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The mechanics you are looking for are in front of you

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larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008

In board game design, we need to most of the time search for a mechanic that will suite our need. Sometimes it requires research or play other games to find the mechanics you need. It could require years to find what you need.

I had this situation occurs twice recently where I have many game ideas that where considered stuck, or non working. Then I got new ideas to progress the development I ended up using mechanics that I already knew and used. It just did not occur to me to reuse those mechanics in a different context. So I had the solution in my closet, but never though of using it.

Example Game idea 1

Wanted to make a solo Star Craft game, I reused my Star Craft variant I designed many years ago and integrated it with a new theme while changing a few mechanics. Imported a few ideas from the successor Forbidden Start. The game is now almost completely functional except for the combat system.

Example Game idea 2

I wanted to make a smaller scale, solitaire, sand box, Master of Magic like game. You are a bad-ass wizard trying to conquer the kingdom you live in by building your army, questing, spreading your influence to pull the strings, etc. Lately, I found that reusing my Fallen Kingdom game's System for combat and civilization development, including some material from the Vinci variant I designed, and some idea from Wizard Quest for the AI, I might have 60-70% of the mechanics I need. I could end up with a playable early prototype pretty fast by reusing my FK and Vinci game components. I could also integrate a few ideas from games I never finished. I would be lacking only the influence/subterfuge portion of the game.

It's frustrating because the solution was in front of me this whole time and I could not solve it. Not sure how I could avoid such situation in the future. Maybe making an inventory of games or mechanics designed and tested and search it when required. But it's hard to create such list since there is a lot of ambiguity about what is a game mechanic.

Else when I am stuck in with a game idea, I could revisit all my games and variant I designed, or played, one by one and see if anything could be imported.

Did you ever had that kind of situation?

Do you have solutions?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I have this with balancing

One balance might do the job in theory.
Yet it is another one that does the job in practise.

Yet, the tweaking is done by looking at both.

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