Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alternate Winds of Fate structure

Randall McClain (Nando on BGDF) - the person who's original idea Winds of Fate was for a Game Design Showdown entry - has been thinking along other lines for this game. Here's what he feels is probably the best structure.

Like my basic skeleton, his idea still has episodes, resolved one at a time via card play as I've suggested (a la Beowulf or Taj Mahal), but instead of this new "invest in Odysseus' safe return" mechanism, Nando suggests players place bets on 2 things:

(1) A timeline - WHEN will the game end? How many more rounds?
(2) A result - HOW will the game end? Will Odysseus return safely home? Will he die trying? Or will he become stranded at sea?

Mechanics for this have been floating around in my mind, but basically they're to the effect of this: Players would begin the game with some limited supply of Betting chips - like the Coins I've been talking about perhaps. At discreet times during the game, players will be allowed to place these bets on the timeline, thereby betting the game will last a certain number of turns. The further away that point is from the time of the bet, the higher the maximum payout will be, and that payout will be reduced for inaccuracy. A nice way to calculate the payout is that you bet the game will last N more rounds, and the payout is = N-(1/round missed by). For example, if you be the game will last 8 more rounds, and it ends in 6, then you are off by 2. Your payout is 8-2=6.

In addition, players would place a side bet on HOW the game would end - Safe Return vs Death vs Stranded (I'm not really sure there needs to be a difference between Stranded and Death, but maybe 3 possibilities is better than 2). At the end of the game players would earn a bonus if they have bet correctly as to how the game ended.

Initially I thought the HOW bet would be a secret, and could change at certain times during the game (at a cost), and that the WHEN bet would be public info. However I quickly realized that your HOW bet might become obvious through your actions, while your WHEN bet would not, so the other way around would probably be more fun.

Then again, the mechanisms I have in mind for making these WHEN bets involve public info, so maybe everything could be in the open. Or - if there are 3 HOW results, maybe secret goals there is ok... "Is he aiding this adventure because he want's Odysseus to make it home, or because he wants to strand Odysseus at sea?"

I'll keep this in mind as an alternative 0 I'd like to try both versions and see which is more fun.

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