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A card game played in different rooms

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harmon89
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Today I was brainstorming an idea for a game and I'd appreciate thoughts if you think it has any potential, what you foresee as some issues that could arise, and if you feel the game is too free-flowing.

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target game time 30-45 min
3-10 players

OVERVIEW
The game is played not just at 1 table, but in several different adjoining rooms that represent different islands. If the game is being played in one large room, before the game, players must decide where the location of each “island” is located in the room. Throughout the game players will be freely moving to different islands (rooms) and taking actions at those islands. The goal of the actions will be to collect cards that when traded in as sets will give you gold. The player with the most gold at the end of the game is the winner.

COMPONENTS

120 Treasure cards
10 Treasure Map Rule cards
200 gold pieces (with a value range of 1 to 20)
50 player tokens (5 of each color)
6 treasure chests
10 personal bags

SETUP

3-4 players use 3 islands (rooms)
5-6 players use 4 islands
7-8 players use 5 islands
9-10 players use 6 islands

Give each player 5 gold and a small bag to store their gold.
Shuffle the TREASURE CARDS into piles equal to the number of islands and place one of these piles at each island.

Place 1 TREASURE MAP RULES card at each island (room) along with a treasure chest. Each treasure chest will contain 5 gold at the start of the game.

Establish one room as the mainland. This is where players will return when they wish to play a set of treasure cards.

There is no deck/treasure map or treasure chest at the mainland. Only a place to place completed sets and a stash of gold used to pay players who complete sets.

All players will begin at the mainland. Once the game begins players may travel to any island to take actions.

ISLAND ACTIONS

EXPLORATION – Pay 1 gold to the island chest to look at the top 2 cards of the room deck and choose 1 of them. Alternatively, you may pay 2 gold and look at the top 5 cards of the room deck and choose 1.

CARTOGRAPHY – If you are able to add to the map of an island you gain gold based on the type of card played plus 1 gold from the treasure chest for every card already being used in the map. If you complete the map by placing an X card on the map gain all the remaining gold in the chest.

To add to a map you must meet the criteria of placing a card on that island’s map. If you cannot meet the requirements of that map you cannot take this action. Also, a player cannot place an X on the map until all the criteria have been met.

If a map is completed the island receives a new treasure map rules card.

TRADING WITH OTHER PLAYERS – All players involved in a trade must each pay 1 gold to the island’s treasure chest.

You may only take 1 EXPLORATION action while on an island, but there is no limit to the number of other actions you can take while on the island. You must then go to a different island to take an action before returning to the same island take another exploration action.

Once a player has a treasure set they may return to the mainland to claim their reward. (Each treasure card will show how it can be formed to create a set and how much that set would be worth.) Once you arrive at the mainland play your set face up in the main play area and place a token of your color on your set to claim it. Once another player enters the mainland and confirms your set collect the amount of gold indicated on the treasure cards for the set you completed. You cannot play a set if someone else has already played an identical set.

If a player is ever alone at an island they may look at all the cards in the island pile and they can rearrange the pile, but they cannot take any actions until another player arrives at the island.

The game continues until one player has completed 5 sets or when one of the island decks is depleted.

Players will then count up all the gold in their sack. The player with the most gold is the winner.

let-off studios
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Extra Space = Problematic

Everything seems workable except for the requirement of the islands being in different rooms or areas of the same large room.

By having everything at the same table (which seems possible to me, based on the description you leave here), you eliminate issues of accountability: people taking gold when they shouldn't, rearranging the treasure cards when they shouldn't, and so on.

I imagine that your end-game condition can be game'd by someone trying to hold out to collect more gold. Again, having different islands in different rooms makes this problematic from an accountability standpoint, so I recommend you remove that from the game. Otherwise, ending the game when one of the island's treasure piles is empty should be enough to end the game properly.

Otherwise what you've come up with so far is ready for playtesting, in my opinion.

Jay103
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Yeah, that was my thought

Yeah, that was my thought too.. what is gained by having different rooms, vs. just a bunch of spots on a big table?

