Skip to Content

Need ideas to reinforce a theme

10 replies [Last post]
larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008

It's for my viking game Fallen Kingdoms which is a non-historical war game:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/72347/fallen-kingdoms

It seems that by making it non-historical, I made the theme weaker. I need to find ways to reinforce the theme of the game without changing any rules. I am looking for various ideas or solutions. The suggestions I have so far:

- Give name to cities
- Give name to areas of the map, sea (ex: valley of the giants)
- Add artwork to various cards and tokens

I tried to look for Norse terminology, but I mostly found character and locations names. The problem is that there are not that many characters in my game, and everything take place on earth. So using world names like Asgard is pointless.

Any other ideas?

Else I thought I could eventually make an expansion that would introduce more mythological creatures and characters, but that implies changing/adding rules.

--- Mirror Threads ---

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/11280507#11280507

GrimFinger
GrimFinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
With the caveat that I have

With the caveat that I have never played your game before, here is some off-the-cuff feedback, after following the link that you provided, and after clicking on various other links that I found on the Board Game Geek website that deal with your game.

1. Comparing the black and white map of your game in an early phase, to the colored map that it presently uses, I certainly concede that the color map is a much better choice to go with than the black and white map. That said, you might want to consider revamping the map, or even making a new map for it, altogether. Even in color form, the map lacks pizzazz. It doesn't grab my eye. It doesn't retain my attention. It doesn't even rise to the level of a standard fare Risk map. It's just big chunks of landmass that are the visual equivalent of "blah." It is largely green with brown coastlines, and strikes me as rather stale and uninteresting.

2. A minor point, to be certain, but why not move the copyright info from the center of the map, if you re-do the board?

3. Stackable chits can be annoying, but they may be integral to your game. I don't know what they represent (Armies? Individual warriors?), so replacing them may be inappropriate. They are not visually tempting nor visually inspiring, however. Perhaps they are functional, but they don't strike me as adding a lot of visual flavor.

4. There are no viking figures or longship figures that I see. There needs to be. I see the ships on the board, itself, but that's not the same thing, from my perspective as a prospective player.

5. Vikings sailed far and wide. Your map doesn't give that impression to the casual looker.

6. I associate conquests with loot. Neither are immediately evident, from browsing the images.

7. Because the map is so generic in nature, I don't associate it with any specific viking conquests of old. If you are after enhancing the historical aspect, then do the grunt work to obtain the historical details. If, however, you are after imbuing the game with more viking-esque flavor, then the historical aspect can be less detail-specific. Do you want the player to relive history, or do you want them to feel more like a viking?

8. What are the consequences of viking conquest? Maybe the game takes that into account and deals with it. Just looking at the selection of photos posted, however, I just don't think "viking empire" by looking at them.

NASG
NASG's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/15/2012
Viking is a verb..

So this is without knowing the rules, and now that I've written most of the below I've read the mirror thread and seen you don't want to make it historical - but I've typed it all now... ;-)

I would heartily recommend reading Bernard Cornwell's Warrior Chronicles (aka Saxon series) which is set in the middle ages c. C10th . (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saxon_Stories) they would be a great source of theme, facts and they're a great read! Although predominantly about the Saxons , the formation of England by Alfred the Great, the spread of Christianity, they have the ever present "enemy", the Danes. He also has a list of Historically accurate Saxon names for places (and their modern-day counterparts).

When Danes went off to plunder lands they went "Viking", so Viking is actually a verb in this sense.

I would suggest the map encompasses the islands and mainland of Denmark, the North Sea, the British Isles and the coasts of France, the Netherlands and Germany.

I would then make the game about raiding settlements, and then later in the game settling them, in order to build a legacy. A mixture of raiding, plunder, sacking churches and abbeys, slaves, building armies, diplomacy? There's loads of scope.

The names of your Heroes, etc.. can be made up, and why not use the pagan mythology the Danes (and many Saxons) followed to give morale boosters to troops, to make it easier to recuit, or as a way of scoring victory points?

One final thought, if you want a truly non-historical game, then set it in Valhalla. The players have already had glorious deaths, their weapons in hand and have arrived at the mead halls where they can now plunder, wench and fight to their hearts content... :-)

HTH

Word Nerd
Word Nerd's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/02/2012
Geographic fringes and dead dictionaries

Vikings made excursions as far as Iceland, Greenland and Vinland (Newfoundland, in Canada), and probably dropped in on some African and Mediterranean coastal settlements as well. Including these sites in your game--perhaps at the fringes, literally or figuratively--would add greater diversity to the content and possibly open new play avenues as well.

Also, I vaguely recall once stumbling upon a website with a collection of dictionaries of "dead" and ancient languages--including Norse. My stupid: I can't remember how I found it now. Good luck with that.

