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Lake Hell

I have decided to try and create a fishing game from scratch, in an effort to assist Lilfisher, which he posted about in the following thread:

I haven't been fishing in probably 35 years or more, but I figured, "What the Hell?"

I have decided to give this game project the tentative title of "Lake Hell." Why? Because I don't really know what to call it, since I have no idea at this point what kind of game it will be like. However, I think that the name on a game box would probably catch the eye, if someone happened to come across it while browsing a fishing supply store. The title and subtitle at this early stage of design will be:

Lake Hell - When Murphy's Law meets Nature's Call, all Hell is bound to break loose in the greatest fishin' adventure of all time!

Now, how will I accomplish this? I haven't a clue, but that shouldn't really keep me from designing something.


Fishing enthusiasts will

Fishing enthusiasts will surely like the game as soon as you start the work and finish it. Stop keeping us all in suspense.

Try your HAND at fishing

One mechanism that I am looking at is the drawing of cards from other players' hands. Players can mix their cards up in their hands, and other players have to guess at what they may be fishin' for. Maybe instead of fishin' for fish, this aspect will feature fishin' for fishin' gear - stealing from other players, of sorts.

Fishing Tournament

One of the reasons that I post stuff in this game journal is to help me to keep track of them, for continually referring back to them, and to help ensure that I forget less than I otherwise might.

Another reason that I post here is so that others can read it, and they can gauge for themselves how far off in left field that I am, as I progress (or regress) with the design of this particular game.

Anyway, one idea that I have for this game is to somehow or other incorporate a fishing tournament of some sort. I could have the players participate in it, of course, or I might could just use a tournament as a non-player way of getting in the player's way, and perhaps even use it to kick the player out of the game, or to keep the player from catching too many fish.

I've never been in a fishing tournament, before, but I think of league night at bowling alleys, and being unable to get a lane, because the league bowlers have hogged them all up.


I think that a game like Lake Hell needs a pirate element in it, also.

Yes, yes, I know, I know. It is better to chisel away things than to add them, but I don't know what I want the game to be, exactly, just yet, and so I add to it.

Players must be encouraged to loot one another's fishin' boats, I think, and that strikes me as a rather piratical thing. Plus, pirates are colorful characters, and people tend to like sea going pirates and pirate festivals and the like. Plus, having some pirates on the game's box cover would help to grab the eye, I think.

I am also pondering an over-sized board, or a fairly large board, anyway. An over-sized adventure needs an over-sized board, doesn't it? I'll have to do some exploring, to see if I can find something that will work for a board, and yet not be a board, per se. Most of the "components" for the game I envision being on cards of some sort or other, so an over-sized board might be a manageable component, cost-wise.

I've considered having players use lures (yes, actual fishing lures) as movement pieces, but then that might encourage some kid to stick a fish hook in his finger. Initially, I even considered naming the game L.U.R.E.. "It'll lure you in" could have been a sub-title.

For a piece that players move around the board, I think that I could either have something that you physically keep piling fishing gear in, but if it ends up being more of a pain in the ass to move than it is worth, then that might discourage people from replaying it, again and again. So, I'm thinking that the same basic thing can be emulated using cards either laid out in front of each player, or kept hidden in their respective hands. I could just have a boat that never moves, but which serves as a pile, of sorts. My thinking is that too much stuff might sink your boat, and/or that it would be beneficial (read, fun) to have a way for the boat to be packed clumsily and stuff fall out (and consequently, lost - and in need of replacement).

Some ideas may have to be eliminated or reworked, of course, but at this stage, I think that pretty much everything is fair game.

The Fishin' Boats

If I can figure out a viable way to do it, I would like to incorporate Fishin' Boats. In essence, players would be able to fish, either from shore or from a boat. The boat, of course, would be its own form of misery, with players packing stuff in and losing stuff in the water (or perhaps along the way, to boot).

Players falling out of the boat (or being pushed out, as the case may be) should also factor into the overall scheme of play. It could be used to cause a player to start over, or to restart from a certain point (or from a previously accomplishment).

I can envision fishermen (or fisherwomen) going over water falls, getting tangled in underbrush (lose a turn, perhaps?), and maybe even drowning. It's a game, after all, and who says that death has to be permanent? The whole Heaven/Hell aspect could incorporate reincarnation (coming back as a different, better fisherman, perhaps?). Maybe they don't die. Maybe they are just "lost" to Nature.

But, what happened to that guy who went down under quicksand? Or the one who was carried off by a Bigfoot? Can't lightning strike a boat while someone is fishin'? You shouldn't be fishing during a thunderstorm, anyway, should you? But, to win the big one, you have to be prepared to risk it all in this no-holds-barred fish fest from Hell.

