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Two ideas for boardgames

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kinsurc
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Joined: 02/17/2018

Hi,

I have an idea for a new board game (two actually), and I would like to find out, if these ideas are good, so that such a game could be created and enter the market. I do not have any experience with such a process, that is why I am posting these ideas here, so that a far more experienced people can tell me if these ideas have any potential of becoming something more than an idea. Below is the brief description for these games:

First game

Main premise: Taking care of a baby

Game type: cooperative

Number of players: 2-4

Playing time: 30 min

Age: 8+

Game components:

- playing board, where you would see rooms for a flat/house (similar style as in Flashpoint: Fire rescue game)

- game dice (custom dice with special symbols)

- game figures (representing players as members of a family – dad, mom, son, daughter, ….)

- other gaming components (like tokens,cards,…)

- application, that a person would need to download and install to a phone/tablet (this is where the baby would be displayed)

Game rules:

The main goal of the game would be, to complete challenges around the house (cleaning, cooking, ….) within a specific time limit. To complete the challenges, and move around the house, players would need to use dice. All the players would use their dice at the same time. These challenges would need to be done when the baby (application in phone/tablet) is sleeping. Now, the application would have access to the microphone, and so a big noise, that would be caused by the dice or by the players, would wake the baby up. If that would happen, someone would need to go to the room where the baby is sleeping, and calm it down (take the phone/tablet in hands and hush the baby to sleep). After the baby would calm down and sleep again, the players would be able to continue with completing the challenges. After the time limit ends, depending on how many challenges are complete, and in what mood the baby is the final score would be calculated.

Additional comments:

The main gimmick of this game would be the application. In it, you can set the difficulty (set the noise scale level to less or more intense, set the time limit, set how easy/hard it would be for the baby to calm down), you would be able to customize the baby (set the gender, hair, skin color, ….) or you can also add another phone/tablet to take care of two babies. The baby would wake up 2-3 times during the day automatically, to pause the game and so the players would be able to talk and discuss strategy, how to move forward. The game can be expanded n a variety of ways, like adding new rooms/floor to the game, adding dogs/cats to the game, that the players would also need to take care about,…. .

This is the main idea for this game. Overall, the theme could be changed to something else, but since I recently became a father, this is the first thing that came to my mind. Taking care of a baby is challenging, but also very rewarding :)

Second game

Main premise: A story driven adventure in the world of Vampire: The Masquerade with legacy components

Game type: semi-cooperative

Number of players: 2-4

Playing time: 60-90 min

Age: 12+

Game components:

- playing board, which would represent the map of New York city (or some other major city)

- game cards (there would be a variety of cards used, some to show a scenery of specific location, some for explanation of what is happening and what options the players have, some for items and equipment the players can take/use,….)

- game figures (representing players as members of specific vampire clan – Bruhaj, Giovanni, Malkavian, Nosferatu, ….)

- character sheets (each player would have its own character, that will improve in time, unlocking new abilities for that character)

- legacy components (used to add new locations to the main map, change/improve the character,….)

Game rules:

The main goal of the game would be set based on the scenario the players will pick. Each scenario would have specific conditions, that would determine if the players succeeded or not. Additionally, based on the character the players choose, each player will have also a hidden agenda. The players would move on the map, where specific locations would be marked, that can be visited by the players. After gaining new information, new locations would be revealed to the players, by adding stickers to the map. Once the players would enter a location, they would pick the specific location cards (similar mechanism is used also in T.I.M.E. stories) and create a location panorama (2x3, 2x4) . In this panorama, the players would see what action they can take, or where they can go, and based on it they would pick a card (the actions would be marked by numbers, and they would pick the card with the same number). Some actions may be hidden, that the players would need to look closely to find them. In the action cards, that the players would pick, they would see what kind of task they need to accomplish, and what options they have for accomplishing that task. Based on the vampire they choose, and the abilities they have unlocked, each player would have a unique option, how to complete the task, apart from the general ones, that will be available for everyone. Once the task is completed, the players would receive experience, items, or new information, how to proceed with the main story.

Additional comments:

I never played the Vampire: The Masquerade RPG, but I have played the pc games – Redemption and Bloodlines. These games had phenomenal story, and I was feeling like I am part of that world. That was my main idea behind this board game, to recreate this feeling, the great story and options the player have to complete it. Now, this will require one thing, and to acquire the license from White Wolf, so that a game in this universe can be made. The potential for expansions is limitless, because the universe of Vampire: The Masquerade is so vast, with so many clans and sets, so the story can be expanded in many directions. The board can also be expanded, adding new districts to the city, or even additional cities, that the players can travel between.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
You might want to look into this some more...

Before making a decision, check out this "Vampire" CCG:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire:_The_Eternal_Struggle

I'm just suggesting it because it was created by Richard Garfield prior to creating Magic: the Gathering. Anyways it might be worthwhile to learn some more from V:tES.

