Home > board game design, playtesting, print-and-play, Wargame > game designs that are “in the works”

game designs that are “in the works”

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve got a number of designs I’m thinking about at the moment: Coloronimoes, Water Balloon Wars, Wargame, Hex Herders, Tatoules, Rally Rally Racing, and Flea Market. Coloronimoes is done and just needs to be submitted, I’m in the process of writing up Water Balloon Wars, I’ve recently submitted Wargame to this contest on BGG, I’m about to order some special dice for Rally Rally Racing, and I’m having lots of fun playing around with the ideas in Flea Market.

Flea Market started as a kind of unholy marriage between Sid Sackson’s Bazaar and the Looneys’ Fluxx, but it’s in the process of evolving beyond that.

The basic idea of the game is that you have different colors of beads, and you also have various types of cards. Some of the cards allow you to “produce” these beads at a faster rate; some set the “exchange rate” for trading one color for another; some allow you to “recycle” beads when they’re used to purchase larger items; some allow you to perform various actions.

The goal of the game, I think, is to purchase as many of these “larger items” — honors, monuments, victory points, whatever — as possible before time runs out. Time runs out when either the supply of beads or the supply of cards is exhausted.

It’s all very rough in my head right now, and I can’t decide if I want it to be a kind of economic-engine-development game or if I want it to have a more social, more relaxed, more chaotic vibe. I’m currently leaning toward the latter (there seems to be no shortage of economic-engine-development games at the moment), but I haven’t committed one way or the other.

If I want it to be more serious, then I’ll have all the developments be something you purchase, and I’ll eliminate most of the “Action” cards I’m considering. If, on the other hand, I want it to be more of a party game, then I’ll focus more on the trading and the Action cards, and I’ll make it so the various improvements can simply be played (if you have the right cards) as a normal part of your turn.

This is what I love about game design — it’s a way to engineer an experience. How often do you get a chance to do that?

  1. February 6, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Wow, you’ve got a lot of ideas going. Do you usually have one aspect of a game that you think of first, and then develop the game around that?

    • February 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

      I pretty much always have to start with at least one mechanic — without that, I have nothing to build off of. I’ve tried numerous times to start with a theme, or a general idea as to how the gameplay should work, or some vague notion of building and investing in cities, but invariably these things go nowhere. I’ve had a notion for some months, for example, that I want to do a game involving coopetition (where players simultaneously cooperate with and compete against everyone else), but without a single concrete mechanic, I’ve basically got nothing. Motivation, yes, but an idea I can run with, no.

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