe. What makes it interesting is that events that happen in one game effect the other. So in effect you have two very different kinds of gamer, interacting in and shaping the same virtual world. It got me thinking about how a similar approach could be used in tabletop games, allowing players of different interests and skill levels to interact in a way that most suited their playing style.

For example, a medieval warfare game might have a phase after everyone takes their turn where the farms give resources, decided by a dice rolling mechanism. But if some of the players decide at the start of the game that they don't feel terribly combative, they could instead take control of specific farms in the game, playing on an Agricola-like mat. King players could then help farmers when they were able, and battles happening on or around farms would become a hazard.

Another thought I had was a dungeon crawl miniatures game, where one of the Characters a player could choose from is an Apothecary. She plays using a deck building mechanism, brewing potions to heal or stat boost the other players. New cards would be items dropped by monsters.

Or a 4X space game where a player could be either an alien warlord or just a humble merchant ship, trying to make ends meet.

These are the more obvious (and obviously flawed) ideas I had. I just wanted to get the concept out into the open because I would love to play games designed like this.

kos
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Multiple games in one or multiple games in parallel

A long time ago I wrote a computer-moderated pbem game which was along the lines you mention. The game never progressed past alpha testing (mostly due to my awful software design that made it impossible to update/maintain), but it was fun to make and I still like the premise. In the game, each player could choose to be a Merchant, Warlord, or Archmage.

Players would generally be competing with (or cooperating with) the other players of the same type, but there were interactions between the different types. Merchants could compete economically for resources/trade routes, Warlords could recruit armies and capture towns, while Archmages were above the petty dealings of mere mortals and would spend most of their time vying over who was the greatest Archmage. Everybody wanted money, which the Merchants were best at making. Merchants in turn would benefit from friendly relationships with local Warlords to protect them from bandits or hostile Warlords, etc.

Making a board game that involved multiple "layers" of games like this would be very hard to get the pacing right to avoid most of the players sitting around getting bored. Maybe an option would be to have one over-arching game with a series of mini-games.

For example, a Risk-style board where each turn you can initiate combat, diplomacy, or esionage. You then play the applicable minigame and the result affects the position on the board. The issue is still in how to keep all players involved and keeping the game length to a reasonable time.

Maybe another option would be to have multiple games running in parallel in real-time, such that one player from each game is in a team with one player from each of the other games. So if you have 3 four-player games running in parallel, there are 4 teams of 3. Achieving victory (or specific milestones) allows a player to give bonus tokens to his team-mates on the other games, such as the player from the Agricola-style game giving bonus units to his team-mate playing the Risk-style game.

Just some random thoughts,
kos

starflier
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Well, we're pretty used to

Well, we're pretty used to the turn-taking mechanism. As long as the things that the Archmages did effected the Merchants (I can just see the Archmages sending out hordes of monsters at eachother, ignoring the little people that might be crushed on the way) I don't think there would be much worry of boredom. And you could always include Cosmic Encounter style "Well it's my turn, but everyone else has something to do" things. It would be neat to see a "Torches and Pitchforks" mob of merchants and warlords going up against a particularly troublesome Archmage, even though they aren't terribly likely to succeed.

One thought I had was doing something like The GIPF Project, where each game in the series is playable by itself, but you can join them together to form a giant monstrosity of a game

The games running in parallel thing would be interesting. I can see a Risk-type game with timed turns running at the same time as a real time card game, with things that happen in the card game effecting whichever player is taking his turn.

BlueRift
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Asymmetric Gameplay

This seems like another term you could apply is Asymmetric Gameplay. It doesn't necessarily need to be parallel, though that would help balance it out.

I've been thinking of a way to adapt a Massive Online Battle Arena (like DOTA/League of Legends) to a board game. This could be done as an asymmetric game where one player controls a large army and upgrades it while the other players play heroes that try to sway the tide of battle.

I think it can be done. The devil is in the details though.

starflier
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Puzzle Pirates is sort of

Puzzle Pirates is sort of along these lines, the different jobs you can do around the ship are all puzzles that use different kinds of Intelligence. Cranium tries to do this as well. Natural Selection does this to a lesser degree, assuming that one in twenty people playing a shooter is actually wishing he was playing a real time strategy game.

I think this is an example of an Asymmetrical Game, but not all asymmetrical games give players different play experiences. My example above, Natural Selection, is the same kind of game, whether you're an alien or a space marine, even though your controls and abilities are different. My own game, Kaya Versus Mushrooms, doesn't quite fit what I'm talking about, because it forces players into one of two roles, and if one player is doing platforming stuff, the other has to do RTS/lightgun stuff.

The coolest (and most impractical) scenario to me is having a player who loves a casual deck building game, a player who loves a Euro cardboard-and-wood game, and a player who loves a fantasy miniatures game be able to face off, playing their own games in a way that interacts with the other styles of game, or just play them against other players of the same game. It's probably too meta to be useful in that form, but I think that thinking in that direction will only put as ahead.

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