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[GDS] SEPTEMBER 2014 "Stand up Games"

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richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009

We have a winner!

Digger, Trader, Conqueror

by richdurham

Followed closely by:
I'm Waiting by kevnburg
TAGGED by anonymousmagic

Congrats to all our participants! Join us in the Stand Up Games Critique thread for full results and discussion on this month's entries.

Please Read: Details on entering the Game Design Showdown.

Entries are in! It's time for a read through and a vote!

Tough contest this month, but I think you'll be pleased with the variety of solutions to this problem. They range from casual dexterity games to pseudo-euros that range over entire rooms.

When you vote, make sure you submit your votes with the form here.

Typically we think of board games as something you do sitting at a table. Your challenge this month is to create a game where the players must move about the room as part of the game.

There are notable exceptions to the strict "table" setup, dexterity games such as Pitchcar, social games like Two Rooms and a Boom, and games specifically designed to be done on-the-go like Pieces of Eight.

As I said, this month your challenge this month is to create a game where the players must move about the room as part of the game. To do this well you should think of this as more than just an analogue to a board.

For instance, if people are far enough apart you can’t see or reach other components – something avoided when around a board. This is a chance to harness these differences.

Now to keep it grounded in the familiar, as well as encourage games that aren’t strictly social, you must also include at least two of the following mechanics:

  • Line auction (See Small World races, and Eight-Minute Empire)
  • Worker-placement
  • Set collection
  • Tile-placement
  • “Deck” building (doesn’t have to be cards)


Theme: Whatever you want Mechanic restriction: Players must move around the area as part of the game. Include two mechanics from list:

  • Line auction
  • Worker-placement
  • Set collection
  • Tile-placement
  • “Deck” building (doesn’t have to be cards)

Now the details:

Word Limit: Standard 500 words

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: Monday the 1st through to Monday the 8th.

  • Voting: Through the 15th. 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 - Horsepower: Sinkin' it with Style!

Horsepower is a change on the classic game of HORSE, requiring that 4-6 people follow the leader shooting a ball into a bucket set in the middle of the table. However, there is a difference in that the players will not be calling their own shots for the others to follow. Instead, there will be a set of cards showing various shots (Like the “Power Hour” where each player must shoot from a classic muscle flex pose, or “Nothin’ But Net” where the player must shoot like a basketball player) that a player can claim.

There is a set of three cards face up, each with 4 symbols indicating the category of the shot, like a picture of a lobbed shot, a muscle for strength, or a “POW” symbol for physical contact. There will be 9 symbols total to use. The goal of the game is to claim 3 of one type of symbol, regardless of the other symbols on the cards.

When it is your turn, you pick one of the three card face up, present with the action required, a silhouette of the pose required to shoot, any special rules for the shot, symbols for the shot, suggested OVERTIME conditions (Explained below), and a difficulty rating, ranging from TOTES EASY to WICKED SICK.

The player would then perform the shot. The goal is to sink the ball in the bucket. If you miss the shot, you’re out.

If multiple people make the shot, OVERTIME is entered. Everyone who made it attempts the shot again, with a condition applied to make the shot harder. The first person to make the original shot chooses a condition suggested off of the card or makes up their own, and all others must follow it. This continues until the cycle is complete again. If there is still more than one player to make the shot in OVERTIME, the DOUBLE OVERTIME goes into effect.

In DOUBLE OVERTIME, Everyone who had made the shot in OVERTIME must all make the shot at the same time. Whoever makes it in first, gets the card. Be fair with the rulings, if no one can agree on who sunk first, the card is discarded and play moves on to the left of the person who chose the previous shot.

Example: Mark, Julia, and Sam are playing. Mark picks “Over and Under” where he has to try and toss a shot from under his leg. Mark makes it in the bucket and play passes to Julia, who misses. Julia is out for this shot. Sam makes it too. Play would cycle back to Mark, for OVERTIME. He chooses the suggested condition on the card of shooting with the “Off-Hand”. He makes it and play goes to Sam, who misses this new shot. Mark takes the card for winning. Julia draws a new card to replace it and then chooses a new card to attempt.

6 Balls
1 Medium Sized “Bucket”
36 Shot Cards

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #2 - Damn you, Robots!

A worker-placement and set-collection game for 3-6 players where players lead a team of humans around a city ruled by Robots, collecting the Resources needed to bring the Robots down.


