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[GDS] OCTOBER 2016 "A Classic Spin"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a winner!

Loco Crazy by gilamonster

Some good discussion following the September challenge. Discussion is where it's at now. Our feedback is the only reward these designers get, so let's make it good.

Entries are in!

Take a look through the 4 entries below and then vote using the form here before the end of the 19th (since I posted them late).

Here are the voting rules:

  • 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.

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Sometimes it's very easy to see the inspiration some games take from the classics, like Diplomacy on Game of Thrones the Board Game. Of course, some of these old games could use a few...playability updates.

And thus, briefly, is your design challenge. You are to take one of the classic games from the list below and design a brand new game that carries a clear inspiration from its predecessor. You game should be an "up to date" game, meaning it adheres to modern design principles like keeping players engaged (no elimination), short player turns, etc.

You also, as an added complication, must include an arbitrary game mechanic from the (second) list below.

Classic Games you may chose from (and yes, these were chosen because they're kids games and we can have the technology to make them better)

  • Ludo / Sorry!
  • Guess Who
  • Operation
  • Snakes and Ladders
  • Battleship
  • Pit

Added mechanic list:

  • Action selection
  • Hand-management of cards
  • Unique Player roles
  • Little wooden cube resource management
  • Area-control

Good luck designers. Here are the details:

Design restriction: Game must be heavily inspired by one of the 'classic' games on the list.

Mechanic restriction: Use at least one from the list

Theme restriction: None

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 - Operation: Patient Reloaded

Operation: Patient Reloaded

Operation, the dexterity game we played as kids, is being revamped for a new age! Android Andy needs a serious repair job and the technicians are there to fix him up! We can rebuild him, but only one technician will be promoted. Fix Andy up more than the others, and you’ll be the Head of the Cyber-Table. Watch out though, the other technicians can make your job a lot harder!

The revision of Operation will keep many of the same rules of the original game. Small changes include:
-The patient will be changed to an android (hence, Reloaded). All of the parts to be taken out will be robot parts which shouldn’t be there (Wi-Fi modem in kneecap).
-Instead of tweezers, a rod with magnetic properties are used to take objects out.
-Rather than money, the player who wins will be the one with the most parts taken out.
-Doctor cards will be renamed/redesigned to technician cards.

-Specialist cards will be removed.
-A timer will be added, with options for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds and 20 seconds.
-A deck will be added, containing “Lab Cards” technicians can play to help themselves out or make the job harder on other technicians.

Lab Cards:
-8 Friendly Hack: add 5 seconds to the timer, to a maximum of 20 seconds, for one technician of your choice.
-8 Enemy Hack: take off 5 seconds from the timer, to a minimum of 5 seconds, for one technician of your choice.
-2 Sabotage: put back one piece of hardware another technician has into Android Andy. If the edge is touched while putting it back, the piece goes back to the technician. The timer for this card is 10 seconds, and is affected by timer cards.
-1 Robo-Technician: Discard all timer cards on you
-1 Distracting Tweet: Skip one technician’s turn

New rules:
-Each technician starts with 1 Lab Cards, which can played on that technician’s turn. After the technician’s turn, they draw 1 Lab Card. You can only have 2 Lab Cards at a time. After a Lab Card is played, it is put into a discard pile. When there are no more Lab Cards, the discard pile is shuffled into the new Lab Cards Deck.
-The timer starts off at 15 seconds before being affected by the “Hack” Lab Cards.
-Rules applying to Specialist Cards no longer apply.
-The game is over when no more robot parts are left in Android Andy, and the player with the most robot parts is the winner, promoted to Head of the Cyber-Table.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 2 - Loco Crazy

Loco Crazy- a railway-themed game inspired by Ludo

A standard Ludo board is used, but each player has four D6 dice of their colour instead of counters. These represent their locomotives. The topmost face of the die represents their current speed (the number of squares moved in that turn). Locomotives may only alter their speed by 1, 0 or -1 per turn, with values between one and six. All locos move anti-clockwise around the board. Instead of moving, players may bring a new locomotive into play at any time (with a speed of one), provided there is at least one remaining in their rail-shed (pre-starting area).

At the start of play, a resource deck is shuffled and four cards are drawn. Each card represents the resource cubes (goods wagons) available at one of the four sidings (entry-squares from players railway sheds). Players add wagons of resources to the back of their train by ending a turn on a siding square and adding the resource-cubes (one per square) to the back of the player's train. A new resource card is then drawn from the resource deck, and cubes are added as appropriate. All wagons in a train follow the movement of the locomotive at the same speed.
Trains moving from a siding square always have a speed of one.

There are twelve "waybill" goal cards - each showing a quantity of one of four resources, eg. three iron, two wood, etc, which the players must attempt to deliver to the central station (center of the board). These are dealt out evenly between the players at the start of play, and concealed from other players until fulfilled. A player who can complete one or more of their goal cards must end a turn on a junction square leading to the central station, then pass through the central station, removing all wagons and claiming any completed waybills, placing the waybill card face up in front of them. The locomotive then emerges from the opposite side of the central station and continues on its way, reducing its speed to 1, unless it had no wagons before entering the station. Trains leaving the station need not land exactly on the junction.

