Skip to Content

[GDS] July 2012 "Tempus Fugit" - Critiques Thread

8 replies [Last post]
Matthew Rodgers
Matthew Rodgers's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/01/2012

Some months, I thing I've got something really great even after I read everyone's entries. Some months I'm blown away by what others have come up with. This was the second kind of month.

Proximity

my game, 'nuff said.

Dice Pie

A good use of the "I pick, you choose" mechanic and limiting the game to two players ensures that the time limit will be kept. I worry a little bit about how one will be Cutter twice and the other will be Chooser twice. In theory it would be balanced since both players have equal (but incomplete) knowledge. However, I could imagine that a better bluffer would rather be Cutter and be more likely to win. Not a ton of strategy in this game, as the designer said it is about the mind game.

Boxcars

Hmm... the name of the game is Boxcars, but there are no boxcars, because there are no sixes on any of the dice. The custom dice make this game and a good use of the color spectrum to ellucidate the odds. I'd recommend changing the Purple die to White. It'd reduce color blindness issues and the psychological issue of "Purple has some red in it?" (true in printed colors). I don't know about the push you luck aspect, the tie-breaker doesn't seem to be strong enough to encourage people to go for the more red dice, so I imagine it would be whoever threw last wins the tie as everyone left two red dice for last.

Tumbledown

Wow, a lot of components for this fast game. The timer prevents AP issues (or at least makes the AP player quit the game). Due to component quantity and the game nature, I think that this game would be best for 5-8 year olds. In that case, a rule flip to make it be the youngest player gets to roll first might prevent some drama amongst the players.

Banish the Beast

Not quite enough information on this one to make a good call... I suspect it strains not only at the 200 word limit but also the five minute play length. We know that a face-down monster is bad and will match all, I presume that monster cannot activate any powers as well. If there are too many types of terrain then resolving a round gets complex, too few terrains and a round-robin issue can develop where the game never ends.

Clack Brawl

Hmm... a dexterity game, so at least one game I know that I'll lose! Seriously, the size of the mat (and size of the players) might determine how effective you can be at the game. There is some decision making as I assume some tokens are higher risk (1/9) vs. lower risk (4/6).

Tiles and Layers

I don't know how many tiles are in a standard Carcassonne set, but it's under 290 and the game takes more than five minutes to play. So while the game sound very interesting, it does not sound like it makes the time limit in any way. I'm confused about the number, if every symbol is used just once then the number of permutations is 120 (5!). If multiple symbols can appear on the same tile, then the number is 3125 (5^5). However, if all the symbols are bilaterally symmetrical (which it sounds like they are) and there are no distinguishing characteristics and one each of the symbols appear once on the tile then there are only 10 unique ways to arrange an edge of the tile. Since each tile has 4 edges, that means 40 tiles, and that sounds more reasonable.

Not sure I totally understood the pyramid building aspect as well, again I suspect it will break the time limit.

Tipsy Travelers

Hmmm... ignoring the negative dice for a moment, players are making the best choice for their pawn, but there aren't any meaningful decisions... it's just whoever rolled better. The negative dice do make the possbility of having a decision to make, do you help yourself or hurt the other guy. I can't help but think that this is the sort of game that should be played with a beverage in hand. That helps mitigate the lack of decisions, since making the best choice might be harder the third round in (pun intended).

Collect 5

A game that allows strategy, and has multiple strategies. Go for the big score or take the easier route? I actually think that the all numbers all colors set should be scored higher, but there probably are a lot of cards out on the table, since everyone would have been gunning for that to be the game ending hand. I'm a little worried about the time limit, but having a preset strategy means turns might last 5 seconds, meaning you might have gone through the deck before the time runs out. That would be a good and important question... what happens when the deck runs out? Anything, or do players have to start grabbing from the table?

Firestorm!

Excellent... I assume that there would be a sand timer to make this really stressful? I worry about that there are four suits in the Quench deck but five in the Fire deck... is that intentional? Something like a Chemical Fire, that can only be put out by Foam but Foam also puts out any other type of fire? Nice push your luck mechanic, and a neat way to add additional risk. The randomness feels right, since you never call tell what disaster will befall you in a Firestorm!

starflier
starflier's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/09/2009
My Critiques

Banish the Beast
I like that with a standard-sized deck of cards, you could still have a huge number of possible games.