That's the only "Vampire" game that I know of... I'm sure if you either Google or go to BGG (Board Game Geek), you'll be able to find more. But the genre is not as overdone like "Zombies"... So it's a good "theme".

Cheers!

Note: The game used to be called "Jyhad" but was renamed because of the bad connotation attached with the word "Jihad" (Holy War). So it was renamed to "Vampire: The Eternal Struggle". Like I said I had cards for this CCG... Not many - but enough to know that the game was pretty cool too!

I used to pickup/purchase card boosters at comic stores for games (CCGs) that had fallen in popularity. So I could get a booster for like $2.00 and see what the game was all about (art, mechanics, etc.)

Same for "Blood Wars" too... Had about fifty (50) of those cards too...

questccg
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As far as Idea #1 goes...

Personally, I think most people would prefer some "escapism" instead of something that reminds them of actual "caring for a baby". I don't see the audience who will be interested in this game. Little girls, families, pregnant mothers, etc.

I don't see the same wider audience as your "Vampire" game... Because it would probably be emulsified in Lore and Storytelling. And as I mentioned it is not an overly done theme either. Aside from Jyhad, I don't know any other "Vampire" board/card games.

Some additional things with the Baby idea -- well I don't know how versed you are in App/Game Design and implementation. But you'd have to find a way to "simulate" the app in prototypes. Could be a challenge ... but may still be possible.

Update: I took a closer look at BGG and most of the games are below a rating of "6". What that means is that there are no "exceptional" Vampire games. Like I said, the only one I know of is V:tES. Sure I've heard of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" ... but that's probably just a cash grab to try to entice watchers to become gamers...

The highest rating is indeed V:tES at 6.462. Almost 6.5 ... If you are doing a Vampire game, I would really research V:tES and see what you can find about the lore and storytelling of that game.

Congratulation on becoming a Father too!

Cheers...

polyobsessive
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Get making. :)

Hi Kinsurc!

Both of those ideas could make a decent game, but you need to make them first! I'd recommend that you just pick the one that inspires you most at the moment, make a rough prototype (don't worry about making it look great at first, and it's OK if you don't have all the features that you plan for the game) and give it a try: it's the best way to get a feel for what the best parts of your idea are and how they work in practice.

Regarding the Vampire game, bear in mind that Vampire: The Masquerade (and its related games) is an intellectual property that you do not own, and the chances of you acquiring the license are very small. You would do well to build your own setting, and if it turns out that you do manage to get a license for the Vampire properties, if your game is good you should be able to adapt it to fit the IP.

Good luck!

ddiaz28
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Joined: 12/19/2017
Both ideas sound like they

Both ideas sound like they could work. Best thing to do is get a prototype of one of them going and see how it plays. That's the only way you will know if one really has potential.

I like the first idea but I agree with quest about escapism being what most people want in a game. But you can easily change the theme while keeping the same mechanics. Maybe it's a family of wizards raising a baby dragon, or a super hero family raising a super powered kid. Adding another layer to the theme would probably attract more gamers.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Getting one of those ideas out of your head and onto the table is a fun and rewarding process even if it ends up not going anywhere. You will at the least learn what doesn't work.

questccg
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Good "layering"!

I think both the Wizards (Baby Dragon) and Super Kid "layers" sound pretty cool... They might work better with most people (think - Gamers). That level of abstraction really keeps true to the theme + some fantasy.

What I like (honestly) is that you weren't "afraid" to post your ideas.

People are paranoid that some "Super Evil Designer" is going to rob them of their Million Dollar Idea - that has yet to be thought up by anyone else!

First of all they are ideas... I probably get a new idea for a game each and every day. And I probably rework older designs with new ideas maybe once a month. Transforming the IDEA into a "Game" is the real challenge.

Secondly nobody is a "Super Evil Designer" who is interested in stealing someone else's ideas. First he probably has enough ideas of his OWN. Secondly see point #1 above: they are just ideas.

Thirdly thinking that your idea is worth a "Million Dollars". Yes games do make money - but it follows a very DISTINCT pattern: you need to be like Jamey Stegmaier. Jamey has evolved his business by launching a BUNCH of GOOD games: Viticulture, Euphoria, Between Two Cities, Scythe and most recently Charterstone. And add to that list expansions for many of these games.

If you want to be like Jamey... You'll understand that POPULARITY increases with the MORE games you design. It's not ONE (1) Design that will propel you over the milski ... It's building a following of gamers and producing QUALITY games, over and over. Some form of recognition.

So good on you - for not being afraid to post your ideas.