Trains can ram other trains. If ramming from behind, the speed of the ramming locomotive is reduced by 2 per wagon rammed, until it reaches 1. The rammed wagons are removed and returned to the resource pool. The rammed train does not lose speed. If a locomotive rams another locomotive without wagons from behind, or two locomotives collide at a junction, both are returned to the respective players' rail-shed and any wagons are returned to the pool. If a locomotive coming from the central station collides with a train at a junction, the rammed wagon an all those behind it are removed and the ramming loco returns to its rail-shed.

The winner is the first player to complete all their waybill-cards.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 3 - Sorry Forest

Four pioneer families have been promised prosperous land in the New World, instead they find a sorry looking forest and must make do.

Like Sorry, everyone has four meeples trying to get home, but these meeples need to build their home first. Plus they must deal with navigating multiple paths, simultaneous play, and actions on every space that introduce resource management and area control.

The board is comprised of five two-sided pieces (four 5x10, one 5x5, 15x15 total) to allow multiple arrangements. It reflects an overhead view of a forest with paths throughout, there are 20 path spaces per 5x5 section.

Components: meeples; player mats; cubes for wood, stone, crops, livestock, and work (player colours); black and white dice per player; cards; priority token.

Each turn one card is flipped over and players roll their dice. Cards have 0-4 player colours and a number. Colours let new meeples start. The number directs how far the meeples move, but modified by the dice. Each meeple is unique and pictured on the player mat. Using their hand as a screen, players allocate each die to a meeple’s picture, picking either plus or minus. Once everyone has decided, the meeples are moved along their path the number on the card +/- the dice. Like in Sorry, meeples are sent back if two land on the same space. Whoever is closer to the priority token (passed clockwise each turn) is sent packing.

After meeples move, actions for those spaces are executed. If sequence is relevant, the player closer to the priority marker goes first. Actions are: switch spaces with another meeple, switch paths, send a meeple back (like a Sorry card), produce a resource, draw a card, and play a card. Spaces are outlined black or white. If your space is the same colour as your movement die, you get a bonus. Players may trade resources and/or cards before or after executing actions.

The cards remain face up as they also are: shelters, equipment, fields, pastures, wells, and homes. You draw one face-up or two face-down (keep one, place the other face-up), hand limit is 3. Playing cards costs resource and work cubes and may require presence or control in your current 5x5 area.

When you produce resources and play cards, you place your work cubes in that area. At least one cube in the area equals presence and a majority control. If you build a home, you gain permanent control. The cards are the size of two spaces, so when you build your home it is placed on one of the spaces without path plus one path space, to show the way in. You may have more than one home. The field and pasture cards are placed on the spaces without paths. A work cube placed on cards denotes ownership. Other cards, once played, are kept on the player mat.

When one player has all four meeples home, final scores are determined by meeples home, areas controlled, cards played, and resources left.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry 4 - InciDental


Classic Game: Operation

Mechanism: Action Selection

Upgrade your tools, hire help and clean some teeth!

Much like classic Operation, players must carefully extract pieces from Cavity Sam and friends. In InciDental you play as partners in a dental practice competing for patients. Rather than removing pieces with tweezers, conductive metal plaque pieces are pushed down a channel. Guide the plaque with your pick from one end to the other without setting off the buzzer. However, patients will vary in difficulty and reward. The player with the most money when the patient deck runs out wins!

How a round goes:

1. All players pick ONE action. There's no limit to the number of players who can take a given action.

  • 1-1 Tool Upgrade ($$$): Upgrade your pick to be thinner and better for pushing and manipulating plaque. A forked tip, for example.
  • 1-2 Hire Help ($$): One-shot assist that can be used to drop the difficultly of a patient by one. Hard to Medium, etc.
  • 1-3 Advertise ($$): Get more potential clients coming your way. See “Reputation Deck”, below.
  • 1-4 Short-term loan. The consolation prize. Take $. Maybe you'll be able to afford something next round.

2. Choosing patients.

  • 2-1 Patient Deck: Reveal cards equal to the number of players plus one. Players pick which patients they want to work on in the order set by the Rep Deck.
  • 2-2 Reputation (Rep) Deck: Reveal cards equal to the number of players plus one. For example, in a 3-player game, Red, Blue, Red, & Green cards are drawn. Red gets first pick, Blue gets second, Red gets third and Green gets fourth. Every player starts with two cards of their color in the Rep Deck. More cards can be added to stack the deck in your favor by Advertising (see above) or by doing a good job when cleaning patients' teeth. Like a deck-builder, used cards aren't shuffled back in until needed.

3. Cleaning and Scoring Patients.

  • Easy: A simple straight channel. Don't touch the top edge with your tool!
  • Medium: A couple corners to work around.
  • Hard: Like medium cleanings except that touching the inside walls of the channel with the plaque piece will also trigger the buzzer.

Players take turns setting up and attempting to complete the patients they selected. Each patient will pay a certain amount for a flawless cleaning. Each time you trigger the buzzer, you strike a nerve and their payment is reduced by $1. If a patient would ever pay $0, you've failed. Completing a cleaning with $1 or more remaining will also award you with one additional Rep card. Completing a cleaning without triggering the buzzer AT ALL will award you with a second Rep Card! Note: No flicking plaque. That's gross!

4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 until all patients have been seen. The player with the most money wins. A tie is broken by most patients successfully cleaned, followed by the most Rep cards.

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