Sunday, February 26, 2012

The List - revisited

It's been a while since I've given any thought to old game design ideas. Last night I had the opportunity to recount some of them to a friend, and it reminded me how awesome some of them are! So I thought I'd revisit The List:

Old Standbys - games which have been around, 1/2 done and untouched, for years:
- 8/7 Central
- Hot & Fresh
- Dynasty
- Odysseus: Winds of Fate
- Kilauea
- Reading Railroad

Old Ideas that Haven't gone Anywhere Yet, But Probably Should - some of these have been getting stale as well:
- Investigative/Tabloid Journalism
- Red Colony
- Clash of the Kingpins
- Time = Money
- Dating Game
- Ticket Please
- Moctezuma's Revenge

I have lots of ideas for several of these games, so many that I think I'm overwhelmed and am not making any progress on any of them! The good news is that I have at least made SOME progress on my games, like Exhibit, Alter Ego, and The Knights Templar.

I think the best of the bunch are:

Dynasty: The Spread of Culture in Ancient China
Build villages and learn advances, assimilating opponents' cultures as you go. Your villages give you access to resources to spend on things like advances. If you cannot afford what you want, you can "trade" with an opponent (they cannot say no) - but if you do then you must take one of their Culture Chits onto your player board. This is both good and bad, as filling up your player board gives you benefits, but each of those Culture Chits represents scoring for your opponents. The first player to fully fill their board becomes the Emperor (and scores a small bonus), but it's the player who's culture is best represented who is the real winner!

Hot & Fresh
Delivering pizza can be frantic work! Plan your route and push your luck with the traffic laws to make deliveries and earn tips. There is a simple set of traffic laws, and the more laws you break, the more likely you will get busted. Driving safe for a while will turn the heat down, but your tips decrease over time so you're encouraged to press your luck at least a little bit. Originally the routes were intended to change as traffic lights turn from green to yellow to red - a newer development involves placing tiles between the main roads to represent shortcuts that you know about but your opponents do not.

Red Colony
Players build colonies on Mars, first by claiming property (building tubes and domes), then constructing various buildings under those domes. Income is customizable and ranges from early game building materials to late game higher level materials, to people. You'll have to spend time and effort to modify income over the course of the game. The goal will be to house as many people as possible in your Colony by the end of the game. A lot of the ideas for this game came directly from The Case For Mars.

Alter Ego
Cooperative deck building game of vigilante heroism. Save the city from Arch Villains - but as you become a stronger hero, you'll need to neglect some aspect of your Alter Ego life. In the early game you start with Family, Job, and Community cards which each give you some benefit. Each turn you must take another card, either another Alter Ego card or a Hero card. You'll need Hero cards to defeat henchmen, but you can only play so many cards per turn... so playing more Hero cards necessarily means playing fewer Alter Ego cards! This game will have a Cooperative mode, and possibly a Competitive mode as well where each player has a personal Nemesis in addition to the Arch Villains.

The Knights Templar
After hearing about Trajan's Rond-cala mechanism I had a guess as to how it would work. I was wrong, but I thought my idea might make an equally good game, so I combined that main mechanism with an older idea I had for a Knights Templar theme. In this game you'll Move your knights, Crusade against Moors and other enemies, Erect buildings, and spread the Influence of the Order of the Temple. But when the Order gets strong enough, King Philip will become nervous and issue arrest orders for the Templars! Race to Portugal (and maybe Scotland) where you'll be safe while a wave of destruction radiates from Paris, destroying buildings as it goes. When a building is destroyed, players with that type of building still standing earn some points, so it could matter which buildings you erect and where you erect them.

No comments: