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[GDS] JULY 2016 "Time's Up"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a winner!

Courier Now

by A Round Tuit

Only a few entries this round. Summer is getting the better of us! Timers are difficult to use creatively, so let's see what everyone came up with, shall we? Find the critiques thread here.

Entries are in!

Four entries this month using a timing mechanism somehow. We'll do the normal voting procedure as outlined below!

  • Voting: Through the 16th. Votes will be through a form LINKED HERE

    • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!

    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.

    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.

Plenty of games use timers to signal the end of a round, an action, or the game. Often in co-op games to pressure the team into making mistakes!

But how else can you use them? Can you find a more creative way to use it than just determining the length of a game unit?

On to the details!

Component restriction: Your game needs to incorporate a timer as a major part of the game. Mechanic restriction: Timer!
Theme restriction: None, focus your attention on using a timer in a cool way!

Word Limit: Standard 500 word limit. Remember this is a pitch, so focus your thoughts on the task and a summary more than explaining every detail

Voting: Award a Gold, Silver, and Bronze (worth 3,2, and 1 points respectively) Medals to your three favorite entries. Any entrant that does not award all three Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: PLEASE USE THE FORM LINKED HERE.

  • Submissions: the 2nd through the 9th

    • Voting: Through the 16th. Votes will be through a form (link posted after submission period is ended).

    • Voting Format: Each person has 3 Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze - with values 3, 2, and 1 vote respectively) to distribute any way they choose among the GDS entries with the following restrictions:

    • Entrants may not assign any Medals to their own entry!

    • Entrants must assign all 3 Medals.

    • An entrant who does not assign all 3 Medals will receive a Pyrite Medal (-3 votes) as a penalty.

    • Comments or Questions: Comments and questions about this Challenge are handled on the Comments Thread

    • CRITIQUES: After voting has closed the entries will be posted for comments and critiques. Post constructive critiques and commentary about the entries to this Challenge in the Critiques Thread.

    • GDS Details: For more details on how these Game Design Showdown Challenges work, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy, and good luck!

-Rich and Mindspike

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #1 Courier Now

2-5 Players
30-45 minutes

15x Wooden taxi-cab pieces
15x 30-Second sand timers
5x 1-Minute sand timers
1x Square city board
52x Client cards
52x One-off cards
Money tokens

Players take on the role of cab dispatch companies, fighting to pick up and deliver clients to their specified destinations. The goal is to accumulate the most fare money by the end of the game. The game ends when the last card of the Client Deck is flipped. Game length can be tweaked by the number of client cards in the game.

Each card in the Client Deck will start and end at different intersections. For example, 1st & Grand to 3rd & Post. Five client cards will be publicly available to all players as open jobs, to be refreshed as they are taken. The first player to arrive at the starting location of a client may “pick up” and attempt to complete that client's route.
Clients will pay varying amounts depending on the distance and difficulty of the route (from $1 to $5). Some clients will even pay double if the cab will wait for them to come back for a second ride, marked by a 1-minute timer. The player can choose to stick around for a very lucrative but long job, or cash out and leave for another route.

Each player starts with one cab, although additional cabs may be purchased with money rewarded for completed routes. Additional cabs can be purchased for $10. Each cab consists of a colored and numbered cab piece and a matching 30-second sand timer.
Movement of cabs around the city streets is real time and carried out by setting the corresponding timer. When the timer runs out, that cab can be moved one space. Then the timer is reset and the process is repeated. This may seem like a very slow process but while the timers are going, players will be planning their routes, figure out which clients their opponents are going for and decide if a certain course of action is worth the time. Adding additional cabs to your fleet with which to complete routes will complicate this process heavily but can result in much higher gains.

►Time Management:
Every second that a cab's timer sits empty is a second that an opponent can use to beat you to a valuable client. Managing one cab should not be difficult but absentminded play and poor time management will likely result in cabs sitting idle when a second or third cab is introduced.
Also, because the game ends immediately when the last card of the Client Deck runs out, any incomplete routes count for nothing. This is especially important for routes with multiple legs as clients do not pay until they've arrived.