Cheers!

let-off studios
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I'm not a parent. I'm not even obvious.

kinsurc wrote:
First game

Main premise: Taking care of a baby

You owe it to yourself to have a look at the videogame, "Who's Your Daddy?"

http://store.steampowered.com/app/427730/Whos_Your_Daddy/

Well, at least watch the gameplay video to understand its main points. It's what immediately came to mind as you described your Baby game above.

Notice that taking care of the baby - that is, literally keeping it alive - is the main objective, but the Daddy player earns extra points for doing other jobs round the house. Secondly, instead of this being a cooperative game, it is an asymmetrical competitive one. Granted it's a rather morbid premise, but in the right frame of mind it could be exceptionally entertaining.

Instead of relying on an app, have another player be the Baby and sabotage the Parent's activities at every turn. I would assume this would add replayability and a competitive aspect. Additional actions can be added or subtracted from a scenario, making each game different and/or customizable. Instead of staying in a house (as in the case of the videogame), why not go on a picnic, or camping? Or to the beach? Depending on your components, this can simply be adding or removing cards from a scenario deck, or dice to and from a pool. There's lots of "analog" potential here.

Best of success on your designs, and welcome to BGDF. :)

Fri
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Joined: 09/06/2017
Modular house/Analog version of baby/Theme modification

For replayability you could also have modular rooms that you could add or remove from the house. This could work in a asymmetric or co-op. It may help limit the scope of the rules you would need to consider.

You could also possibly find a way to make an analog version of your baby. It could move around the house. (possibly like Dr. Lucky http://upload.snakesandlattes.com/rules/k/KillDoctorLucky.pdf). I was also thinking that each room could have a deck of cards that would let players, supervised baby and unsupervised baby have an encounter in it kind of like Arkham Horror (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/15987/arkham-horror) (see example below). You could also make tracks that would represent tiredness, hunger and crankiness. Going to high on one of these tracks would result in make the game really difficult or losing the game. You could also find a way to randomize when baby wakes up from a nap. I deally this would become more and more likely each round. One way to do it would be to roll two d6s take the difference add it to a track (0-4) when the track gets above 4 the baby wakes up.

Here is an example card for the room Kitchen:
Player: Prepare baby bottle. Baby bottle can be used to stop baby movement for one round.
Baby (supervised): Let baby feed itself. Makes mess (which needs to cleaned by players)
Baby (unsupervised): Baby turns on oven. Family member must turn off oven in X rounds or the house burns down.

You could possibly switch the theme to be babysitter(s) or sibling(s) trying to take care of baby until the parents get home. That way your game would have a natural end point. One way to do this would be have an event deck with the "Parents Come Home" card randomly placed somewhere near the bottom of the deck. You could also just do a survive for X number of rounds.

ddiaz28
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Joined: 12/19/2017
Glad you liked the theme

Glad you liked the theme layers quest. And what you said about him sharing his ideas is totally true. Last year at Fan Expo Toronto I attended a few board game panels with designers like Daryl Andrews, Jon Gilmour, and Eric Lang. Inevitably, at almost every one, someone in the audience asked a question about getting their ideas stolen. And every time the designers said the same things. It isn't something to worry about for the exact reasons you stated. Ideas are easy to come up with but it's getting them out of your head and onto the table that is the step that most people don't take. So if you are taking that step, then it's very unlikely that someone else will bother to do the same with your idea. They also said it's a relatively small community of designers, so if someone blatantly rips another designer off, they will not be looked upon favorably.

questccg
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Exactly!

That's the reason why people should be "encouraged" to share their ideas! For proper attribution. Like I said, there are no "Million Dollar Ideas". It's all about putting out more "good" (or even great) content that people like and enjoy. If you do that, no doubt that people will remember your games and seek to acquire other games that you design.

And an idea may "sound good" but when you physically create a prototype to playtest you figure out "it sucks" or "it's boring" or "takes too long to play", etc. Sometimes the ideas sound better than what can be made from them too. So it's more than just getting them out of your head. It's about ensuring that the games are also FUN to play too! I know FUN is relative but it's just to make a point: if the game is NOT enjoyable, odds are nobody will be interested in playing it ...

Everyone who has an idea thinks they're going to be rich and make over a Million Dollars. Well the truth is that it is POSSIBLE. But it takes a lot of hard effort. You need to put out at least 3 to 6 games and they all need to be relatively good. Each time if your pool of backers GROWS that means you are taking steps in the right direction. Even with a game that may get less backers, the point is you are putting out more content for backers to consume.

Look at White Wizard Games. They have "Star Realms", "Hero Realms", "Epic" and now "Sorcerer". If you check out their campaign they SELL "everything" as an add-on. Plus they use fixed boosters as ways of expanding the games too... Not to mention traditional expansions to products like "Star Realms". So it's possible, you just need to "work" at it... And show that you have something of interest to buy and enjoy.

Cheers!

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