The city is divided into four sectors: Yellow, Red, Blue, and Grey. These sections are placed around a large room or house. Players may not interact with each other when they are in different sectors.
These sectors are small worker placement boards, each slightly different, used to collect Salvage Cards and Resources. All except Grey also have an Encounter Deck and a safe room for unused workers. Resources must be collected to win the game, and Salvage cards give the players resources to defeat enemies as well as other useful abilities (such as shouting messages to other players).

A music player with a custom track is placed in a central location. At regular intervals (90-120 seconds), a buzzer will sound that signals the beginning of a new turn.

At the beginning of the game, a Plan card is turned over which tells the players how many of each type of Resource must be collected to win, and any special circumstances that may apply.


Each player starts off with a number of Salvage cards and four meeples (one coloured, the player, and 3 blank, the player’s workers). All players start in Grey Sector, where they must go to return resources and build the Plan.

Play starts once the first buzz sounds. On the buzzer, players can move, once, to another sector and set up their workers to gain resources or Salvage cards as desired. When the next buzzer sounds, players can receive Salvage cards or resources if they pass the challenges drawn from a sector’s Encounter deck. If they cannot defeat the encounter before the next buzzer, they must sacrifice either the worker or what the worker was retrieving as well as drawing a new card. A player may also flee the sector, but all occupied workers will be lost. If the leader is lost, that player loses all collected Resources and Salvage cards, and must begin anew in Sector Grey.

The player must draw an encounter card on each buzzer. Additionally, the longer a player remains in a sector, the more Encounter cards are drawn as the Robots become aware of their presence.

If players are in the same Sector, each draws an Encounter card. They may support each other in combat and trade resources once Encounters are defeated. If one player flees, the other player may rescue his workers but cannot collect the resources they were retrieving.

Players may place collected resources in Sector Grey. Once enough resources have been collected to enact the plan and any special circumstances have been met, one or more players in Sector Grey can do so and win. If the CD ends before the plan can be built, the Players lose.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #3 - Digger, Trader, Conqueror

Digger, Trader, Conqueror

Move about space mining resources, trading with others, and conquering worlds in an active twist on classic 4X games

In DTC, players move around the room (outer space) to planets that are spread about. At each planet is a messy pile of cards that contains three kinds of resources (Ore, Crystal, Ice).

The planet also has a stack of square magnets that are Equipment. These will attach to each player's "Ship cube" which is a 1.5 inch D6 with magnetic sides.


Players start at their home planet. The other planets are too far-away to see what resources or what Equipment is for sale.

In turn order (rotates), players announce what they are doing:

  • Digging: Going to flip over a single resource card at current planet. If it flips additional cards, fine. Take one of the revealed cards.
  • Trading: Going to spend resources to buy Equipment to stick to your cube, or trade resources/equipment with another player at your planet.
  • Moving: Going to walk to an announced planet. Players may fight if there is a player entering a planet with another player.
  • Conquering: Going to claim a planet if you have on your cube an equipment set matching the planet's requirement. Attach one of your Equipment to planet to increase set-cost of re-conquering.

Set collection

You collect specific sets of Equipment to conquer a planet. You also score points at the end of the game for sets of Resources.

Line auction

The Equipment at the planets is laid out for a line auction. Each planet accepts two of the three resources, and each Equipment has a cost decreases the longer it goes unpurchased. (eg - Cannon comes out. 1st slot for planet is cost 5 ore or 3 Ice. If something else is bought, line shifts down and Cannon now is 4 ore or 3 ice, then 3 ore or 2 Ice, then 2 ore or 1 ice).


Since planets are so far apart in the room, a player can only see their current planet. Actions at the planet change the planet (revealing additional resources, changing equipment costs), so they may wish to have information on the other planets before they move. They may bargain, "I'll give you this ore if you tell me what equipment is available on Alpha Centauri" or "If you don't tell me what resources are showing I'll come attack you."


Only when two players come together and one elects to fight. Roll ship cube. Strength is value of side showing plus any effect from Equipment on that side. Winner chooses to take some resources or make loser discard an Equipment.


Game ends after a set number of rounds based on number of players. Big points for each planet you own at game end, and points for sets of resources you still hold.


Moving around allows privileged information based on physical proximity. Announcing actions lets you infer player intent.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #4 - I'm Waiting!

I’m Waiting!

