Thursday, February 25, 2010

For the back burner - Role Selection mechanism

I was discussing something with Sebastian today, and the topic of role selection came up. I thought it would be cool if a game had Puerto Rico style Role selection, but with 2-sided role tiles.

Sebastian suggested that could be an alternate way to 'juice' the tiles, rather than Puerto Rico's "add 1 coin to the unchosen roles" - make the back side a more powerful version of the role, and if no one chooses that role in a round then flip it to the more powerful back side. If anyone does choose a role (front side or back side showing), reset it to the front side afterward. This could be a good way to modify the Role Selection mechanism seen in Puerto Rico, but it's not what I had in mind.

My vision was of Role tiles with 2 different roles on either side of a tile. When a role is chosen and carried out, it's flipped to the other side, revealing the other role. Thus, a particular role could not be taken 2 times in a row, and depending on the game action, any particular role may not be available at any given time.

I like the notion, but I have no further thoughts on a role selection game such as this at the moment, so it's going on the back burner for now.


Jeff said...

Cool idea Seth!

Not exactly like what you're describing, but maybe each tile does the same basic thing but there is a "light side" and a "dark side" to each, eg for the "gather resources" action, the "light side" lets you draw resources for yourself and distribute some to the other players as well, whereas the "dark side" lets you take a resource from another player. (Didn't "Mammoth Hunters" have a light/dark dichtomomy of that sort?)

Anyway, in this case maybe instead of the tiles flipping every time they were used, it would be more that they flipped in response to some external game factor, or maybe instead which side they're flipped to influences some external game factor.

Come to think of it, this might be a cool fit for a "Lord of the Flies" game that I have waaaay on the back burner. Interestingly, I've just been thinking about a sort of "role selection"/"worker placement" mechanic for that game whereby there are different areas on the island that let you take different actions, but events will render some areas temporarily inactive. eg, rain will wash out the fire, preventing you from using it to cook meat, eg. Maybe instead/in addition, each available action is represented by a tile, and the events or tribal politics can force you to flip certain tiles over to one side or the other.

Seth Jaffee said...

Yeah, all decent extensions of that idea. If this mechanism can help revive one of your old titles, feel free to use it!

DShort said...

I love the sound of this mechanic. I have no current game designs itching for something like this yet, but I like the concept a lot.

Another tweak to it could be that roles could be linked. So, potentially if roles X and Y were chosen, then role B would be flipped. If roles X and C were chosen, then role Z would be flipped. Crazy possibilities.