Solo or Team Play (Fishin' Buddies from Hell)

I am thinking of solo play and team play both being ways of playing the same game, to increase the replayability factor. It would complicate the rules, but it might appeal to a broader player base, that way.

In a team game, one idea to incorporate would be for ways for players on the same team to be dependent upon their fellow team members, which in essence would simply be yet another way to implement sabotage into the game. Except, the difference here being that it would be unintentional sabotage, rather than intentional sabotage.

Enduring your own bad luck should be bad enough, but to also have to suffer the bad luck of one or more team members (Fishin' Buddies, perhaps??) can be pure Hell, at times. That's my thinking on the subject, anyway.

Hole gone dry

Another way to approach fishin' holes running dry is to have a card which you can play against another player, a "Hole gone dry" card, which is a way to effectively sabotage a player's time spend traveling to that particular fishin' hole.

Playing the card would have the effect of causing that player whom it is played against to uproot and travel to another fishin' hole.

If players have more than one Fisherman icon (or whatever is ultimately decided upon to accomplish that purpose), then it might be possible to force another player out of the game, if all fishin' holes are taken, and players are not allowed to share fishin' holes at the same time.

Fishin' Cards

If you just have a board, and have a lake drawn on it, and each player picks or is assigned (through some mechanism or other) a specific location to fish in, and all players continually draw cards from the same deck, then I think that the point of fishing in different locations on the board is largely rendered moot.

One mechanism that I thought of to try and remedy this problem is that the board would have a multitude of "favorite fishin' spots" located on it, and that at each of those spots on the board, a certain number of "Fishin' Cards" would be placed.

These Fishin' Cards (for lack of a better name, right now) would be placed in small mini-piles all over the board, with each spot not necessarily containing the same number of cards. The idea, here, is to emulate the possibility of a particular spot being over-fished.

Once all of the Fishin' Cards for a particular spot had been retrieved (the fish, there, having all been caught), it would provide an incentive for the player (or players, depending upon the design) occupying that particular fishin' hole to move elsewhere. The idea is to have the game to encourage players to move from one spot to another, in pursuit of the prize (or in pursuit of whatever the grand object is).

By having Fishin' Cards face down, no player would know what awaits them at any particular fishin' hole.

This is only one aspect of overall design for the game, so there may still be things such as territorial control considerations that manifest themselves in other aspects of the game. I haven't really thought that far ahead, right now.

Lilfisher had expressed an

Lilfisher had expressed an interest in having a game similar to the game of Life, if possible, albeit with the focus upon fishing. For comparison's sake, here is a link to an image of the boardgame, Life:

The game of Life

To keep production costs manageable, I think that the board for Lake Hell would have to differ noticeably from the boar for Life. Notable, the raised white components and the spin wheel. I do not think that this would be a critical departure, and that the same basic feel of the game, Life, could be emulated just the same.

I am thinking of something

I am thinking of something along the lines of a humorous take on fishing. Lake Hell invokes an image of either fishing in Hell, itself (which is a contrast of sorts, since Hell is often envisioned to be a lake of fire, a place of eternal torment), or a fishing trip where everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and an otherwise pleasurable experience becomes transformed through player activities and Nature's antics to an exercise in self-inflicted torment.

I'm thinking of a game where players encounter misfortune after misfortune, and stab one another in the back, to get at that big prize just out there waiting to bite. Some devil characters in fishing garb could provide some visual comic relief. I'm no artist, so this really should be one Hell of a challenge for me.

Maybe I could toss in some angels, and bring a Heaven versus Hell type of thing into the mix - maybe even toss in a few mortals, as well. Fishing can be Heaven or Hell - depending upon your perspective and upon what happens to you during the trip. It all just depends, is the basic thought here.

But, you need other players trying to toss monkey wrenches into the works to up the juice level as one plays the game. I'm thinking of sabotage, both friendly and not-so-friendly. Maybe even have the powers that be intervene, from time to time.

Sort of like a National Lampoon's Vacation type of adventure, with a heavy focus upon fishing and camping stereotypes.

GrimFinger wrote:I'm thinking

GrimFinger wrote:
I'm thinking of sabotage, both friendly and not-so-friendly.

Grimfinger if you are looking for ideas the fishing club reports might be a good place to start - a lot can be found on google.

the barra classic always ends in disaster for us, including the stalking crocodile, faulty compass, dirty fuel and the lost fifty pounder because of a snapped trace. One year the captain got knocked out by a flying rock, I think it was a wild throw at a cane toad in the camp.

good luck in your game.

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