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Publisher is asking for a theme

12 replies [Last post]
Louard's picture
Joined: 02/09/2010

Where better to ask for help coming up with a good theme for Shake Out! than the birthplace of its name, the BGDF?

SO, here's the deal, I'm in talks with a publisher who wants to pick up Shake Out! ( The thing is, they want to theme it, so, for this exercise, I'm asking everyone to help with coming up with a good theme! Assume, for all intents and purposes that the game isn't going to change.

What the publisher has suggested is "thieves" where each card colour becomes a different thing to steal, like yellow becomes gold, red becomes rubies, green becomes jade necklaces etc.

I had already thrown around the idea of conquering countries or provinces of a country. The bonus die could then be considered the militia die or the mercenary die.

A friend also suggested collecting a menagerie of animals.

So, BGDF, help me out! Let's come up with some great theme ideas!

Joined: 09/20/2009
and themes...go...Making

and themes...go...

Making crown jewls, assembling dazzling gems, but there is competition for the Queen's favor

Zoo keepers making salad(feeding their animals), trying to get the best fruits and veggies at the market, but other zoo rival keepers have set their eyes on the fruit for their animals.

Recruiting circus acts, trying to get the best acts to sign before the other talent scouts sign them.

Fabric Story frenzy, super sale on reminents get the best cloth and get out, with your life and limbs preferably.

Thats what I got off the top of my head.

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Can you post the rules here?

Can you post the rules here? It will be easier to come up with a theme if we know exactly how the game plays.

Joined: 07/08/2011
Publisher's Wishes

Honestly, if the publisher suggests a theme, it means that it is probably not a suggestion. That being said, you don't have to follow their suggestion to the "T."
So how do you theme is for thieves, but not be too blaise?
Thief themes:
Pickpockets in Dickens London.
Time Thieves (Steampunk time travellers)
Arabian Thieves (Aladdin/Ali Baba)
Ocean's 11 style.

For instance, I recently sold a game to a publisher, and had it themed one way (thinking that theme might tickle their fancy) and they responded saying "if you don't want to change the theme, that's fine, its your game, but if you want US to buy it, if your theme is "X" we will be very likely to pick it up. That being said, I themed it as they asked, and they are picking it up.

Joined: 11/10/2009
Competing chefs/waiters in a

Competing chefs/waiters in a restaurant. Each Single is a lone diner, each X-of-a-kind is a dinner party, and each Straight is a multi-course meal. A Stake is delivering orders to a table, but the food is too hot to eat immediately. When a Claim occurs, the food has cooled enough to eat and no newer, better dishes (Bumps) have been proffered.

The rules are available as a .pdf download from thegamecrafter. Just follow the link Louard put in the opening post.

Joined: 09/20/2009
Here is the rules file

It was on the game crafter page... Hope the link works for you all.

Louard's picture
Joined: 02/09/2010
Publisher's "suggested" rules

I hear what you're saying, Monday, but in this case it really is still up in the air and the publisher really is looking for more ideas.

That being said, this is all great stuff, thank so much everyone!

One thing about some of the suggestion to keep in mind. Like, the example of preparing food for animals in a zoo... I like the idea, it's a good idea but in the game, collecting same coloured cards is advantageous.. so making a salad out of lots of one ingredient would actually be better for your score.. but probably a more boring salad. ^_^

Thanks for posting the rules Kirioni, you beat me to it.

Joined: 10/13/2011

Artwork of some kind? Maybe the same color is work by a single artist so havng a full set of one artist's work might be more valuable than a smattering of everyone else's work?

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
You stake claims and other

You stake claims and others can bump/jump your claim.

Sounds like a Goldrush!!!

If you use that theme i would lay the cards out in a line (River) instead of the 3x3. Oh and the bonus die could be gold in color.

Joined: 11/13/2008
some themes

Hunting animals with different values.
Building somekind of buildings.
or both of them - with a American Indian theme:
hunting animals and building wigvams on different cards
to manage better Your village

drktron's picture
Joined: 07/18/2010
I like the gold rush idea

I like the gold rush idea mentioned earlier. Here's a few more:

Nesting sea birds claiming the best spots on the cliff
Hermit crabs claiming the best shells
bees claiming the best flowers

Shake out strikes me as a family friendly game so i'm not sure thieves make the best choice .

Congrats on having a publisher so interested in your game!

mdkiehl's picture
Joined: 12/10/2010
Age - Appropreate

I would suggest targeting an the audience. Look at games that have a similar audience and make something appropriate. If it is a family game I would suggest something kinda funny, cute. (But I guess this is also a suggestion for the art).

Matthew Kiehl

Sundog's picture
Joined: 12/09/2008
My quick ideas

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - Each player represents a tax collector, church official, social activist, or Robin Hood type character - all fighting for the townspeople's hard-earned money. The different card colors could represent either small areas of a densely populated city or socio-economic classes.

"Booty to Die for" - (Pun intended) Players are Pirates. Cards are ships carrying booty from different countries (represented by color) and treasure map pieces (hence the bonus when you collect the set) card values could be notoriety or gold.

Indiana Jones theme - Players are ancient artifact collectors. Card values are actually prestige points. Dice could have runes or aztec symbols rather than numbers. Colors represent exotic acheological dig sites. i.e. pyramids of Egypt, Myan Temple city. - Sorry for misspells - was in a hurry.

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