Especially given that the number of islands is similar to the number of players, that means if I'm playing a game with friends, I'm mostly spending my time walking around alone, and very little time being social at all.

harmon89
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Thanks for the thoughts.

Thanks for the thoughts.

Well, you can't actually take any actions unless you are with another player so in theory you would be spending most of your time with other players. You would want to spend some time alone so you could see what was in a deck, but I guess there could potentially be an accountability issue like you said, if someone decided to just start taking cards when no one was looking.

My concern with having everything at one location is it could be a little chaotic determining who is at which "island."

Also, I sort of like the idea of things going on in other rooms that you don't know about, so there's a little bit of a surprise when you get back and see how the map has changed, or when you get back to the mainland, seeing how many and which sets are on the table.

Also, I'm wondering if there is enough room on a table for a game like this.

I'm certainly not opposed to playing it all on one table if it will work.

questccg
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Some of my ideas

harmon89 wrote:
Thanks for the thoughts.

I like the "Several Rooms" concept. It gives the game a "tactical" aspect and my thoughts were something like "Fijian" (the name of the game) because the islands are somewhere near Fiji. I just added this to make a bit of a thematic correlation.

So the idea about the ISLANDS (and several rooms) ... Is that you are an inhabitant of the "region". You travel back and forth to the MAIN ISLAND "Fiji" to sell and make trades. You can also IMPROVE by "constructing" more of an island...

BUT here's the deal... The game is a bit like "Musical Chairs"! What I mean is that while you are on Fiji making trades, deals, gold, ... the ISLAND you may come from last may get taken over by ANOTHER player(s).

What this means is that you must travel "quickly" to the next available ISLAND and sit down at that location to "Build" the IMPROVEMENT... There is no "exploring". Instead what you do is BUILD getting "resources" and then BUY "one TILE" which will expand ONE (1) location on ONE of the ISLANDS that are satellite to Fiji.

Each island has a minimum of two (2) PLAYERS "at all time". Just so you can see what is happening on that Fijian Island and have someone who is there to ensure that players are playing "Fijian" honestly.

Again I think each player having a pouch for "materials" is IMPORTANT... How the game plays is that a player cannot play until at LEAST one other player is present on the island. When you collect "resources" for different IMPROVEMENT (and this requires a bit of memory) the idea is that you will collect all of the "resources", place them in your bag and then make your way to Fiji...

Here's the dilemma: when you arrive at Fiji ... The upgrades available may be DIFFERENT! And so you might not get the IMPROVEMENT you were looking to get. Instead (hopefully) you took some extra time to bring some MORE "resources" which will allow you to trade for something ELSE!

Again a minimum of two (2) players at Fiji is required and players take turns exchanging "resources" for their IMPROVEMENTS.

Just something to get you back on track with the "multiple rooms" concept.

I personally think: it would make a GREAT and DIFFERENT party game than Werewolf or Mafia...

Feel free to expand or ignore if you do not like these ideas. Also if you have questions, just comment below and I'll see if I can address your concerns.

This is VASTLY different from your original game. You don't need CARDS. All you need is some "resources" spread around (which could be like premium wooden pieces) and player boards which change per location a little bit (sort of like in Scythe - but island-themed).

Your "island" board will be comprised of IMPROVEMENTS that you bring from Fiji to your island.

At the start of the game, each player starts with ONE (1) TILE he brings to an island of his choosing... He/she them waits for a second player to appear and then they both site down and collect various "resources" and each prepare for their trip to Fiji!

Definitely has POTENTIAL for being INTERESTING (in my opinion)...

questccg
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handling some "logistics"

Extra (unused) "resources" can be placed in clear "baggies" to ensure that at all times you can have a look at "how many of each resource" is still available on that "Fijian" island.

There could be some "supply" rules which dictate different setups like: rich island/poor island (different) or brotherly islands (same). Also there can be PRESETS too to how to "start" each ISLAND...

Again just IDEAS you can may test if you like the concept...

Note: Some in regards to the CHAOS... Well there are several factors which involved timed purchases/trades which make it DIFFICULT to predict what player will choose to build what IMPROVEMENT and what location...

