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[GDS] November 2012 "Crossover Appeal" - Critiques

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sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008

Use this thread to post constructive critiques of the entries to the November 2012 challenge in the Game Design Showdown, entitled "Crossover Appeal".


bike's picture
Joined: 03/08/2012
My thoughts

Some comments on the games:

Gold: Conglomerate
Nothing to add. Game is ready to playtest.

Silver: Risk-Takes of Catan
I would say this is not really a new game, but more a variant of Catan. Having said that, it is a great variant, adding Risk-elements. I think both games can be integrated some more (the Riskpart can have more influence on Catan). For instance:
- Armies cost recources like villages and roads. You choose what to build.
- Distribution of resources depends on both villages and armies. Receive one for the village, receive one for the army there (army controls the field, will only allow farmers when they get part of it).
- Can villages/cities be captured? When all around are armies of one opponent?

Bronze: Agents, military camps and gold
I have trouble understanding how it would all fit together. Can everyone move the agents? Do you need an agent of your own to build a building? Can agents be attacked like armies? How do you keep your capitol secret, I suppose you want to protect it (or surroundings) with extra buildings?
The elements are there, I can see a game coming out of it.

4th: Mickey's Assault on Catan's Real Estate
Too much going on, does not make a coherent game. I like the Lightsaber Mickeys and Darth Vader Goofy's though!


Joined: 03/07/2012
I awarded my gold medal to

I awarded my gold medal to "The Videogame Boardgame". To me, the game did a very good job of taking mechanics from the games listed without feeling like it could be built entirely from just combining sets of those two games, something that I didn't like about many of the other entries. The combination of spatial elements (cities) which correlate with comapny size made this game seem very intriguing to me. If I have one complaint it'd be that the Power Grid-esque shares system seems like it doesn't really simulate anything, and is just there for mechanical neatness, which is okay but not preferable.

I gave my silver medal to agents and military camps... of the "lets play risk on someone else's board" entries, this was the most interesting to me, partly because of the neat secret information (though I guess I don't understand why the envelope was needed) and the various means of exposing your agents in order to achieve some benefit... I didn't like the player elimination aspect and the victory conditions seemed like they could be frustrating.

I gave my bronze medal to The Risk Takers of Catan because... I think mostly because I don't want to see darth vader goofy. I wish the Risk pieces were better able to interact with the Catan pieces in this version, but it felt more like a game and less of a mashup than the disney one.

Joined: 10/24/2012
My feedback on Nov showdown

First off - Wow, I can't believe I came in first place! Was probably just beginner's luck. :) Thank you everyone for the votes and for feedback as well.

Here's my ranking and feedback on the other games:

Gold: Mickey's Assault on Catan's Real Estate. I know this game is kinda crazy, but hey, it was the most like mine and it managed to combine _three_ games instead of just two (which is what I wanted to do but ended up "keeping it simple"). It looks like I'm the only one who voted for this one, which goes to show that you can at least please _some_ of the people _some_ of the time when you go out on a limb. Of course, that doesn't make a game a best-seller, but I don't think that was the intent of this month's competition anyhow.

Silver: The Viedogame Boardgame. I love the mechanics, and the concise write-up. Of course, the "products" being sold don't need to be limited to videogames... the mechanics could work for any type of product (and in fact, I don't think videogames were mentioned at any point after the first sentence).

Bronze: I like the IP ideas and the "formulas" needed to produce media content. This game has great ideas, but I had to rank it lower because other than the PR style roles selection, I didn't see any elements from other games.

Agents, military camps and gold: this one also didn't have clear "crossover appeal" and I found the rules a bit hard to follow. Although I like the idea of putting agents and country cards in a "secret envelope" (to simulate covert operations and top secret orders), if you need to do this 5 times for each player, that's a lot of paper shuffling during setup. This setup mechanic would be better if it was just one agent per player.

And a few comments on The Risk-Takers of Catan (my entry): I wanted to keep it simple. I know the game is really just two games "layered" together, so it's debatable whether it's really a "new" game. I also know that I should have had more interactions between the armies and the Catan rules, and I appreciate the suggestions Bike made. I put a lot of effort into the rules write-up, keeping it clear, concise, and consistent. On that last point, I had to keep going back to the original rules from both games to make sure I was using the correct terms - was it "hex" or "terrain tile", "armies" or "pieces", etc. Was a good exercise.

I enjoyed this challenge and look forward to next month's!


Joined: 03/07/2012
*pouts because the main

*pouts because the main mechanisms of Monopoly are auctions and set collection... right?*

Yeah I tried to keep the mechanisms subtle... properties producing IP on certain die rolls was my Catan piece, and (auctions/set collection/putting incrementally more control markers on things) was the Monopoly piece... that one is a bit of a stretch though...

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