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GDS September 2011- Shootout in El Tiroteo feedback request

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Empires
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Joined: 05/18/2011

I would like feedback, on my idea, and just as a question, why I did not receive many votes. Reasoning is I want to see what I could have done better and everyone else's overall opinion. Thanks!

The Loneliest Banana
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Joined: 09/06/2011
I judged games based on two

I judged games based on two factors:
• How well does it use permanence in a novel or interesting way, and how well is permanence used to improve the gameplay, and
• How much do I want to play this game?

I had trouble figuring out Shootout in El Tirotero. There was a lot going on: a train of cards to pick, resources to collect (4 of them), movement, characters, special character abilities, shootouts, ammo, difficulty of collecting each resource, five character abilities, factions, building buildings, enemy factions, wanted posters, dice rolled on cards, resource effects (water to stay alive), etc. I couldn't find a focus to mentally tie it all together, besides the theme. It made it hard to remember what was in the game, and hard to imagine what gameplay would be like.

As far as I can tell, permanence came only in the form of dead characters being removed from all future games and wanted posters giving penalties to characters in future games, with other ways implied. There could be something I didn't pick up, buried in all the mechanics. Ripping up cards and declaring rules for future games are both pretty basic and didn't strike me as novel. Over There and Wheel of History also had both those elements, among others, for example. The execution seemed pretty tame as well. The ripping up was just enhanced discarding, and the future rules setting didn't seem to make the new game very different. Since character selection is random (I think), you couldn't use it to reach out and affect particular players.

As for gameplay, there is so much going on that I have little idea how it would all work. What kind of cards can you pick up from the train? How do buildings work? Will you mostly be moving around, picking up resources? Do you just shootout to force an opponent to switch to a random character? As far as I could tell, it would consist of mostly moving around for resources and conducting shootouts every now and then, which didn't really grab me.

I hope this helps.

Empires
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Thanks for the feedback

Thanks TheLoneliestBanana.

A large part of my problem was the 800 word limit. I wasn't able to describe as much as I wanted with that, and sedjtroll had told me, I had sort of cheated by putting more words on the pictures. This is my second entry ever, so I am still trying to work out the kinks, but I probably shouldn't have done that.

Wow, I didn't realize I had that much going on! I don't want to use the word limit as a complaint crutch, so I am going to say I should have thought of a different idea or made it more concise.

Permanence: I guess I didn't get to this much. When the game is over, all NPCS(which I also didn't get to, will shoot at you, collect resources, and try to hamper you) are shuffled back into the train deck. Player characters will transfer over into the next game, and they gain stickers from some items for future games. New players will draw a new character. The Lawmens wanted poster ability was just an example of a permanent ability. The Caballeros have faction-specific building for them only (such as the Hacienda.) Prospectors can build mines and lumber mills to help resource production. The Navajo can store water for only Navajo player characters. Outlaws can rob the train and remove other characters abilities. (These are all examples) Buildings built stay in town for all games. Cards that were moved off the trains are just placed back in the train deck, as well as NPCS. A big thing I forgot was if resources run out of a territory, there is a depleted sticker put on it, and when they are refilled by start of game and event cards, it is one less, and can ultimately become 0. A thing I had originally wanted to do was make characters that died go into a graveyard, and then other factions would have animosity against you to attack you, but people that wanted him dead would help you, and the graveyard sticker would stay there to show animosity. I thought that would be too complicated and shortened it to factions. Event cards are placed in a discard pile unless they say rip up. If the train deck runs out, open one of the sealed compartments which contains new events, train cards, and characters, which change the game much more because they are much more powerful. The train deck is usually small 20-25 cards before it runs out

Gameplay: You can pick up any card from the train, but each does different things. If you pick up an NPC, his card goes into the town and starts acting like a NPC (shooting and collecting resources for the town(which resources that are not water are stored in a bank in town that anyone can trade with)) If you pick up a general store card, you have the option to buy it immediately, and if you cannot or will not pay for it, it goes in the general store deck. if you take a building, you have to build it immediately, or pass it to your left until someone can build it. If no one can build it, you must rip it up. if someone can build it, pay the amount of wood and place the building sticker in a space in town.

Buildings function as a VP source when you build them, and have one ability . For example: The Stable will let you trade in 3 Horses for 1 VP, but the Racetrack will let you trade in 1 Horse for a random General Store card. The Bank stores resources, and anyone can trade 2 for 1 in the bank. This an NPC dropoff point. You can also rob the bank by making a shootout check like normal, against a pistol. The Hacienda is a Caballero building where they can trade in any 2 resources for 1 VP, but it costs alot of wood. the Doctor's Office lets you trade in 2 resources for 1 wound. You would use these abilities as one of the two town actions you get.

Movement will probably be a mix of staying in town to trade in resources and buy new cards and moving to get resources. And trying to stay alive. So you would be correct. It should be noted when your character dies, you don't lose your accumulated VPS, but you do lose items, resources, and your character. Items lost this way are divided up in that the one who killed the player takes 1 resource and 1 item, and the other items are ripped up and resources discarded.

Water management wasn't very clear. At the end of the round when water is divided, it is divided between all players and NPCS, starting with the players and ending with NPCs. If you don't have enough water for everyone excess NPCs die and you lose VPS for each one that dies. If you don't have enough water for the players, each player writes down which player they think should be killed (you CAN vote for yourself) and most votes dies. Ties result in no one dieing. Items are divided as normal, and he draws a new character.

Players can trade with players in there space that are not enemies(for example, the Lawmen can trade with the Prospectors and Caballeros, but not the Navajo or Outlaws.)

I hope this helps explain my concept better to everyone.

The Loneliest Banana
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Lots going on

That's something like six games' worth of mechanics, way more than could be expressed in 800 words. The players voting on who dies, for example, is pretty much the entire game of Mafia. Shootouts alone have enough material for most of a dice game.

Empires
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Wow.

Do I really have six different games going on? Hmmm.... maybe I should make it a dice game. Should I not participate in the next GDS to make it up to people?

The Loneliest Banana
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Go ahead and participate. You

Go ahead and participate. You were required to submit 800 words or less describing a game involving permanence and you did that. There was no limit on how much you could have going on in the game. Adding tons of mechanics isn't cheating, since it doesn't give you an advantage.

Personally, I feel El Tirotero would have been much stronger if you picked just a few aspects and developed them, rather than trying to cram a lot of ideas into 800 words. That would have made it easier to grasp the gameplay, and would have made the aspects you focused on stand out.

Empires
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Thanks again.

I definitely want to participate, but I guess I don't know how to design games then if mine don't work out well. What mechanics do you think would have made it stronger, or which ones would you have picked?

Would anyone else like to comment?

P.S. El Tiroteo means "The Shootout" if anyone was wondering :D

feNix
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Joined: 01/06/2010
Of course!

You should definitely participate, Empires. If you didn't get things done the way that you wanted this time, use it as a learning experience.

For instance, I too had some trouble with the word limit, but that was my own fault. Next time, I know what I need to work on. It sounds like you had a lot more going on than may have been absolutely necessary.

Perhaps you could try to make your game more succinct, not only in your description but in the gameplay as well. Take what you felt were you weakest points and try to turn them around.

Empires
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Thanks so much Fenix!

Hey Fenix, thanks alot! I'll try to take these things into account. I really really REALLY would like to see your robot game finished, it was my favorite entry. I didn't find anything about assimilating, but please post rules or ask for help (I'd love too.) Thanks again!

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