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Four Corners of the Earth: Head-to-Head Map-Making

Four Corners of the Earth is a 2-player competitive Pick n' Write about gaining dominion over terrain. Players draw terrain energies (cubes) from a bag or cup, choose the ones they want the most, then use the energies to lay terrain on the map grid.

Points are earned for placing terrain in key locations, using greater amounts of energy to place terrain, and for having remaining energy in your supply once the game is ended (the map grid is full).

The player with the most dominion points at the end of the game is the winner. The game plays in less than an hour, featuring output randomness and strategy in lieu of "drama" and surprises. It's an uncommon foray of mine into more deterministic gameplay.

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It's been a minute since I've used the Game Journals on this site, but as I've not had an opportunity to meet with other designers much at all lately, I've missed recording my thoughts on game design and development. I've also spent a lot of time on digital game development lately, and this represents a revisit to tabletop games, which I've also missed quite a bit.

Comments

Player Numbers

The number of players is something I'm wrestling with at the moment. This first started off as a solo game. It was dreadfully boring. I increased it to two players and it has legs. However, I know that two-player, head-to-head games aren't as popular as I would want them to be. So if I come to the stage of wanting publisher attention for this, I'll need to remedy that situation.

I think right now, I'm just trying to determine how the mechanics work and if they center holds after I carve out the unnecessary stuff.

And yeah, the title is just a placeholder. I do want to draw attention to the map-making aspect of it, and have aspirations of even knitting multiple maps together in perhaps a kind of campaign game. The placeholder title is perhaps a bit too-epic for what I'm aiming for, but who knows...? :)

Hmm... With a name like that...

You would get the impression that it is a ... 4 Player game...! Maybe this is only a WIP Name (not the final name). If it isn't, a lot of people will be confused why it's FOUR Corners of the Earth and only for TWO (2) Players.

Otherwise ... The rest sounds interesting. But it seems to be lacking in a catch-up mechanic. Like if there is a run-away leader, is there any method that the opposing player can "catch-up" to the leader? You talk about the game having "dominion" points and the winner is the one with the most of them... Is there a way to throttle thru with bigger "combos" of some type to score higher and in a way, have a method to curtail the leaders "lead"?!

I just asked ... because lots of game don't have the best or even effective catch-up mechanics. In TradeWorlds, the catch-up mechanic is everyone ATTACKING the leading player and destroying his Homeworld such that he/she is expulsed from the game. A bit "cut-throat" ... But yeah it happens often... lol

Just a couple thoughts off the top of my mind. Cheers!

Good Questions

Thanks for asking, questccg. I will be adding more pages to this Game Journal with more details, along with links to how-to-play and in-progress videos. Hopefully these additions will answer your questions in detail.

To sum it up: there are ways players earn points both immediately and at the end of the game. In addition, it's not just about dominion over terrain that earns points. For now, scoring is detailed in "General Game Flow."

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