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Concept for a strategy game established, need help fleshing it out.

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MattyT
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Green Orange Purple Slime Fusion
Mock Board Setup
Red Blue Yellow Slime Fusion

Hey, long time lurker I guess.

I've been working on an idea for a strategy game based on some doodles I made, attached above. It's meant to be a light game, but I'm worried it doesn't really have much going for it outside of the core fusion mechanic.

The objective is to fuse the "King Slime" before anyone else using a board of the weakest slimes. On your turn you can swap the places of any two adjacent slimes, or move a slime according to it's unique move. Different slimes have different movements, like pieces in Chess, and when you move a slime into another one they fuse to make a new slime.

Fusion is tier based, so when you fuse a pair of the same color you can choose any slime in a higher tier to put on the board.

Like I said earlier, that's pretty much all I've got going for it right now. The recipe for the "King Slime" would be 1 max tier of the six colors fused together. Bare bones, but any suggestions would be helpful. Nothing is grounded in stone for now.

let-off studios
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Design Principles

I like to take a page out of Lew Pulsipher's book regarding game design. Just one aspect, really.

The question I suggest you think about is: Is there some way the player can become stronger or more capable as the game progresses? This could be in any number of ways, be it personal improvement or hampering/delaying opponents. There are a number of ways to go about it. Some examples include:
- player earns a free move of one more small slime, or of the newly-formed Tier 2 slime.
- player can place any small slime anywhere on the board
- player can switch the position of their opponent's slime/s
- pieces of slimes are capable of a special action, depending on the colour, and those actions are distinct and advantageous in certain situations (I think this is key for your current concept)
- etc.

Good luck to you and your design. Your illustrations are adorable. :)

Jay103
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Well, if the "special move"

Well, if the "special move" of a slime is better in some way in a higher tier than in a lower tier, that would cover it.

"1 max tier of the six colors fused together."

Not sure what that means. A move can only fuse two slimes together, no?

Could be interesting, but it's hard to tell what sort of strategies would emerge without clarifying the exact ruleset and just playing it a bunch (or writing a good computer program to play it and watching what it does)

MattyT
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I'm in the middle of building

I'm in the middle of building a prototype with some cutouts to play with friends and see how that goes. You can only move one slime at a time, yeah. For the king I'd work with a special rule where they automatically fuse when the required components are all adjacent.

All of the slimes have their own unique move that covers more area as they rank up in tiers. Tier 1s are basically pawns, tier 2 have more options in distance and direction, so on.

MattyT
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Thanks a lot! Let me

Thanks a lot! Let me elaborate on the concept a little more.

It's a 2-4 player game, and any player can move any slime freely. No one player controls any specific colors, but in earlier builds I had it so a player could only move one designated color. When their color is fused with a different color, say Red and Blue making Purple, Red and Blue player now shares control of the Purple slime.

I didn't like the idea so much because that'd mean all of the slimes movement would have to be the same to keep things fair.

Could you explain the last point you made a bit?

Jay103
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MattyT wrote:Thanks a lot!

MattyT wrote:
Thanks a lot! Let me elaborate on the concept a little more.

It's a 2-4 player game, and any player can move any slime freely. No one player controls any specific colors, but in earlier builds I had it so a player could only move one designated color. When their color is fused with a different color, say Red and Blue making Purple, Red and Blue player now shares control of the Purple slime.

I didn't like the idea so much because that'd mean all of the slimes movement would have to be the same to keep things fair.

Wait, so how do you win? Just get lucky that other player sets you up for the final fusion?

For prototyping, I recommend doing what I did for my tokens here

https://www.bgdf.com/blog/prototyping

which is spray gluing a printout onto cardboard. And Inkscape is great for laying out a bunch of graphics in a grid or whatever (I just typed in coordinates). Then if you can find a paper cutter you can save yourself even more time, since you need squares.

MattyT
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I have access to a pretty

I have access to a pretty good print set-up at my old job. I can get then printed on some light chip or cardboard in no time at all.

You're meant to shift the slimes around and block victory for your opponents while securing your own with positioning, in theory. I have no idea how it'll play out in practice yet, but I'm worried it'll end up either super drawn out or entirely luck based.

Jay103
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Well yeah, if you're blocking

Well yeah, if you're blocking your opponents and setting up your own win, but all the pieces are completely shared, then you're also blocking yourself and setting up their win.

Maybe a scoring system?

1 point for uptiering a slime to 2, 2 points for going to 3, and 5 points for king slime, and that also ends the game. Obviously make up your own actual point counts :)

MattyT
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If I went with a point

If I went with a point system, I could do something interesting...

How fusion works now, it doesn't matter so much which slimes you fused. For example, you can fuse two lvl.1 blues and then pick either of the lvl.2 blues to summon. If I did something point / score related, all slimes could have a special recipe of their own and have a unique type of movement.

The game could go on until no slimes can be fused, or if a point total is reached.

Jay103
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MattyT wrote:If I went with a

MattyT wrote:
If I went with a point system, I could do something interesting...

How fusion works now, it doesn't matter so much which slimes you fused. For example, you can fuse two lvl.1 blues and then pick either of the lvl.2 blues to summon. If I did something point / score related, all slimes could have a special recipe of their own and have a unique type of movement.

The game could go on until no slimes can be fused, or if a point total is reached.


Just be careful you don't get too complicated. I'd say by the end of the second game, people should be able to know the majority of the recipes and movement rules and scores by heart.

MattyT
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I was worried if I had too

I was worried if I had too many different slimes to be honest. Between r/y/b there are 18, and with g/o/p added there's 33. Was thinking about shortening the amount, or just leaving it there and adding no more.

Jay103
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MattyT wrote:I was worried if

MattyT wrote:
I was worried if I had too many different slimes to be honest. Between r/y/b there are 18, and with g/o/p added there's 33. Was thinking about shortening the amount, or just leaving it there and adding no more.

Chess has 6 different pieces.

Who exactly is your intended audience for a cartoony slime-merging game?

Is that audience likely to keep track of 18 ANYTHING, varying based on what picture is on a tile?

Are people likely to come up with good strategies with that many variables?

LoveInPaintCreations
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MattyT wrote:I was worried if

MattyT wrote:
I was worried if I had too many different slimes to be honest. Between r/y/b there are 18, and with g/o/p added there's 33. Was thinking about shortening the amount, or just leaving it there and adding no more.

Maybe consider just the basics RGB (red, green, blue)

MattyT
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I don't have a specific

I don't have a specific demographic in mind to be honest. I just make games I'd like to play with me and my brothers whenever we get together. Still, shortening the fusion list might be a good idea?

The point of having so many in the first place was so players could customize their own path to victory. You don't have to memorize all of the fusions, just the ones that fit with your playstyle.

I would've had each slime with their own card, which shows their fusion recipe and their movement type on an example grid.

I'm going to be testing with some friends this weekend - will stay posted.

MattyT
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I wanted to see how it worked

I wanted to see how it worked in practice first, but right now I'm leaning more on the side of reducing it to just three colors for now.

Fertessa
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I think it's easier to start

I think it's easier to start small and go big later. The more components you have in your game, the more difficult it becomes to see what isn't working. You might end up guessing and wasting time by eliminating the wrong thing in order to solve a problem. 3 colors may be the sweet spot for your game. Playtesting will reveal if it's missing complexity, or if it even needs complexity in order to be fun.

Good luck with playtesting!

Jay103
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MattyT wrote:The point of

MattyT wrote:
The point of having so many in the first place was so players could customize their own path to victory. You don't have to memorize all of the fusions, just the ones that fit with your playstyle.

But if you don't know what your opponent can fuse, you won't be developing much strategy as a play.
Quote:

I would've had each slime with their own card, which shows their fusion recipe and their movement type on an example grid.

Now picture 35 cards laid out and trying to keep checking on stuff...

The game I'm currently publishing has the monster info on cards, which means about 3-6 cards active in a particular game session, and that sometimes seems like a lot.

MattyT
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Back again. Playtesting

Back again. Playtesting didn't go over exactly as I planned, but what did happen was very beneficial. Setting up another date with a new build. I'll make a new post afterward. Thanks a lot so far for all of your help guys. I wouldn't have gotten this far without some fresh eyes.

Jay103
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MattyT wrote:Playtesting

MattyT wrote:
Playtesting didn't go over exactly as I planned

Well, I could've told you THAT ;)

MattyT
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Not for the reasons you'd

Not for the reasons you'd expect!

After taking everything into consideration I figured the game wasn't ready to be playtested at all. So instead we bounced around ideas and came up with something better.

Jay103
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MattyT wrote:Not for the

MattyT wrote:
Not for the reasons you'd expect!

After taking everything into consideration I figured the game wasn't ready to be playtested at all. So instead we bounced around ideas and came up with something better.


Pretty close to what I would expect, actually ;)

Hell, I'm about to send my game to the printer and I still had to tweak the game balance last night..

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