You are a waiter at a fancy dinner party striving to ensure that your favorite guest gets his food first! Thematically, this is a game of kitchen shenanigans. Mechanically, this is a game of worker placement and set collection where the players are the workers.


Serve your favorite guest first by placing all the contents of his meal (1 Serving Cube of each color) on your tray before anyone else!

Components: 1 Set of the Following per Player (Each Set in a Different Color)

1 Waiter Card 1 Tray 1 Chef Mat (1.5x1.5 feet) 10 Serving Cubes (.75x.75x.75 feet; spongy material)


The Mats: Arrange Chef Mats (1 per player) in a regular polygon pattern around the room, with each mat serving as a corner of the polygon (with 6 players: Form a hexagon with the mats). These mats represent chefs preparing servings of food. Place the Serving Cubes of each Mat’s color in a pile next to each mat.

Choose A Color: Each player chooses a color (1 color per player), then takes a tray, serving cube, and Waiter card of that color. Place the serving cube on the tray, hold the tray on your left hand and the card in your right hand (or vice versa), and then stand on the Chef Mat of your color. Your tray color serves to represent your player color.

Start the Timer: One Player uses his watch/phone to start a 2 minute timer, beginning the first round.

The Round (Always 2 Minutes)

During a Round, players may move around and freely exchange cards and Serving Cubes with other players.

Rules: 1) Don’t push players or touch cubes on others’ trays. 2) If a Serving Cube falls off a tray, any player can take it and put it on their tray. 3) Players may choose to throw their serving cubes at any time. 4) Only one player may stand on each Chef Mat at a time.

End of Round

When no time remains, any player not standing on a Chef Mat must immediately move to an empty mat, so that all mats are occupied. Each player then takes one Serving Cube of his Mat’s color. Check if players exchanged cards: Exchanging cards represents an agreement between players to get servings for each other. Chefs prepare two servings per round, but will be gluttonous and eat the second serving themselves if no exchange agreement was made. If another player is holding your player card, take an additional serving of your Mat’s color and give it to that player.

Start the Next Round

Return all Waiter cards to their owners (Remember: Your tray color is your player color). Each player then returns to the Mat of his color (Tray color = player color) and one player starts a 2 minute timer.

End of Game

At the end of a round, if any player has at least one Serving of each color, he wins the game. Ties are possible.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #5 - Infrastructure

A worker placement game for 3-6 players where YOU are the worker.

Players represent engineers overseeing the installation of hydro, water, and communication infrastructure at two new subdivisions. Players must balance time between both sites and their office. The challenge is remembering your progress when you are not at a site.

The game uses 144 small hexagon tiles. One side has an infrastructure icon in the centre and connection points on the edges. The other side has special actions. Each player starts with 10 tiles in a cloth bag.

There are three game boards representing the two work sites, and the office. The boards should be setup such that components at one board cannot be seen from the others, but close enough to move readily between them. There are two actions per board which are numbered and designated to specific chairs. There is a token for each action to place at its assigned chair. Before placing these tokens players draw them randomly for starting seats.

Players take one action per turn, starting with the player at the lowest numbered action. The player may either perform that action or move to an action at a different chair. To use an occupied chair, players pay the occupant one tile. The displaced player goes next unless they have already had a turn in that round in which case they move to the highest unoccupied chair. If no one is displaced, the next lowest action goes.

Whenever playing/paying tiles, players draw 5 from their bag to choose from.

Two actions allow players to use the special actions on the tiles. One allows a player to play one special action, the other two. The special actions give players bonus actions and bonus points.

Two actions allow players to pick up tiles. One displays the tiles infrastructure side up, the other, action side up. Each pick up action has three spaces to choose from. They start with 2, 3, and 4 tiles. The space with the least tiles costs 1 tile, next costs 2 tiles, most tiles costs 3. The cost is paid to the other pick up spaces changing the quantities available each time. The selected space gets two new tiles.

Two actions allow players to work on a site. Each site is represented by 37 hex spaces and has a scoring track. Each player has 5 surveying spaces at each site. Players play one tile on a surveying space. Once a player has a set (three matching icons or one of each) it is added to the site. Tiles must be placed such that they’re linked to the player’s starting space and with the connection points matching on all sides. Players score 1 point for each connection plus the value of the spaces where the tiles were placed.

Once a tile has been placed on the centre space of both sites, each player takes one more turn and the game ends.