Tiles and Layers
I like the piling-on mechanic here, It would be incredibly hard to place a third-teir tile, but so rewarding to do so, like spelling a five sylable word in Scrabble.

Tumbledown
Yay for blocks! I can see this being expanded with little plastic knights that give extra points, but can be captured. Or something.

Proximity
I love the constant back-and-forth of this one. You can have all the tokens, then lose half of them in one turn :D

Boxcars
Nice use of custom dice. I like the "Winner chooses who starts the next round" rule, since there's benefits to being first, last and in the middle.

Firestorm
I like the "Co-op until it isn't" though I think it would be better if escaping was more interesting, gameplay-wise than just playing a card (If other players could somehow try to prevent you, if you had to do something that made your intentions clear etc.)

Collect 5
I like the player agency of this one, how the growing selection of cards increases the choices a player can make.

Dice Pie
I think the hidden information makes for a good feeling of control, but I don't think any is actually there. It's a bit like killer bunnies I think in that all you can do is optimise your choices, winning is really determined by a card flip.

Tipsy Travellers
I like that you have more options available to you as you "sober up", though it feels to me like there's not a whole lot to the game beyond dumb luck.

federicolatini
federicolatini's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/15/2012
Dice Pie apology

first of all I have to apologyze for submitting such a raw, un-tested, unelegant design to you, after submitting it I just tryied it out with a friend and in a second a just realize that few tweeks could have done the game a real strong and elegant one, here are the fresh new Dice Pie game:
there are 6 set of colored dice, each set has 6 dice of the same colore, therefore there are 36 dice in a bag. (this is the same as previous)
One player is the curser and the other is the luckyer (I know this word do not exist but you get what I mean) (little change, no double infos)
the Curser picks a card from a deck of six card (from 1 to 6) and keep it secret, the number picked is cursed.
The Luckyer picks a card from a deck of 6 card that rapresent the six colors, this color is lucky.
Gameplay
The Luckyer starts the game by randomly drawing 6 dice from the bag and roll it, then he/she divide the rolled dice in two group and let the other player choose one group.
Than the role alternate, so the Curser draws and divide and the luckyer pick a group. Than the roles alternate again like this untill all dice are drawn. In this way both players had a chance to draw and divide 3 times and pick the group 3 times.
At the end of the game players reveal wich was the lucky color and the cursed number, than they sum up all the dice values, but they count double the lucky dice and 0 the cursed number. the player with the higher sum win the match. (this is the biggest change that completely modify the game strategy)

by cutting away all the gimmicky score system of the previously submitted game and by adding a role for all the dice, the game gains more hard choices and more elegance, players have a common ground of infos (the dice results) therefore tricking it's easyer and more meaningfull.

I will test this game further more and I'm planning to publish it as a print and play game.
please let me know your thoughts about it

thanks a lot

federico

regzr
Offline
Joined: 05/27/2012
Nice Dice Pie

Dice Pie sounds fun to me. If d6-dice is used and the cursed number happens to be "1", curse appears to be less significant. Compared to the situation where the cursed number is "6".

What if rulebook says something like this "then players sum up all the dice values, but they count N + every lucky color dice, where N stands for current cursed number. The cursed number dice count as 0."

Am I off base?

- regzr

federicolatini
federicolatini's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/15/2012
Post test consideration

Further tests got me consider an even simpler set of rules, no color difference anymore, both players pick randomly a number from a deck of 6cards going from 1 to 6.
Both numbers are cursed, at the end of the game for each dice displaying one of this numbers the player remove one of his/her higher dice.
This is the last post for this game because it's a kind of off topic, I will write a thread named Dice Pie, you will be able to post ther some suggestions.
Fede

Avianfoo
Avianfoo's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/31/2012
Banish the Beast - The Breakdown

2nd! Thanks for all your beautiful votes. You are all awesome :)

I must admit, fitting Banish the Beast idea into 200 words was quite difficult. I was tempted to drop the terrain idea completely like I did with non-monster cards (human monster hunters, monster cages etc) that just don't fit in the 200 word limit. But I am happy I didn't.

