On my first year anniversary of this blog I ran a contest for people on BGG and for regulars that tune into my comments.
I am running one again. This year there will have been over 10,000 visits to my blog. To celebrate this I will be giving away a brand new copy of 10 Days in the U.S.A.
This contest is only open to visitors of my blog and the Google+ Board Game Community.
To win this gift just post a comment about which of my game designs you would most like to see come to fruition and why. The deadline is 4th Feb (my birthday – yay me!)
You can find the list of my game designs at:
After chatting with a few fellow designers, I have updated the rules to If You Go Down to the Woods…
The game theme was thought of by my 8 year old daughter and I came up with the simple push your luck mechanism. I would be grateful if anyone would read the initial rule set and comment, critique, rip-apart, praise etc etc…
This is a ‘fleshed-out’ idea from the last post.
BASEBALL CARDS – the card game
Each player takes on the roll of a baseball card collector. By trading and taking actions, players compete to acquire the greatest baseball card collection. The player with the best collection of team players, all-stars and rookies will win.
Hobby Store Deck
Signed Card Tokens
Trophy Case Tokens
- The Card Deck is shuffled and each player is dealt 10 cards – this represents the player’s starting collection
- The Action Cards are placed face up in the middle of the table
- The Hobby Store Deck is shuffled and placed in the middle of the table
- The tokens are placed in two piles to the side within reach of the players
The game takes place over a specified number of rounds. In each round there are three phases:
- Trade/Bidding Phase
- Action Phase
- Display Phase
1. Trade/Bidding Phase
In this phase the players congregate at the local hobby store to see what the store owner has to offer. The top card of the Hobby Store Deck is revealed to reveal a ‘special’ item that will aid the players in improving their collection.
The players then select cards from their hand and place them face down in front of them. Once all players have selected their cards they are revealed simultaneously. The cards with the highest value played win the item. The shop owner then places the cards that won the bid up for trade. The trading continues in the same manner until only two players are left. When two players trade for an item the winner will receive the goods and the final player gets no goods, but gets one card from the Card Deck and gets first choice in the Action Phase.
Starting with the last player in the trading round and then working in reverse order to the first trade winner, players take one of the following actions:
- Get a card signed – only one player per round – cost 3 coin
- Buy a trophy case – only one player per round – cost 2 coin
- Buy a booster pack or packs (draw from the card deck) – open to all players – draw two cards from the Card Deck
- Online auction – sell one of your cards online – roll the auction dice to see how much you get for your card
Players may place cards in front of them to start making sets. These cards can be added to but not subtracted from. These cards can no longer be used in trades or sold. Display rules:
- If playing team cards – 4 cards must be played of the same team
- When playing All-Star cards – 2 cards must be played of any team
- Rookie cards can be placed individually
There will be physical placement rules that will make it easier for scoring.
Scoring will be determined by the number of outfield players represented by one team, the number of pitchers represented by one team, the number of rookie cards and the number of All-Star cards. Also bonus points will be given for cards that are displayed and/or signed. Coins will act as a tie breaker.
With the help of David Short (designer of Ground Floor and Skyline), I have come up with a theme that could use the bidding system where players bid for an item and the items bid then become the next up in the auction (see previous post). This is more a bartering/bidding system.
We tossed around themes – one of them Urban Farming, which got nixed – and finally came up with a game about trading and collecting baseball cards. The players would meet at school and bid for baseball cards (trade). The game would be a set collection game where players are vying for team sets, rookie sets and All Star sets of baseball cards.
Once the bidding/trading round has finished then players would get one or two actions to help expand their collections. The actions would include:
- Getting cards signed to increase their value
- Putting cards in a trophy case to increase value but not to be included in sets
- Going to the store to buy a booster pack (drawing random cards from a deck)
- Go online and auction a card (players gamble on monetary return – could be good or not-so-good)
- and others to be thought of
The number of players that can complete and action would depend on the number of players playing the game.
More to follow…
Tower of Doom is a work in progress. I have a prototype and play tested a couple of times. If you search my posts you will find a few posts about the game. Though I have not worked on it in a while, it is still at the forefront of my game designs.
The other day I shared the idea with a fellow designer on Google+. He suggested that a reverse variant may be interesting. In the Tower of Doom players play heroes who are trying to escape from the top of a tower by removing bricks (a la Jenga). The more bricks they remove the quicker they descend down to the bottom of the Tower. If any of the heroes die (it is a coop game) then the players lose. If the Tower falls the players lose. The suggested variant takes the heroes from the bottom of the Tower to the top. The heroes are attacking the Tower of Doom, trying to reach the top to defeat the toughest of monsters. This variant would be tougher as drawing bricks from the lower levels would make this game much tougher.
Another issue with the game in early play testing was how to determine when and if the tower collapsed. I have decided that if the Tower collapses to the level that the heroes are on then the heroes fail and the game is lost and that if players displace bricks by accident but the Tower does not collapse then for every brick displaced the team takes damage. The players assign damage as they wish – think of this as a rafter or beam collapsing on the heroes.
Is it possible to have a two player bidding game that works? I cannot think of one that works…though there are some blind bidding games that are designed for 2 players and up. What if the players bid went to the other player?
Last night I got to play test Bad Elf with friends. The couple I gamed with are experienced gamers and were interested in trying the game. Though I will be replacing the conveyor deck with a central board and a random draw bag for the presents, we played with the conveyor deck.
They both liked the game though were not singing its praises as the next Ra. The feedback was excellent. One issue the game has is caused by players passing on the bidding phase to avoid taking coal. While this is a valid strategy there should be a consequence for passing. After discussion, it was decided that when a player sends no elves to the conveyor belt they must send a minimum of two elves to the loading zone. These elves can reorganize or trade presents on the sleigh as per the rules. This means that players will not be able to pass and then have a full compliment of elves to bid with next turn.
In order to make this option clear to the players, one of the zero elf cards will be edited to have two small elf heads with the words loading zone underneath.
This change will also have a change in bidding patterns. Now no player may bid 7 elves as this would leave no elves to bid in the next round…a bid of zero requires a minimum of 2 elves (that would be sent to the loading zone). Now a maximum of six elves is the possible maximum bid. There is a risk to bidding 6 elves. If a player bids six elves then for the next round they will only one elf left. One elf is a must bid as a bid of zero elves requires two elves to be sent to the loading zone. Though this sounds complex, I think it will add some extra strategy to the bidding process.
Because a bid of six elves is risky – due to the fact that the next bid is a must bid of one elf – this 6 elf bid now replaces the Pixie Dust Card. Any player sending six elves will get the choice of any group of presents no matter what placement they are on the conveyor.
Now to re-prototype with the central board and with the new Dwarven Mining theme. The suggested new name for the game is NINJA DWARF.
The Christmas season is over and I am back to work tomorrow. I managed to play a game every day of December except one! I also received a couple of Runebound expansions, some Redakai decks and I supported boardgamegeek for the first time (long overdue).
My goal this year is to submit at least one of my game designs to a publisher. I will keep working on building the ‘amateur’ game design community through Google+ and other forums.
I have a Kamloops Family Game Night scheduled for January 23rd and will keep helping any elementary schools in Kamloops that want to promote board games in the classroom. Also, I am going to spend more time with my daughter and will be introducing her into my world of geekdom. We will play games, read books, watch movies, build things and generally have fun. I want my daughter to be a geek (or rather a Renaissance girl) and a G.E.E.K. (a Genuine, Empowered, Enthusiastic Kid). I will be starting a blog that will follow all the wonderful activities that we do together.