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

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

Use this thread to post constructive critiques of the entries to the June 2013 challenge in the Game Design Showdown, entitled "Everyone's a Villain to Someone.".


richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Discuss the entries!

Think one game should win this month?

Discuss it here.

The ground rules, first: - You can not solicit votes - You can not use this space to write more rules for your game. Only comment on what is written already in the entry.

  • You CAN ask clarification questions. This is first and foremost a design challenge, with writing clearly a close second.
  • You CAN and SHOULD debate the merits of particular mechanic and whether they encourage the style of play intended
richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
More clarifying

Some questions have been raised on how clarification on an entry is given if the entries are anonymous.

Here is the gist of it:

Think of it like talking with the judge ia round of Apples to Apples where you aren't revealing which card is yours, but you discuss the merits of each option anyway.

Someone might ask a question, but that won't necessarily tell you how they are voting, nor do you need to clarify for your entry. You could give your impression of how to read the rules on someone else's entry. This is a friendly competition, so we don't expect anyone to talk down an entry.

I hope that helps clarify! Understand this is a trial run. If it is unpopular it will return to normal next month. Mindspike and I are trying to consider options that will get the designers talking more about the designs, since that process is the most valuable. If you have ideas, please post them in the Comments and Questions thread for this month's GDS.

Good luck in the GDS!

Joined: 05/27/2012
GDS_June_2013 A hard round

It was a hard hassle with many goals.


Critiques - Nine Characters

A quite violent and solid theme. I don't know about fantasy card games specially, but this could work. Easy to grasp.

Combat mechanics is complicated but easy to learn and the outcome is hard to presume. The attraction lays there that you have scarce information how the opponent is equipped. However, the board is so small that players face each other soon. Massive arming can not be carried out.

Nine Characters has a story to tell and it gives designer a chance to add some ingenious graphics.


Critiques - Life Is Different

A beautiful landscape and hard-working workers, a promising start.

I read Life Is Different twice and didn't notice how one gets more workers. Maybe player has x people, and that's it. A piece of information * Workers available again next turn* is somewhat blurry to me. In some games workers are movable, in some not.

Players' interests are really criss-cross here and about twenty different goals may raise a headache for the balance seeker. If succeeded, re-playability will be high.

Nothing shiny new here, so the game needs a impressive theme to become popular.


Critiques - Distribute Your Chances

There was only one strict requirement in this month's GDS: completely different goals. And a strong recommendation: game must be playable by a large number range of players. Distribute Your Chances does not meet either topics. Some collect three red cards, some collect three yellow cards; does this sound like *completely different goals*?

We've seen millions of dice combat games, what's new with this? It is neither an auction even if said.

What is the theme of Distribute Your Chances? Nice color cards? If there's 70 cards and one round deals with 4, how long does it take. Besides, no mention of winning conditions.

Cards are in the same game on sale, means of payment, goal information and collectables. Confusing. And if eight poor players try this amusement, they gonna need loads of dice.

In the game a D6 seems to be more difficult to acquire than a D20. How illogical. And what topsy-turvy I see: number 1 is the greatest good a player can get when tossing dice.

Otherwise a nice try.


RGaffney's picture
Joined: 09/26/2011
Fantasy cards are played out.

Fantasy cards are played out. Is there a way to do the Nine Characters game with tokens? Play down the CCG feel and something more like King of Tokyo (but without the dice) otherwise nice game, would like to see it developed further.

I like the idea from Life is different, of sort of taking the design challenge and making it into "life" as a boardgame. after all I don't want to be the top ballerina out of Julliard, but somebody does. I assume you get to pick your secret game goals? That's cool but we need a mechanic for it. other than that though, i'm not in love with the tile laying, medieval farming idea. it takes the whole abstract idea and just makes it that much more abstract. I think it's a good paradigm shift, but I don't see it as a game yet. Maybe someone can explain the rules better.

Distribute your chances: Sorry man I don't get it. How is it ever more fun to have an auction mechanic where your success depends not on strategy revolving around bluffing and double bluffing, but around modified random number generation?

bike's picture
Joined: 03/08/2012

I thought is it very hard to give really different goals to each player, and have them balanced, en play with up to 8 characters. In a game like werewolves one can play with a lot of people, but essentially there are two different goals which both can be described as "survive". Risk is a good example with different goals. However, most of the times if you can win by fullfiling your goal, you can win any other way as well (or I played Risk badly).

In my design "Life is different" I tried to create a world with 20 different goals, of which 8 are chosen. By lowering the amount for each goal every round the game is sure to last a fixed number of rounds. One should guess the goal of the others and at least try to avoid them to reach the desired amount.
I do think 8 players is too much for that game. It is too much waiting.
@regzr: I forgot to mention how one gets more workers. Surplus of food is my idea. This whole idea is a big sketch though. When I decide to take it on, a lot might change (like it will be 4 players)
@Rgaffney: No goal-picking. One gets assigned one, and you have to try to keep it secret.
And... yes another theme would be nice. Most of my games start their theme in this nice building/developing era. Open for suggestions.

Gold - Nine characters

Good idea. Finding items, getting stronger. I do think that this game is a bit like Risk in the sense that the strongest player will eventually win. Especially since is known what goals each player must strive for.

Silver - Distribute your chances

I would like to see one secret goal per player, instead of a bunch. It looks like by simplificating this game a nice dice/card game can emerge (maybe forget about the different goals).

So... on to the next challenge!

RGaffney's picture
Joined: 09/26/2011
In what game does the

In what game does the strongest player not eventually win?

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