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[GDS] NOVEMBER 2016 "Timing is everything"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

Only 1 entry for the November thread, which is posted below. Congratulations to andymorris for participating! Discussion for the game will be in the comments thread, along with news on what's going to be new with the GDS next year.

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

A bit late, but it’s time for the November GDS! In fact, timing is part of the restriction. The world doesn’t operate in rounds and turns, so why do so many games? Wars are real-time, city construction is real-time. Real-time games, of course, have a problem in that you are changing a game-state, but also need a set game-state to base your actions on.

So now your challenge, designers, is to make a competitive real-time game with a “big-game theme” from the broad list below. To add a little more spice to the mix, you cannot make dexterity a primary mechanism in the game.

Here is the list of broad themes you can use:

  • Civilisation/empire/city building
  • Wartime
  • Economic euro game (like PowerGrid, Railroad games, and so many investment games)
  • Explore and Combat style games (Zombicide series, Descent-style games)
  • other, similar concepts

Good luck designers. Here are the details:

Design restriction: Game must be real-time and use a big-game theme from the list (or similar). It

Mechanic restriction: The game cannot be dexterity based.

Theme restriction: The list, or similar.

Word Limit: Standard 500 word limit.

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: Fertile Crescent

"In the Fertile Crescent of the ancient near east several influential kingdom are burgeoning. All of their Kings are vying to gain ultimate control of the region by influencing the development of neighbouring kingdoms as they all require resources from one another.

In this game everything is happening at once without stopping for any rounds or phases (but we must do this with enough structure that the game is obviously progressing and player choices impact one another). Everyone will be continuously rolling 2 or 3 dice until certain combinations are achieved as a means of resource collection. In order to add a layer, I’ll take inspiration from the September 2014 GDS and force players to physically move around. Five distinct boards, for five kingdoms, are spread around the room/table enough that a player can only be at one at any given time. Each board has a different resource it produces. Rolling what you need to collect a resource gets less likely when more people are rolling at that board and depending on the resources you’re holding. Everyone wants all of the resources, so you have to keep moving between boards. You must choose carefully when to move and where as you weigh getting easier access to a resource yourself versus letting someone else have easy access to something else, and you can never lose sight of what’s going on in each kingdom.

Each kingdom has two stacks of cards building on it. One for economics and the other for architecture. Each pile starts at zero and needs cards stacked in sequence up to ten. Anybody can play the next card on any pile, but you need to get the right resource combination first. The higher the number the more resources necessary. Watch carefully what’s going on as you may spend too much time working on a certain combination only to miss out at the last minute. Trading is welcome, but be careful how much time you spend negotiating, as your resource collection will slow down and you won’t be playing any cards.

Points are awarded for each card you play. Obviously, you get more points the higher the number. Do you try and get lots of small numbers quickly or bank resource early to try and maximize your end game? Do you focus on one or two kingdoms or spread yourself around? It’ll go fast, so no matter what, keep rolling!"

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