►Money Management:
Since money equals victory points, spending money to buy a new cab late in the game may not be worth the investment.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #2: Timestream Thieves

Highly illegal, highly dangerous, highly profitiable. Ride the timestream to the past and loot historical artifacts.

Travelling the timestream

Play proceedes in rounds. At the start of each round, players start the timer and enter the timestream at the same time. The time travellers cannot keep track of time as they travel the timestream, and must rely on their own sense of time to exit the timestream. Each player stops their individual timer to exit the timestream, and then moves their piece along the timeline gameboard that many spaces. The timestream flows in different directions at different times in history. All the players enter the timestream together, but they might be travelling in different directions depending on where they started. Because of this, time travelers may need to travel centuries into the future, then centuries back just to go back a few decades. Once all the travellers have exited the timestream, each takes a turn, changing history and collecting artifacts, with the traveller earliest in time going first.

The chrono sling

Time travellers have limited charge on their chrono sling, and uses one every time they enter the timestream. The devices are charged at times in history with an energy source, such as a volcano, nuclear explosion, or after free energy has been invented. If a timetraveller is stranded in time, they can detonate one of the nuclear batteries on their device to give that era an energy source at the cost of maximum charge on their device. They can also travel forwards in time the normal way, by taking an age token and moving forwards 1 space. They can do this as many times as they want in a turn, but they can only do this so many times in a game. If two players land on the same time, check the millisecond on the timers to see who goes first.

History and artifacts

Timetravellers at the certain junctions in history can choose to alter the future, which are marked by adding/flipping tiles in the timeline. The goal of the game is to steal artifacts from the past and sell them in the far future for credits, which are the VPs but can also be used to buy tools like cyrochambers or batteries. The artifacts are drawn from a deck, to be collected in a certain area of the timeline. Some artifacts can only be collected in certain paths of history. If too many of an artifact are collected, or if they're collected too early, they might fade into obscurity and become worthless.

The game is about having good timing, all while trying to keep track of other player's movements. If you notice another player exiting the timestream to get an artifact, you can go back further to deny your opponent by changing history or to get it first. Two players starting from the same time may be playing "chicken", trying to exit the timestream just after the other player.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #3: Block Party

The pieces:

in four colors: black, white, blue, red

in each color:

  • 2 blocks of each shape: cube, cylinder, triangle, pyramid, sphere, rectangle (48 blocks total)
  • one sand timer (4 timers total)

The goal:

Build a structure with at least 12 blocks, at least five levels high.

The rules:

  • All blocks begin in a common pool.
  • You may only build blocks while you have an active sand timer in front of you.
  • You may only use blocks that match the color of a sand timer in front of you.
  • If your timer runs out, you must turn it over and pass it.
  • You may not have an active sand timer unless another player passed it to you.
  • Pass to players with no timer in front of them first.
  • If all other players have a timer in front of them, you may pass to any other player.
  • You may not touch structures built by other players.
  • No level may have more than 4 blocks in it.
  • If another player catches you placing blocks on an expired timer, they get to take a block from the top of your structure and return it to the pool.

When a player thinks he has won, he calls out "Block Party!" If his structure meets the victory conditions, he wins and may then knock down all of the structures!

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #4: Countdown to Collision

Your spaceship is about to collide with a comet, and the only thing you can do is radio Earth to tell them whose fault it is! That way you can die with the best reputation, and maybe get a statue out of this.

The game is played with a clock showing a rocket that moves towards a comet. It does not move smoothly, but rather "jumps" at intervals between 90 and 180 seconds.

The player in control of the radio plays cards that fit rules on the previous card played. The other players will be playing cards (that represent what happened on the trip) that they think the active player can’t handle (Causing the COMET to move closer to the Rocket, which trims down the time those players have to improve their reputation on the radio).

The more successful the player in solving played events, the harder it becomes to solve subsequent ones (as they use up their hand of resources).

Once a player can’t handle an event, the player who played the defeating event jumps on the radio and describes how THEY solved that problem (and plays a card to solve the problem they created).

The cycle continues, with players not on the radio gaining “resources” back to solve events when they’re on the radio (slowly). When the rocket collides with the comet on the timer , the game ends.

The player with the worst reputation loses, since it was probably all their fault anyway.

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