Sunday, June 06, 2010

Alter Ego - contd. (brainstorming)

A couple specifics...

* I liked the idea of "draw 1 card per Job bond token" - only if we're talking about Henchmen cards it would have to be "1 additional card - or else losing your job means you can't play anymore.

* Another aspect of Heroic Deeds that I liked was that there were 5 sections of the city, and when successfully fighting crime in one of them you area allowed to leave a card there - the cards in that game amount to event cards, and when attempting a crime you draw 1 at random as well as any that are face down at that location. To borrow and refine that mechanism, there could be crime cards associated with each section of the city (pre-dealt, face up probably) indicating what crimes are currently underway. This would allow a player to choose which crime to fight (a) based on their skills and (b) based on which color crime card they want to collect (which will apply toward their nemesis). Sadly, this tanks the idea in the previous bullet point.

* There could be an element of card play, which would allow for one of the Alter Ego abilities to be "you can hold 1 card per bond token" - meaning you'll have an easier time with the cardplay portion of the game if you don't neglect that aspect of your Alter Ego. The Job AE aspect listed above could also apply to the drawing of those cards, but it might be cooler if the AE effects aren't so tightly related.

* I liked how the Event cards were supposed to work in Heroic Deeds, but the cards themselves prompted many timing questions and were in some cases difficult to apply. If the events were more straightforward, or broken up between 'Events That Occur' and 'Cards That You Play' then it might work better. I love multi-use cards, so maybe each card could have an EVENT effect (if drawn as an Event when attempting to fight crime) and an ACTION effect (when used in resolution of a fight).

A neat aspect from Heroic Deeds was the ability to leave event cards at different locations which would apply the next time someone visited that location. Some of the cards had positive effects and some had negative effects, so if you visited a location with a face down card you might be walking into a trap! Alternatively, you could leave a positive card there for yourself when you return. I'm not sure exactly how well I like that mechanism (bluffing as to what you left), but if the events were all generally negative but situational, then you could leave a 'trap' which you know you can handle but other players may not. I'm not sure this is necessary in the game, but it's a neat idea and I didn't want to forget about the possibility.

* Player interaction is always a sticking point in design. You don't want games to be solitaire exercises, so there has to be some kind of competition between players. In this case, so far, the only competition would be for a particular Arch Villain / Nemesis card (while there may be multiple copies of each Henchman card, there would of course be only one copy of each Arch Villain), and if the Henchman/crimes are face up then there could be competition for those as well. In order to foster this interaction, perhaps a 'wounded' Henchman (one who has had some successes against it but is not yet defeated) is somehow weaker - -1 to the target number for success, or 1 fewer success needed to defeat them. So if you fight a Henchman in Hell's Kitchen bot don't defeat him, I can either go after one in Metropolis, or I can go after the same one you went after, which would be a little easier for me to defeat. Expanding on that, perhaps a simple board would be in order such that if you are all the way across town from me then I cannot reach your henchman card in 1 turn (unless of course my superpower is that I can fly!)

In Heroic Deeds you are racing to successfully solve a certain number of crimes in each of 5 areas. Although it's not so much a race in each area as it is a race to be the first to solve enough crimes in 4 different areas. Perhaps a sub-goal could be added which really does make it a race to defeat a certain number of henchmen in each location...

Say there are 4 cities with 3 locations in each. Like in Winds of Plunder, you note a success in an area of a city by placing your player token (with your insignia, of course) there. The first player to place a token in each area of a city is awarded the Key to the City, which could confer some game benefit.

Thinking more along those lines, lets continue to consider 3 areas per city (A, B, and C) and let's also say that there is a different crime deck for each type of area - Thugs and Goons beat up or murder people in the Slums (area type A), Cat burglars rob rich people in the Suburbs (Type B), and Masterminds plan major heists Downtown (Type C) for example. Defeating crimes in areas A, B, and C of 1 city (before anyone else) earns you the key tot hat city, which would be desirable. But maybe defeating 3 crimes of type A earns you the right to take on the Arch Villain of type A (the guy bossing all the goons and thugs around), which ultimately is how you win the game.

Just wanted to get some of these brainstorms down before I forgot about them. I'll have to go through and cut out the chaff because I don't want to over complicate the game!

1 comment:

Jage said...

jageroxorz: ok
jageroxorz: First thoughts are you'll need more then 3 slots for each
jageroxorz: if the enemies takes some away as penalties
jageroxorz: Like the idea of colored/themed henchmen, which you collect to get to the arch enemy
jageroxorz: maybe different locations around the city have different advantages/disadvantages, but sometimes you have to go somewhere you don't want to to get the correct henchman color
jageroxorz: i.e., if there's a henchman terrorizing a, say, sporting event or some public venue
jageroxorz: you are more likely to be recognized by family/friends, or something
jageroxorz: these could involve and include the work bonuses, so you have to decide whether it's worth it to go to the power plant to get your second mr. freeze henchman, even though you work at the power plant and thus you would lose a friend token by going there
jageroxorz: I like the idea
jageroxorz: could have variable jobs/heroes, with different strengths and weaknesses
jageroxorz: oh
jageroxorz: just saw that in the second post, you get what I mean
jageroxorz: depends on how complicated you want the game
jageroxorz: You could have the different aspects of your life be your "health", if you will, and you can sacrifice those "healths" to increase your hero ability
jageroxorz: but if any of them reach zero you lose, or just lose an ability like you said
jageroxorz: hm
jageroxorz: I like the lose the bonus idea
jageroxorz: with the idea that the bonuses are fairly powerful
jageroxorz: i.e., maybe you're a reporter, so you can draw a random card at a location instead of hte face-up one (following a lead)
jageroxorz: or you work in the police department, so if you fight henchmen near the police station you get a bonus to attack or something
jageroxorz: trying to figure out what benefits friends and family would add
jageroxorz: maybe not benefits, but as it decreases you lose abilities
jageroxorz: like, as you lose family, you get a negative modifier on dice rolls (depression, no-one to fight for, etc)