A player’s final score is the lesser of the two sites.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #6 - Heir Saboteur

The king is dying and wants to determine who is the most ideal from his subjects for the job so he lets each of his sons take over for a day to try and impress him.

The goal of the game is to have the most favor and be crowned king. The other players will try to prevent this by draining your favor or by trying an assassination. At the end of the game, the player with the most favor, or the only player that isn’t dead becomes the king (and the winner)!
The starting favor of each player is King – 0 (but has 1 poison tolerance), Treasurer 1, Thief 2, Assassin 3, Prisoner 4.

1. The roles for the round are chosen by the players in order of their ranks from the previous round. Each chair position holds a different role in the castle. The king chooses first, then treasurer, thief, assassin, and prisoner. The king may not choose to be king again, but any other player may choose the same role. Any time a player moves, he brings along any favor/poison tolerance/daggers etc. he has. When choosing a role higher than your current role, spend one favor for each tier you move up. (Line Auction)

2. Each player who isn’t dead draws two cards up to a maximum 5 cards. (Deck Building)

3. Each player may play one card face up to apply to themselves (in order from the king clockwise around the table).

4. Each player plays a card to be gathered face down, shuffled, and then exposed. Once the results of the cards are resolved, the next turn begins.

Some example cards:
• Poison – if the number of poison cards played is greater than the king’s poison tolerance, he is dead. If it is equal to the poison tolerance, the king loses 1 favor because he is sick. If played on yourself, get one poison tolerance.
• Dagger – the king loses 1 favor. If this would bring him less than 0 favor, the king dies. If played on yourself, you may use this to cancel a dagger when you’re the king.
• Feast – the king gains 3 favor. If not played on the king, gain 2 favor.
• Riot – the king loses 2 favor.

Some roles of the players:
• King – Gains 2 favor at the beginning of the round. When a player is playing a card face down, he can discard that card (without looking) and make that player the prisoner.
• Treasurer – may choose to swap cards with any player after cards are drawn for the round.
• Thief – may steal a card a player is using on themselves. The victim chooses a card from the thief’s hand at random.
• Assassin – playing a dagger face up forces the king to lose 2 favor. Playing a poison face up counts towards the poison count of the face down cards.
• Prisoner – may not play any cards (face down) on the king or any cards that affect the king.

richdurham's picture
Joined: 12/26/2009
Entry #7 - TAGGED

Tagged is a hidden information set collection game.

Each player tries to collect sets of items in the room to meet their secret goals by tagging them with stickers or post-its of their own color,
while stopping their opponents from doing the same.
Your goal could be to tag 5 black items or to tag 5 electronic gadgets or something completely different. You want to do this without arousing suspicion with your opponents.

- 30 small post-it notes or easily removable stickers for each player (each player has their own color).
- A deck of goal cards.

- Each player gets 3 goal cards and their own color of post-its or stickers.
- The rest of the goal cards are placed in the center of the room.
- Player start out evenly spaced around the edge of the room.

- On a turn, a player can move 3 steps heel to toe and tag an item in the room with one of their stickers. These moves have to happen in sequence. You either move and tag or tag and move.
- Secondly, after the first phase of their turn, they can point to one opponent and declare that they know what one of their goals is.
If they are right, they obtain their opponent's goal card that has that goal on it and get the points on that card. Their opponent will have to draw a new goal.
If they are wrong, they lose a point in the form of one of their stickers.

Play then continues in a predetermined order.
Players are only allowed to tag or look at items within their reach and once an item has been tagged, it can NOT be used by another player.
You're not allowed to move from your place in the room to check what another player tagged. You are encouraged to block your opponents' view. :)

The pile:
If you reach the pile of remaining goal cards in the center of the room, you can (only once in the game), exchange one or more of your cards (without altering your previously tagged items).
You place the cards you want to exchange face-down underneat the stack and draw the same number of new goals.

Reaching a goal:
As soon as you reach one of your goals, you declare it, show the card to the other players and obtain the points on the card. You keep it with you for final scoring.
You return to your original starting position from the beginning of the game.

Ending the game:
The game ends when one player has reached all their goals (and declares this). The person with the most points wins.
Goals that have been reached count as the score written on the card. Each tagged item that helped reach a goal counts as +1.
All the points on unmet goals and all unused tagged items will be substracted from your total.

Unused stickers are not counted in the final scoring phase.

If all players have played their final stickers before someone has reached all their goals, the game also ends and final scores are calculated.

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