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[WIP] Universal Pursuit (Quantum + Parchisi)

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Tbone
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Intro Page

This is where I will post resources for investigating the game design process of Universal Pursuit (and just a way to organize my progress). I will provide seven areas that you can explore to understand more of the mechanics, art, direction, theme, and even game play. Thank you, and know that feedback is always welcome.

#1 Theme

The universe is at peace, everyone is prosperous and no one is in need. Its actually kind of boring. But, many have grown restless knowing that the mysteries of the universe have always been kept a secret. As time past, there was a great unrest throughout the universe. Everybody was a tad bit ticked. The Master of the universe saw this as a great opportunity to spice things up. In response, he created a competition, a competition that would reward only the strongest being alive and the rest of his companions the secrets of the cosmos. The first being to enter the anomaly present at the center of the universe would win, gaining access to the Great Mystery. Who would have thought that a little rivalry over the meaning of the universe could cause so much fun!

I want this theme to be kind of silly; art and all. Fun and inviting so that any person can grab a race that interests them, while engaging in an intensely strategic experience.

#2 Major Game Elements

20-30 minute game
For 2-4 players

Main Mechanic:
-Rolling dice to perform number of actions with units

Sub Mechanics:
-Area control
-Balance of risk and tactics in combat
-Unique special abilities for units
-Quick and interesting turns

Games Like:
-Quantum
-Parchisi
-Sorry!

Game Synopsis:
On your turn you will roll two dice and use each die to either build a unit or base, move a unit, attack with a unit, or claim the center of the universe. Each player will be racing around the board, moving from planet to planet, attacking nearby enemy units, and establishing bases to eventually gain access to the center of the universe through the anomaly planet (the last planet you need to land on).

Think of this as Sorry!, Trouble, Parchsis etc. with interesting decisions, better theme (or a theme), and unique player races.

#3 Graphics:

Board Layout
Real Board Set-Up
Prototype Card Design

#4 Work Bench:

----------------------------------
[Legend]
[+] What has been added
[?] What is being tested
[-] What has been removed
[#] What I am working on
-----------------------------------
5/31/19
[#] Finalizing Rules 1.2 for release
[+] Squad (multiple units on a space assaulting)

6/5/19
[-] Battle mechanics
[+] Conquering mechanic (simpler than battles)
[?] Strategic balance between squads and individual units

6/11/19
[-]The ability for squads to flank
[?]The ability for squads to ambush
[?]The ability to construct units on a base
[#]Prototype art for cards

6/18/19
[#] Designing cards
[?] Squad scaling balance (larger squads are slower and more powerful, smaller squads faster and less powerful etc.).
[+] Valor (each unit has a valor value which you score if they make it to the anomaly planet).
[?] Victory condition (win by scoring six valor)

#5 Rule Book: UPDATED 6/18/19

Universal Pursuit Rules 1.5

#6 Tabletop Simulator/Tabletopia

-Under Construction-

#7 Print and Play

-Under Construction-

Tbone
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Rules 1.2 Added!

Created a rules document for Universal Pursuit. Have a look see if you're interested. It is only three pages, four including the race outlines.

More to come.

Kyle Forrest
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Joined: 05/17/2019
I'll be honest, i am having a

I'll be honest, i am having a hard time visualizing this game. Any chance of having a look at the board. That might help.

wob
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i think i understand, between

i think i understand, between this post and your other rules. its like infinite backgammon, with some extras.
by infinite backgammon i mean a closed loop instead of a horseshoe. i am slightly unclear about the center of the universe, i think its the end goal (get your pieces home) like in sorry! etc, but im not entirely clear on that. i also like the extras (bases etc).
if i understood correctly it seems like a good idea.

apeloverage
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I found sections like

I found sections like this:

"Place 6 planet tiles for each player so that they are placed side by side, connect to each adjacent player’s home world space, and make a complete circle. Each player will place their anomaly token 10 planets away from their home world space."

confusing without a picture.

Tbone
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Board Layout Added

apeloverage wrote:
I found sections like this:

"Place 6 planet tiles for each player so that they are placed side by side, connect to each adjacent player’s home world space, and make a complete circle. Each player will place their anomaly token 10 planets away from their home world space."

confusing without a picture.

and

Kyle Forest wrote:
I'll be honest, i am having a hard time visualizing this game. Any chance of having a look at the board. That might help.

Totally understandable. I have added the Universe (board) layout to the rules. Here is also a quick peek.

I have made the set-up in the rules a little less confusing (more simple).

Tbone
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Game Crafter Components In!

I recently order some components from Game Crafter and they came in early! Everything fits in the box and, though everything is white, it looks nice (much better than my other prototype). The hex's might be a tad bit small. The game still works with these components, really well. Now I can take it with me and test it with others.

Here is a picture of what it looks like on the table.

questccg
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Hmm... Not sure about that!?

Tbone wrote:
...The hex's might be a tad bit small. The game still works with these components, really well. Now I can take it with me and test it with others...

@TBone are you certain that those Hexes are "too small"??? To me they look pretty decent in size. Anything larger and it may prove to be a bit unwieldy, no? There is no "art" on the hexes ... so it's hard to judge if the content would look better on "larger" tiles...

BUT here's the thing: you can get CUSTOM Hex Tiles using the Punch-Outs. There are three (3) formats: small, medium and large. But direct from TGC, you can have:

1. Small Hex Tile {2 x 1.75 in}
2. Medium Hex Tile {2.5 x 2.20 in}
3. Large Hex Tile {3.75 x 3.25 in}

In addition you can do a custom size for each format... But I find it unusual that ONE (1) of these three (3) "standard" punch-outs is not enough for the size of Hexes that you are looking for.

Tbone
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Dice

There are certain times where more than six die are on hex at a time and it can be, not clunky, but I guess "unwieldy". If the hexes were just a tad bit bigger I would be happy.

I do like how small they are though. It doesn't take up that much room! Which I like. Thank you for the TGC info, I'll have to see what the price difference would be. Currently for a four player game, the components only cost around 26$. For Game Crafter, this is a steal and could get away with inflating the price well within the range people are willing to buy. Especially for the amount of replay ability this game allows (and the number of possible expansions).

questccg
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Aside

When I re-read your OP, I fell upon the wording: "Master of the Universe".

And that made me laugh (LOL)! Why?

Because (to me) it comes from "He-Man and... The Masters of the Universe"! And of course that got me thinking about the He-Man theme song ... "By the Power of Greyskull... I have the POWERRRR...!!!" (LMAO)

Nothing like INJECTING He-Man into one of your design...!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yeA7a0uS3A

Cheers (oh yeah keep designing your game... Maybe a He-Man Goose Egg can be put in the rulebook or the box cover...)

Regards.

Tbone
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Design Entry

Design Progress:
Here are some of the card designs I have been working on. Simple yet it expresses everything a player needs to test.

Prototype Card Design

The PnP will be super easy to produce. Players would just need the dice.

Mechanics Progress:

Currently there are two main concerns I am trying to fix. First is the balancing of the number of units on a space and the difference in strategic definition they have. Larger squads have much more capability to attack and deal more damage, but struggle to move because they need higher rolls. Smaller squads can move farther and more often but lose out on damage and attack less often.

One of the biggest things I love about this game is the combat probabilities. Having more units on a space means there is a higher chance you will roll a value equal to a unit on the space (giving you the opportunity to attack wit it). On top of that, this means you can deal more damage with support modifiers. The scaling is almost there.

The second concern is the victory condition. Just getting one unit to the anomaly planet and then waiting to roll that number was dumb and anticlimactic. It also limited your decisions. It made much more sense to send your high defense units in because they were really difficult to get rid of. Sending lower value units was not wise.

Now I have given all units a valor value. Higher defense units get less valor and lower defense units get more. This gives me a better reason to send in my one defense unit because there is a potential to win the game with one unit! But sending in my sixes can result in a quick points grab. I like it a lot so far but the game seems to go longer than I want. I will be tweaking some things to make the game take about 20-40 minutes.

Tbone
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First Playtest!

I brought the game over to game night yesterday and it was a success. We didn't get to finish it (it was getting close to 1am), But it felt really nice.

We played a three player game (which I haven't tested very much) and each player had a different race. There were very few bumps but it helped me with how I want to organize the rule book to make it easier to learn.

The main difficulty is showing the difference between the way an individual unit functions vs. a squad in an elegant way. Units can flank, squads cannot. Squads can ambush, units cannot. Units can pass through spaces, squads cannot. Squads can gain support when attacking, units cannot. Squads can land on bases, units cannot. Units can use all of their movement, squads cannot. These are about all the differences.

Anyway, hopefully more testing happens to work out the kinks.

wob
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a simple grid on a page with

a simple grid on a page with ticks and crosses should get your point across.

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