Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beyond EmDo

I played Eminent Domain again yesterday - teaching some new players. I continue to be very pleased with how that game turned out! I'm excited for the upcoming Escalation expansion, I'm happy with the following Exotica expansion thus far, and I look forward to working on the future (and final) "Agendas" expansion.

I mentioned before that I put some thought into an Eminent Domain Dice Game, and that came together quickly. I'm happy with EmDice, and I think it's likely to be published soon.

I'm very proud of the 'deck learning' mechanism, and while it's done wonders in Eminent Domain, I don't know if I'm done with it. I've had some thoughts on other ways to utilize this mechanism. Here are 2 examples of possible games I might try to make based on EmDo's deck learning mechanism...

Railroad Tycoon style train game
I played Railroad Tycoon today - first time in a long time. I really, really like that game. I've considered a game based on Railroad Tycoon, using a deck learning mechanism to drive it.

There would be a board with cities and hexes, like Railroad Tycoon. Using your deck of cards you would build track to connect cities, deliver cubes, upgrade your engine, complete specific routes, etc. Main strategies would involve expanding your network and making deliveries, and like EmDo, I envision that early game players will need to add cities to their network, then at some point players will have to decide if they'll concentrate on continuing to expand their network, or if they'll transition to making more deliveries for example.

Historical Civ game
EmDo is basically a civ game set in outer space. I had originally intended to set it in a more common, historical, terrestrial civ game setting. I can imagine doing a civ game in such a setting with deck learning in it, and a game board, perhaps similar to Eight Minute Empire. Or perhaps like Princes of the Dragon Throne, with colored regions and cities (or locations) of each color within each region.

I imagine 2 rows of "tech cards" - each row a display from a shuffled deck (like Ascension's center row). One row with a money cost, the other row with an Influence cost. Perhaps one of these rows has cards which go into play (like EmDo planets) while the other has cards which go into your deck. Or perhaps cards of each of those types are shuffled all together. Maybe both rows even come from the same deck.

Actions/Roles would be things like:
Recruit: Move units from "provinces" (general supply) to "court" (personal supply)
Place: Place units on the board
Move: Move units around the board
Get "tech" card type A (based on Money)
Get "tech" card type B (based on Influence)
Trade(?): Get money somehow
???: Get Influence somehow

1 comment:

Bryan R said...

Seth - I hope you see this. I know this post is two years old (almost to the day!), but I hope you will continue to consider the Railroad Tycoon/train-themed learning deck-style game. I say this because I played and purchased Trains: Rising Sun earlier this year and really feels the board element still seems a little tacked-on. I also don't much care for the downtime between turns and am not so sure I like the Waste mechanic. Long story short: I played Eminent Domain for the first time today and I pretty much decided right away that the EmDo system is much, much more enjoyable and interesting to me and has basically fired Trains.

So if you make an EmDo-ish train game with a purposeful, well-integrated board (maybe modular station cards to claim/build? Don't know!) and roles (that give all players something to do every turn), I'd be ALL ABOARD! ;)