Because like I said earlier, the IMPROVEMENT he wanted to BUILD may be gone and he needs to trade for something else. That something else is yet unknown and based on some tiles available at some point in time. BUT a newer tile may be more interesting to buy/trade for.

Any how just some of my ideas I'd figure I would share with you!

harmon89
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I LIKE IT!

I think it would be fun to utilize the concept of different rooms in a game. I don't think there are a lot of games that utilize that concept and would make it feel a lot different than an average board game.

I'm definitely going to dwell on your idea and see where it goes.

(This is why I love brainstorming with other people.)

So in your version what is the goal of the game, to fully upgrade your island? Also, how would you collect resources from an island. Are you thinking different islands provide different types of resources? And how would someone take over an island while you are gone and what would that mean for you if your island is taken over?

I'd love to have some more party games out there that aren't social deduction games. I think something along these lines could be fun and different. Also, I think it is thematic that while you are away at the main island things could be happening on your island that you don't know about.

questccg
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Some additional notes.

harmon89 wrote:
(This is why I love brainstorming with other people.)

I liked the "different" Room idea. I would suggest 3 rooms independently of the number of players. What changes is the number of "chairs" per room. So:

  • 4 players get 2 chairs in each room.
  • 5-6 players get 3 chairs in each room.
  • 7-8 players get 4 chairs in each room.
  • 9-10 players get 5 chairs in each room (To be tested if this is not too much...)

harmon89 wrote:
So in your version what is the goal of the game, to fully upgrade your island? Also, how would you collect resources from an island. Are you thinking different islands provide different types of resources? And how would someone take over an island while you are gone and what would that mean for you if your island is taken over?

I perfectly believe that YOUR idea about "collecting" GOLD is 100% legitimate. When you RETURN to "Fiji" (Main island) you can use gold to "score points" and move your victory points along.

Yes in my previous comment, I explained that you can have STANDARD "setups" which allow you to DEFINE what resources will be available on each island.

Yes again, each "Figian" island provides resources based on the IMPROVEMENTS constructed on the island... See when you "Expand" an island, you effectively make it GROW and it's sort of in your "exploration" concept from your original post.

Taking over, just means that temporarily, you cannot have ACCESS to the "resources" you would like to have... You need to work with whatever you get based on the other players choices... E.i. What improvement to build, what resources to collect, etc.

harmon89 wrote:
I'd love to have some more party games out there that aren't social deduction games. I think something along these lines could be fun and different. Also, I think it is thematic that while you are away at the main island things could be happening on your island that you don't know about.

I agree 100%... Something other that Social Deduction could be FUN! And like I said "Your Island" is always "RELATIVE"!!! LOL

Take a look ... see what comes from these ideas and take-away with a better design. Like I said, whatever you like feel free to borrow. Cheers Andrew!

harmon89
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questccg wrote: Take a look

questccg wrote:

Take a look ... see what comes from these ideas and take-away with a better design. Like I said, whatever you like feel free to borrow. Cheers Andrew!

Thanks! I'll see what I come up with.

harmon89
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questccg wrote: Take a look

questccg wrote:

Take a look ... see what comes from these ideas and take-away with a better design. Like I said, whatever you like feel free to borrow. Cheers Andrew!

Thanks! I'll see what I come up with.

questccg
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It's what I thought as I read your OP!

questccg wrote:
...I perfectly believe that YOUR idea about "collecting" GOLD is 100% legitimate. When you RETURN to "Fiji" (Main island) you can use gold to "score points" and move your victory points along...

This is AMAZINGLY total "Mind Boggling"! Why? Because when YOU return to Fiji, the SCORES might be very DIFFERENT from the previous time. If one player has edged out into the lead ... and you have gold you wanted to use to buy/trade for an IMPROVEMENT ... Now you've got to RE-THINK if you should drop SOME (maybe all) of that gold on the "lead track"...!

