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Game for TGC Holiday Design Contest

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Fex_H
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Joined: 09/30/2018

I am (again) trying to get my act together to enter a TGC contest. The idea for my entry is working so far, but I'm wondering if any more experienced designers have any critiques of my idea. Here is a first draft of the rules (without images)

Obon
Felix Halaska

3-4 Players

Objective:
The objective of Obon is to honor your ancestors by building them an altar and making offerings in their honor. Ancestors will honor the players who offer them the most Rice, Tea, Lanterns, and Incense. They will honor all alters, but the larger the Altar, the more honor is bestowed is on the player. Who will earn the most honor?

Components:
4 Player Boards
1 Market Board
24 Grave Tiles
7x Red
7x Blue
7x Green
7x Purple
Market Deck
Cards
Offering Deck
Cards

Set Up:
Place the Market Board in the center of the table, accessible to all players
Give each player 1 Player Board and 1 set of Grave Tiles
Players place 5 of their Grave Tiles on all but 1 of the Grave Spaces
Shuffle the Market Deck and place it face down on the Market Board. Turn over cards equal to the player count plus 1, and place them face up in the Market Square
Shuffle the Offering Deck and remove 13 cards for 3 players, or 9 cards for 4 players. Set these cards aside to the box. Place the remaining cards face down on the Market Board. Turn over 5 cards and place them face up on the Market Board
Game Turn:
The starting player starts by bidding 1 of their Grave Tiles onto 1 of these options:
A Market Card- Bid a tile onto one face-up card on a particular market booth
An Offering Card- Bid a tile onto one face up offering card you want to complete
The Clean action- Bid on the action to clean one tile off of your ancestors grave

Then the next player clockwise bids 1 of their Grave Tiles onto 1 of the options above
This goes on until all players are out of Grave Tiles

B. Bids are resolved. The player with the most tiles on each card or on the cleaning action gets to take the action or claim the card. If there is a tie, neither of the tied players win and any other players with the next most tiles on the card/action now have a chance to win. The player with the next most tiles gets to take the action/card. If that player is tied with another player, this process repeats. If the card is not won it stays on the board for next round.
Bids are resolved in this order:
Cleaning action- The player winning this category takes off one Grave Tile off of their Ancestors grave. This tile will now be used as another Betting Tile by that player.
Market Cards- The player winning one of these cards takes the card they won. The player must now make a choice. They now can either place it on their player board to be used as resources for claiming Offering Cards, or place it face down to create a piece of their alter.
Offering Cards- The player winning one of these cards must now either turn in the resources shown on the card from their player board, no change is made for extra resources on their Market cards. If they don’t want to, or can’t complete the card, the card stays on the board, and the player reclaims their bidding tiles.

End of Game:
The game ends when either all of the Offering Cards are completed, or when there aren’t enough Market Cards to fill all the Market Booths.

Scoring:
Players score for their Alters and for the Offering cards they complete.

Alter: Players score for their alters like this:
The level number x the number of cards on that level
Offering Cards: Players score for the Offering Cards like this:
Each resource will be scored separately. Each player counts the number of each resource they have on their completed Offering Cards. The player with the most of each resource gets x3 the number of that resource they have, and the player with the second most of each resource gets x1 the number of that resource they have. This scoring happens for all four resources.

Fertessa
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Joined: 07/18/2018
Heya! I'll give my feedback

Heya! I'll give my feedback below:

It seems odd to me that you have to take out cards from the Offering deck for both player counts. Why is that? I would think having a deck with the correct count for a 4 player game and subtracting 4 cards for a 3 player game would read more easily.

Also the set up gets a little tricky towards the end. I assume you're talking about the offering deck the whole time, but you say to set 'these' cards aside, then put 'the remaining' cards in the center, then turn over 5 cards. It would help to be more specific, or to condense sentences since you have 2 different decks. For example, I would change:

Shuffle the Offering Deck and remove 13 cards for 3 players, or 9 cards for 4 players. Set these cards aside to the box. Place the remaining cards face down on the Market Board. Turn over 5 cards and place them face up on the Market Board

to:

Depending on your player count, remove 9 (4-player) or 13 (3-player) cards from the Offering Deck. The discarded cards may be placed back in the box. Place the Offering Deck, face down, on the Market Board, and flip 5 cards, face up, in a row.

(You could insert a diagram here, or also indicate the deck should be to the far left/right, to leave enough room for the row. Just be illustrative with your words if you have no images to help.)

Game Turn:

I always try not to use a starting player starts, as it's redundant. You could just say, On a player's turn, they will either be bidding (Phase 1) or resolving their bid (Phase 2).

Phase 1:

Starting with the first player and moving clockwise, each player will make 1 of 3 bids:

- Bid for a Market card
- Bid for an Offering card
- Bid for a cleaning action

Then you can go on to explain each one.

Some questions about the bids:

- Can more than 1 player bid on the same card?
-Where are these actions visible to bid on? To clarify, where would players be placing their Grave tiles to make their bid? Is there a space on the Market Board that isn't described here or are the face up cards representing these actions?

You don't really define what bidding is in your game or how it's done. Do you bid by placing your tile face up or face down, where info can be hidden from other players? What is a Grave tile and what information is on it? Are all Grave tiles the same, and just separated by character/player color?

You also haven't defined what these elements that you're bidding on are. What do Offering cards do vs Market cards? What does the cleaning action do?

The scoring was a bit confusing for me, but it'd probably make more sense after playing. The second half of the gameplay was a bit more clear, but alot of the info available there, I needed to be in the first section, to give me more context while learning how to play.

With regards to the general idea of your game, I think it sounds like a good game. It feels like it could be solid, and I like the theme of it. I think the rules could be clearer, but that the game shines through regardless. I would play it. :)

Fex_H
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Joined: 09/30/2018
Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks so much for the valuable feedback @Fertessa, and taking the time to read my post.

Fertessa wrote:

It seems odd to me that you have to take out cards from the Offering deck for both player counts. Why is that? I would think having a deck with the correct count for a 4 player game and subtracting 4 cards for a 3 player game would read more easily.

In answer to your first question, I have this because the Offering Deck has an equal number of each resource present, but I want different resources to be more or less present in each individual play.

Fertessa wrote:

Some questions about the bids:

- Can more than 1 player bid on the same card?
-Where are these actions visible to bid on? To clarify, where would players be placing their Grave tiles to make their bid? Is there a space on the Market Board that isn't described here or are the face up cards representing these actions?

Definitely wouldn't have caught those ones...

Fertessa wrote:

With regards to the general idea of your game, I think it sounds like a good game. It feels like it could be solid, and I like the theme of it. I think the rules could be clearer, but that the game shines through regardless. I would play it. :)

Thanks!! :)

I'll post the PnP here as soon as it's ready

Fertessa
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Joined: 07/18/2018
No problem, and good luck

No problem, and good luck with your game!

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