Orangebeard
Offline
Joined: 10/13/2011
Ideas

larienna wrote:
- Give name to cities
- Give name to areas of the map, sea (ex: valley of the giants)
- Add artwork to various cards and tokens

I think you are on the right path here...normally, I start this process by brainstorming and writing down any and every thought I have related to the topic. In 60 seconds my Viking thoughts are;

Dragonboat
Helmet
Hemidall
Rainbow Bridge
Cold
Snow
Seafaring
Greenland
Plunder
Raid
Town
Hunt
Hammer
Violent
Beard
Blond Hair
Blue Eyes
Tough

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Sorry for the late reply, I

Sorry for the late reply, I could not do it sooner. Thank for the comments so far.

First anything related to the graphic design will be redone by the publisher. It also includes adding artwork I currently don't have which should strengthen the theme by itself.

Quote:
Stackable chits can be annoying, but they may be integral to your game.

In my game, I find them perfect because you can end up with huge stacks sometimes (more than 6 units). The thicker the better. They are easy to manipulate if thick enough and you can almost see at a glance the strength of your opponent. Britania does the same and it works well.

Quote:
There are no viking figures or longship figures that I see.

Players don't build ships. If a player control a port, it is assumed that he has ships. In the early version of the game, they had to build ships, but that has been rapidly removed.

Quote:
Because the map is so generic in nature, I don't associate it with any specific viking conquests of old. If you are after enhancing the historical aspect, then do the grunt work to obtain the historical details.

Quote:
I would suggest the map encompasses the islands and mainland of Denmark, the North Sea, the British Isles and the coasts of France, the Netherlands and Germany.

The goal is to make a non-historical game, so it's normal that the map is generic.

Quote:
What are the consequences of viking conquest?

Quote:
I would then make the game about raiding settlements, and then later in the game settling them, in order to build a legacy.

The basic idea of the game is that weaker player will abandon their kingdom to re-invade with a new full strength kingdoms. So the balance of power constantly change though the course of the game.

Quote:
In 60 seconds my Viking thoughts are;

Ok let see:

Dragonboat: YES, picture use to represent presence of port in a city.
Helmet: NO, but could be on artwork
Hemidall: It's Heimdall, YES one of the player god
Rainbow Bridge: NO, takes place on earth
Cold: NO, but can be on art
Snow: NO, but can be on art
Seafaring: YES, movement through navigation routes.
Greenland: NO, not an historical map
Plunder: NO
Raid: YES, using rampage
Town: YES
Hunt: ??, Like hunting for animals, in that case NO
Hammer: NO, but can be on art
Violent: YES/NO, Can be on art, depends on how violent destroying tokens is to you.
Beard: NO, but can be on art.
Blond Hair: NO, but can be on art
Blue Eyes: NO, but can be on art
Tough: YES, with intimidation mechanic

As you can see, most of these concept would fit better for artwork than mechanics. Still, having a winter season, or being able to plunder other players could be some ideas.

----

Somewhat related. There is a play area where the technologies, buildings and rumor available for purchase or taking are placed. In order to make it easier to refer to this location in the rules, I want to give it a name.

I am trying to find a concept that could identify this part of the play area and then maybe link it to norse mythology. BUt I could not find anything so far. If you have any idea, let me know.

SinJinQLB
Offline
Joined: 12/02/2012
What about the game, besides

What about the game, besides the fact that you say it is viking themed, screams vikings? In other words, is there anything preventing you from changing the theme? Because that might be an option you would want to explore. Because it doesn't really sound like you're finding inspiration in Viking themes. I must admit I haven't read the rule book, so maybe there is something in the mechanics that is very Viking-ish. But if not, maybe try a different theme where you have more creative freedom?

GrimFinger
GrimFinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/06/2008
larienna wrote:It seems that

larienna wrote:
It seems that by making it non-historical, I made the theme weaker. I need to find ways to reinforce the theme of the game without changing any rules. I am looking for various ideas or solutions.

larienna wrote:
The goal is to make a non-historical game, so it's normal that the map is generic.

But, not just generic - It is also very bland.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Originally, It was a plain

Originally, It was a plain medieval non-fantasy game. After many plays, people suggested that it would fit better as a viking theme due the invasion of players and the intimidation (which was influence by then). Also the medieval theme is overused.

So I decided to explore the viking theme and designed the flags, ships and buildings. Personnaly, I did not really care to change the theme and I think it would have made the game more original. I had no viking themed game ideas so far. I later introduced the gods because I wanted to give a reason why the same player would control various factions.

And now I am at a point where the game is finished, but the publisher would like ways to strengthen the theme. The ideas so far were artwork, city/area names and maybe heraldry.

Else later I could design an expansion where I introduce more mythological elements, because I have realised that there are a lot of characters in the norse mythology. But that implies adding rules which I do not want to do at this point.

NomadArtisan
Offline
Joined: 12/12/2011
Not to be difficult, but why

Not to be difficult, but why can't it be semi-historical viking themed?

You don't need characters within the game to use their names.
For instance, you could have a city named "Odin's Castle" or a village named "Tribes of Thor", etc.

I say use the rich and vast history and mythology that already exists for vikings.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I might do that for board

I might do that for board areas, like "Freya's mountain".

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut