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Simultaneous Interactive Movement

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Taavet's picture
Joined: 08/15/2008

Community Brainstorming!!
My game needs a simultaneous movement mechanic. Conflicts do arise so it can't just happen altogether. My current method is just to have one player call out 'move' and then resolve conflicts, but that's very clunky! I am familiar with pre-programmed ones, but those don't resolve conflict well, they typically just base it on a first come first serve basis and aren't really simultaneous. Short of having some kind of computer component to resolve movements, can anyone think of other games that handle simultaneous movement conflicts well?
Thanks!! You guys rock!

questccg's picture
Joined: 04/16/2011
Could you use a Sand Timer to manage the movement period???

Right now that's the only thing that I could see as being "simultaneous": flip over the "Sand Timer" and allow for "movement" to occur for a preset period of time as defined by the "Sand Timer":

Like 30 Seconds or 60 seconds, something like that.

Which ever "Sand Timer" is most appropriate, I personally tend to favor the 60 seconds "Sand Timer" as it seems like the most appropriate amount of time to actually "move" and it is not too long in that players may use some time to strategize HOW(?) they are supposed to move during that period of time.

Wishing you all the best with your design!


let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Joined: 02/07/2011
Simultaneous Card Reveal

The players can select a card from their available hand, and when all players have cards selected, they're all revealed at once. Add unique numbers to each to determine who goes first, if that's an issue, otherwise let everyone complete their moves without conflict/interruption.

Look to games like Robo Rally (even its "reboot" version, not just the original) for some ideas.

larienna's picture
Joined: 07/28/2008
I am thinking impulses in

I am thinking impulses in Star fleet battles where movement speed was decomposed in an impulse table. Very complicated.

Else, space cadets, the dice game, makes players roll simultaneously repetitively and act when they have the dice result match what they need.

I guess it depends if you want a real time aspect to the game or not.

Taavet's picture
Joined: 08/15/2008
Great thoughts

Thanks everyone.

I guess I need to just better define what I want.
Simultaneous movement is easy to implement when there are no conflicts (everyone can just put their meeple down when ready).

So a question would be, how do I want to resolve conflicts that occur.

Several games handle this with 'initiative'. Some extra element that is still realistic but allows the game to not be exactly simultaneous. There can only be one object in each instance/place. So who gets there first, does it first? If both reach to pick up the chip bag at the same time, what happens?

Other games implement pre-programmed methods, such as Robo Rally, or Lords of Xidit. In this instance you just have to hope that your pre-programming was more effective and that the resources/action is still available when you program to take it. Otherwise you merely miss out. For my game I don't like this option because thematically 'the chip bag is still within reach and you can do something about it'.

Another aspect that many games utilize is a time track, similar to initiative but more directly visible to the players. When you take your action it determines when your next action will be available. And others have the option of taking several lesser actions in the 'time' it took you to take your one big action. Tokaido would be an example of this.

The other reason I want simultaneous movement/action is I don't want other players to see what I am doing and make a different choice. I want simultaneous decisions to be made which will result in conflicts because the decisions of others is all hidden information.

I'll keep breaking down each little aspect to really get at the essence of what I am looking for but I think a large part of it is just going to come down to playtesting. Which works the best and is closest?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
Resolve exactly what is happening???

So, 2 players collide while moving?

This results is.... a collision.

If 2 players want to make use of the same choke point to move to another place?
Well, if you work with a grid. You could exclude a movement speed. Simply count towards the choke point from both starting locations. Just to see, if they would collide there.

Highest movement speed can have the initiative.

If you want movement speed to be included. You need to have 2 types of movement for the game:
- Movement Distance (maximum movement distance)
- Movement Speed (distance on the grid per "count")

For simplicity, I always went with the simple counting and highest movement speed as initiative.

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