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[GDS] JUNE 2013 "Everyone's a Villain to Someone"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a ... tie!

The distribution of votes this time worked out into a three-way tie! This was unquestionably a difficult challenge, and big kudos to all designers who participated! Let's get ready to go big next month!

Entries are posted!

This was a tough challenge this month, and only three entries made it in to the June GDS. Flex those critiquing muscles and have at it! As usual, you have one week to read the entries and send in your votes. Votes are being tallied by Mindspike, so PM him with your votes by the end of Monday, June 16th.

Also, for a change this month, The Critiques thread will remain open during the duration of the vote to encourage discussion!

Remember the voting format!

  • 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.

June 2013 Game Design Showdown - "Everyone's a Villain to Someone"

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

A lot of stories involve a hero saving the world. Sometimes a villain or catastrophe is going to happen and the hero must preserve the status quo, and others the catastrophe has already happened and the hero must fight to return the world to a pre-catastrophe, idyllic status. But what about heroes that are actively trying to improve the world, but they just differ in what they think an "improvement" is. Aren't they each playing hero to the other players' villains?

For June's GDS, you must design a game where players are strongly encouraged if not required to have completely different goals - and pursuing them must interact with the goals of the other players.

There is only one other mechanical restriction: Your game must be comfortably playable by a large number range of players, like a small group up to EIGHT. That's a lot.

What does comfortably mean in this context?

It means you shouldn't take more than a few minutes between actions by any single player, the whole game should take less than 90 minutes, and the (imagined) physical setup of the game allows up to 8 people to sit, stand, or otherwise be able to interact easily with the other players and the game pieces.

Mechanical Restriction: Players' can win by very different methods that interact with each other, and the game can have a large number of players.

Component Restriction: None. Go nuts.

Theme Restriction: None. The description may have implied a "hero" theme, but that was just for convenience. Please don't feel constrained by that! Could just as well be a game about neighborhood kids.

This is another tough one, I hope! Good luck!

Word Limit: 500 words, tops.

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 Meal (that's "Fool's Gold") worth -3 votes!

When submitting your entry: Please PM submissions to richdurham with the following subject line. PLEASE use the correct subject!

GDS - JUNE - [your username]

Submissions: Sunday the 2nd through Sunday the 9th.

Voting: Through to the the 16th. PM your votes to MindSpike.

  • 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 were 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, especially the details around the word count and graphics limits, visit the GDS Wiki Page.

Enjoy! - Rich and MindSpike

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Nine Characters

Nine characters, Nine areas, arranged in a 3X3 Grid

  1. The Paladin, in Castleton, seeks to save the Princess in the tower
  2. The Wizard, at Lake Lagolac, seeks to defeat the dragon
  3. The Druid, in the Enchanted Wood, seeks the Cleric to heal his curse
  4. The Cleric, in the Sanctuary, seeks to maintain peace and prolong life
  5. The Fairee, in the Rolling Hills, seeks mischief
  6. The Thief, in the Mountains, seeks profit
  7. The Wraith, in the Graveyard, seeks to usurp the King (he becomes a dragon when enraged)
  8. The Barbarian, in the Wasteland, seeks honor through bloodshed
  9. The King, in the tower, seeks to protect his daughter and his Kingdom

Play proceeds in player order 1-9. When fewer than 9 players are playing some roles can be automated (like the Cleric who is replaced by the Sancturary healing everyone automatically) and some can be eliminated (like the Druid)

Each player has 9 actions per turn: 3 Right hand, 3 Left hand, and 3 Feet. Hands can be used to search for items in an area, or to use those items (such as swinging a sword) feet can be used to move to an adjacent area, or dodge.

Actions are represented by cards and refreshed at a rate of one per turn. (Anyone’s turn, not only your own turn)

Each area has a stack of cards representing items that can be found by searching players. Items, (such as boots) can be set to body parts, modifying actions for that part. Items also have a cash value.

Battles happen beyond turns, engaging another player in the same area in a battle by playing a card on them invites response or retaliation in the form of a card. Damage is measured in items, such as armor which can absorb blows, when no items remain, you have been killed


The Paladin has walked to the Mountains, he has a sword in his Right hand and a shield in his Left, to the south is the Palace, where the King lives with the princess (who is not playable), The king carries a Magic Staff-Left, and nothing-Right

The Paladin plays 2 foot cards to leave the Mountains and enter the Tower area, he then plays his Right hand on the King.

The King may now respond, and plays 1 Foot to dodge the sword.

Paladin is in trouble (he has only 2 Right actions left) and chooses to kick with 1 Foot.

King Takes the hit (losing his crown) and plays 1 Left, to attack with his Staff

Paladin blocks with his shield

… And so on, until combat is resolved.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Life is different

Rectangular landscape board with squares containing flatland (fields), forrest, sea, river, hills, mountains.

Each player starts with some food, gold, workers and a secret gamegoal.

During a turn a player can:

  • Buy a tile and put it on a suited square on the board:
  • Farmtile cost gold, yields food (type and amount differ per tile)
  • Citytile cost food, yields gold (amount differs per tile)
  • Special tiles costing different amount of food & gold and having special functions.
  • OR Put worker on a tile:
  • Put a worker on a tile (laid before, possibly by another player):
  • Farm yields food
  • City yields gold
  • On special tile, yield special resources

Until everyone has placed all their workers, or passes. Every worker result is directly added to the players hand. Workers available again next turn.

Special tiles like:

  • Market. Each city tile next to it yields more gold with a worker.
  • Everytime a market yields a bonus, a token is place on the tile. When it is full the market-index is incremented.
  • Storage. Every farm tile next to it yields more food with a worker.
  • Everytime storage yields a bonus, a token is placed on the tile…
  • Harbour. Allows fishing in the sea with workers. Again, keep track of usage.
  • University. A worker here can learn technology. Every technology learned (small tech-tree) can be used by all players. Might give more food on farmtiles, allow new tiles, etc.

Some buildings might allow more workers per tile.

For a lot of money terrain can be made suitable for farm/city/etc. Forrest can be cut as easiest example.

Other mechanic is fresh-air index. Gives 5 points every turn, but every forrest cut, or market-build removes one point/turn.

Goals of the players are:

  • Amount of farmland
  • City-size
  • Market earnings
  • Storage usage
  • Amount of seafish caught
  • Techniques learned in a specific type
  • Amount of fresh air
  • etc…

In total there should be about 20 different goals of which 8 are used max.

Every turn the player checks if he reached his goal by comparing it to the desired amount. If no player has won, the desired amount is lowered by one. Eventually one player will reach the desired amount and is winner.

Because the amount is lowered it will be impossible to avoid all goals to be reached. Players should guess the goals of other players and at least try to avoid helping those goals, and preferably, frustrating them. Secrecy is a good thing.

Example: One player needs farmtiles. Another player needs the market-index high. When there are 10 farmtiles, and the market-index is 8, but the desired amount is 11, no-one has won (yet). If, by some accident, the next round there are only 8 farmtiles left, but, market-index has increased to 10… The player with the market-index-goal wins, because the desired amount is lowered with one to 10.

(Playtesting needed to balance the goals.)

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Distribute your chances

A tiny idea which I try to convey to you is this. An auction game where money is replaced by dice. Numerous bids are replaced by adding more and more dice, in the auction for the simultaneous sale of more than one item. You can call it a dice game, where players can distribute their chances how they want.

The items "the bank" is selling, appear to be cards, secret goal cards. The set of cards form a color series. Cards are randomly chosen to the auction, or to the series of dice combat, if you will.

There are seven card colors and each color includes ten cards, each having unique text, i.e. secret goal. The card color can be seen both sides.

If player has acquired one card, she can buy one D20 more from the bank. The card returns to the bank. A D10 costs two cards, a D6 three cards. In the beginning all players have four D20 dice (a 4 player game).

Which card player decides to keep, is her secret goal.

Example: "Collect three red cards." When player succeeds to acquire the cards her goal requires, she shows the goal and the collection to the others. Then she is ought to buy dice with them plus get one victory point. Because every card has this goal text (different text), player can change her goal depending on what cards drop into her hand.

A Round

Four cards are dealt on the table face down (a 4 player game). Players, on their turn, put one dice beside any card. Don't mix whose dice is whose. Players keep putting dice one at a time until all have used as much D20, D10 and D6 as they want or can.

Then first dice combat is taken and first card finds its new owner. More dice throws follows and if there's a card which got no bid, it returns to the bank. ... Next, players are allowed to conduct business with the bank.

Dice throw values (hands)

  • single [1] best,
  • then a pair in this order [20,20] [19,19] [18,18] ...[2,2],
  • then sequential numbers in this order [20,19] [19,18] [18,17] ...[3,2],
  • then single number [2] [3] [4] ...[20] in this order.
  • Single 1 wins a pair. A pair wins two sequential numbers. Two sequential numbers wins a single number (except 1).
  • All other combinations are worthless (dice values, consequently, would not be counted in one, but hands are compared with each other). Player shows the best combination she can figure out from her throw.
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