Seriously I LOVE your concept... Because take parts here and there... And you see you get this FREAKEN AMAZING "mind games" where you need to predict, remember (not too memory intensive but some...) and keep up the PACE...

questccg
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What to EXPLORE

Maybe take a look at "San Juan" the Card game or "Puerto Rico" the Board game. Also there "Alhambra" with the Arcades (Check for TableTop with Wil Wheaton) ... You might be able to get some ideas about "building" improvements from that game.

Just some things (other games) that come to mind!

Here's the URL/LINK to this classic 2003 game:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpsQbnup0oE

Oh yeah and don't forget to check out Scythe too!!! The idea being that each player has a Player board with "workers", you can buy/unlock additional workers, etc... The idea is that the boards EVOLVE over time!

But the boards, workers, buildings all stay at the island... while you go about your buying/trading on the main island Fiji...

Note #1: I personally LIKE the "extra" scoring from the WALLS. A variant more appropriate is "shoreline" IMPROVEMENTS. What I mean is that the more IMPROVEMENTS you have that have WATER ACCESS, that could be beneficial in that the LONGEST shoreline determines HOW MANY "workers" you can unlock! Maybe that works ... TBD! Something to think about...

Note #2: And the "thematic" reasoning is that workers come to each Fijian island by boat much like you do. Each IMPROVEMENT on the islands can determine the NUMBER of "Workers" required to collect the "resource". Like let's say "Bananas" are the "Food" resource, it could take in some cases 1 Worker, 2 Workers and in tall trees maybe 3 Workers.

So the number of workers you place at a location to get that "resource" matters... But I think you get the concept. Something to work on and "improve" too... Like I said take what you LIKE and re-design and re-fine what you would like to do differently or explore other avenues...!

harmon89
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Thanks Quest, I own San Juan

Thanks Quest,

I own San Juan and Scythe and love them both. I can definitely see using them as inspiration.

harmon89
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NEW RULES inspired by Quest

Questccg - I've come up with a new set of rules inspired by the ideas you offered yesterday. I'd be interested in hearing from you or anyone else that wants to chime in, what they think and how they could be improved before playtesting.

Also, I know I didn't cover everything in detail so if you have a question let me know. :-)

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SETUP

Place 2 island boards in two different areas of the house or playing area and establish a third area as Fiji, the main island. All 3 locations should be far enough away that you cannot see what is happening at one location while at one of the other locations.

Give each player 2 meeples. 1 will be placed on each of the 2 island boards on a space adjacent to the water.

Divide all the resources between the 3 locations so that there is some of each resource at all of the locations.

Give players 2 player boards that they will set at the location of the 2 island boards.

Set out 5 improvement tiles at both islands.

GAMEPLAY

All players begin at Fiji and once the game has begun they will go to one of the 2 island boards and the game begins.

The game will be played simultaneously on the 2 island boards. There is a color order indicated along the sides of the boards (think Croquet) that will indicate who will take their turn first.

ON YOUR TURN

To start your turn, roll the island die. The island die has 2 sides that have a produce symbol. 1 side has a famine symbol, 1 side has a disease symbol, 1 side has a building symbol, and 1 side has a clock symbol.

PRODUCE – Every spot on the board with a resource symbol produces the number of resources indicated on that space.

FAMINE – 1 resources is removed from every resource location on the board.

DISEASE – Every player loses one meeple. (If a player only has 1 meeple they do not lose it.) If a player is not present the active player gets to choose which of that player’s meeples gets removed.

BUILDING – The 5 improvement tiles set out are reset and replaced with 5 new improvement tiles.

TIME – The time tracker gets moved forward 1 space on the time tracker. If the time token reaches the 12th space on the time tracker on both islands the game ends.

After the die is rolled and resolved, a player may take 1 move action, 1 improvement build, or 1 upgrade action to your personal player board.

MOVE
To move, simply choose a meeple on the board and move it from its current location to an adjacent location. A player may move into a space occupied by another player, however the player with the most meeples on that space controls the area. If players have the same number of meeples on a space the resources on the space are split and players will put the resources in their resource bags. If there is an improvement on that space both players may take advantage of the improvement.

If you move a meeple onto a space that is occupied by another player and the result is that you now have more meeples on that space than the other player, that player must retreat and move their meeple to an edge space on the island that is either unoccupied or they control.

IMPROVEMENT
To take this action you must pay from resources that are in your resource bag, or are on the board on a space you control. Take the improvement tile of your choice and add it to a space on the board you control. Improvement tiles will give special abilities to the player that controls them. They will also offer additional gold at the end of the game.

UPGRADE
When you take an upgrade action you will be doing something on your personal board that will help you throughout the game and also help you get more meeples on the board. Unlike improvements, upgrades cannot be affected by other players.

The moment someone finishes rolling a die and completing the action of the die the next player on the color order that is present at the island can begin to roll, they do not have to wait for the player to finish their personal action.

At the start of your turn you may choose to leave an island and go to a different island instead of take your turn. You may take with you up to 1 resource from every space you control on the board. Place the resources in your personal bag. You may use them for bartering when you go to Fiji.

There can never be 1 player at an island. If there are 2 players at an island and one player leaves, the other player must also leave. When you return to an empty island you must find at least one other player to return with you.

The limit to the number of players that can be at the same island at the same time is the number of players in the game minus 2. So if there are 6 players there can only be 4 players at the same island at the same time.

You may travel to the main island of Fiji for two reasons. To trade resources with another player, or to trade resources into the bank for gold. Just like the other 2 islands, to enter Fiji you need at least 1 other player with you.

When trading resources with another player you may use money or resources that you brought with you from your island, and use them in your negotiation. When trading in resources for gold you simply put the resources in the supply and increase your gold track by the amount indicated for that set. Also in the market tracker section of the Fiji board, there is a track that tells you how much gold you get for the set of resources you sold. Decrease the value on the track by one. So, as more people cash in for that set of resources, they get less gold in return.

The game continues until both island boards reach the 12th space on their time tracker. At this point players receive additional gold for improvements they made on the island they least developed. (You want to build up your strength on both of the islands equally.) Between this bonus gold and the gold they’ve accumulated throughout the game through trades on Fiji, the player with the most gold is declared the winner.

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Probably the biggest thing I need to figure out is what to do when there are lower player counts. I don't think currently this would work very well with 4 players because anytime someone wanted to go to the Fiji, both players would have to go, and unless the 2 players from the other island also came to Fiji at the same time, both players would have no one to trade with at Fiji except with themselves.

harmon89
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another idea that might be faster paced

Here's another idea that might be a little more fast paced...

GAMEPLAY

All players begin at Fiji and once the game has begun they will go to one of the 2 island boards and the game begins.

The game will be played simultaneously on the 2 island boards. Anytime there is someone at an island the island die is constantly being rolled. If there is only 1 player remaining they will keep rolling, but will only take an action if it is a resource action that is rolled.

Anyone who is present at the island while the die is rolled takes an action based on what was rolled. The person rolling the die must wait for everyone to collect take their action before rolling again.

If at any time the person in charge of rolling the die leaves the island they will pass the die off to the player present who is next in the color order. Note: on each player board is a color order (think croquet)

There are 4 different types of actions on the die, RESOURCES, UPGRADE, MOVE and BUILD

RESOURCES
There are 2 sides of the die with a resource icon. Each player present adds resources to spaces they control.

UPGRADE
Players may simultaneously make 1 upgrade on their player mat.

MOVE
There are 2 sides of the die with the move icon. Beginning with the color of the player rolling the die, take turns each taking 1 move action on the board. To move, simply choose a meeple on the board and move it from its current location to an adjacent location. A player may move into a space occupied by another player, however the player with the most meeples on that space controls the area. If players have the same number of meeples on a space the resources on the space are split (players put the split resources in their pouch.) If there is a building on that space both players may take advantage of the improvement.

If you move a meeple on to a space that is occupied by another player and the result is that you now have more meeples on that space than the other player, that player must retreat and move their meeple to an edge space on the island that is either unoccupied or they control.

BUILD
Beginning with the color of the player rolling the die, take turns buying a building tile to place on the island. It must be placed on a space you control. You will buy buildings from the resources on spaces you control on the island and from resources you have in your pouch.

LEAVING THE ISLAND
You may leave an island at any time and go to the other island board or to the main island. When you leave an island you may take all the resources on 1 space you control, or take off the board up to 1 of each different type of resource you control.

TRADING ON FIJI
Fiji is where all your trades take place. You may offer other players at Fiji either gold or resources from your pouch with resources from their pouch.

When on Fiji you can also sell resources in exchange for gold. To do this you must have another player present. Anyone who witnesses you taking this action also increases one gold on the track.

The game continues until one of the islands has every space filled with either meeples or buildings. At this point players receive additional gold for buildings they fully control. The island the gives the players the least amount of gold is the one that is scored. (You want to build up your strength on both of the islands equally.) Between this bonus gold and the gold they’ve accumulated throughout the game through trades on Fiji, the player with the most gold is declared the winner.

questccg
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I personally like Option #2!

Just because you are "designing" a GAME... I think Famine and Disease are a bit "too serious" of facts-of-life (in certain places) that would detract from the light-hearted aspects of the game. But that's just my opinion.

Maybe some other designers can "chime-in" and see what everyone's thought process looks like.

For me, my vote is on Option #2.

Tim Edwards
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Yes, I agree that "famine"

Yes, I agree that "famine" might be unnecessarily gritty in this instance. But you could re-theme the same effect as "hurricane" perhaps. As for "disease" - for some reason something like "Yellow Fever", although obviously a horrible disease, feels more adventure-story-ish and maybe more palatable. Maybe that's because Yellow Fever crops up in that old beloved game Buccaneer. :)

Not sure why those issues feel weird. I have no problem playing a game based around global warfare! Maybe it just has to do with conventions of games. Killing is a common trope in games for all ages while having people starve feels more like something for more serious simulation/ management games.

I'm following this thread with interest. The whole thing of doing secret stuff in separate rooms has shades of Diplomacy.

harmon89
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You all are probably right.

You all are probably right. I'm certainly not trying to create a simulation here. And I think I do want to keep things on the lighter side. The fast paced nature of the game (especially if you go with something more along the lines of option #2) sort of lends itself to something lighter.

I personally prefer something like option #2 as well. Thanks for the feedback. I plan to continue to brainstorm on this.

And I too like the idea of things happening in other rooms that impact you in some way that you may not be aware of until later, and when you return back to a room things will have further developed and changed. Also, by breaking up the game into different rooms, it is easier to account for larger player counts.

FrankM
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Lighter terms

questccg wrote:
Just because you are "designing" a GAME... I think Famine and Disease are a bit "too serious" of facts-of-life (in certain places) that would detract from the light-hearted aspects of the game. But that's just my opinion.

Maybe some other designers can "chime-in" and see what everyone's thought process looks like.

For me, my vote is on Option #2.

More generic names could allow for more varied effects.

Produce (wheelbarrow symbol)
Misfortune (broken wheelbarrow symbol, lose resource)
Misadventure (skull-and-crossbones, lose meeple)
Build (hammer symbol)
Time (hourglass symbol)

Tim Edwards
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Not a huge fan of the

Not a huge fan of the constant die rolling idea in option 2. As it stands, I prefer option 1. It feels overall neater somehow...I can't put my finger on why.

Super-Tooned
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Several Rooms Idea

The issue on the table. The "Several Rooms" idea can work. I know from personal experience. I created a game titled ERROR 404, which involved moving to several different rooms to hunt or to plan out your resources. It worked beautifully! One room was an island which the survivors were stranded on. Another room was the hunting grounds where the survivors would hunt. In the hunting grounds I laid several different cards hidden with customized resources. The players had anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes to find the cards and escape the hunting grounds before nightfall. At night, the players could choose to show each other their resources and trade/combine cards to survive. In conclusion, the several rooms idea can work and has worked, for me at least.

Respectfully,
CEO of Twin Eagle Graphics
Independent Game Studios.

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