So I have gone ahead and made 21 monster cards (that's 3 per player adding up to a maximum 7 player game). Like Matthew Rodgers mentioned, I thought this game would run over the 5 minute mark... but once all players actually (sorta) know the cards, even 6 player games ended in under 5 minutes. One game even ended on the first turn by a fluke combination of cards. It is true that a 2 player game does take more than 5 minutes but a 2 player is a way more strategic game.

The mechanic of not being the last person to slap down a card removes most of the analysis paralysis and really moves the game along. (But hold onto the cards or they will go flying across the room, which I did once.) The number of terrain types started at 5 but quickly dropped to 3 and that is where they are at the moment. And it works.

All in all a filler game I am happy to play while waiting for the last player to arrive before starting a 4+ hour long game.

AndyGB
Offline
Joined: 10/05/2011
Comments and Thanks

Hi all,

Thanks for your votes in July, I was super excited (a bit to my friends' puzzlement) to have Firestorm! come in first place. Thank you very much! I may even post rules and prototype it, stay tuned.

I really liked several of the entries this month, my favorites were:

Proximity - I think this is one of those more simple rulesets that would lead to some in-depth strategy and play, and that the scoring wouldn't be a sure thing til the end, always good to keep everyone in the game.

Tipsy Travelers - In large part because of the theme, this one sounded fun to me. I like the increasing number of dice, you should get a nice arc developing even in a very short game. The strategy of which dice to choose I think might be enhanceable if you had an additional drawback, something like the next player could take one of your dice as it stands and roll one fewer. So you'd have to be careful about what you use and what you leave behind.

Dice Pie - I liked it even in the original incarnation, I think that cutter/chooser balance is a really good quick and easy way to inject some thought into a relatively simple game. Element of bluffing too.

Boxcars - I thought was a very good starting point and could be the base of a good game; for my money it would probably need a bit more player interaction, maybe some dice number/color combos give you additional rolls or powers like stealing a die from another player or making him roll again. I guess that would get you out of the 5 minute limitation, but I thought it was a solid base.

Anyway, thanks again and cheers,

AndyGB

GreenO
GreenO's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/14/2011
I have a love/hate

I have a love/hate relationship with the GDS. I get great comments about my entries that proceed a 'but' that explains why didn't win the voter over. It's all positive stuff, and it's more constructive than reading the BGG designers' forum all day. Not that I do that, obviously I'm working on designs.

In a shock move I took Sam's hint about a game playable in 5 minutes and didn't design a monster Econo/Euro/hex map game. I voted for the following games:

Banish the Beast. I liked this one a great deal, mostly for the surreal conversation that a King would have to enact the game.
General: "We need to secure the borders"
King: "We can't secure the borders with a rampaging air-whale on the loose! Lure it towards Eastville and hope their nightmare Lich deals with it- then secure the borders"
General "I'm getting reports of a rabbit being sent from Westville your highness..."

Collect 5. This is a canny game. Watching what other players are collecting and holding/collecting and altering what you are collecting is executed really well in 200 words. Watching the player on your right like a hawk and being very careful what you pick from the pile would make this really interactive.

Tipsy Travellers. The theme. The sobering up mechanism. the fact you could make some really difficult boards and theme them to cities or to individual pubs in cities is fantastic. Having this game printed on table mats in pubs as a promotional item woudl be fantastic. I loved it.

500 words next month. As a man who loathes the word limit, I am in favour of this. I also know that I'll write right to the limit again, despite having been admonished for being too verbose. I do have a worry that some of the voters are struggling to read 200 words accurately and may skip 500 entirely just looking at the theme and voting after a skim read. I woudl urge voters to take a bit of time reading next month as it's going to require a little more thought and effort. to whit:

Matthew Rodgers wrote:

Boxcars

Hmm... the name of the game is Boxcars, but there are no boxcars, because there are no sixes on any of the dice.

Quote:
Colour, and pips on each face

Red 0,0,0,1,3,6

Matthew Rodgers
Matthew Rodgers's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/01/2012
Quote:Colour, and pips on

Quote:
Colour, and pips on each face

Red 0,0,0,1,3,6

Oops, and there are up to three of them. My bad.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut