Game: Abstract, strategy, 2-player
My first game design came out of a game design exercise. Take a chess board and checker pieces and come up with a game. Immediately – and I don’t know why – the checker pattern of the board reminded me of a picnic table cloth and so Ant’s Picnic was born.
Ant’s Picnic is a two player game in which the players have two ants which they use to get as much food as possible. Ants are allowed to move any direction orthogonally up to 7 squares. When a player maneuvers his/her ants on matching good types those food counters are removed from the picnic table. Pop cans, gum, paper towels etc… hinder ant movement. Originally a roll of two d8 determined movement but with feedback from a fellow gamer the dice roll for movement was removed.
The game has three modes:
1) Basic – for kids – race to get your food off the board.
2) Regular play – race to get your food off the table. However, at regular intervals event cards are played that hinder movement, add a spider or a bee to the table, or lower the value of the food counters. Food counters values depend upon where they lie on the table cloth (for example – food collected from two white squares are more valuable than food from two pink squares – there are twice as many pink squares as white or red therefore the combination of two pink is more common)
3) Advanced play – this is the same as regular with the addition of a memory mechanic. Each food counter of a specific type has a value of 1 to 4. On a player’s turn they may look at the underside of certain counters depending on the location of their ants.
More pictures and a first draft of the rules (which needs to be updated to eliminate the roll and move option) are available at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/70563/ants-picnic